UTSA selects Donna Edmondson for new research ombudsperson position

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Donna Edmondson

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By Ryan Schoensee
Special Projects Writer, Office of University Communications

(Oct. 31, 2012) -- The UTSA Office of the Vice President for Research announces the appointment of Donna Edmondson to serve as research ombudsperson. Her new position was created as part of the UTSA research restructuring and is expected to enhance the level of service the central research office provides to scholars and student researchers.

As UTSA's research ombudsperson, Edmondson will serve as a liaison between UTSA researchers and other members of the UTSA community. Her responsibilities will include:

  • Listening to and discussing researchers' questions and concerns,
  • Evaluating options to address those concerns,
  • Communicating research policies and procedures,
  • Answering research-related questions and finding subject matter experts who can help researchers navigate challenges,
  • Documenting and reporting recurring issues and concerns,
  • Designing and implementing research-related evaluation tools and
  • Mediating disputes to achieve resolution.

Edmondson has been employed by UTSA for 17 years. She began at UTSA as a work-study student at the UTSA Center for Archaeological Research. During her eight-year tenure with CAR, she became a coordinator and research assistant for the Legacy program, which entices kids to look at history through the lens of archaeology. Ultimately, she earned a UTSA bachelor's degrees in anthropology and American studies and a master's degree in history. She then moved to the Office of the Registrar, where she spent nine years and served as a member of the Students Affairs Education and True Colors team.

Last year, Edmondson participated in Leadership UTSA, an opportunity that taught her the importance of listening and building authentic relationships.

"It is our hope that the research ombudsman will create an environment that helps scholars focus on their research instead of the administrative issues that could impede their research progress," said Marianne Woods, UTSA senior associate vice president for research.

The Office of the Vice President for Research currently is restructuring to become more productive and efficient with its resources. In addition to new staff positions such as the research ombudsman, the restructuring calls for the creation of six research service centers. The new centers will provide scholars with seamless sponsored-project administration including grant opportunity identification, proposal preparation and submission, grant award processing and management, and grant closeout procedures.