Melanie Chapman Appointed as Carleton’s Ombudsperson


Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Jerry Tomberlin and Carleton University Students’ Association President Lily Akagbosu are pleased to announce the appointment of Melanie Chapman as Carleton’s Ombudsperson.

Funded by both Carleton University and the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA), Ombuds Services is a confidential and independent service that looks to advise members of the university community who believe they have not been treated fairly.

Chapman joins Carleton from the Office of the Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces, where she has worked for over 14 years. In her current role as Director of Investigations, she leads a team of investigators in the administration and resolution of complaints of unfairness. Prior to joining the Department of National Defence in 2006, Chapman worked in complaints and conflict resolution at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 

“On behalf of Carleton University, I am looking forward to welcoming Melanie as Ombudsperson,” said Tomberlin. “She is an experienced Ombuds professional who brings a collaborative leadership style and an array of knowledge and skills that are essential for leading Ombuds Services. The Ombudsperson is an important role at Carleton in ensuring that decisions are fair and equitable, and that members of our community are supported as they navigate a variety of challenges.”

Ombuds Services is overseen by a committee comprised of both university and CUSA representation so that it can operate as an independent service.

“Melanie has a vibrant personality and holds a wealth of diverse knowledge in the Ombuds field,” said Akagbosu. “Her appointment is indeed an exciting one and we look forward to her becoming a part of the Carleton community.”

Chapman obtained an Honours Degree in Mass Communications in 2002 and a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution and Mediation in 2005, both at Carleton.

“Carleton is my alma mater, so I’m excited to rejoin the community as Ombudsperson and look forward to building upon the university’s long-standing reputation for fairness and equity,” said Chapman. “I realize I have big shoes to fill, but I welcome the challenge—as well as this new chapter—in my career.”

Chapman will join Carleton on May 19, 2020, replacing Jim Kennelly, who retired in January after serving as Ombudsperson for the majority of his 45-year career at Carleton. 

“I am so grateful for the dedication, compassion and grace Jim continually demonstrated throughout his career in Ombuds Services,” said Tomberlin. “Since becoming Carleton’s first Ombudsperson in 1978, he has built supportive working relationships with both student service and academic departments across the university and often went above and beyond to ensure that the Carleton community was supported through difficult circumstances.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my deep gratitude to Siobhan MacManus for taking on this important role since Jim’s retirement and for kindly agreeing to continue as Interim Ombudsperson until the end of May when Melanie arrives.”

Melanie Chapman Appointed as Carleton’s Ombudsperson