Ombudsman Appointed to Webster University Thailand Campus

May. 4, 2015

ST. LOUIS (MAY 4, 2015) – Religious Studies Professor Keith Welsh has been appointed ombudsman to the Thailand campus, it was announced today. He will work to improve communications between students, faculty and staff and also help the University address the most pressing issues identified in the recent internal review of the Thailand campus.

Welsh will assume his new duties this summer.

“His experience and knowledge of the Thailand campus,  his passion for students and his objectivity suit us well as we move ahead in addressing areas for improvement in Thailand,” said Julian Schuster, the provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Webster University. “He will be a valuable resource for both the Webster St. Louis and the Webster Thailand communities as we move forward.”

Welsh has taught in the College of Arts & Sciences since 1988, including two years at the Cha’Am campus in Thailand and stints on the Vienna and London campuses. While in Thailand, he helped found and direct the Webster University Thailand Players, a student theater group.  In 2002, he earned a Messing Award to study Thai Language and Literature. In addition, he has served in the Faculty Senate and has served as chair to the Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Council of Arts and Sciences and the Department of English. He has a Ph.D. in English from Indiana University.

Traditionally, an ombudsman is a person who helps resolves complaints in an organization or acts as a mediator between an organization and the public. The position has existed for centuries and can be found in many European government structures, in higher academia and at many large newspapers. Since the 1960s, some corporations started adding ombudsman positions to handle customer complaints. Welsh said that he will be approaching the position a bit differently than just trying to resolve complaints.

“I will be on campus as a peer and mediator helping to enhance community and strengthen communications among people on the campus and within the diverse world of Webster,” Welsh said.  “We are one university, and it is important that we work together to nurture, fulfill and enhance that vision.”

The Ombudsman position evolved from the recent Thailand Campus Review conducted by a group of faculty and staff during a nine-month period. This position is the second recent staff change on the Thailand Campus. Earlier this year, a director of human resources was added to the staff to better align the faculty and staff policies and procedures with the St. Louis campus.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University ( is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses and a robust online learning program. Founded in 1915, Webster University’s campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional campuses in Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.

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