Betsy Newell Decyk, a lecturer at CSULB since 1984, was named as the University Ombuds by President F. King Alexander. She had served as the interim Ombuds since November and takes over for Elizabeth Novack, who left in September after five years in the position to become assistant superintendent of the Newport-Mesa School District.
“Betsy has had multiple roles and responsibilities at CSULB over the years, and brings a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience to this position,” said Alexander.
Decyk has taught courses as a lecturer in both the Philosophy and Psychology departments, served as a project leader for the CSULB Faculty Center for Professional Development, and served as a Lecturer Senator in the Academic Senate for about 15 years. She was the first lecturer to serve on the Faculty Personnel Policies Council and on the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate. She received special recognition for teaching and academic leadership from the departments she serves, the university, the American Association of Philosophy Teachers and the American Philosophical Association. In 2005, she was awarded the Nicholas Perkins Hardeman Academic Leadership Award from CSULB.
As a certified mediator for the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Decyk also received awards and recognition for her volunteerism in community mediation programs in Southern California. She has published articles and made numerous professional presentations related to mediation, critical thinking, and problem solving.
“Being an ombuds is a logical extension of my various academic interests and life experiences,” said Decyk. “I’ve been teaching critical thinking which stresses cogent reasoning and problem-solving. In addition, through psychology, I have been interested in people and how they interact with one another, both interpersonally and in organizations. I was trained as a mediator in 1988, worked as a community mediator through the 1990s and taught a mediation course through UCES for about five years. This job unifies what I have learned and done and allows me to use my skills to serve the university community.”
Generally speaking, the Ombuds Office can provide information and helps people clarify issues, explore options, improve communication, and informally resolve conflicts independently of the formal processes available. “Anyone - students, faculty, staff, or administrators - who has a campus-related problem can come to our office,” said Decyk.
“I want people to know that the Ombuds Office is neutral and confidential, so people can feel safe coming here, and that we are really interested working with them to solve problems on campus.”
Decyk has a B.A. degree from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., and received both her master’s degree and Ph.D. in philosophy from Claremont Graduate University.
The office is located in Foundation Building Room 140 and its phone number is 562/985-9001.