Shannon Lynn Burton has been named Michigan State University ombudsperson effective July 1, 2018.
The ombudsperson assists students in resolving conflicts or disputes with the university. The ombudsperson also helps staff members, instructors and administrators sort through university rules and regulations that might apply to specific student issues and concerns.
“Shannon was highly recommended by the search committee and her experience and interpersonal skills make her a natural choice for this position,” said MSU Interim President John Engler. “Her work on sensitive issues has been praised by many at MSU, and we look forward to her plans for providing a high level of service for the university community.”
Burton joined the office in 2012 as assistant university ombudsperson and moved to associate university ombudsperson in 2016.
She joined MSU in 2001 and has worked in a variety of roles including research integrity coordinator, academic integrity consortium director and academic advising specialist. During her tenure, Burton has cultivated a culture of academic integrity, guided students on goal setting and educational choices and ensured institutional compliance with federal regulations. She also has experience with student veterans, having helped form the university’s veteran’s resource team and advised the Student Veterans of America chapter.
“I am looking forward to continuing the long and vital legacy left by my predecessors in this role as a key space to build trust within the MSU community and assist students in developing their skills in conflict resolution and as global citizens,” Burton said.
Burton earned three undergraduate degrees from Grand Valley State University, master’s degrees from Kansas State University and MSU and her doctoral degree from MSU.
She is replacing Robert Caldwell who is retiring from the university.
MSU’s Office of the Ombudsperson was the first office of its kind at any large university in the country and today remains the longest continuously operating college or university ombudsman office in the country.