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For immediate release: Feb. 18, 2003
Contact: Lauren Robinson-Brown (609) 258-3601, lauren@princeton.edu
Editors: A photograph is available at: http://www.princeton.edu/pr/pictures/l-r/rao/

Rao stepping down as University ombuds officer

National search for replacement to be conducted

PRINCETON, N.J. – Anuradha (Anu) Rao, University ombuds officer, will step down as of Thursday, Feb. 20. Rao, who has served in the position since 1998, has accepted a job as ombudsperson for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises.

“Princeton is an excellent University, and it is sad to leave. What really strikes me about Princeton is it is a place where so much is possible because of the people and its unique resources,” Rao said. “It is really possible to have an ideal community here, and we have been striving for that. I want to encourage people to keep striving for more and better.”

"Anu Rao has contributed in countless ways to improving people's lives here at Princeton. We will miss her and pay her tribute by carrying on our shared commitment to fairness and equity for all," said Provost Amy Gutmann.

Princeton’s ombuds office, which was created in 1993, serves the campus community by resolving problems, providing mediation and encouraging an environment of civility and respect. The University soon plans to fill the position on interim basis as a national search for a permanent replacement is conducted.

In the interim period, employees may seek assistance from the appropriate supervisors, the Office of Human Resources or the University's employee assistance counselor, Bill Sanderson. Students may seek assistance from appropriate deans, college masters or directors of graduate studies. Racial and ethnic harassment advisers also are available to the University community. Anyone unable to reach the appropriate contact may seek assistance from Joann Mitchell, vice provost for administration.

Rao first came to Princeton in 1988 and served as the director of training and organizational development in human resources until 1992. She departed to serve as an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at Bryn Mawr College and returned to Princeton as interim ombuds officer in 1997.

“I met Anu Rao last year, and I was really impressed with her dedication to her job and her interest in serving others,” said former Undergraduate Student Government President Nina Langsam, a senior. “Her interest in such programs as the Unsung Heroes Award Luncheon and the civility forum proves that she is committed to not only honoring members in our community who have not been recognized, but also to creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable. The undergraduates will certainly miss Anu and her cheerful smile.”

Rao, who will provide services to Coca-Cola Enterprises employees in the United States, earned a bachelor of science in 1970 and a master's in social work in 1972 from Bangalore University in India. She also earned a second master's in social work in 1978 and a Ph.D. in city and regional planning, focusing on organizational behavior, planning and social policy, in 1996 from the University of Pennsylvania.