Prairie Research Institute

Prairie Research Institute Ombuds Office


What is an ombuds?

The Prairie Research Institute ombudsperson is our organizational ombuds who acts as a no-barrier, first-stop advocate for staff. This person is for staff seeking guidance, information and insight from a trusted advisor who is independent, impartial, confidential and informal.

Role and resources for ombudsperson

The Prairie Research Institute ombudsperson is authorized to confidentially receive concerns or inquiries about alleged acts, omissions, improprieties, and/or broader systemic problems within the ombudsperson’s defined jurisdiction and to listen, examine the issue and any relevant policies, offer options, facilitate resolutions, informally investigate, or otherwise examine these issues independently and impartially. The ombudsperson shall maintain confidentiality except in cases where reporting is legally required, shall provide informal non-binding advice, shall maintain neutrality and impartiality, and is independent. The ombudsperson will not be exempt from Title IX reporting requirements.

More about the Role of the Ombuds Office
Resources to the Ombuds Office

Christopher A. Taylor

Ombudsperson, Prairie Research Institute

Natural Resources Building, Room 393
615 East Peabody Drive
Champaign, IL 61820

Chris Taylor began his career at the Illinois Natural History Survey in 1993 as a biologist in the Illinois Department of Transportation Biological Surveys Program. In 1995, he was named the curator of the INHS crustacean collection before completing his Ph.D. in 2003. Throughout his 30-year career, he conducted research, published journal articles, managed grants, and advised graduate students. Before retiring in November 2023, he was awarded the 2023 PRI Research Scientist Career Achievement Award. Taylor is recognized as a world-renowned expert in the systematics, ecology, and natural history of crustaceans, particularly crayfish.

Taylor returned to PRI in May 2024 to serve as the ombudsperson.