July 27, 2015

University of California Protects All its Ombuds Under Updated Sexual Misconduct Policy

The sprawling UC system (with 10 campuses, 238,700 students, 19,700 faculty members, 135,900 staff members), has made significant revisions to its sexual misconduct policies. In addition to other changes, the new policy specifically protects the confidentiality of disclosures made to any of its Ombuds.  The new policy was prompted in part by an investigation by Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights and a report by the California State Auditor.

Ombuds at University of Missouri–Kansas City Starts Blogging

UMKC's Faculty Ombudsperson, Nancy E. Day, has launched a blog "to provide ideas and information to faculty about work-related issues." Her first post starts with tongue-in-cheek advice on "How to Escalate Conflict." (For example: Be brutally honest; Defend yourself; Blame the other person.)

July 20, 2015

Call for Submissions: 2015 Journal of Cal Caucus

The Journal of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds is seeking scholarly articles for its 2015 edition. Articles should be focused the varied aspects of Ombuds work in academia, The Journal publishes original theoretical and empirical articles dealing with national and international issues, case studies, op-eds, conference session abstracts, and book reviews.

Seneca College Ombuds Reports Growth in Case Load

Visitors to the Ombuds Office at the applied arts and technology college in Toronto rose 35% in 2014 according to George Fry, the College Ombudsperson.  His annual report outlines and describes his activities, and presents a statistical summary for the past three years.

Ombuds at UNC Marks Decade of Service

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the University Ombuds Office.  Ombuds Wayne Blair, Associate Ombuds Laurie Mesibov, and program specialist Victoria Dowd together have created a program that now serves more than 40,000 faculty staff and students. “You have to give credit to University leaders because it took a leap of faith to allow an ombuds program to run true to form,” Blair told the UNC Gazette. “From the chancellor on down, there was a real commitment to make it work.”

July 17, 2015

Job Posting: American Red Cross

The Red Cross Office of the Corporate Ombudsman has opened a search for an Assistant Ombudsman. The position provides confidential and informal dispute resolution assistance to the American Red Cross community, which includes employees, volunteers, service recipients, donors, suppliers, partners, and the general public. 

Job Posting: Department of Energy

The department responsible for U.S. energy and nuclear safety policies is hiring an Associate Ombudsman. The position is based in the DOE Office of the Ombudsman in Washington, DC, and serves all DOE federal employees, world-wide. There are limitations on who may apply, but the search is not a restricted as previously when only DOE employees were eligible. 

George Mason University Protects Confidentiality of Ombuds Under New Sexual Misconduct Policy

Virginia's largest, public research university has updated its Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy to reflect the recent changes in the legal and regulatory climate.  Under the new policy, GMU's Office of the Ombudsman will be explicitly confidential and not an office of notice.

Alliance of Divine Love Church Creates Ombuds Program

On June 20, 2015, the Board of Trustees of the interfaith religious group appointed Randy Fillmore to serve as the first Ombudsman.  In this role, Fillmore will support the group's affiliated ministers pursuant to a written charter that follows IOA standards of practice.  Fillmore, who has been an ADL minister, will have a four-year initial term as the Ombuds.

July 10, 2015

University of Colorado Designates Ombuds Office as Confidential Resource for Title IX Matters

Prompted by new federal, legislative and regulatory requirements and guidance, the University of Colorado has revised its sexual misconduct policy.  Among the clarifications to the policy, which applies to all faculty, staff and students, is a designation of the Ombuds office as a confidential resource not subject to reporting requirements.

Sen. Grassley Asks Red Cross for Ombuds Data Related to Haiti Quake Relief

In a letter to the American Red Cross earlier this week, Senator Charles Grassley, as Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary, demanded an explanation of how the organization spent nearly half a billion dollars raised after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. 

Sinclair Community College Needs Help With its Ombuds Search

The large community college in downtown Dayton has just opened a search for its next Ombudsman. Unfortunately, the position description is seriously out of line with IOA standards (which are followed by nearly universally in U.S. higher education). 

July 09, 2015

2015 ACR Conference Expands Ombuds Offerings

The initial agenda for the Association for Conflict Resolution's Annual Conference included several current and former Ombuds.  The final program, set for October 7-10, 2015 in Reno, Nevada, includes several additional programs for and about Ombuds.  These now include:

July 08, 2015

Ole Miss Appoints First Ombuds

The University of Mississippi has hired Brett Harris to be its first Employee Ombudsman. She will report to the Office of the Chancellor and provide services to graduate assistants, staff, and faculty. The announcement of her appointment on the Ole Miss Blog includes an interview in which she talks about her transition from working as a mediator and attorney in Idaho. 

Job Posting: University of North Dakota

North Dakota's oldest and largest university has re-opened the search for its first permanent Ombudsperson. Reporting to the Office of the Provost, the part-time (0.45 FTE) full-time with benefits position will establish an office to serve the entire campus.