May 21, 2018

Job Posting: United Health Services

The regional not-for-profit health care system based in Binghamton, New York, is hiring a Talent Management Specialist. The position has many characteristics in common with an Organizational Ombuds. In addition to organizational development work and training responsibilities, the position also, "serves as a confidential, neutral, informal resource for employees with work-related concerns; analyzes and assists and/or refers, as appropriate."

University of Toronto Expands Ombuds Services to All Campuses

Following the recommendation of its Ombudsperson, Ellen Hodnett, the University of Toronto’s Ombuds Office will expand its physical presence campuses at Mississauga and Scarborough. “Nothing takes the place, or offers the fundamental value, of face-to-face meetings,” says Hodnett, who is completing her initial three-year term at the end of June and has just been re-appointed for an additional one-year term. 

Australian and New Zealand Meet in Wellington

100 Ombudsmen and staff will come together in Wellington this week for the biennial conference of the Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Association. With a theme of 'Checks and Balances', the ANZOA conference will focus on six benchmarks—accessibility, independence, fairness, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness.

May 16, 2018

University System of Maryland Strips Ombuds of Most Confidentiality

Yesterday, the twelve institutions that comprise Maryland's public university system, were notified that its Ombuds programs cannot keep confidential any matter that may fall under Title IX or the Clery Act. A memo to the USM Presidents said that any Ombuds proram must follow guidelines recently approved and adopted by USM administrators and the State Attorney General. In addition to mandatory reporting of gender discrimination, crimes, and safety issues, University Ombuds now are required to notify visitors of the limits of confidentiality and maintain a record of that disclosure in their files.  

May 14, 2018

Office of Attorney General of Texas Appoints Ombuds

Katie Manderson has been hired as the next Employee Ombudsman for the Texas OAG. The will be based in Austin and provide conflict management and dispute resolution services for over 4,000 employees statewide. For the past five years, Manderson has been an Associate Ombudsman at the U.S. Department of State. 

Winthrop University Moves to Establish an Ombuds Office

Faculty at the public liberal arts university in Rock Hill, South Carolina are considering a proposal to create an Ombuds Office for its 850 faculty and staff. An advisory committee has drafted IOA-compliant terms of reference and charter for the program. A draft of the proposal was presented to Faculty Conference for feedback at it's regular meeting in April 2018. 

New Brandeis Ombuds to Speak at CADR Conference

Don Greenstein, who joined the Ombuds Office at Brandeis University earlier this year, will speak at The Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution's 2018 Annual Conference. Greenstein will present a concurrent session on “Collaboratively Creating an Organizational Ombuds Office.” CADR's 30th annual event,  “Managing Conflict and Removing Barriers to Collaborative Decision Making,” is set for June 21-22, 2018 at Martin’s Crosswinds in Greenbelt, MD. (CADR Conf Agenda.)

May 09, 2018

University of Delaware Faculty Vote to Create Ombuds Program

Last week, faculty at Delaware's largest university voted in support of an Ombuds program for all campus stakeholders. The proposal came out of a coalition of faculty groups promoting a more inclusive environment led by the Women’s Caucus. A report from an ad hoc faculty senate committee made detailed recommendations about the services and features of an Ombuds program, but did not reference IOA standards. (Although confidentiality and informality were highlighted, there was no mention of the need for independence or neutrality.)

May 08, 2018

IOA Offers Training in Irvine, California

The International Ombudsman Association will offer two training programs for Organizational Ombuds in Orange County in July 2018. The Foundations course provides the primary training for new Organizational Ombuds. The second course is designed for Ombuds who have have completed Foundations but have not been trained as mediators.

May 07, 2018

Ombuds Program at ETH Zurich Roiled After Controversy

Last year, the leading Swiss engineering and technology university, dramatically closed its Institute of Astronomy after the Ombudspersons raised issues of bullying by a prominent professor.  This spring, ETH announced that the two Ombuds, professors Maryvonne Landolt and Wilfred F. Gunsteren, would not be reappointed because they were "too old" at ages 70 and 72. The two Ombuds, however, openly questioned that the decision had more to do with the scandal. They also revealed emails showing that university administrators had pressured them last year not to surface the complaints.

National Institutes of Health Initiates Lecture Series to Honor First Ombuds

The NIH Office of the Ombudsman kicks of a lecture series in honor of its first Ombudsman, Howard Gadlin, who retired in 2015. The inaugural NIH Gadlin Lecture will be given by renowned animal behaviorist Dr. Frans B. M. de Waal on Thursday, May 10, 2018. 

May 04, 2018

Job Posting: World Health Organization

The UN agency that focuses on international public health is hiring a Regional Ombudsman. The three-quarter time position will be based in Copenhagen for a two-year contract.  The Regional Ombudsman practices to IOA standards and reports to the WHO Ombuds, José Martínez-Aragón.  

May 03, 2018

New Ombuds Serves Trainees at Northwestern University's Medical School

Last summer, Lisa Rone, became the first Ombudsperson for the students, residents, and fellows at the Feinberg School of Medicine. Rone is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She was chosen "because she is a neutral, third-party physician who is not otherwise involved with the academic promotion or evaluation of Feinberg students, residents and fellows and who is committed to ensuring that students, residents and fellows are treated fairly and equitably." 

Internship: International Organization for Migration

The IOM Office of the Ombudsperson is seeking an intern for a six-month position in Geneva. Reporting to the Ombudsperson, Rogelio Bernal, the intern will support work with other colleagues in the Field Missions and IOM Headquarters. The intern will provide case management and assistance with the intake and follow-up of cases, including the compilation of statistics and the preparation of regular reports.

May 01, 2018

Save the Date: Ombuds Day 2018

Organizers of the very first "Ombuds Day" are seeking help: with an in-person launch in DC; coordination of an online campaign; and/or creating shared materials for Ombuds to use for their own events. The goal is for all Ombuds to create their own synchronized celebrations or events worldwide.