May 21, 2015

Meet the Ombuds at Life University

Jeremy Smith has been the Ombudsman at Life University since 2013. As the Ombuds for the small private university in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, Smith mediates situations on campus, involving faculty, staff and students. He said, “It seemed like it was a position tailor-made for me.” Though he’s worked in corporate employee relations with Hewlett-Packard, he’s always enjoyed working in higher education, having served in employee relations at both Colorado State University and Vanderbilt University. 

May 20, 2015

Ombuds at the University of Stuttgart Provides Insights on her Work

The Stuttgarter Zeitung recently profiled Ursula Meiser, the Ombudswoman at the University of Stuttgart since 2011. Her descriptions will resonate with other Organizational Ombuds, especially those in higher education. 

Internship: Atlanta Public Schools

The new Office of the Ombudsman for the public school system in Georgia is hiring an Intern Assistant. The paid ($10/hour), part-time (less than 25 hours/week) will maintain the database and resource files, prepare program reports, and serve as a point of access for the APS Office of the Ombudsman.

May 19, 2015

European Molecular Biology Laboratory Names First Ombuds

Europe’s flagship, intergovernmental laboratory for the life sciences has appointed Martina Peskoller-Fuchs to open its first Ombuds Office. She will work with the staff of 80 independent molecular biology research groups in Germany, France, Italy, and England. According to a website for the new office, the EMBL Ombudsperson will follow the principles of independence, neutrality and impartiality, confidentiality, and informality. 

Job Posting: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

FINRA is hiring two positions: Senior Analyst and Manager, both in the Office of Ombudsman in Rockville, MD. 

Handbook for Catholic University Administrators Includes Chapter on Ombuds

Craig Mousin, the University Ombudsperson at DePaul University, has written a chapter for A Mission Officer Handbook: Collaborating with Partners, Vol. II, just published by the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. Mousin explains the role of an Organizational Ombuds and how, consistent with IOA's ethics and standards, an Ombuds can complement and further the goals of an institution’s mission.

May 18, 2015

Second Newsletter from University of Cape Town Ombuds is Full of Updates

UTC Ombud, Zetu Makamandela-Mguqulwa, has published the second volume of "The Ombud," which aims to share, compare notes and experiences, and most importantly grow the Ombudsing field in South Africa and on the African continent.  In addition to recapping some of her recent activities at UCT, Makamandela-Mguqulwa also provided some critical updates for the region. 

International Ombudsman Association Awards Scholarship to South African Dispute Resolution Specialist

The IOA International Committee gave a scholarship to Busisiwe Mngoma, allowing her to attend the IOA's tenth annual conference last month in Atlanta and to complete introductory Ombuds training.  Mngoma is an ADR practitioner and mediator from Durban, South Africa.  She has been the Manager of the Ombudsman Office of the University of KwaZulu-Natal for the past four years.

Stellenbosch University Appoints Ombuds

The leading South African research university has appointed Julian Sonn as its next Ombudsperson.  Sonn will work with a student population of about 29,000 for whom the formal channels have been unavailing.

University of Johannesburg Creates Ombuds Office

The large, public university in South Africa has appointed Mavuso Msimang to serve as its first Ombudsman.  The new Ombuds Office serves "students, employees, alumni or members of public can raise academic or administrative concerns." (UJ is huge: it encompases nine faculties in more than 90 departments, with an enrollment of about 48,000 students, spreading over four different campuses.) A new website shows terms of reference that are in line with IOA standards.

May 15, 2015

IOA Training Returns to Southern California

The International Ombudsman Association will offer several training opportunities for and about Organizational Ombuds in Costa Mesa July 13-17, 2015. The programs include introductory, intermediate and advanced topics.

University of Vermont Opens Ombuds Office

The Public Ivy located in Burlington has appointed Ralph Swenson to serve as its first Graduate Student Ombudsperson.  The decision to create an Ombuds Office was prompted by a report by the UVM Graduate College Review Committee in 2013. 

May 14, 2015

2015 ACR Conference Will Feature Several Ombuds

Several current and former Ombuds will speak at the Association for Conflict Resolution's Annual Conference set for October 7-10, 2015 in Reno, Nevada. These include the following sessions:

May 13, 2015

Simon Fraser University Ombuds Office Marks 50th Anniversary

In 1965, the public research university in British Columbia became the first university in North America with an Ombudsman. The campus marked the 50th anniversary of its Ombuds office in part by hosting the biennial joint conference of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons. 

Old Dominion University Ombuds to Retire

Stella V. Mims, the longtime Director of Student Ombudsperson Services at Old Dominion, will retire later this month. She has worked at the university for nearly 32 years. There has been no announcement regarding the future of the Ombuds program. (ODU Announcement.)