August 28, 2015

Georgia State University Ombuds 2015 Symposium to Focus on Forgiveness

This year, the annual conflict resolution symposium hosted by the GSU Office of the Ombudsperson will explore the nature, significance, and practices of forgiveness. Ombuds Director Kelley Alexander has designed a program for the wider community of professionals and others interested in the intersection of conflict resolution, restorative justice, and forgiveness and reconciliation. The Symposium will take place on Friday, October 16, 2015.

August 27, 2015

Cal Maritime Creates Ombuds Program

The California Maritime Academy, the California State University campus in Vallejo and the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast, has opened an Ombuds Program for all of its stakeholders. Cases are handled by seven volunteer "Dispute Resolution Facilitators" who are also faculty, staff, and students. 

Internship: U.S. Department of Agriculture

The USDA Office of the Ombudsperson seeks a Volunteer Intern for a two to four month position. The intern will learn about the functions of an external Organizational Ombuds office within a large federal agency and assist with outreach, data analysis, trend identification, and office administration. The unpaid position in Washington, DC will be expected to work 20-40 hours per week.

August 25, 2015

Ombuds Journal Seeks Editorial Board Members

The editors of the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association are looking expand their editorial board. The peer-reviewed semi-annual journal needs volunteers to review submissions and work with authors, plan future editions, and promote the journal. Here's a full announcement:

Ombuds at Oslo and Akershus University Posts First Report

Anita Tøien Johansen, the Studentombud for the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, has published her first semi-annual report. She reports strong demand for her services -- 76 inquiries in the first six months, fairly evenly distributed among the different academic programs at HiOA. Johansen found that student concerns fall into 11 categories, which she describes in some detail. 

Video Introduces University of Maryland Ombuds for Grad Students

A video posted to YouTube provides an introduction to Katherine C. McAdams, who has served as the Ombudsperson for 11,000 graduate students at UMD. McAdams has been in the role since 2014. Previously, she was an Associate Professor in the school of journalism for 25 years, and held a variety of administrative positions, including serving as dean.  (YouTube; UMD Grad Ombuds; LinkedIn.)

August 21, 2015

IOA Seeks 2016 Conference Proposals

The International Ombudsman Association has issued a call for abstracts for its 11th annual conference. Set for April 8-13, 2016 at the Seattle Westin Hotel in Washington, the event includes three days of specialty workshop and professional development courses followed by four days of conference sessions. The submission deadline is September 25.

August 20, 2015

University of Bergen Unveils Student Ombuds Program

UiB (Universitetet i Bergen) has appointed Sylvi Leirvaag to serve as its Student Ombuds (studentombud), becoming the fifth university in Norway to do so since February 2013. She will serve as a confidential resource for more than 14,500 students. UiB's Rector said that the hiring process took a long time because the university wanted to be thorough and end up with the best candidate. Leirvaag started earlier this week.

University of Wisconsin Appoints Ombuds for Health Sciences

The UW–Madison Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine has named Lynn Maki as its next Medical Student Ombudsperson. Maki works with the faculty, staff and students of the UW health sciences community and reports directly to the deans of the three schools. She has worked for the school for fifteen years in a variety of administrative positions, most recently as the Associate Dean for Student Academic Affairs for the School of Veterinary Medicine.

August 19, 2015

Corporate Sector Ombuds to Meet in Houston

COOR, the Corporate Organizational Ombuds Roundtable, is holding its annual meeting in Houston on September 29-30, 2015. This group meets to share best practices, to get updates on various topics of interest to those serving in the corporate sector, and to deepen our understanding of our profession.

African Development Bank Ombuds Publishes 2014 Summary

Amabel Orraca-Ndiaye, who heads the AfDB Office of the Ombudsman & Mediation Services, says that her office handled 77 cases in 2014, a decrease of about 46% from the prior year. Orraca-Ndiaye attributed the decline improvements in the formal dispute systems. 

August 18, 2015

Journal Marks Tenth Anniversary of International Ombudsman Association

The latest issue of the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association is the first of two editions celebrating the ten years of IOA. The is the first issue from new co-editors, Howard Gadlin and Samantha Levine-Finley.

FINRA Ombuds Publishes 2014 Report

Cindy Foster, the Ombudsperson for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, says that 575 constituents contacted her office in 2014, a slight increase compared to the 567 cases received in 2013. Inquiries from current and former brokers, however, jumped 31 percent, more than offsetting a decline in contacts from individual investors. 

August 14, 2015

University of Tromsø Names First Ombuds

The University of Tromsø (Universitetet i Tromsø) has named Torill Varberg to establish an Ombuds office to serve a student population of more than 10,000. The appointment was hailed by the Student Parliament, which had lobbied for the position. UiT became the fourth university in Norway to appoint an Ombuds.  Varberg earned multiple degrees from UiT, most recently a Master's of Laws.  (Startsida.)

Gallaudet University's New Ombuds Will be Confidential Resource for Sexual Misconduct Issues

Gallaudet's new Ombudsperson, Liz Stone Nirenberg, will benefit from an updated Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy. Under the new policy, disclosures of sexual misconduct to the Ombuds will be considered confidential.