July 30, 2014

Conflict Resolution Quarterly Spotlights Ombuds

The current issue of the periodical published by the Association for Conflict Resolution is devoted to Ombuds articles.  Conflict Resolution Quarterly is available only by subscription, but the editors have provided abstracts of the articles.

July 28, 2014

Job Posting: University of Wisconsin Health Sciences

The UW–Madison Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Pharmacy, and Veterinary Medicine  has opened a search for its next Ombuds.  The position works with the faculty, staff and students of the UW health sciences community and reports directly to the deans of the three schools.

July 23, 2014

IOA Takes a Stand on Title IX Issues

The International Ombudsman Association's Board of Directors has commented on a proposed rule before the U.S. Department of Education related to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The comment requests that the final regulations include a statement permitting colleges and universities to designate their Organizational Ombudsman as a “confidential resource,” rather than as a “responsible employee” or “campus security authority” which are required to report instances of sexual misconduct. The comment came on the last possible day and was one of 100 submitted on the issue.

July 22, 2014

UC Davis Ombuds Publishes First Report

Susan Kee-Young Park, Director & Ombudsperson at UC Davis has published a report on the first year of activities at her office. Park said that in her first 13 months in the role, she saw 267 visitors; 172 on the Davis campus and 95 visitors from the Health System. 

TEDxUCLA Includes Talk by Ombuds

A TEDx event at UCLA in May included a presentation by the medical center Ombuds, Tom Kosakowski.  After outlining the role of the Ombuds, he offers some explanation about why it still hasn't been adopted widely in the private sector.  (TEDxUCLA; Youtube.)

July 21, 2014

Job Posting: Syracuse City School District

The public school district in New York is hiring its first Ombuds.  The Executive Ombuds Officer for Student Discipline will report directly to the District Superintendent. "In carrying out the functions of this position, the EOO is guided by the principles of independence, impartiality, confidentiality, and informality." 

New Jersey Trade School to Hire Ombuds in EEOC Settlement

The apprenticeship school affiliated with the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee of Sheet Metal Workers Local 25 will pay a fine and adopt other anti-discriminatory measures, including an Ombuds, in settlement of a suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

July 18, 2014

Former Ombuds Tells Why Mars is a 'Great Place to Work'

Victoria Mars, who served as the company's Organizational Ombuds, was recently appointed Chairman of the Board. This year, Mars was recognized as a Great Place to Work and among the reasons associates listed was the Ombudsman Program.

Ralph Nader Continues to Urge General Motors to Appoint an Ombuds

In a press release yesterday, the political activist urged GM to create an Ombuds program to avoid problems like the current recall of 28 million vehicles for faulty ignition switches--a problem that was known to some in the company as early as 2005.

Nader's press release is short:

July 16, 2014

National Institutes of Health Has New Associate Ombuds

The Office of the Ombudsman, Center for Cooperative Resolution at the NIH has named Tyler Smith as its new Associate Ombudsman. He will join Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman and Director of the Center, David Michael, Deputy Ombudsman, Kathleen Moore, Senior Associate Ombudsman, Associate Ombudsmen Linda Brothers, Linda Myers and Lisa Witzler, and Denise Burns, Program Support Assistant. 

UPenn Announces New Ombuds

The University of Pennsylvania has appointed a former Vice Provost for Faculty, Lynn Hollen Lees, to serve two years as the University Ombudsman.  President Gutmann said, “Lynn ... brings a breadth and depth of experience, excellent judgment and a record of exemplary service to the role of Ombudsman that will be invaluable. I am delighted that she has agreed to serve as Penn’s next Ombudsman.” 

July 15, 2014

IOA Announces Winner of 2014 Writing Competition

The International Ombudsman Association has selected Vikram (Vik) Kapoor as the winner of its 2014 Writing Competition for his entry entitled "Well-Being at Work and the Positive Organizational Ombuds.” Kapoor will receive a cash award of $1,500, an Associate Membership for 2015, and an invitation to the 2015 IOA Annual Conference in Atlanta.

Portland Public Schools Draws Criticism for Alignment of New Ombuds

The largest school district in the Pacific Northwest recently announced it would appoint a Community Ombudsman to help parents navigate the bureaucracy and resolve grievances. However, because the Ombuds will report to the district’s chief of community involvement and public affairs, parents are objecting. An article in Oregon Live also points out that the reporting arrangement does not follow IOA Best Practices:

July 09, 2014

AllianceBernstein Appoints Ombuds

The New York-based global investment management firm has named Carolyn Esposito as its Ombudsman. Prior to joining AllianceBernstein, Esposito was President of Talent Pathways, providing executive and organizational coaching.  She is also a Director of the New York City Chapter of the International Coach Federation.  

Tallahassee Community College Opens Ombuds Office

The Florida State community college has unveiled an Ombuds program for its 18,000 undergraduate students. A new website explains that the TCC College Ombuds, "provides confidential, impartial, independent and informal assistance to students in addressing academic and nonacademic issues at the College that current processes and procedures have not resolved."