September 30, 2016

IOA Members Vote to Change Bylaws

Members of the International Ombudsman Association have, for the first time, voted to update their bylaws to revise membership categories and restructure eligibility for Board service.  The vote culminates years of work by IOA leaders to make membership more inclusive while safeguarding professional standards.  Similar proposals have twice been rejected by the membership before this first-ever revision of the association's bylaws.  Here's the full announcement from IOA Board President, Reese Ramos:

Coalition of Federal Ombudsman Sets 2016 Conference

COFO has opened announced details of its 2016 conference.  This one-day event takes place on October 7 and will focus on the themes of, "support, connect, learn, and grow." Thomas Zgambo, Ombudsman at the World Bank Group, will serve as the keynote speaker. 

Job Posting: Leadership for Educational Equity

The nonprofit organization that advocates for the educational equity and supports the work of Teach for America is hiring its first Ombudsperson. The position will work with LEE staff and have a “dotted line” reporting relationship to the LEE Vice President of Strategy and Operations. The part-time, hourly position will involve about 20 hours per month. LEE is located in Washington, DC.

September 29, 2016

IOA and Eaton Corp to Host Ombuds Conference in Puerto Rico

The International Ombudsman Association's Regional Advisory Committee for Latin America and the Eaton Corporation are sponsoring an Organizational Ombudsman Conference in Las Piedras on October 12-14, 2016. The free event will have the theme of “Building a Profession to Make a Difference.” The conference will feature several prominent Ombuds and experts.

Florida Gulf Coast University Hires Next Ombuds

FGCU has named Monique McKay as its newest Ombuds and Assistant to the President.  McKay has been the Graduate School Ombudsperson at Virginia Tech for the past year.  She takes over for Helen Mamarchev, who held the position since 2010.

September 28, 2016

Job Posting: Transportation Security Administration

The Department of Homeland Security agency is hiring two Ombudsman Specialist for its Office of the Ombudsman in Arlington, VA. • Reporting to the Director of the Ombudsman’s office, the Ombudsman Specialists function as a source of information and referral to employees within TSA programs; directing individuals appropriately; assisting with questions and helping identify options; and serving as a communications conduit for informal dispute resolution.  Significant travel is required.

ABA Ombuds Task Force Offers Unit on Ombuds for Law Schools

The ABA Dispute Resolution Law School Task Force, a group of Ombuds and legal educators, has completed its year-long project of designing a downloadable, instructor-friendly PowerPoint to educate the next generation of attorneys about the full spectrum of Ombuds practice. This ABA-approved program and accompanying guidelines can be downloaded from the ABA DRS website at no cost.  

Georgia State University Ombuds Sets 2016 ADR Symposium

The annual conflict resolution symposium hosted by the GSU Office of the Ombudsperson this year has the theme: "Managing Conflict, Mediating Difference."   The program will focus on ways to nurture a professional community of people interested in the intersection of conflict resolution, restorative justice, and contemplative practices. explore the nature, significance, and practices of forgiveness. The Symposium will take place on Friday, October 21, 2016.

September 27, 2016

Video Offers Insights on Practice of Gallaudet University's Ombuds

This month , Gallaudet University will be the local host for the national tour of "First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare." Gallaudet's University Ombuds, Liz Stone, has posted a video tied to the event that imagines how she would work with Shakespearean characters: Cesario from "Twelfth Night" and Claudio and Hero from "Much Ado About Nothing."

American Red Cross Ombuds Posts 2015 Annual Report

The Red Cross Office Corporate Ombudsman, Kevin Jessar, reports that his office, "handled 1,430 issues raised by 986 constituents, and had direct contact with another approximately 1,900 volunteers, employees and leaders," in fiscal year 2015. 

September 26, 2016

University of Iowa Ombuds Publishes 30th Annual Report

Iowa's two University Ombuds, Cynthia Joyce is the staff Ombudsperson, and Susan Johnson, Professor in the Carver College of Medicine, is the faculty Ombudsperson, report that their office handled 606 visitor matters last year. Although the number of cases has hovered around 600 in the past few years, the total has increased significantly since 2005-06, when there were 256 cases. 

Quest University Names First Ombuds

The private liberal arts and sciences university in Squamish, British Columbia has appointed Karen Elliott as its new Ombudsperson. Although Quest has not Elliott was made the appointment public, Elliott told a local papert that she would “assist in the informal resolution of concerns and complaints related to the application of university policies, rules and procedures,” and, through an annual report, also recommend improvements to university policies, rules and procedures. 

September 23, 2016

Job Posting:University of Colorado Denver

The Ombuds Office for the University of Colorado Denver is hiring a full-time Ombuds for its Anschutz Medical Campus.  The position will work with faculty, staff, and students at AMC's health sciences programs, including schools of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, dentistry, and public health.  

FCO and ACCUO Seek Submissions for 2017 Joint Conference

In anticipation of its next biennial joint conference, the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons have issued a call for papers.  The theme of the conference, set for May 15-17, 2017 at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, will be, "The Work of Ombudsman: Holding Governments and Organizations to Account."

September 21, 2016

Administrative Conference of the United States Publishes First Draft of Federal Ombuds Study

ACUS has released a draft report titled: "A Reappraisal - The Nature and Value of Ombudsmen in Federal Agencies."  Produced by researchers with chiResolutions, the report seeks: 1. to identify federal Ombuds and their practices; 2. to define best practices for federal Ombuds; and 3. to recommend situations where Ombuds would benefit agencies.