August 26, 2016

Ombuds Blog Poll: IOA Bylaws Changes

On September 29, 2016, the Board of the International Ombudsman Association will convene a special meeting for members to vote on changes that would: 1. Change IOA's membership categories; and 2. Restructure the eligibility for the IOA Board of Directors.  Whether or not you are an IOA member, do you support the proposed changes to the IOA bylaws?

August 25, 2016

ENOHE Convenes First Webinar

The European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education will offer a virtual meeting on September 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm BST. The event is an opportunity to discuss and explore ideas with colleagues from across the ENOHE network on topics that are being developed.  (ENOHE News.)

University of North Carolina School of the Arts to Create Ombuds Program

The public arts conservatory in Winston-Salem is setting up an Ombuds Office for faculty, staff, and administrators. An all-faculty meeting on August 31 will review a proposed charter and select faculty representatives for a search committee. UNCSA already has a full website (including pages for Ethical Principles & Standards of Practice, Structure & Guidelines, and Ombuds Role) for the new office. (UNCSA Announcement; UNCSA Ombuds.)

International Ombudsman Institute Sets Conference in Bangkok

The IOI will hold its World Conference in Thailand’s capital on November 13-19, 2016. The theme for the eleventh annual meeting is “Evolution of Ombudsmanship” and will provide a forum for Classical Ombuds to meet and share their experience and expertise. As usual, the Conference will be preceded by meetings of the IOI Board of Directors, meetings of the IOI Regions and the IOI General Assembly.  (IOI 2016 Conf Info.)

August 24, 2016

California State University East Bay Opens Ombuds Office

The public university east of San Francisco has created an Office of Ombuds Services for faculty, staff, and administrators and has appointed Silvina Ituarte to establish the program. Ituarte, a Professor of Criminal Justice, says she is eager to incorporate restorative justice principles into the work of the Ombuds Office. 

University of California Berkeley Names Assistant Ombuds

The Staff Ombuds Office at Berkeley has hired Julia Horvath as an Assistant Ombudsperson.  Most recently, Horvath was Research Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico Office of Ombuds Services, where she studied the costs of workplace conflict and the value of constructive conflict management, and developed regarding the effectiveness of Ombuds services. 

Job Posting (Pending): Executive Office for Immigration Review

Mark your calendars. The U.S. Department of Justice office that oversees immigration courts will be hiring its first Ombudsperson. As Program Manager, the position will head the Office of the Ombudsperson/Dispute Resolution within the EOIR Office of the Director. 

Update: University of North Dakota Re-evaluating Ombuds Program

An article in today's Grand Forks Herald says that UND released Ombuds Henok Elias at the conclusion of his six-month probationary period.  A university spokesperson said administrators are reviewing the Ombuds role.  "We're still trying to figure out exactly what's the best fit for the university in terms of how to provide the kinds of services," the spokesperson said.  (GF Herald.)

August 23, 2016

Job Posting: LaGuardia Community College

The public college in the borough of Queens, New York is hiring a College Ombudsperson. Reporting to the Vice President of Student Affairs, the full-time position will work with a student body of about 18,000. For the past several years, Maria Riggs has served as the "Student Advocate/Ombuds Officer" so the posting may reflect a slight change in the position. 

Tempe Schools Appoint First Ombuds

Kyrene School District, a K-8 district that serves parts of Tempe and four other communities in Maricopa County, AZ has named Rosalie Hirano as the first Ombudsperson. Jan Vesely, the district’s newly-hired superintendent decided to appoint an Ombuds and follow the lead other school districts and government agencies. “The Governing Board and I felt it was important to provide our parents and community members with a dedicated resource for addressing their concerns,” said Vesely. 

Ombuds May Help Internal Branding Efforts

A study by Baylor University finds that efforts to help employees understand and embrace a company's values, strategy and goals — ‘internal branding — are very important for competitiveness. Prominent companies that ‘walk the walk’ they advocate may help reduce turnover, improve performance.

August 22, 2016

Ombuds at University of North Dakota Unexpectedly Departs


Sources at UND report that Henok Elias, who became the  full-time Ombuds in November 2015, is no longer at the university.  An email to the entire campus offered little explanation:


New Chair of ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Has Ties to Ombuds

Dickinson Law School professor Nancy Welsh has been selected to lead the American Bar Association's Section of Dispute Resolution for 2016-17.  In a statement, she acknowledged Ombuds as an important constituent group.

Ombuds for Bishop's University Posts Second Annual Report

Shawn Malley, who became the first Ombudsperson at the university in Sherbrooke, Quebec in October 2013, published his second annual report this week. He reports handling 45 cases in the 2014-15 academic year, most of which were about academic issues. 

Holocaust Claims Conference Appoints Ombuds

The Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany has named Ayelet Metzger as its next Ombudsman.  She will be the second person to hold the position.  Metzger was hired after a lengthy international search and has been Deputy CEO of the Second Authority for Radio and Television, a media regulator in Israel.