January 28, 2008

Spate of Nonconforming Job Postings

There have been a number of job postings for Ombuds positions in higher education that do not comply with the IOA Code of Ethics and and Standards of Practice:

East Stroudsburg University - Director of Diversity/Ombudsperson
“The Director represents the university in investigation of complaints of discrimination filed by students, faculty, administration, staff ,and visitors and assures fundamental fairness to every member of the campus community by working within the institution to facilitate equitable resolution to equity complaints.”

Texas A & M - Assistant Dean (Ombudsperson for Graduate Education)
“Provide direction on the daily operations of the Office of Graduate Studies...; Provide administrative supervision for human resources activities within the Office of Graduate Studies...; Provide administrative oversight for approval of graduate student non-resident tuition waivers and tuition payments.”

Winona State University - Affirmative Action Officer
“Serve as the university’s ombudsperson and primary resource person for administrators, faculty, staff, and students on AA/EO law.”

Cornell University - Assistant Ombudsperson
“The Assistant Ombudsman investigates, finds facts and makes recommendations for settlement of complaints brought by any person at the University against persons exercising authority at all levels of Cornell University.”

In one way or another, these positions are (or will be perceived to be) non-confidential, biased, formal or agents for their institutions. IOA could be reaching out to these institutions
on behalf of the Ombuds profession with information and materials. Although IOA is preoccupied currently with more pressing concerns, this should become a secondary mandate as soon as possible. On an individual level, practicing Ombuds should contact any institution they have a connection with, to provide encouragement and counsel. Being proactive in this way will only strengthen the profession.

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