March 31, 2008

UC Riverside Appoints Ombuds

Indu Sen has been appointed as the permanent Ombuds for the University of California, Riverside, effective May 1.

Prior posts: Job Posting; New Interim Ombuds at UC Riverside.

New Gallaudet Website Features Video Welcome

The Ombuds at Gallaudet University, Suzy Rosen Singleton, has rolled out a new website for her office. The highlight is an embedded, five minute video of Singleton signing an introduction and overview. (Gallaudet Ombuds.)

Related posts: Profile of Gallaudet's New Ombuds; Red Cross Ombuds Unveils Video

Although the technology is cutting edge (for Ombuds), the effect is warm and welcoming. Singleton's video comes shortly after the debut of a video featuring Beverly Ortega Babers, the Red Cross Ombuds. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a trend.

Job Posting: Brown University

Brown University is seeking applications for a permanent Faculty Ombuds. The part-time position reports to the president and provides assistance to members of the faculty including postdoctoral research fellows and associates. Candidates who lack formal training in conflict resolution skills will be provided with resources to enhance existing skills. Salary ranges from $33,500 to $60,500. Open until filled. (Brown Jobs, Job # P00250, via HotJobs.)

March 30, 2008

IOA Conference Speaker Bios

Profiles of the 66 speakers and presenters for the Third Annual International Ombudsman Conference are now online: Balanoff to Zinsser and the full complement of Ombuds luminaries. (IOA Speaker Bios.)

Related post: IOA Annual Conference Keynote Speakers

March 28, 2008

HR Professionals are Also Struggling to Define Effectiveness

A study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers showed that just 43% of the 1,150 CEOs surveyed were satisfied with the ability of their Human Resources department to compete for talent. Several HR chiefs admitted their "disappointment" in the profession's inability to convince chief executives of the value the function adds to businesses. John Williams, global head of HR at financial services firm ING, said, "While it is very hard to prove return on investment, it is up to HR to do so." (Personnel Today.)

The Ombuds profession is in the same situation. If Ombuds do not demonstrate a positive cost benefit, it will be difficult or impossible to rebut a contrary assumption. While it will be hard to prove return on investment, it is up to Ombuds to do so.

Effective Leaders Protect Ombuds

In an editorial in the Christian Science Monitor, Harvard professor Joseph S. Nye Jr. compares transformational leaders (who provide an inspiring vision of goals that can help overcome self-interest and narrow factionalism) and transactional leaders (who (lead by using a normal range of rewards and punishments rather than inspiration). Nye asserts that transactional leadership may be better than transformational leadership when a group cannot agree on its ultimate goals, but may be able to agree on means that create diversity and pluralism.

With respect to Ombuds, Nye says:

On an everyday level, whistle-blowers can play a disruptive but useful role in large bureaucracies, and a smart leader will find ways to protect them or channel their information into institutions such as through ombudspersons.

(Christian Science Monitor.)

March 27, 2008

International Conference on Transformative Mediation

The Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation presents its third annual conference: "New Waves of Transformative Practice" at the University of California, Santa Barbara, August 25-26. Three days of pre-conference training will cover many topics of interest to Ombuds, including basic, intermediate and advanced mediation training, and relational facilitation. (Conference Details.)

March 26, 2008

Local Maine Library Considers Ombuds to Quell Public Outcry Over Firing

The Patten Free Library in Bath, Maine has found itself at the center of controversy after a long-time children's librarian was fired in September 2007. Library patrons, trustees and former trustees, and former staff traded barbs on the pages of local papers and a dedicated blog. In November 2007, the library's corporator board agreed to mediation with an independent mediator. Mediation sessions over seven weeks in early 2008 resulted in an agreement that was ratified by corporators last night. The agreement reportedly includes a provision to creating a library Ombuds position to which staff could "raise in a confidential and informal manner any concerns about the workplace, without resort to the more formal grievance procedure." (Maine Times Record, cached story; Portland Press Herald; Falmouth Forecaster; Maine Coastal Journal; Patten Free Blog.)

Clearly, this is a situation in need of neutral and independent dispute resolution expert who can provide confidential and informal assistance to a variety of stakeholders, someone who can facilitate conversation, de-escalate tensions and help surface issues. Kudos to the mediator and participants who were savvy enough to recognize the circumstances call for an Ombuds. Who ever is selected will find ample resources and support from colleagues across the country who deal with similar issues every day.

Workplace Bullying More Harmful than Sexual Harassment

A meta-analysis of 110 studies conducted over 21 years found that workplace bullying appears to inflict more harm on employees than sexual harassment. The research by M. Sandy Hershcovis, Ph.D., of the University of Manitoba and Julian Barling, Ph.D., of Queen’s University in Ontario, was presented at the Seventh International Conference on Work, Stress and Health. “As sexual harassment becomes less acceptable in society, organizations may be more attuned to helping victims, who may therefore find it easier to cope,” said Hershcovis. “In contrast, non-violent forms of workplace aggression such as incivility and bullying are not illegal, leaving victims to fend for themselves.”

The research looked at the effect on job, co-worker and supervisor satisfaction, workers’ stress, anger and anxiety levels, workers’ mental and physical health, job turnover and emotional ties. Employees who experienced bullying, incivility or interpersonal conflict were more likely to quit their jobs, have lower well-being, be less satisfied with their jobs and have less satisfying relations with their bosses than employees who were sexually harassed. (APA Media Information; Forbes.)

Related post: NYT Career Couch: If Bullied, Visit Ombuds

Although still under-appreciated, Ombuds remain one of the most effective resources for addressing workplace bullying.

March 25, 2008

William & Mary Student Paper Supports Exanded Ombuds Office

A staff editorial in the student newspaper of the College of William and Mary endorses the recent hiring of an Ombuds for staff, Tatia Granger, as an important catalyst for discussion. The editors also call on the college, "to expand the approach to include an ombudsperson for students and faculty as well." (The Flat Hat.)

Related post: Profile of New Staff Ombuds at William & Mary.

March 24, 2008

UGA Ombuds News Roundup

Red and Black, the independent student newspaper at the University of Georgia has additional articles regarding the proposal to create Ombuds positions for faculty, staff and students.
The University will appoint and train three ombudspersons to ... help guide people through the sometimes confusing process of resolving conflicts or reporting violations at this large, complex research institution. [T]hese individuals, ... will be trained in University, University System, state, and federal policies and procedures, ... to provide informal and confidential assistance to persons with issues or concerns, advising members of the community about where to turn and what procedures to follow should they wish to advance a complaint.

  • Feature article on the role of Ombuds, quoting University of Virginia Ombuds, Brad Holland, and discussing programs at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Arizona.
We hope the University uses professional associations, such as the International Ombudsman Association, to choose who will fill the impartial third party roles.

Related Ombuds Blog posts on UGA Ombuds.

Why Take ADR Courses in Law School?

Answer: You might qualify for a position as an Ombuds! Because, according to Cathy Cronin-Harris, a Senior Consultant to the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution and lecturer in Negotiation at Columbia Law School, you'll have acquired:
  • Expanded Communication Skills;
  • Enhanced Persuasive Skills;
  • Appreciation of the Role of Perceptions;
  • Appreciation of the Human Dynamic; and
  • Expanded Problem Solving Ability.
(ABA Section on Dispute Resolution.)

Ombuds Libraries

If you want your office to serve as a successful peacemaking home for you and your clients, longtime mediator and conflict resolution specialist, Woody Mosten recommends putting in a client library. He observes that many mediators, lawyers, therapists, and courthouse self-help centers are installing libraries to help clients learn about mediation/collaborative law and how to meaningfully participate in a client driven process. (ABA Section on Dispute Resolution.) More info about Mosten's libary is available online. (Mosten Mediation.)

This advice applies equally to Ombuds who often coach individuals through the dispute resolution process. It is not surprising, therefore, to see that many Ombuds offices have specialized lending libraries: UC Berkeley; University of Kansas; Caltech; and Georgia State University.

The Power of Nice

Two recent studies indicate that being nice is a competitive advantage. A study in the journal Nature finds that people who punish others the least earn the biggest rewards in repeated interactions. Also, people are happier spending money on others instead of on themselves, according to researchers at the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School. (Freakonomics.)

Related reading: The Power of Nice.

March 23, 2008

Profile of Gallaudet's New Ombuds

Suzy Rosen Singleton, who became the first Ombuds for Gallaudet University on January 14, 2008, is profiled in the campus newspaper. Technically, the scope of Singleton’s efforts is limited to students until the fall of 2009, but she said that, as a practical matter, “my policy is I won’t turn anyone away” from her office. “People can come by anytime or set an appointment. My door is always open.” So far, she is committed to networking with the community, becoming familiar with issues, and making herself known to the campus. She has met with representatives of student organizations, attended various student-oriented meetings, and networked with other Ombuds to ensure she is implementing best practices. (On the Green.)

Related post: Gallaudet Appoints Ombuds.

New Ombuds for Queen Anne Public Schools

The Queen Anne's County Public School System in Maryland has named Don Vandrey its new coordinator of public information and Ombuds. Vandrey has a graduate degree is in agricultural journalism and has worked as a reporter, legislative aide and director of the public affairs office for the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Most recently, he was the public affairs officer at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and found himself at the center of national media attention. The QACPS Ombuds acts as an independent, neutral and confidential resource for parents, employees, students and citizens with school-related problems. (Star Democrat [subscription].)

March 21, 2008

Profile of New Staff Ombuds at William & Mary

In December 2007, Tatia Daniels Granger became the first Ombuds for staff at the College of William & Mary College. The brand-new position was implemented as the result of a series of forums held last year during which staff members expressed their worries over workplace conditions and other issues. Granger has worked in higher education for nearly 20 years and has a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Virginia. Provost P. Geoffrey Feiss said that Granger, “brings extraordinary background and skills to a role that is very important to this community–assuring that all employees have a voice in matters that concern them in the workplace.” Granger reports to the provost and the position is, for now, part time. (W&M News.)

Related post: William & Mary to Employ Staff Ombuds.

UGA to Hire Three Ombuds

University of Georgia President Michael Adams announced plans to hire three Ombuds to address discrimination and harassment claims. Adams said he wants to employ the three ombudsperson strategy for one or two years and then revisit the policy. According to the independent student newspapers the three Ombuds will "represent students, faculty and staff - one ombudsperson for students in the Division of Student Affairs; one for faculty in Academic Affairs; and one ombudsperson for staff in Human Resources." Although that would seem to imply an advocacy role, the paper also reports that the Ombuds will "provide informal and confidential assistance to persons with issues or concerns." Adams' recommendations are not based on other systems but are tailored to the situation at hand. So far, the university has not released any details of the proposal. (Red and Black; Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AP); Online Athens.)

Prior posts: University of Georgia Petitions for Staff Ombuds; UGA President Agrees to Consider Ombuds for Staff and Students.

The speed with which UGA's President embraced an Ombuds program is stunning and commendable. It has been less than two months since an Ombuds was suggested and many campuses wrestle with the concept for years. Moreover, President Adams's plan goes beyond his initial agreement of an Ombuds for students and staff, and will include an Ombuds for faculty. On the downside, there is likely to be some concern that UGA is choosing to disregard widely-accepted standards for Organizational Ombuds as implemented by other large, public American universities. Although UGA's recent problems have been newsworthy, there is no reason it should reinvent the wheel when it comes to an Ombuds office.

March 20, 2008

Loudoun VA Public Schools to Consider Ombuds

The Loudoun County Public School Board is considering concerns raised by some parents that complaints made about teachers or school incidents too frequently result in no action or in retaliatory actions against the students or parents raising concerns. Two board members support the appointment of a school system Ombuds, noting that it is important to address even the public perception that parental complaints are not handled properly. (Leesburg Today.)

International Forum on Online Dispute Resolution

Frank Fowlie, ICANN Ombuds, is chair of the Seventh Annual International Forum on Online Dispute Resolution in Victoria, BC, June 18-19, 2008. The two-day Forum brings together the world's leading practitioners, academics, students, and civil society to discuss the resolution of disputes using online technologies. The keynote speakers will be Dr. Vinton Cerf, inventor of the Internet, and Dr. Jose Ramos Horta, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize winner and President of East Timor. In addition, Ambassador Patricia Durrant, the former UN Ombudsman, will participate in discussions on ODR and Peace. Registration is free, but limited to 150 participants. (ODR Forum 2008.)

March 19, 2008

Update: U.N. Staff Objects to New Ombuds

Less than a week after American dispute resolution expert John Barkat was appointed to lead a reformed and integrated UN Ombuds office, the head of the UN Staff Union has lodged a formal protest. A letter from Stephen Kisambira, President of the United Nations Staff Union, complained that the staff were excluded from the selection process. The Inner City Press provides additional details:
The Staff Union's beef for Barkat's resume is that while they say he claimed to have been ombudsman for 2000 staffers at Pace University in New York, that school only has some 300 staffers. All of the rest are part-time or adjuncts, so they say the use of the number is misleading.

A UN spokesperson said she didn't know what will happen next, if anything. (Kisambira Letter; Inner City Press; UN Press Briefing.)

Prior post: Barkat Appointed U.N. Ombuds

The letter and article raise more questions than they answer. Most significantly, it is curious that the letter does not mention the allegation about Barkat's resume. It is also concerning and surprising that staff would have been omitted from the selection process. Finally, there are some discrepancies with regard to the staff numbers referenced. According to the Pace website, the university employs 1,448 staff (963 full-time and 485 part-time). In addition, 460 full-time and 730 part-time faculty work at Pace. While these issues may blunt the staff's complaint, no doubt Barkat will be mending bridges from the outset.

Job Posting: Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security is accepting applications for a staff position in the Citizenship and Immigration Ombudsman Office in Washington, DC. On balance, the job description indicates that this is an administrative position, rather than an Ombuds position. However, candidates are expected to have the ability to "conduct analysis and studies using fact-finding techniques and evaluative methods in order to recommend improvements regarding administrative functions"; "advise, guide and recommend resolution of complex problems"; and "communicate effectively ... in a negotiating environment." The position pays $82,961-107,854 per annum and applications are due April 1. (FederalGovernmentJobs.)

Related post: Former ICE Director to be New Immigration Ombuds.

UC San Francisco Postpones Ombuds Office

The University of California San Francisco has recently approved a number of initiatives aimed at improving the diversity of staff and work climate. Excluded, for the present time, is an IOA-complaint Ombuds program similar to those at other UC campuses. As a result of anticipated state budget cuts, the Ombuds office first proposed in 1998 will be deferred indefinitely by the leading health center. Until then, the UCSF Work~Life Resource Center will continue operating as a "quasi-ombuds office" and ready for a transition. (UCSF Strategic Plan; Work~Life Resource Center; 1998 Strategic Plan.)

March 18, 2008

Job Posting: Savannah College of Art & Design

The Savannah College of Art and Design is accepting applications for its Faculty and Staff Ombuds. This full-time position serves as a resource for SCAD-Savannah and SCAD-Atlanta faculty and staff. Preferred candidates will possess a master's degree and at least three years of faculty or management experience. Mediation or comparable ombudsman training is also preferred. No closing date or salary info available. (SCAD Jobs via HigherEdJobs.)

Revision to Iowa Open Records Law Could Clarify Protection for Ombuds Notes

Legislators in Iowa legislators are struggling to revise the state's open-records law which gives citizens broad access to records created by public employees. The amendment would allow government agencies to keep secret certain records that are "tentative, preliminary, draft (or) speculative" in nature. Iowa law professor Arthur Bonfield, a proponent of the proposed revision, says the intent is not to limit access to records that reflect the give-and-take of government officials at work, but to restrict access to records that may only reflect one individual's musings on an issue. An editorial in the Des Moines Register, on the other hand, says that the amendment is so confusing that records of every imaginable sort could be labeled "draft" and put forever beyond the reach of the public. (SF 2378 Bill History; Des Moines Register Article, Editorial.)

At present, there are about half a dozen public-sector Organizational Ombuds working in Iowa, who presumably would be covered by this amendment. If the law were to provide a clear protection for a government employee's personal, temporary notes on a specific matter, this would enhance their ability to ensure confidentiality. Since open records laws are under scrutiny around the county, this particular issue bears monitoring by Ombuds.

Managing Workplace Gossip

Office rumors and gossip can worsen or create conflict. Yet not all gossip is bad. Not all gossip is bad. Michael Morris, a psychology professor at Columbia University says that employees use it to bond and to glean valuable information they can’t access through official channels. Experts advise proactive measures to manage the rumor mill:
  • Separate the good from the bad -- differentiate between constructive and destructive gossip;
  • Learn to deflect -- respond to destructive gossip in as neutral a manner as possible;
  • Set a time limit -- protracted gossiping can lead to paralysis at the expense of efforts on a productive response to concerns;
  • Don’t overshare -- limit your number of confidants and the personal nature of conversations; and
  • Never gossip by e-mail -- leaving a paper trail increases vulnerability for a libel suit.
(Newsweek.) This is advice Ombuds may want to share with managers.

March 16, 2008

Texas A&M Ombuds Promoted

Dr. Clifton Griffin, who has served as Texas A&M's assistant dean and graduate student Ombuds, has been appointed director of Research and Graduate Studies Services at Texas A&M's new campus in Qatar. The university is conducting a search for the position and the Ombuds webpage has disappeared. (Bryan-College Station Eagle.)

Related post: Spate of Nonconforming Job Postings.

March 15, 2008

NIU Ombuds Reflects on Campus Tragedy

One month after the shootings at Northern Illinois University, Tim Griffin, the campus Ombuds, says that his phones are starting to ring again with “normal” issues. Still, he wears the symbol of sympathy for NIU, a red and black ribbon. “I never wore such a thing in my life until 2-14,” said Griffin. “For me, it represents a show of respect to so many people for so many things. I will hold that respect forever, but someday — soon I think — I won’t feel the need to wear this.” (Rockford Register Star.)

In addition to helping organizations and communities avoid problems, Ombuds can be critical in helping individuals cope with the stress and conflicts that follow tragedy. After 9/11 for example, Ombuds around the U.S. helped visitors deal with personal anxiety, cultural misunderstanding, and uncertainty. NIU is certainly fortunate to have Griffin, an experienced and compassionate Ombuds, as a resource during its recovery.

Related post: Profile of Northern Illinois University Ombuds.

March 14, 2008

Barkat Appointed U.N. Ombuds

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed John Barkat, the new U.N. Ombudsman with the rank of assistant secretary-general. As head of a revamped Ombuds Office, Barkat will serve the U.N. Secretariat and all the U.N. funds and programs facilitating informal resolution of conflicts and mediate issues involving U.N. staff worldwide. Barkat has served as the Ombudsman for Pace University and as an instructor of conflict resolution and mediation at Columbia University's International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution. He has chaired the Ombuds committees for the American Bar Association and the Association for Conflict Resolution, and is a past president of the International Ombudsman Association. (UN News Center; AP via PR Inside; Pace U. Ombuds.

Related posts: UN Budget Increases Funds and Scope of Ombuds Office; Pace Ombuds Office Profiled.

March 13, 2008

Auburn to Implement Ombuds Program

After considering the issue for four years, the Auburn University Faculty Senate has approved a two-year pilot Ombuds program. The part-time Ombuds will serve faculty and staff. (AU Senate Agenda, Minutes.)

Prior posts: Peek at the Long Playing Effort to Create an Ombuds Office at Auburn University; Auburn Faculty Revives Effort to Create Ombuds.

March 12, 2008

U Minn Considering Faculty Ombuds

Recently published minutes from the University of Minnesota Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs reveals that a faculty Ombuds may be implemented soon. The notes indicate that UM previously had an Ombuds for faculty issues as the result of a consent decree following a class action sex in 1980. Although UM has formal grievance mechanisms and a campus mediation program, these are not seen as addressing "a range of festering sores in every department." The Committee agreed to adopt a statement supporting a half-time Ombuds for one year with an initial charge to develop a recommended proposal. (UM Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs Draft Minutes.)

Related post: Peek at the Long Playing Effort to Create an Ombuds Office at Auburn University.

March 11, 2008

IOA Board Election Results

The International Ombudsman Association has announced the results of the 2008 Board of Directors election. From the eleven nominees, the following individuals were elected to serve three-year terms as board directors: Janet Morse, Pierre Niedlispacher, Jennifer Wolf, Gary Yamashita, and Tom Kosakowski. In addition, Katherine Ziff was elected to a two-year term and Roxanne Schreiber to a one-year term as associate member representatives.

Prior post: IOA Announces Board Nominees.

Maryland Considering School Bullying Ombuds

Maryland State Delegate, Anne R. Kaiser has introduced legislation to require local education officials to set policies on bullying. Among other things, House Bill 546 calls for a new statewide "school bullying ombudsman," who would, among other things, investigate unresolved complaints. Although the bill has received a positive hearing, the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee has not voted on the bill. The bill gives the Department of Education until January 1, 2009, to implement the program and define the qualifications required of the Ombuds. (Herald Mail; HB 546 Info.)

March 06, 2008

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser is accepting applications for a HealthCare Ombudsman / Mediator in San Francisco. Health care experience is preferred. No closing date or salary indicated. (Kaiser Careers Job ID: SF.0800205, via Indeed.)

Job Posting: Pentagon Force Protection Agency

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency is seeking an experienced Ombuds to open an office. (PFPA is an agency within the Department of Defense (DoD) that comprises the Pentagon's police force and provides basic law enforcement and security for the Pentagon and DoD interests in the National Capital Region.) The PFPA Ombuds will plan, implement, coordinate, evaluate and promote the use of conflict prevention and resolution techniques, and provide confidential and informal assistance to managers and employees. Proof of US citizenship and a Top Secret Clearance are required. The position pays $93,107-156,450 per year. Applications are due March 19, 2008. (Federal Govt. Jobs.)

Update: More Details of UMass-Amherst Impartial Observer Program

An article in the Daily Collegian provides more details on the plan for the Ombuds at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to coordinate faculty and staff volunteers to monitor campus events. Apparently, the observers are not a new addition to UMass protocol; another office on campus previously handled the observers. It is not clear, however, why the Ombuds Office has been building a list of observers for five years. (Daily Collegian.)

Prior post: UMass-Amherst Ombuds to Coordinate Impartial Observers.

March 04, 2008

FDIC Ombuds Issues Biannual Report

Cottrell L. Webster, the Ombudsman for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., has issued a report to the financial services industry for July 1 through December 31, 2007. During the six-month period, 448 bankers contacted the FDIC Ombuds requesting assistance. In addition, Ombuds Office staff spoke with 160 financial industry representatives through outreach visits, telephone calls and industry-sponsored conferences. Two of the most significant concerns regarded the subprime mortgage crisis (and the government's responses) and the costs of complying with the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering rules. (FDIC Ombuds Report.)

March 03, 2008

I'm Not the Only Lawyer-Turned-Ombuds

An ABA Journal query, "Have You Ever Had to Deal with a Workplace Bully?" prompted the following response:
I was a lawyer for many years, and ran into my share of bullies who were particularly skilled at terrorizing associates and staff. * * * Well, that’s all behind me. Sort of. I’ve become an ombuds for a university, and have been surprised to find that academia has more than its share of bullies. * * * In fact, I’m in the process of designing a workshop on bullying in an attempt to begin addressing the problem at my institution. [¶] Although I could detail some ways I have dealt with bullies on my own account or for others, that would miss the point. It is not a simple problem with a one-size-fits all solution. * * * I don’t think this is the place to go on at length about solutions, but I’m glad the discussion has begun.
My own story is the same. Wow. (ABA Journal Question of the Week.)

Non-Conforming Job Postings: Jackson Community College and Ashford University

Jackson Community College in Michigan is hiring a full time Enrollment Services Specialist / Ombudsperson. According to the posting, the Ombuds part of the job involves assisting non-traditional students resolve non-academic challenges that impede the ability to succeed in college. The JCC website indicates that the Ombuds is a participant in student complaint hearings. (JCC Jobs via HotJobs; JCC Student Complaint Process.)

Ashford University, a subsidiary of for-profit Bridgeport Education, Inc., is seeking an Ombuds for its San Diego location. The position reports to the Vice President of Compliance, and is responsible for ensuring that all student complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely manner. This appears to be a new position and has been posted for several weeks. (Ashford Jobs via Monster.)

Both of these positions require the Ombuds to be involved in formal processes and thus do not conform to IOA Standards for Organizational Ombuds.

Related post: Spate of Nonconforming Job Postings.

March 01, 2008

Corrected: New Immigration Ombuds Appointed

The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has appointed Michael Dougherty as the new Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman. Dougherty replaces Prakash Khatri, who had established the office in July 2003 and whose reports had been cited by federal courts as evidence the FBI's background checks unreasonably delayed immigration applications. (ImmigrationPortal.com; Immigration Daily.)

For several years, Dougherty was responsible for targeting illegal immigrants as Director of Operations for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Early in 2007, he formed a private company, Valiant Systems, to acquire and build companies in the homeland security, defense, law enforcement support and forensic advisory industries. Now, he'll be responsible for resolving individual and employer problems. (Testimony before House Cmte on Judiciary, 5/8/03; Testimony before Senate Caucus on Intl Narcotics Control; Huron Capital Partners Press Release.)

Mr. Dougherty may have some problems being perceived as a neutral advocate for immigration reform.

Apparently, the new immigration shares a name with another Michael Dougherty and the foregoing information is incorrect. A full post with clarification will be provided shortly.

Related posts: Another Federal Court Relies on Immigration Ombuds' Report to Rule Against Government; Immigration Ombuds Tenders Resignation.)