For a second year in a row, Columbia University's School of Continuing Education will offer "Fundamentals of Ombuds Practice" as one of the courses for a Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.
A description of the three-unit course indicates that the focus is on the Organizational Ombuds model.
The ombuds profession has seen a tremendous growth in interest as interest in alternative dispute resolution and integrated dispute resolution systems within organizations has increased. However, when asked, the average person in the United States still neither knows what an ombudsperson is nor the functions that an ombudsperson fulfills within an organization. This class will introduce students to the major theoretical and practical issues inherent in the ombuds profession. With particular focus on the Standards of Practice as articulated by the International Ombudsman Association, students will learn about the unique services that organizational ombudspeople provide to organizations and to individuals within those organizations.
The class again will be taught by Columbia's Associate Ombuds, Bathabile Mthombeni. (Columbia Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.)