August 31, 2010

Job (Re-)Posting: University of Minnesota

UM has reopened its search for a part-time Temporary Ombudsman. The position is intended for a graduate student and applications are now due by September 15. (UM Job Site.)

Prior: Job Posting.

College of Southern Nevada Developing an Ombuds Program

Nevada's largest post-secondary institution will soon create an Ombuds program.  CSN's president, Dr. Michael Richards, blogged last week that an Ombuds office would be an important part of a revised governance scheme. Richards wrote, "I believe creating an ombudsman role to facilitate this communication and ensuring CSN has its own watch dog to make certain policies and procedures are followed will go a long way to strengthen faculty governance at CSN."

Binghamton University's First Ombuds Passes

Eugene Vasilew, an Associate Professor Emeritus of English and founder of the Binghamton Ombuds office passed away June 12. Vasilew, who was 89, served as the Ombuds from 1969 to 1973. (Inside Binghamton.)

August 30, 2010

Securities Broker-Dealers Indicate Dissatisfaction with FINRA Ombuds

Last week, securities broker-dealers elected three dissident representatives to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's governing board. The move signaled widespread unhappiness with the regulator's policies and practices. One industry expert said that broker-dealers are not satisfied with the results they get from FINRA's Ombudsman.

August 27, 2010

Friday Poll: What's Your Reporting Line?

This edition of the Friday Poll asks Ombuds about their organizational status. IOA Standards state that Ombuds should report, "to the highest possible level of the organization," but for many this was determined before they were hired or is not negotiable for a variety of reasons. If you're a practicing Ombuds, whether embedded or as a consultant, to whom do you report?

August 26, 2010

Revitalized California Caucus Opens Registration for Fall 2010 Meeting

The California Caucus of College & University Ombuds will hold its 37th meeting at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California, November 7-10, 2010. Registration is now open for the event, which has the theme, "The Ecology of Ombudsing – Building Sustainable Value."

Job Posting: Cornell University

The private Ivy League university in Ithaca, NY is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson. The part-time position will assist students, faculty and academic and non-academic staff in resolving problems.

How to Apologize

 Ombuds often coach a visitor to apologize or facilitate an apology from one or more parties.

Over at, Vivian Scott says that an effective apology has four elements:

August 25, 2010

Job Posting: FEMA ADR Cadre

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is seeking applications for its ADR Cadre--work that is very similar to that of Organizational Ombuds. The positions are deployed to assignments in FEMA disaster field offices following the declaration of a major disaster and focus on workplace conflict resolution.

Colorado College Auditions Ombuds Program

The small, private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs has appointed emeritus professor Jane Cauvel as its first Ombuds for faculty and staff. Cauvel will serve in the role on a part-time basis for one-year trial period.

DC Ombuds Group Sets September Meeting

The District of Columbia Ombuds Discussion Group will meet at Teaism at 400 8th St. NW, on Tuesday, September 7th, at 7:00 pm. The event is open to anyone interested in Ombuds work in the DC area.

August 23, 2010

Job Posting: University of California Berkeley

Cal is hiring an Ombuds Manager to run the Staff Ombuds Office. The position reports to the Associate Chancellor and is responsible for providing confidential, independent, informal and impartial conflict resolution services to the campus community and nearby Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Update: University of Virginia Ombuds Provides More Details About Campus Bullying

Following the suicide of a UVA employee last month, university administrator have been criticized by some for failing to respond adequately to the victims complaints of workplace bullying.  The University Ombuds was one of the offices the victim contacted shortly before his death.  Brad Holland, the UVA Ombuds, has remained quiet about the case, but is opening up about bullying on the campus.

August 20, 2010

Job Posting: Apollo Group

The parent corporation of the University of Phoenix is hiring an Associate Ombudsperson. The full-time position will, "provide confidential and informal assistance to constituents of the Company and all its subsidiaries."

University of Florida Appoints Ombuds

After a prolonged search, the land-grant university in Gainesville has appointed Ronald Anderson, a long-time UF administrator, as University Ombuds. Joseph Glover, Provost and Senior Vice President, said that Anderson will serve as an internal liaison and mediator for students and an adviser on matters relating to student concerns.

August 18, 2010

Job Posting: University of Pennsylvania

Penn is hiring a full-time Associate Ombuds to fill the position held by Michele Goldfarb for the past two years. The position serves the entire campus and reports to the University Ombudsman, Dr. Joan F. Goodman.

August 17, 2010

University of North Carolina Ombuds Reports Continued Case Growth

UNC Ombuds Wayne Blair and Laurie Mesibov are reporting increased traffic to their office during the past year. This increase follows a a four-fold increase in cases in the prior year.

KU Ombuds Offers Sanctum to Campus Stakeholders

University of Kansas Ombuds Kellie Harmon works with two part-time faculty to assist faculty, staff and students confidentially, neutrally and informally. Between March 2008 and June 2009, her office had nearly 500 contacts -- most with unclassified professional staff and undergraduate students.

August 16, 2010

Job Posting: Food & Drug Administration

The FDA is hiring an Ombudsman to work in the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Management in Silver Spring, Maryland. The office has long been a resource for resolving workplace concerns within the FDA, but it appears that the Ombuds function may be new.

Austin Schools Ombuds Welcomes Families

Beverly Reeves, the Ombuds for the Austin Independent School District, participated in the district's annual Back-to-School Bash and Safety Fair. She was interviewed by a local TV station and highlighted ASID's focus on student safety. 

Asian Ombudsman Association to Meet in Manila

The AOA will hold a joint conference with the Asian Development Bank and the Philippines Ombudsman in Manila on August 24–25, 2010. The two-day regional conference will present the highlights of five cross-country studies and a Pakistan specific study on various aspects of Ombudsing in Asia.

August 13, 2010

DARPA to Create Ombuds for Privacy Issues

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is implementing a new set of privacy protocols that include the creation of a new Ombuds program. DARPA, the agency that researches and develops new military technology, is seeking to counter concerns about recent projects that mine and analyze public data in search of terrorist activities.

Sobering Story of a Suicide Offers Glimpse Into Work of Ombuds

Last month, an editor of the The Virginia Quarterly Review took his own life after complaints of workplace bullying. An investigation by the Chronicle of Higher Education reveals that the situation was known to administrators at the University of Virginia and that the victim allegedly sought assistance from the campus Ombuds. 

Navy Ombudsman Creed

This week, I came across the unofficial creed of the Navy Ombuds program. Written by Gayle Brinkley, it offers an apt description of Ombuds work.

August 12, 2010

FCO Training Will Feature a Wide Range of Ombuds Practices

The Forum of Canadian Ombudsman has published the agenda for its first course on Ombuds fundamentals September 20 and 21, 2010. The two-day program for new and intermediate-level Classical Ombuds staff and complaint-handlers will feature nearly two dozen Canadian Ombuds. Many topics will be relevant to the practice of Ombuds in other fields.

Minnesota Transportation Ombuds Follows IOA Standards

In September 2008, the Minnesota Department of Transportation appointed Deb Ledvina, an attorney who has worked for the agency for more than 16 years, to as its first Ombuds. A just-published brochure reveals that the International Ombudsman Association best practices provide a foundation for the Mn/DOT Ombuds program.

August 11, 2010

Algoma University Hires Experienced Ombuds for Pilot Program

Cheryl Henshaw has been appointed the Ombudsperson for Algoma University. Henshaw, who previously served as the Ombuds for the University of Windsor, will serve a four-month term as AU evaluates the benefits of an Ombuds program. "We want to extend a warm welcome to Cheryl as she begins this important pilot project," says Dr. Richard Myers, President of Algoma University. "We look forward to having her on campus, and appreciate the experience she brings to this position."

Ombuds to Lead ADRhub Webinar on Bullying

Every month, hosts a web panel discussion. Susan Park, the former Ombuds at the University of Hawaii, will lead the August discussion on bullying and conflict resolution. This train the trainer workshop designed to demonstrate an approach to providing members of academic communities with information and skills to deal with bullying.

August 10, 2010

Ombuds Certification Exam to be Offered Internationally in October

The next IOA Certification Examination will be administered online during the week of October 18-23, 2010. The two-hour test will be offered at 316 computer testing centers, including 7 in the provinces of Canada and 15 in other countries.

FCO Directors Explain Benefit of Ombuds Programs

Ian Darling, President of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman, and Suzanne Belson, Chair of the FCO Education and Training Committee, have coauthored an article for a recent edition of the Canadian HR Reporter. The article, "Ombuds a Valuable Alternative for Dispute Resolution," gives an overview of the profession and points out the benefits of an Ombuds office.

August 09, 2010

Journal of IOA Now Available Through EBSCO

The peer-reviewed Journal of the International Ombudsman Association has been added to EBSCO Publishing's searchable database of academic publications. 

Great Headline for Ombuds Article

Dora Farkas, who earned a PhD at MIT and did post-doc work at Tufts, writes an advice column for BenchFly. Her latest column addresses the concerns of an anonymous graduate student considering the university Ombuds office. The article's title is one of my favorite descriptions of Ombuds work, "The Ombudsman: The Best Conversation that Never Happened."

August 07, 2010

Breaking Outreach Opportunity

There is a unique and limited time opportunity to familiarize Wall Street Journal readers with the Organizational Ombuds concept.  

August 06, 2010

List of Certified Ombuds Expands to 45

Less than a year after it was implemented, the certification program for Organizational Ombuds has certified 45 individuals. The following individuals have demonstrated they have at least a year of experience and practice to the IOA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice:

Bates College to Create Ombuds Program

President Elaine Tuttle Hansen has announced that the private liberal arts college in Lewiston, Maine will create an Ombuds Office. Longtime Bates administrator Carmen L. Purdy, who was appointed this week to the newly created position of Manager of Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance, will head the effort to set up an Ombuds program.

August 05, 2010

Job Posting: University of Minnesota

The 50,000-student university in Minneapolis/St. Paul is hiring a part-time Temporary Ombudsman. Applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree or four years of mediation experience. IOA Board Member Jan Morse heads the U of M Student Conflict Resolution Center, which recently hired a full-time Ombuds.

August 04, 2010

Harrisburg School District Hiring First Ombuds

The large public school district in Pennsylvania's capital is accepting applications for an Ombudsman. It appears that district has never had an Ombuds and it is unclear what the duties are. 

The posting does not inspire confidence in the district's objectives for the position.

August 03, 2010

Job Posting: Bridgepoint Education

The California-based for-profit education services holding company is hiring a Contract (Temporary) Associate Ombudsman for its San Diego headquarters. 

Call for Proposals: IOA 2011 Conference

The International Ombudsman Association is seeking presentation proposals for its sixth annual conference in Portland, Oregon, April 3 through 6, 2011.

August 02, 2010

Fanshawe College Names Ombuds

In December 2009 the London, Ontario community college appointed Greg Hessian to the position of Ombuds. The Fanshawe Ombuds office is funded equally by the Student Union and the College, and handles issues related to students and area campus Student Councils.

UMass Dartmouth Ombuds to Join Former Senator at Program on Civility

William King, the Ombudsperson at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, will join former Senator Paul Kirk and Peter Meyer, Publisher of the Cape Cod Times for a forum on civility, September 19, 2010, 2- 4 pm.