The editors of the International Ombudsman Association's newsletter, "The Independent Voice?" are seeking staff writers. Co-editor Samantha Levine-Finley says that writers will have the option of generating their own ideas for each issue or taking assignments.
June 28, 2012
The United States Ombudsman Association has posted details of its 33rd annual conference, which will take place in Spokane, Washington on October 10-12, 2012. The theme is "Ombudsmen: The Nature of Our Profession." The keynote address will be given by Nina E. Olson, the U.S. National Taxpayer Advocate. Here is an overview of the planned agenda for the conference:
The latest post at the Higher Ed Ombuds Blog finds reason for optimism in the ouster and reinstatement of University of Virginia President, Teresa Sullivan. Sure, the decision by the Board could be characterized as purely political, "a face-saving measure to preserve the prestige of this public ivy." But the blogger offers a more positive view that the board was responsive to feedback from stakeholders.
June 26, 2012
The LANL Ombuds Office provides many skills-building modules to employees of the classified lab in New Mexico. The programs range from 60 to 150 minutes. Here's an overview:
Over the past two years, USF Ombudsman Samuel Wright has been consulted by almost 1,100 students. In addition to options offered by other University Ombuds, Wright also administers are two financial aid programs. The first is a one-time grant of up to $250 for emergencies. The second, the President's Retention Grant, offers up to $1,500 per student, with the goal of stopping the student from dropping out because of financial problems.
June 25, 2012
Shell Canada has appointed Rick Anderson to serve as an Ombudsman for community members with unresolved concerns related to its activities around Waterton, Alberta. Anderson will be a confidential, independent, neutral, and informal resource for concerns about industry and regulatory policies, procedures, rules, and formal or administrative options.
Hanan Sabea, who was appointed as the first Ombuds for AUC about six months ago, has helped resolve a conflict involving buildings and grounds staff. According to a campus newsletter, the staff members went on strike last fall over their uniforms. Sabea led a committee that negotiated new uniforms that the staff helped select. The resolution also led to AUC's first official uniform policy. (AUC News.)
At a meeting of African Ombudsman and Mediators Association last week, Chair Paulo Tijipilica said that the organization is working to establish a formal relationship with the African Union. Leaders of AOMA and AU said that the groups seek similar values and that cooperation could create a synergy among African countries. (Angola Press.)
June 21, 2012
The seven year old University of California campus has announced the appointment of Deidre “De” Acker as its first Campus Ombudsperson, effective July 16, 2012. Chancellor Dorothy Leland made the announcement earlier this week. Leland said that the new Ombuds “will actively engage students, faculty, staff and university constituents in dialog, negotiation and problem-solving to ensure that members of our campus community receive fair and equitable treatment.”
Two southern universities have opened job searches for positions that include Ombuds duties and other, inherently conflicting responsibilities.
June 15, 2012
June 14, 2012
The GSU Ombuds Office has posted details of the Conflict Resolution Symposium 2012, which is set for October 12 in Atlanta. The theme of the annual event is "From Chaos to Composure: Creating Positive Change Using Conflict Resolution Skills." Timothy Hedeen, Associate Professor of Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University, will be the keynote speaker.
The International Ombudsman Association has added a program to its professional training in Florida next month: "Mediation and Ombudsing-Complementary Processes." The one-day course will be offered on Friday, July 20, 2012, and will be taught by Camilo Azcarate, Manager of Mediation Services at The World Bank Group, and Melissa Brodrick, Ombudsman at Harvard Medical School.
An article in the latest issue of the Canadian Public Administration Journal observes that, “world-wide diffusion of the ombudsman concept and the accompanying academic literature have failed to produce a universal definition of ‘ombudsman.’” Author Sabine Carl attempts to provide a taxonomy of the different kinds of ombudsmen in place today.
June 13, 2012
The public college in downtown Denver has announced that it is planning to conduct a nationwide search to fill the new position of Ombuds Officer. The Board of Trustees approved the position last week and included funding in the 2012-13 budget.
The latest post on the Higher Ed Ombuds Blog is titled, "Confessions of a Conflict Avoider." She admits that it's sometimes hard to follow the kind of advice she regularly gives to her visitors. Given the frequent contact Ombuds have with conflict, perhaps this isn't surprising. (Higher Ed Ombuds Blog.)
Abdelaziz Benzakour has been reappointed as Chair of AOM, after its annual general meeting in Paris. Benzakour, who also serves as President of Morocco’s Mediator Institution, was unanimously elected for a new two-year term. In addition, the Human Rights Defender of the French Republic, Dominique Baudis, was returned to the position of General Secretariat. (Morocco Tomorrow.)
June 12, 2012
A recent Harvard Law Case Study features a University Ombuds and an effort to update a sexual harassment policy -- a scenario that will surely resonate with many Ombuds in higher education. It was written by Robert Bordone, Director of Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program and a Public Director of the Board of Certification for Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioners.
San Manuel has appointed Theresa Prator as the organization’s first Ombudsman. In this newly established position, Prator will be reporting directly to the San Manuel Tribal Business Committee. She will be establishing the Ombuds office and will be responsible for identifying and resolving non-union, non-management, employee issues in support of the Tribe’s service initiative.
June 08, 2012
The Wikipedia page for “Ombudsmen in the United States” is painfully incomplete. It lists only about a dozen Classical Ombuds programs. Organizational Ombuds are not mentioned. Only one media Ombuds (NPR) is listed. The list of Ombuds associations has just two entries: the Coalition of Federal Ombudsman and the United States Ombudsman Association.
Kathy Biala will begin a six-month internship with the UCSF Ombuds Office in July 2012 working primarily at the university's medical facility in Fresno.
Ombuds may be interested in a new webinar series offered by the Workplace Bullying Institute. The series launches with a webinar on “Being ‘Iced Out’ at Work” on July 7.
Labels: Practice Pointers
June 06, 2012
The university near Edinburgh, Scotland is actively developing a “centre of excellence for training, research, knowledge exchange and consultancy in ombudsman and complaint handling practice, and consumer affairs.”
WSU has established its first Ombuds for Ombudsman for Students in the College of Pharmacy. As the Ombuds, Associate Professor Mark W. Garrison will serve as an additional resource for students. "Mark will provide support and advice to students who need a trusted and impartial intermediary to whom they can voice their concerns,” said Gary M. Pollack, dean of the College of Pharmacy.
June 05, 2012
The privately-held company that operates proprietary colleges is hiring a Manager - Student Ombudsman in Birmingham, AL. The position serves as "the designated neutral or impartial dispute resolution practitioner whose major function is to provide confidential and informal assistance to constituents of the College community. In the performance of the duties, this position provides support, guidance and direction to identify and communicate opportunities for systemic improvements through operational, functional and quality assurance audits."
The latest issue of of Corporate Secretary (the magazine for corporate secretaries, general counsel and governance professionals in North America) provides an overview of the Ombuds function and explains why Ombuds effectively supplement formal reporting and compliance programs. The article features comments from Jonathan McBride, a corporate governance consultant and president of McBride Associates, and Robert Tannous, an attorney with the law firm Porter Wright.
IOI's President, Beverley Anne Wakem, has been made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. The honor recognizes her service to the country, including her current work as Chief Ombudsman, and was bestowed as part of celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.