December 19, 2013
The Ombuds Blog Top Ten Stories of 2013 -- Part Two
This is the second installment of the top ten Ombuds Blog stories of 2013. The top three stories will be unveiled on December 26.
7. ACCUO Chronicles Three Decades of Ombuds in Higher Education -- In June, the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons published a timeline of its "activities, encounters and some landmarks in the development of ombuds in higher education in Canada and many parts of the world" over the past 30 years. The document, which begins in the 1960's, marks the establishment of Canadian higher education Ombuds offices, ACCUO landmarks and other Ombuds landmark events. It is an important chronology of profession.
6. Bullying Remains a Significant Issue -- Ombuds find themselves a primary resource for visitors experiencing workplace incivility. This role is only increasing as bullying garners more attention from the mainstream press. For example, some wondered whether the NFL should appoint an Ombuds to address locker room hazing. The UCSB Ombuds responded with a colloquium on bullying in higher ed. Ombuds shared tips and sharpened their skills at programs the ACCUO midyear meeting and Cal Caucus. Some universities (University of South Carolina and Oregon State) created anti-bullying policies that explicitly rely on Ombuds as part of the institutional response. These stories are just a bellwether--Ombuds will become an even more important resource for bully targets.
5. Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Issues Statement of Ethical Principles -- Released in June, the FCO Statement sets out five key principles: Independence; Impartiality; Fairness; Confidentiality; and Credibility. The document culminates a year of work by the FCO Board to develop and promote professional standards of conduct and a code of ethics. Although the FCO's Statement encompasses more than just Organizational Ombuds, gives further definition to the Ombuds profession.
4. IOA Forges an Alliance with Brazilian Ombudsmen Association --In 2013, the Associação Brasileira de Ouvidores and the International Ombudsman Association engaged in several unprecedented joint ventures. In April, the ABO President addressed a plenary session of the IOA annual conference in Miami. In August, an IOA Board Member keynoted the ABO conference. Then in September, the two organizations offered a joint training program in Sao Paulo. This type of collaboration is likely to continue as IOA works to become a more truly international association.
Related posts: The Ombuds Decade in Review; The Ombuds Year in Review: 2010; The Ombuds Year in Review: 2011 (Part I); The Ombuds Year in Review: 2011 (Part II); The Ombuds Year in Review: 2011 (Part III); The Ombuds Year in Review: 2012 (Nos. 8-10); The Ombuds Year in Review: 2012 (Nos. 4-7); The Ombuds Year in Review: 2012 (Nos. 1-3); The Ombuds Blog Top Ten Stories of 2013 -- Part One.