October 31, 2013

Job Posting: Federal Emergency Management Agency

The Department Of Homeland Security agency is hiring five Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisors to be based in Washington, DC. The ADR Advisors respond to internal and external disputes as part of FEMA's "Cadre of On-call Response/Recovery Employees." These positions perform temporary disaster work on two-year temporary appointments. The work is very similar to Ombuds work.

October 30, 2013

Cal Caucus Seeks Nominations for Ombuds Award

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds is soliciting nominations for awards to be given during its meeting at Asilomar in Pacific Grove on November 17–20, 2013. Each year, CCCUO publicly acknowledges individuals who have distinguished themselves through outstanding and noteworthy contributions to the Ombuds field, within Cal Caucus and beyond.

Auburn University Selects New Ombuds

The public university in Alabama has appointed C. Kevin Coonrod as its next Ombudsperson.  Reporting to Auburn's President, Coonrod will provide independent, confidential, impartial and informal assistance to a community of about 28,000.  He takes over from Retired State Circuit Judge Howard Bryan, who had been serving as the Interim Ombuds. 

October 29, 2013

University of the Pacific to Create Ombuds Office

The private university in Stockton, California announced that it will appoint an Ombudsperson to serve as an informal, independent and impartial resource for conflict resolution for all faculty, staff and student employees. After more than two years of consideration, the position was approved this past spring in response to a joint resolution by the Academic Council and the Staff Advisory Council. UOP has opened a search for an internal candidate. (UOP News.)

ACR Conference Presentation on Ombuds in ADR Spectrum

At the Association for Conflict Resolution's Annual Conference in Minneapolis earlier this month, Barbara Beatty gave a presentation on, "Ombuds: Where Do They Fit in the ADR Spectrum of Services."  She provided an overview of the Ombuds field and emphasized the need for all ADR practitioners to work together.

October 28, 2013

Job (Re-)Posting: American University in Beirut

The secular, private university in Lebanon has re-opened the search for its first Ombuds.  Reporting to AUB's president, the Ombuds will establish an office to provide a neutral, impartial, confidential, and informal assistance on university-related concerns or disputes, including recipients of health care services. 

Job Posting: Arizona Department of Economic Security

The State of Arizona agency that provides social support services is hiring an Assistant Ombudsman. The part-time position: "handles concerns and issues on behalf of the Director ... in an informal, confidential, neutral, and non-partisan manner; encounters situations where no clear criteria or standard exist and must use analytical skills to make a sound and fair recommendation; take into consideration all sides of an issue and have the expertise to independently determine the best resolution and possess the mediating skills to help all parties toward that resolution; facilitates mediations," etc.

Pomona College Ombuds Promotes New Mediation Strategy

At the recent Conflict Resolution Symposium at Georgia State University, Pomona College Ombuds Conchita Serri introduced an innovative theater forum, known as Pinging Tea. The concept, which Serri developed in 2008, has several parties sit in groups of two before an audience. The people in these groups sit across from one another, discussing pressing relationship issues while drinking hot tea from glass cups. Whenever there is progress, a group will tap their cup with a spoon.

October 25, 2013

Job Posting: Xerox

The U.S.-based multinational document management company is hiring an HR Director / Ombudsman to be based in Lewisville, Texas. According to the posting: "The organizational ombudsman functions as part of the company’s dispute resolution program to assist in the informal resolution of workplace conflict. * * * This role is also to include background investigation adjudication for Xerox Services." [Emphasis added.]

Job Posting: Pasadena City College

The community college northwest of Los Angeles has opened a search for its first Ombudsperson.  The full-time position will manage an office to serve all constituents of the District community, including faculty, staff, 27,000 students, and the public. The PCC Ombuds will report directly to the Superintendent-President. Applicants should have a master’s degree and five years of relevant counseling or Ombuds experience.

October 24, 2013

University of Western Ontario Ombuds Reports 14% Increase in Visitors

UWO Ombudsperson, Jennifer Meister, says that she was surprised to see traffic to her office increase in 2011-12 after an 18% jump in 2010-11.  Meister and Assistant Ombudsperson Anita Pouliot were consulted by 496 students a total of 538 in the last academic year, and they also assisted other members of the UWO community.

October 23, 2013

Western Carolina University Opens Ombuds Office

The public university in Cullowhee, part of the University of North Carolina system, has a appointed Jane Zanglein to serve as its first Ombuds. The pilot program will assist faculty, staff, and administration in resolving disputes and preventing future conflicts at WCU. In 2008, the WCU Faculty Senate approved a resolution in support of an Ombuds office. Subsequently, faculty and staff sought information from other Ombuds, especially the Ombuds Office at UNC Chapel Hill.

October 22, 2013

Internship: United Nations

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is offering a full-time, unpaid internship in its New York offices in the winter of 2014.  Details of the intership are limited, but historically the position lasts two to four months and offers the chance to support the office in several areas, including: mediation services; identification of systemic issues; outreach and advocacy; and preparing data and reports.

October 21, 2013

Job Posting: North Dakota State University

The public university in Fargo is hiring its first Ombudsperson. The nine-month, full-time, benefitted position will serve as an independent, impartial, and informal resource for NDSU faculty with a focus on early-stage, informal dispute resolution. Faculty had been considering an Ombuds for all stakeholders, so this is a more limited program.

Job Posting: American Red Cross

The Red Cross Office of the Corporate Ombudsman has opened a search for a Deputy Ombudsman.  The position will work closely with the Corporate Ombudsman, Kevin Jessar, to collaborate with leaders; to assist internal and external constituents; and to make systemic recommendations.  The position has been held by Nick Diehl for the past three years.

October 16, 2013

Washington & Jefferson College Ombuds Serves Student Body

Lori Galley was recently appointed to serve as the Ombudsperson for about 1,600 undergraduate students at the private liberal arts college in Washington, PA. According to the college's website, "The Office of the Ombudsperson at Washington & Jefferson College exists as a resource for students who need assistance as they work to address alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct, the Academic Honesty Policy, or other related community standards." In addition, the site states that the Ombudsperson practices to IOA standards. 

October 15, 2013

ACCUO Posts Agenda for 2013 Midyear Meeting


The Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons has posted the agenda for its Western Regional meeting at the University of Alberta on October 28 and 29. The one and a half days of presentations and discussion are designed for those holding Ombuds and Ombuds-like positions at post-secondary institutions in Western Canada.

October 10, 2013

Internship: Inter-American Development Bank

The international NGO is seeking an intern to work with its Ombudsperson, Doris Campos-Infantino, in the winter of 2014 in Washington, DC. The intern will work on various projects and activities, and have the opportunity to learn about the profession and the role in the bank. 

Interview With Stony Brook Ombuds

Judi Segall, University Ombudsman at Stony Brook University was interviewed for her campus newsletter. She explained the role and function of her office, and also offered training recommendations for aspiring Ombuds. Segal also revealed why she is an Ombuds: 

HR Director for Nigerian Airspace Management Agency is Trained Ombuds

Akangson Uwem Ekerete serves as the Director of Human Resources for NAMA, Nigeria's air safety agency. According to a profile recently posted to the agency's website, Akangson is an attorney with two decades of legal and HR experience. In addition, he has completed Organizational Ombuds training and is a member of IOA. 

October 09, 2013

Leading Ombuds Retires from Columbia University Post

Marsha Wagner, who served as Columbia's Ombuds Officer for 22 years, retired last week. Announcing the retirement, University President Lee Bollinger said, “It is not often that we have occasion to honor the service of someone who has held a senior post in University administration for more than two decades as the office’s only occupant and who was herself central to its creation.” Wagner told the Columbia Spectator that she was honored to be asked to establish the office, which handled 14,514 cases during her tenure. 

Samuel Merritt University Opens Ombuds Office

The health sciences university in Oakland, California has appointed Conchita Franco Serri to be its first Ombuds. Serri will serve about 2,000 faculty, staff, administrators, and students on a part-time basis. According to a new website for the office, Serri will be practicing to IOA standards of confidentiality, neutrality, independence and informality.

October 08, 2013

Job Posting: UC San Diego

The southernmost University of California campus is hiring an Associate Ombudsperson. Reporting to the Director and UCSD Ombudsperson, Judy Bruner, the position provides informal dispute resolution services, including responding to confidential complaints and inquiries, assessing concerns, and consulting with the university community.

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente Southern California

KP is hiring a full-time Health Care Ombuds/Mediator for its Harbor City-South Bay Medical Center. The Kaiser HCOM, "functions as a trained alternative dispute professional offering patients, family members, staff & providers a conflict management program to resolve patient/provider healthcare disputes early thereby improving patient safety & reducing the costs of health care dispute resolution."

October 07, 2013

Asian Ombudsman Association Meets in Iran for 13th Annual Conference

The independent and professional forum for Ombudsmen in Asia is meeting in Tehran through October 10, 2013. Valiollah Khobreh, Iran's Vice President of General Inspection Organization, is hosting the conference. Delegations from 20 countries and a UN representative are expected to attend. In addition to professional development and networking events, attendees will update the AOA articles of association and appoint a new head for the organization. (AOA Conf Info; Iranian Students News Agency.)

October 02, 2013

Lee Thornton: University of Maryland Ombuds

Lee Thornton, who has served as the Ombuds for graduate students at the University of Maryland since 2012, passed away on September 25 at the age of 71. Thornton was a groundbreaking journalist, having become the first black woman to cover the White House regularly for CBS in 1977. She later later taught journalism and was an administrator at UM. (Washington Post.)

October 01, 2013

Houston Methodist Ombuds Program Serves Residents and Fellows

The flagship hospital of the Methodist Hospital System has created an Ombuds program to serve medical trainees in 25 different programs.  Provided by the Graduate Medical Education Office, the Ombudsman Program, "responds to the needs of residents and fellows by fostering access, hearing concerns, guiding problem-solving approaches, and using conflict resolution techniques."

Coalition of Federal Ombudsmen Posts 2013 Meeting Minutes

CoFO has posted meeting minutes for January through July 2013.  These minutes update the work of many Federal Ombuds programs.  here are some of the highlights.