December 30, 2013

Reader Poll: What Was the Ombuds Story of 2013?

Dear Readers-
What do you think was the most important story of the year for Ombuds?  Use the poll in the right-hand column to vote for the three stories you thought were most important.  (Comments are also encouraged.)  Thanks and best wishes for 2014.
-Tom

CERN Appoints Next Ombuds

Rolf Heuer, the Director-General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, announced that Vincent Vuillemin, CERN's first Ombuds, will step down after three and a half years of service.  In January Sudeshna Datta-Cockerill will assume the role.

DC-Area Coaches to Learn from Ombuds

The Metro DC Chapter of the International Coach Federation will feature two Ombuds at its January 2014 meeting. Katie Manderson and Ed Modell will present, "The Organizational Ombudsman's Role as a Conflict Management Coach" on January 8, 2014. They will discuss the various roles they play in their respective organizations and how they use their coaching skills to help individuals and groups deal with workplace conflicts.

Faculty Ombuds at University of Texas Reports Continued Growth in Cases

Mary Steinhardt, the University Faculty Ombudsperson at UT Austin, said that 94 visitors (88 faculty and 6 post-docs) from 12 different colleges or schools contacted her for help or advice during the academic year 2012-13. In her annual report to the Faculty Council, she also noted that her office has seen an increase in the number of visitors over the last six years from approximately 40 per year to the current number. 

December 18, 2013

Job Posting: University of North Georgia

The regional, multi-campus university is hiring a full-time Ombudsman to serve nearly 2,000 faculty and staff. The search apparently will fill a position that was created earlier this year and filled in September on a part-time basis by Michael Stapleton, the former Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police for the University.

UPenn Ombuds Publishes 2013 Annual Report

In her annual report, the Ombudsman at the University of Pennsylvania, Thadious M. Davis said that her office handled 153 cases in the 2012-13 academic year.  She also recapped a survey of ten Ombuds offices at peer institutions.  This lead to updated outreach materials, including a new information brochure.

December 17, 2013

International Ombudsman Association to Hire First Executive Director

The professional association for Organizational Ombuds has contemplated hiring an executive director for years. The plan now appears close to fruition as IOA's new management company, The Sherwood Group, has opened a search for candidates.

Asian Development Bank Appoints Ombuds

The regional development bank headquartered in Manila has hired Nick Diehl to serve as its Ombudsperson, filling a position since the summer.  Diehl reports to the ADB President and functions as an informal grievance resource for staff members with work place concerns.

University of Michigan Ombuds Posts 2013 Annual Report

Tom Lehker, UM Ombudsman for students, says that his office handled 217 cases in the 2012-13 academic year.  Nearly two-thirds of cases involved academic issues. 

December 16, 2013

American Red Cross Adds an Experienced Ombuds

Samantha Levine-Finley has joined the Red Cross Office of the Corporate Ombudsman as a Deputy Ombudsman.  She joins a team headed by Kevin Jessar, Corporate Ombudsman, and including Associate Ombudsmen Teresa Ralicki and Robert Hosea.

Save the Date for ACCUO's 2014 Midyear Meeting

The Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons has will hold its midyear meeting in Montreal on February 6-7, 2014. The one and a half day event will be of interest to those holding Ombuds and Ombuds-like positions at post-secondary institutions in Canada. More details will be posted later. (ACCUO Meetings.)

December 12, 2013

The Ombuds Blog Top Ten Stories of 2013 -- Part One

Every year, I select the most important stories about the Organizational Ombuds profession.  The list will be posted in three parts with other installments on December 19 and 26.

December 11, 2013

A Role for Ombuds in Embedded Corporate Social Responsibility Processes

Zach Ulrich, who won the 2013 IOA Writing Competition, has a comment published in the peer-reviewed journal, Industrial and Organizational Psychology. In response to another article in the journal, Ulrich argues that the Organizational Ombuds role should be considered as part of the new corporate-social responsibility efforts underway in Fortune 1,000 companies.

December 10, 2013

Michigan Tech Opens Search for Ombuds

Michigan Technological University will select its next Ombuds Officer from internal applicants. The part-time position, which reports to the University President, serves about 15,000 faculty, staff and students. For the past six years, the MTU Ombuds has been William A. Kennedy, an Associate Professor in Cognitive and Learning Sciences. Applicants for the position must be currently employed as a regular faculty and/or staff, and be familiar with University policies and resources.  

University of South Carolina Grad Student Ombuds Posts First Report

Dale Moore, who was appointed the Graduate Student Ombudsman at USC in 2012, has published a summary of his first year in the position. Moore says that 143 graduate students. The three most common concerns were service/ administrative issues; evaluative relationships; and legal, regulatory, financial and compliance related issues.  (USC Grad School Ombuds Report.)

CERN Ombuds on Ethics and Compassion

In a recent newsletter article, Vincent Vuillemi, the Ombuds at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, explores the role of ethics and compassion and their relationship to management and leadership.

December 09, 2013

Job Posting: U.S. Department Of Agriculture

The USDA is hiring its first Organizational Ombuds.  The new Ombudsperson Specialist will report to the Agency's General Counsel and help implement a range of initiatives to improve organizational effectiveness. The job requires some travel and is based in the Washington, DC area.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Ombuds Publishes 2013 Report

Last month, the CFPB Ombudsman’s Office submitted its second annual report.  Wendy Kamenshine, the CFPB Ombudsman, described the further building of the office, outreach and engaging external stakeholders, inreach and regular informal feedback provided to the Bureau, individual inquiry data, an update on last year's systemic analyses, current systemic analyses, and the direction of future work.  (CFPB Ombuds 2013 Report.)

December 04, 2013

NY Dispute Resolution Lawyer Magazine Highlights Ombuds

The current issue of the publication from the NY State Bar Dispute Resolution Section includes three articles about Ombuds.


NACD Master Class to Include Presentation on Role of Ombuds


On December 13, Chuck Howard and Jonathan E. McBride will give a plenary presentation at the National Association of Corporate Directors Master Class in Miami. The course is designed for experienced boardroom leaders and is required for NACD Leadership Fellows.

December 03, 2013

Touro College Opens Ombuds Office

The Touro College and University System has appointed Rabbi Moshe Krupka to serve as its first Ombudsman. Krupka is an Executive Vice President of the New York-based, private Jewish institution, which includes New York Medical College, Touro University California, and Touro University Worldwide, an online program. The Ombudsman Office reports through Touro's Institutional Compliance and serves faculty, staff and about 19,000 students.

Job Posting: Ryerson University

The public university in Toronto is hiring a part-time Assistant Ombudsperson for an 11-month appointment (January 7, 2014 - December 31, 2014). The posting seeks applicants with several years experience in conflict resolution and knowledge of the post-secondary education setting and student policies and services. Applications are due June 6, 2013. (Ryerson Posting.)

December 02, 2013

Apollo Education Group Ombuds Serve Faculty and Staff

The parent corporation of the University of Phoenix (which recently renamed itself to reflect its focus on education) has an Office of Ombuds Services, which serves about 40,000 employees and faculty.  Susan Casino was appointed the first Ombudsman for Apollo in 2006 and has created and maintained the office for the past eight years. Associate Ombudsman Elizabeth Hill joined two years ago.   Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the office is informal, independent, neutral and confidential.

University of Cape Town Ombuds Hosts Regional Workshop

On November 1, 2013, UTC Ombud, Zetu Makamandela-Mguqulwa hosted a day-long conference on Ombudsing in Southern Africa. The event also offered its host the chance to recap her time as UTC's first Ombuds. As one of the few University Ombuds in the region, Makamandela-Mguqulwa faced a steep learning curve. "It's been a source of immense learning to us as we travelled this three-year journey," she said.

Cal Caucus Resumes Publication of Journal

After a five year hiatus, the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has begun publishing its journal again.  The latest issue includes new articles about Ombuds practices and summaries of 2012 conference sessions.  In addition, all back issues of the Journal of CCCUO are now online.