December 29, 2014

Job Posting: Dartmouth College

The private Ivy League college in New Hampshire has opened a search for its next Ombudsperson.  The part-time position (0.6 FTE) reports to the college president and serves staff and faculty.  According to the posting, "The Ombudsperson will also devote a small portion of time to coordinate the efforts of the College to comply with NH law concerning the reporting of child abuse and neglect and to prevent abuse and neglect in programs conducted at the college."


December 25, 2014

The Ombuds Blog Top Ten Stories of 2014, Nos. 4-6


This is part two of the top ten Ombuds Blog stories of 2014.  The final installment will be published on December 29.


December 22, 2014

Job Posting: Ole Miss

The University of Mississippi is hiring its first Ombudsperson.  The position, "serves as a designated neutral or impartial dispute resolution practitioner providing confidential and informal assistance to constituents of the University community, to include graduate assistants, staff, and faculty," and reports to the Office of the Chancellor.

Arizona Ombuds to Hold Year End Meeting

The Arizona Ombuds Group will meet for its winter meeting on Friday, January 30, 2015 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The Maricopa Community Colleges (MCC) will host the meeting in Tempe, AZ. The winter agenda includes topics such as “The Virtual Ombuds” and The Impact of Social Media on the Ombuds Profession. 

Journalist Raises Questions About Succession of Olympic Ombuds

Freelance investigative reporter Irv Muchnick says that there are concerns about the retirement of longtime USOC Athlete Ombudsman, John Ruger, and the selection of his relacement, Kacie Wallace.  Writing on his blog, "Concussion Inc." (his current focus is on concussion crisis in sports), Muchnick offers some details about the Olympic Ombuds:

World Health Organization Names New Ombuds

The WHO has appointed José Martínez-Aragón to be its next as Ombudsman, starting January 19, 2015.  Stationed at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Martínez-Aragón reports directly to the Director-General and will replaces Dr. Athanase Hagengimana, whose mandate ends next week.

December 18, 2014

The Ombuds Blog Top Ten Stories of 2014, Nos. 7-10

This is the fifth annual retrospective of the most important stories about Organizational Ombuds.  The list starts with numbers seven through ten.  The list continues in the next two weeks.


(drumroll please...)

Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons to Hold Midyear Conference in London, ON

Fanshawe College and Western University will host ACCUO’s Eastern Midyear Conference on January 28, 29, and 30, 2015.  Highlights of the meeting will include:

December 17, 2014

ENOHE Calls for 2015 Papers

The European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education is inviting submissions for its 2015 annual conference to be held in Innsbruck, Austria on May 28-30, 2015 .  The theme is: "Years of Solitude? University Ombudsmen‘s Pioneering Past, Confident Present, Challenging Future." 

Job Posting: Department of Energy

The department responsible for U.S. energy and nuclear safety policies is hiring two Associate Ombudsmen. The positions are based in the DOE Office of the Ombudsman in Washington, DC, and serve all DOE federal employees, world-wide. The positions are open only to current DOE employees.

"ADR as First Career" Interviews Kaiser Ombuds

Back in September, the video blog about professional who started their careers in the ADR field, featured Annalisa Peterson, a Health Care Ombuds/Mediator with Kaiser Permanente in Northern California.  Peterson talks a about her interest in ADR and how she gained the education and experience that lead to her job. 

December 16, 2014

Journal Seeks Submissions to Mark IOA's First Decade

The Journal of the International Ombudsman Association has issued a call for articles to mark the tenth anniversary of the International Ombudsman Association, which was created in 2005.  Editors are inviting submissions in the following specific topic areas:

Job Posting: Transportation Security Administration

The Department Of Homeland Security agency is hiring a Supervisory Federal Air Marshal.  The position will serve as the Office of Law Enforcement/Federal Air Marshal Service Ombudsman Liaison to Office of Civil Rights and Liberties, Ombudsman, and Travel Engagement, Ombudsman Division in Reston, VA.  The job is open only to TSA employees.

Brock University TV Introduces Ombuds

A YouTube video by the public university in St. Catharines begins by asking students what an Ombuds is.  Failing to find a correct answer, the video explains the service using hand-drawn animations.  Carole Moss, is the Student Ombudsperson but is not featured.  (YouTube.)

December 12, 2014

Will the Ontario Ombudsman's New Powers Impact University Ombuds?

Earlier this week, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario passed Bill 8, the “Public Sector and MPP Accountability and​ Transparency Act, 2014, a package of new public-sector accountability measures.  Among other things, Bill 8 expands the Ontario Ombudsman’s powers to municipal entities previously off limits, including universities.  Although there is no current concern, the impact on existing university Ombuds in Ontario remains uncertain. 

Binghamton University Announces Next Ombuds

The State University of New York announced the appointment of Bathabile Mthombeni as Ombudsman, effective January 15, 2015.  Binghamton President said,“Bathabile’s background in law and extensive experience in conflict management and dispute resolution is what we had hoped to find for our campus and will serve her well in this key position.”

December 11, 2014

Volunteer Opportunity: Canadian Paralympic Committee

The Canadian Paralympic Committee is seeking volunteer Ombudspersons for the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and/or the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The Ombuds will provide guidance and counsel for Canadian Paralympic Team Members to quickly and effectively resolve disputes and issues.

Job Re-Posting: University of Arizona

The public university in Tucson has reopened its search for an Ombuds Program Director. The position provides direction, coordination, and development of campus volunteers in the UA Ombuds Program. In addition, the Director also is expected to work closely with senior administrator about systemic issues.  The position will report to Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration.

December 10, 2014

Job Posting: University of South Florida

USF plans to reopen its Office of the Ombudsman which closed nearly two years ago.  The university in Tampa has opened a search for an Ombuds to work with a student population of about 48,000.  Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree and at least four years of experience.  An advanced degree, counseling, and USF experience are preferred.

University of the Pacific Appoints First Ombuds

The private university in Stockton, California as named Hector Escalante as its first Ombudsperson, starting January 5, 2015.  UOP Vice President Mary Lou Lackey said, "Hector's background in conflict management, together with his exceptional interpersonal and communications skills, strong ethical framework and deep understanding of Pacific's culture and structure will serve him well in this important role."

Ombuds Case Numbers Grow at Northern Illinois University

In a report presented last week, NIU Ombuds Sarah Klaper said that 604 individuals who visited her office from May 2013 to May 2014, a 32% increase from the prior year.  In fact, Klaper said that the actual number of cases should be much higher.  “In my day-to-day work life, I talk with people as I go across campus,” Klaper said in the report. 

December 09, 2014

IOA Opens Election for 2015 Board of Directors

The International Ombudsman Association has announced the slate of candidates for Board of Directors terms starting in April 2015. With the early departures of three directors, the election will fill six empty seats from a slate of eight nominees.  As it has in the past, the Ombuds Blog provides links to public information about the candidates to supplement the official ballot statements.

University of Wisconsin Anti-Bullying Policy Invokes Ombuds

Last month, the Faculty Senate at the University of Wisconsin at Madison approved an anti-bullying policy that will be “implemented” either informally, through the intervention of an Ombuds or vice provost with no written record of complaint.

December 08, 2014

Job Re-Posting: Syracuse City School District

The public school district in New York has re-opened its search for its first Ombuds.  The Executive Ombuds Officer for Student Discipline will report directly to the District Superintendent. "In carrying out the functions of this position, the EOO is guided by the principles of independence, impartiality, confidentiality, and informality."  It is not clear whether or how the posting has been revised since the search opened in July.

Texas Tech Names First Faculty Ombuds

Texas Tech University has announced the appointment of Jean Pearson Scott as its first Faculty Ombudsperson, effective January 1, 2015.  Scott will report to both the TTU  Provost and the Faculty Senate President, as serve as an impartial facilitator between faculty and their supervisors and sometimes between faculty and students or staff.

Concordia Ombuds Office Celebrates 35 Years

The Ombuds Office at Concordia University was celebrated at a reception last week marking 35 years of service.  The Ombuds Office at Concordia was established in 1978 when the programs at predecessor institutions merged.  

December 05, 2014

Loyola University New Orleans Appoints Ombuds for Staff

Earlier this year, the private, Jesuit university in Louisiana appointed Robert Reed, to serve as its Staff Ombudsman. Reed works with about 300 employees and continues in his role as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs.  The university named its first Faculty Ombuds in 2013.  A website for the office went online in July 2014

December 04, 2014

Staff Ombuds at KU Leuven Defends Role

Joseph Corveleyn, the Staff Ombudsman at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Flanders, Belgium, was interviewed last week by the campus's independent student newspaper. According to the article, witnesses say the KU Ombuds does not actually help staff with work problems. However, instead of presenting any evidence to support this assertion, the piece mostly provides Corvelyn an opportunity to explain his role and dispel misinformation. His best quote provides the article's headline: "The ombudsman is not the sheriff of the university." 

December 01, 2014

ABA Ombuds Committee Outlines its Goals

The American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Section Ombuds Committee  has posted a statement to its website that outlines its vision, mission, and goals.  The Committee was reestablished in December 2013 and this is the first clear explanation of its purpose.  

November 28, 2014

Cal Caucus Publishes Second Online Journal

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds published its second online, interactive journal. 

Articles include:

November 25, 2014

Job Posting: MD Anderson Cancer Center

The leading cancer research and treatment center in Houston is hiring an Ombudsperson.  The position will join an office that serves all members of the MD Anderson workforce, including faculty, trainees and fellows of the institution.

MacEwan University Appoints First Ombuds

The university in Edmonton, AB has appointed Cathryn Heslep to be its first Ombudsperson for its 14,800 students.  Heslep is set to retire from her current position as VP for Student Services after a 25-year career at MacEwan University. No other details about the new Ombuds office have been made public. 

Sports Conflict Institute Explores Ombuds for NCAA

The latest SCI Talk podcast, SCI Founder Joshua Gordon and Dr. Ken Pendleton discuss the value and need for an improved intercollegiate Ombuds model. SCI is a major proponent of having a dedicated ombudsman available to student athletes and the outlet it provides to avoid major issues or conflict in NCAA college athletics. (SCI Talk.)

November 24, 2014

Journal of IOA Looks at Empiricism and Ombuds Practice

The latest issue of the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association is delves into the empirical techniques applied to the Ombuds profession.  The issue is the last for Editor David Miller, who has lead the Journal for five years.

November 22, 2014

International Ombudsman Association Offers Scholarship to Aspiring Ombuds for 2015 Conference

The IOA International Committee announces the availability of financial support to sponsor members or prospective members living outside of the United States and Canada to attend the upcoming IOA 10th Annual Conference taking place April 19-22, 2015 in Atlanta, GA. Recipients may also be entitled to take the basic IOA course: “Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice,” offered prior to the conference.

November 21, 2014

Call for Proposals: FCO/ACCUO 2015 Conference

The Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons are inviting proposals you to beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia for the joint FCO/ACCUO biennial Conference from May 10-13 2015.  The conference will mark the 50th anniversary of the first Ombuds office in Canada, at Simon Fraser University.

Update: University of Oregon Approves Confidentiality of Ombuds in Title IX Matters

Last week, the University of Oregon decided that there was no legal requirement that the Ombuds Office be identified as a “responsible person or authority” under Title IX, or as a “campus security authority” under the Clery Act. 

November 20, 2014

Students Call for Ombuds at Syracuse University

Following days of campus protests over diversity and sexual assault issues at Syracuse, student activists passed a resolution calling for immediate and longer term changes. Among the demands, the resolution also asks Syracuse Chancellor Kent Syverud to hold an open forum where he can receive community feedback and to create an Ombuds position to protect student rights and interests. 

Secret Service Director Calls on Ombuds to Assist Whistleblowers

In testimony before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Acting Director of the Secret Service James Clancy outlined changes to prevent future security breaches at the White House. According to the Washington Post, Clancy has directed the Secret Service Ombudsman to create a method for employees to anonymously report problems and concerns to an executive review board that will ensure they can flag problems confidentially and also get a timely review of their complaint. (Washington Post.)

November 18, 2014

Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons Publishes Toolkit for New Offices

ACCUO’s "Ombuds Toolkit" is an information package intended for Ombuds and for stakeholders wanting to create an Ombuds Office in a Canadian postsecondary institution events.  However, the Toolkit is an important resource for Ombuds more broadly.

Cal Caucus Bestows 2014 Ombuds Awards

Last night, the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds presented its annual awards.  Lisa Neale received the Service Excellence Award for her significant leadership contributions to CCCUO, including shepherding the Journal from print to online.  Valerie White was given the Pete Small Award for her many years of leadership within Cal Caucus and support of other Ombuds offices that helped advanced the Ombuds field.

Meet the Ombuds for Kean University

Frank Esposito was appointed to serve as the Ombudsman for the public university in New Jersey in December 2013.  An article in the campus newsletter explains that Kean has had Ombuds off and on since the early 1980’s. Esposito states, “my job is to try to solve problems not solved by the normal route.” 

November 17, 2014

Job Posting: Texas Department of Public Safety

The Texas state agency responsible for law enforcement and vehicle regulation is hiring a director-level Ombudsman.  Based in Austin, the supervisory position performs advanced mediation work for the Office of the Ombudsman, working with individuals and groups in the agency to explore and assist in determining options to help resolved conflicts and bringing systemic concerns to the attention of executive management. 

University of Michigan Approves Ombuds Charter

UM's Ombudsman for Students, Tom Lehker says that a charter for his office was approved in October 2014.  The new charter clarifies and codifies his roles and responsibilities, reflecting a shared understanding of how the Ombuds Office functions within the large, public university.  The charter also articulates the principles of the Ombuds role and their consistency with IOA standards.  (UM Ombuds Blog.)

November 14, 2014

Save the Date for ENOHE's 2015 Meeting

The European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education will hold its annual conference May 28-30, 2015 in Innsbruck, Austria.  The theme is: "Years of Solitude? University Ombudsmen‘s Pioneering Past, Confident Present, Challenging Future." 

November 13, 2014

Internship: National Institutes of Health

The NIH Office of the Ombudsman / Center for Cooperative Resolution in Bethesda, MD is offering a full-time internship for the Summer of 2015. (Exact start and end dates are negotiable.) 

College of Charleston Names New Ombuds

According to a recently updated website, the public university in South Carolina has appointed Deni Mitchell as the Institutional Ombudsperson.  Mitchell previously served as Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs. As the Ombuds, she reports to the President of the College. The prior CofC Ombuds was V. JoAnn Diaz. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Teachers Seek Ombuds for Workplace Bullying

In response to complaints of on-the-job bulling by administrators, the Classroom Teachers Association of North Carolina in Charlotte is calling for an Ombuds for the 159-school district. Following the recent resignation of the CMS Superintendent, school teachers and former teachers convened earlier this week to talk about "working in a culture of fear" and leadership issues. "There needs to be a mechanism where teachers can go, and they need to be aware of that," said George Walker, a former CMS teacher. (TWC News.)

November 11, 2014

Job Posting: United Technologies Corp

The American multinational is hiring a Corporate Ombudsperson.  The position will work with UTC employees throughout the Americas with business-related issues.