10. Notable Retirements -- Two notable Ombuds retired in 2014. Mary Rowe, considered by many to be the matriarch of the profession, retired after four decades of conflict resolution at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and leadership within the Ombuds profession. In addition, Mary Childers retired in June after serving as the founding Ombuds at Dartmouth since 2007.
9. New Programs Continued Apace -- Ombuds offices were created at a pace that outstripped the few closures. The new programs were (in approximate date order):
- Department of Homeland Security National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center
- Wright State University
- U.S. Air Force Academy
- University of Oregon
- Detroit Public Schools
- Ombudsman for the Office of the Governor of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- Technical Standards and Safety Authority
- Columbia Law School (Student Senate)
- Universitetet i Oslo
- Maine Association of Mediators
- Tallahassee Community College
- Purdue University (Faculty)
- Florida Polytechnic University
- Chapman University
- Securities and Exchange Commission
- Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
- North Dakota State University
- University of Florida (Faculty)
- Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
- MacEwan University
8. American Universities Continued to Defend Ombuds' Confidentiality in Sexual Misconduct Matters -- After the U.S. Department of Education muddied the waters regarding the rules for handling Title IX complaints in 2012, Ombuds were on edge. In 2013, several universities reaffirmed their Ombuds' confidentiality and/or brought their Ombuds into the conversation about responding to sexual misconduct. The trend continued with some prominent schools endorsing Ombuds' confidentiality, including: Grinnell College; Colorado College; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of California Irvine; University of Oregon; and Stanford.
7. ABA Ombuds Committee Defined its Role -- In December, the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Section Ombuds Committee outlined its vision mission and goals. If the Committee reaches its objectives for next year, it will have, "Distributed an information packet describing ombuds programs suitable for consideration by law firms, their clients, law schools, and other organizations." This would be one of the most aggressive and targeted outreach campaigns for Organizational Ombuds.
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; The Ombuds Blog Top Ten Stories of 2013 -- Part Two; The Ombuds Blog Top Ten Stories of 2013 -- Part Three.