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. 

Michigan State Medical School Appoints First Ombuds

In July, the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine named Christine Shafer to serve as Student Ombudsperson.  Shafer has been an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, but will give up her teaching responsibilities.

November 10, 2014

Job Posting: University of New Mexico

The state's flagship, public research institution in Albequerque is hiring a part-time Ombuds Facilitator.  Under the supervision of the University Staff Ombudsperson, the position will provide confidential, impartial, and informal facilitation, design and deliver training programs, and mediate, facilitate and negotiate staff issues.

November 07, 2014

President of International Ombudsman Institute Steps Down

At the IOI annual meeting in October, Dame Beverley Wakem announced that she was resigning from her office as IOI President and that Adv. John R. Walters, Ombudsman of Namibia, would assume the post.  Wakem lead IOI for four years and oversaw significant changes to the organization's governance, new educational partnerships, and outreach efforts.  The IOI Board of Directors awarded an Honorary Life Membership to Wakem.  (IOI News.)

African Ombudsman and Mediators Convene in Addis Ababa

Ethiopian President Dr Mulatu Teshome opened the Fourth General Assembly of the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association on November 4.  The conference marked the first joint meeting between AOMA and the African Union Commission.  During its meeting , the Assembly will debate conflicts situation in Africa as well as good governance issues and guarantees for the rights of citizens.  (AOMA News; All Africa News.)

University of Colorado Ombuds Posts Video

UC Boulder has created a video to introduce and explain its office.  Created with a free animation service, the video uses text and customized art to highlight the Ombuds' role without narration or live action.  (YouTube.)

November 06, 2014

Job Posting: University of North Dakota

North Dakota's oldest and largest university has opened a search for its first permanent Ombudsperson. Reporting to the Office of the Provost, the position will open an office to serve the entire campus.

University of Oregon Weighing Confidentiality of Ombuds in Title IX Matters

On November the UO Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support hosted a forum to seek input on 23 recommendations for the university.  The Task Force's recommendations included an assurance of confidentiality for the Ombuds office, which is less than a year old.

November 05, 2014

Job Posting: University of Arizona

The public university in Tucson is searching 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.

University of Florida Appoints First Faculty Ombuds

Florida's "Public Ivy" has named emeritus professor Kenneth J. Gerhardt as the University’s first Ombuds for Faculty. In this part-time position, Gerhardt will work primarily faculty and thus supplementing the services provided by the existing Student Ombuds Office headed by Ronald L. Anderson.

National Bank of Canada Adopts Ombuds Charter

Quebec's largest bank has created a Charter for its Ombudsman for Clients that outlines its ethical principals of independence, impartiality, confidentiality, and accessibility. The Charter states that the National Bank's Ombuds, "adheres to the codes of ethics of the International Ombudsman Association and the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman."

November 03, 2014

Stanford Medical School Appoints Ombuds

Stanford University School of Medicine has appointed James Laflin to serve as its Ombudsperson for faculty, residents, postdoctoral scholars and students.  Laflin takes over from Martha McKee, who held the position for about three years.  (Stanford Med Ombuds.)

Eaton Corp Ombuds to Address International HR Conference in Sri Lanka

Devyani Singh, an Ombudsperson for Eaton, will be a featured speaker at the International Conference on Human Resource Management and Development. At a special session on November 4, 2014, Singh will introduce the International Ombudsman Association and the concept of the Organizational Ombuds. The conference is co-organized by The International Institute of Knowledge Management and Management and Science University, Malaysia. (ICHRM 2014 Agenda.)