December 30, 2015

December 29, 2015

Journal of Academic Medicine: "Three-Year Experience of an Academic Medical Center Ombuds Office"

An article in the current issue of Academic Medicine describes the rationale, costs, and potential advantages of creating a medical school Ombuds Office. The article was written by John Raymond Sr., President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Peter Layde, the College's Ombuds. 

University of Hawai'i Chancellor to Hire Ombuds 'Soon'

UH Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman told the campus newspaper that he hopes to have an Ombuds appointed within a month, though he would be disappointed if it didn’t happen by the end of the school year. The announcement responds to growing support for re-establishing the Ombuds Office that closed in 2009 after being open just three years. 

December 28, 2015

Job Posting: U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command

The U.S. Department of Defense intelligence enterprise system is hiring a civilian employee to serve as the Ombudsman for the National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, VA for a two-year term. "The incumbent functions independently as an organizational Ombudsman, and as an impartial and confidential resource, facilitator,

Job Posting: United Nations, Uganda

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is hiring a Regional Ombudsman based in Entebbe.  The position will manage the office, which provides conflict resolution services to resolve workplace concerns for staff in the area.

December 23, 2015

National Institutes of Health Ombuds to Retire; Interim Successor Named

Howard Gadlin, one of the preeminent Organizational Ombuds, will retire next week.  An announcement from NIH’s principal deputy director made official what has been known to insiders for several months.  The email from Larry Tabak does a good job summarizing Gadlin's significant legacy:

December 22, 2015

The 2015 Ombuds Blog Annual Top Ten List, Part III



The fifth annual survey of the top Organizational Ombuds stories continues with entries six through four.



December 21, 2015

Louisiana State University to Reopen Ombuds Office

LSU has announced that it will conduct a national search next spring to hire an Ombudsperson.  The goal is to reopen the program in the summer of 2016.  The office, which was established by Kirstin Schwehm in 2006, was shuttered in early 2011.  According to a short announcement, the effort to revive the Ombuds Office was prompted by requests from the LSU Staff and Faculty Senates. No other details regarding the position or search have been announced.  (LSU Academic Affairs News.)

First Student Ombuds at North Carolina State University to Retire

Roger Callanan, who lead the drive to establish the Student Ombuds Services office at NC State, and then served as Student Ombuds during the program’s first year, will retire on January 1, 2016. According to his first annual report, Callanan met with 550 individual students in the 2014-15 academic year. 

December 18, 2015

University of Colorado Hires an Experienced Ombuds

Kirsi Aulin has been named as the next Director of the Ombuds Office at CU-Boulder.  For the past three and a half years, Aulin has been the Campus Ombuds for the University of California in Santa Barbara and was an Associate Ombuds for five years before that.  Aulin starts in January 2016 and will need to hire an Associate Ombuds and support staff member.  

December 17, 2015

Meet the New Ombuds at Karolinska Institutet

A new website introduces John Håkansson and Nazira Hammoud Shahwan, the Student Ombuds for Medicinska Föreningen, the largest student union at the medical university in Stockholm: Karolinska Institutet.

IOA Opens Elections for 2016 Board



The International Ombudsman Association has announced the slate of candidates for Board of Directors with terms starting in April 2016. The election will fill three seats from a slate of four nominees. 

December 16, 2015

The 2015 Ombuds Blog Annual Top Ten List, Part II



The fifth annual survey of the top Organizational Ombuds stories continues with entries nine through seven.




December 14, 2015

Job Posting: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

The large integrated health provider system (which is closely affiliated with, but legally separate from, the University of Pittsburgh) is hiring its first Graduate Medical Education Ombudsman. 

December 11, 2015

Job Posting: Oberlin College

As expected, the private liberal arts college in Ohio has opened a search for its next Ombuds. The full-time position (with "significant commitments on nights and weekends"!) reports to the Office of the President and serves students, faculty and staff -- a population of almost 5,000.

University of Calgary Appoints Ombuds

UCalgary has appointed Kevin Wiens to serve as its Student Ombuds. Previously, Weins was an Undergraduate Admissions officer.


Noted: Nova Scotia Ombuds Fends Off Police Demand for Records

The Nova Scotia Office of the Ombudsman (a classical and federally established Ombuds program that receives complaints about municipal and provincial governing bodies) recently convinced a provincial court judge to protect documents sought by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 

December 09, 2015

The 2015 Ombuds Blog Annual Top Ten List, Part I

This is the fifth annual survey of the top Organizational Ombuds stories.  A list of the most important news from 2015 will come in installments over the next three weeks.  Before getting to the list, there are a few notable items that didn't make the list:

December 08, 2015

Cal Caucus Publishes 2015 Journal

The third on-line edition journal from the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds features articles by Tom Sebok, looking back on his 25-year Ombuds career, and by Dusty Farnard, who ran into problems opening an Ombuds office at a large university.

December 04, 2015

Network of German University Complaint Handlers and Ombuds Launches Website

BeVeOm, a network of Complaint Managers and Ombudsmen at German universities, has created a website to promote its work and serve its members. The network, which has been meeting since at least 2010, has adopted four fundamental principles for the work of its members: Independence (autonomy within the institution); Confidentiality (visitors and issues are handled confidentialy); Neutrality (matters are treated neutrally, solution-oriented, and open-ended); and Appreciation (respect for persons and their concerns). 

December 02, 2015

Brandeis University to Create Ombuds Office

In response to student protests regarding diversity on campus, the private university in Massachusetts has agreed to appoint a campus Ombudsperson. Students occupied the school's administration building for nearly two weeks and had issued a list of 13 demands seeking to address the unfair treatment of minorities in higher education. The ninth item demanded by the Brandeis students was for an Office of Ombuds. On Tuesday, Interim President Lisa M. Lynch, released a letter detailing measures the students found acceptable. 

Northern Ireland Assembly Debates Gender Neutrality of 'Ombudsman'

Earlier this week, Members of the Legislative Assembly in Northern Ireland debated whether the new commissioner for complaints should be called an ‘Ombudsman’ or an ‘Ombudsperson’ – and have even commissioned research on the origin of the words themselves. The committee sponsoring the bill had proposed 'Ombudsperson,' but The Ombudsman Association wrote to the MLA's to express concern that a change from 'Ombudsman,' which is commonly used throughout the UK, would be confusing in Northern Ireland.

Job Re-Posting: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The American Indian tribe in California's Inland Empire continues its search for an Ombudsman. The full-time position is located in Highland and serve the tribe's 3,500 employees, most of whom work in a casino. 

Ombuds at University of Oregon Clarifies Reasons for Departure

In an open letter, UO's first Ombuds Bruce MacAllister explains why he is stepping down after two years.  In addition, offers suggestions for what should be done next to maintain and strengthen the Ombuds program: adopt a charter and take as much care hiring his successor as hiring general counsel.

November 27, 2015

Job Posting: World Health Organization, Manila

WHO is hiring an External Ombudsman Consultant to work three days a month on a retainer basis in its Western Pacific Regional Office in the Philippines. The position works with the local WHO Ombuds stafff and is not an "external Ombudsman."

Profile of Auburn University Ombuds

Kevin Coonrod, who has served as Auburn's Ombudsperson for the past two years, was interviewed by the campus newspaper this week.  Coonrood, who works with all of the university stakeholders, clearly enjoys the diversity of his work:

November 23, 2015

Deadline for IOA 2016 International Scholarship Approaches

The International Ombudsman Association has renewed its offer of financial support to sponsor member(s) or prospective members living outside of the United States and Canada to attend its annual conference in Seattle, Washington, USA, April 10 - 13, 2016.

University of Oregon's First Ombuds to Step Down

According to a report in an unofficial faculty blog, Bruce MacAllister will step down from his position as UO's Ombudsperson at the end of this week.  MacAllister created the Ombuds Office at the University of Oregon in 2014 and successfully resolved several issues that would have compromised the ability of the office to operate to IOA best practices.

November 20, 2015

IOA Seeks Webinar Proposals

The International Ombudsman Association is inviting proposals for its 2016 Webinar Series. These webinars are widely attended by practitioners within universities, companies, not for profit agencies as well as sole practitioners. The webinars provide an opportunity to learn about the latest regulations affecting Ombuds as well as best practices for a variety of processes. 

New Ombuds Appointed at Colorado College

Paul Kuerbis was named the Ombuds for faculty and staff at the private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs in October. He reports to the Executive Committee of the College's Board of Trustees. Kuerbis, who joined the Colorado College faculty in 1973, was awarded emeriti status in 2013. In addition to teaching, he helped lead efforts to improve student support and faculty development. 

Emory University Names New Student Ombuds

In September, the private university in metropolitan Atlanta appointed Dona Yarbrough as its second-ever Student Ombudsperson. In addition to her part-time Ombuds work, Yarbrough continues as Senior Associate Dean and Special Assistant to the Provost in which she leads community and diversity efforts. 

November 17, 2015

OMV Petrom Hosts European Ombuds Meeting

OMV Petrom’s Organizational Ombudsman hosted the second annual European Ombudsman Meeting in Bucharest, on October 27-28, 2015. The meeting reunited 20 Ombuds from all over Europe including the United Nations, International Committee of the Red Cross, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Mars Incorporated, Novo Nordisk and United Technologies Corporation.

November 16, 2015

Job Posting: United Nations, Uganda

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services has opened a search for a Regional Ombudsman for its office in Entebbe.  The position will manage the office, which provides conflict resolution services to resolve workplace concerns for staff in the area.

University of Michigan Task Force Recommends Ombuds for Staff

An ad hoc committee created in 2013 to review workplace climate for staff of color has recommended that U-M appoint an Ombuds for staff issues. In a report recently made public, the Staff Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee laid out six recommendations, including that the University: "Create a single entity able to receive confidential information, such as an independent ombuds, responsible for coordinating assistance from the various existing resources to help resolve concerns from staff members."  Currently, U-M has Ombuds offices only for students and faculty.

University of Arizona Hires Second Ombuds Program Director

Caitlan Hendrickson has been hired as the Ombuds Program Director at the University of Arizona. She takes over from Martha McKee who was appointed in July.  (UA has not said why McKee departed,)  Hendrickson will direct, coordinate, and train several campus volunteers (currently 17) who comprise the UA Ombuds Program.

November 13, 2015

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente Southern California

KP Southern California is hiring a full-time Health Care Ombuds/Mediator for its medical facility in Panorama City.  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."

Cleveland State University Fills Ombuds Position

In September, CSU named Professor Jill E. Rudd as its University Ombudsperson.  Reporting to the Provost, Rudd will work with nearly 20,000 faculty, staff, and students.  She is tenured faculty member in the School of Communication where her area of focus is dispute resolution. Her research interests include: communication skill deficiencies and the role of aggression, negotiation in intercultural settings, and managing conflict in organizational communication. 

November 09, 2015

Oberlin College Honors its Retiring Ombuds

After 35 years of service to the private liberal arts college, Yeworkwha Belachew ("YB") retired from her position as Ombudsperson in October. Among her celebrated achievement, was establishing, nurturing, and guiding the Oberlin College Dialogue Center, which taught and provided dispute resolution services. 

Video Introduces Brown University Ombuds

Brown has posted a video about its University Ombudsperson, Ruthy Kohorn Rosenberg.  Sitting in a gorgeous office, she introduces the role of the Ombuds and offers the range of reasons why people may want to visit her.  (YouTube.)

November 06, 2015

Concordia University's Ombuds to Retire


Kristen Robillard, who has served as Concordia’s Ombudsperson for more than 15 years, has announced her retirement. In addition to the thousands of people she has assisted, Robillard is being hailed as a leader within the Ombuds community. According to an article in the campus newspaper:


Job Posting: Transportation Security Administration

The Department of Homeland Security agency is hiring an Ombudsman Specialist for its Office of the Ombudsman in Arlington, VA. Located in the Office of Civil Rights and Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement Office, the position responds to issues and concerns from TSA employees and the traveling public in a confidential, neutral, and independent manner.

University of North Dakota Hires an Ombuds

The University of North Dakota has selected Henok Elias to serve as its first full-time Ombuds. Most recently, Elias worked as an Ombudsman and Mediator for the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs and as a Mediator for the Center for Conflict Resolution in the Small Claims courts of Los Angeles Superior Court. 

Interview of William & Mary's Ombuds



Tatia Granger, the the University Ombudsperson at William & Mary since 2008, was the subject of an interview by the newsletter this week. In addition to explaining her role, she offers this insight:


November 04, 2015

ABA Labor and Employment Law Conference to Feature Ombuds

Two Ombuds will speak at the American's Bar Association's Ninth Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference in Philadelphia, November 4-7, 2015. Scott M. Deyo, Ombuds at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and Chair of the Coalition of Federal Ombudsman, and Kevin Jessar, Corporate Ombudsman at the American Red Cross, will present "What You Should Know About Ombuds" along with Michael J. Wolf, of the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

October 29, 2015

D.C. Schools Ombuds to Speak on Bullying

The District of Columbia Ombudsman for Public Education, Joyanna Smith, will be a panelist at a symposium tonight sponsored by the Washington Bar Association. "Parents vs Bullies: Understanding the 2012 Youth Bullying Act" will take place at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Room A-5 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. (WBA Flyer.) 

October 28, 2015

Job Posting: Concordia University

The public comprehensive university in Montreal is hiring an Ombudsperson. Reporting to the Board of Governors, the position "oversees the operation of the Office [including an Association Ombudsperson] whose primary mandate is to provide impartial and confidential service to all members of the University who have been unable to resolve their concerns about the application of any policy, rule or procedure." Concordia enrolls about 46,000 students and employs over 5,000 faculty and staff.

Symposium on Dispute System Design to Feature Ombuds

Kennesaw State University Ombudsman Timothy Hedeen will be a speaker at "Dispute System Design: Justice, Accountability and Impact" on Friday, November 13, 2015. (Hedeen is also Professor of Conflict Management at KSU.) Hosted by the University of St. Thomas Law Journal, the symposium will explore how dispute system design applies in a variety of context, including: groundwater management, cyberspace, international investment law, foreign direct investment, community conflict, sports, education and corporations. 

Interview With University of Colorado's Outgoing Ombuds

The CU-Boulder campus newsletter recently interviewed Tom Sebok, who has been Director of the Ombuds Office since 1992.  He recaps his work and looks forward to his impending retirement.  For prospective Ombuds, he offers this insight on the profession:

October 27, 2015

Ohio University Faculty Seek Changes to Confidentiality Rules

In an open letter, more than 30 OU faculty members asked ask for reconsideration of the blanket policy that makes all faculty and staff mandatory reporters. The group said, "In the larger picture, we are concerned about the dearth of confidential resources for students who have experienced sexual assault, harassment or other sexual misconduct." They also noted that, "For students, it is counterintuitive that employees of ... the ombuds office cannot offer a confidential ear to any student in crisis." 

Icahn School of Medicine Now Has Three Ombuds

According to a new website, the medical school in New York (formerly the Mount Sinai School of Medicine), now has three Ombuds. George W. Huntley serves as the Ombudsperson for students and postdoctoral fellows in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; and Joel Forman and Kathleen Halton work with house staff.