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.
6. Rise of Scandinavian Ombuds -- The number of Ombuds programs in Norway and Sweden seemed to reach a tipping point this year. In addition to Lund Unviersity (which appointed its Ombuds in 2013), new Ombuds were appointed at the University of Oslo, Oslo and Akershus University, University of Stavanger, University of Tromsø, University of Bergen, and the Norwegian School of Economics. In addition, Buskerud and Vestfold University College, Bergen University College, and the University of Trondheim are all considering Student Ombuds programs. A regional meeting happened in September and is expected to become an annual event.
5. Senator Pressures Red Cross Ombuds -- Sen. Charles Grassley, who had lead the reform efforts that created the Corporate Ombudsman office at the American Red Cross, sought to compel disclosure of Ombuds records as part of his inquiry into spending on Haiti relief. It was clear that the Senator did not understand the unique role of an Organizational Ombuds. Fortunately, the IOA Board and other Ombuds spoke up in defense of the Red Cross.
4. Loss of Ombuds Becomes an Issue at Dalhousie -- Early in the year, the graduate dentistry program at Dalhousie University was roiled by protests after violent, misogynistic comments directed at female students on social media. For many commentators, the issue highlighted the lack of an Ombuds program (the University had closed it in 2012) and other resources for victims of discrimination. Eventually, a Dalhousie task force recommended the reinstatement of an Ombuds, but there has been no progress yet.
The final installment of the list will be posted on Wednesday, December 30.