August 21, 2017

UC-Davis Ombuds Office Grows Its Team

The University of California Davis continues its seach for two full time Ombuds positions. In addition to these two openings, the Ombuds Office is excited to announce that Lauren Bloom has joined on a part-time basis as an Associate Ombudsperson. 

August 18, 2017

American Bar Association Discounts Membership for Ombuds

The American Bar Association is offering a discounted membership to all Ombuds in North American who are already members of the International Ombudsman Association, U.S. Ombudsman Association, Coalition of Federal Ombuds, Forum of Canadian Ombudsman, or the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons.  The fee of $140 includes both the ABA membership of $95 and Dispute Resolution Section dues of $45.

August 17, 2017

Cal Caucus Posts Details of 2017 Conference

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has announced the agenda for its 44nd annual meeting at Asilomar in Pacific Grove. Taking place on November 12-15, 2017, the event attracts Ombuds from beyond California and the higher education sector with its inclusive, casual, and intimate tradition. The co-convenors this year are Marcia Gee Riley (University of California Berkeley) and Natalie Sharpe (University of Alberta). 

August 16, 2017

Job Posting: Brandeis University

The private university near Boston, MA is hiring a part-time Ombuds Officer (17-18 hours per week) for a two-year contract. The Ombuds program at Brandeis was launched in 2015 in response to student protests about diversity on campus.  Currently, two Ombuds, Elena Lewis and Susan Parker, serve about 7,500 faculty, staff, and students.  

August 15, 2017

American Society of Mammalogists Has Two Ombuds

The century-old association of professional scientists created its Office of the Ombudsperson in 2011.  The program was established, "to hear and to respond appropriately to complaints of unprofessional behavior by any member of the ASM at its annual meeting or in the governance of the ASM through its committee structure."

University of Michigan-Dearborn Appoints Faculty Ombuds

Kim Killu has been named the next Faculty Ombudsperson for the UM regional campus in Dearborn. Killu is a professor of Special Education and takes on the Ombuds role as a volunteer.  Her appointment will run through the Summer of 2020. 

August 14, 2017

American Bar Association Passes Resolution in Support of Ombuds

At its Annual Meeting in New York City today, the American Bar Association House of Delegates passed a resolution that: "Encourages greater use and development of ombuds programs that comply with generally recognized standards of practice as an effective means of preventing, managing, and resolving individual and systemic conflicts and disputes." 

August 11, 2017

Job Posting: State of Virginia

Virginia's Department of Human Resource Management, Office of Equal Employment and Dispute Resolution is hiring a Workplace Conflict Specialist. As part of the Workplace Conflict Consultation and Mediation Program, the position provides early intervention services, including mediation, training, consultation, coaching, facilitation, investigation, and/or other related services as needed. The entry-level job is located in Richmond. 

August 08, 2017

Job Posting: College of William & Mary


The public university in Williamsburg, VA is hiring its next Ombudsperson.  The full-time position serves all campus employees and reports to the Provost's office.  Tatia Granger has been W&M's Ombuds since 2008.  

August 07, 2017

Job Posting: Simon Fraser University

The public university in Burnaby, Vancouver with an enrollment of 35,000 is hiring its next Student Ombudsperson.  The position is funded jointly by the University, the Graduate Student Society, and the Simon Fraser Student Society.  The search will fill a position held by Laura Reid since last fall.

August 02, 2017

International Ombudsman Association Seeks Proposals for Professional Development Programming

IOA is soliciting proposals for a "replicable core course which will introduce ombuds professionals to conflict theory" -- a new two-day course to be offered for the first time in April 2017.  The solicitation is part of a large plan to develop a set of standardized core courses that can be offered repeatedly and by a variety of trainers.  

August 01, 2017

Job Posting: University of Nevada Las Vegas

Nevada's largest university has opened an internal search for its second-ever Ombudsperson. The full-time position serves about 32,000 faculty, students and staff, and follows IOA Standards of Practice.  The UNLV Ombuds reports to the University President.

July 27, 2017

Iowa State University Names Next Ombuds

ISU has appointed Deanna Clingan-Fischer as the University Ombuds Officer, effective August 7, 2017.  Clingan-Fischer has been Iowa's long-term care ombudsman since 2011.  She will become the university's first fill-time Ombuds and succeeds Ealine Newell, who opened the office in 2008.

July 24, 2017

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 non-union staff and faculty.  The search will fill a position held by Sean Nolon since April 2015.

Job Posting: [Confidential Los Angeles Employer]

According to an exclusive posting on the IOA Career Center, " a greater Los Angeles area client [that] highly values the Ombuds role ... [is] seeking an Ombuds equally comfortable working with front line employees and Board members."  No other information regarding the organization is provided and no other posting for the position can be located online.

July 21, 2017

Internship: United Nations, New York

The Office of the UN Ombudsman and Mediation Services is accepting applications for an unpaid internship in its New York headquarters. The temporary position is full-time and will last just two months (as opposed to the usual three to six months). Duties will  depend on the intern's experience and needs of the program, but may include: outreach and advocacy; support preparing data and reports; and conducting research.

July 20, 2017

Paper Urges Academic Ombuds to Deal with Disparities in Practices

Tessa Tompkins Byer surveyed 111 Ombuds in higher education and interviewed 21 to learn about their practices. She presented initial findings at the IOA conference in 2016 and now has published a paper with more detail in Harvard's Negotiation Journal. "Yea, Nay, and Everything in Between: Disparities within the Academic Ombuds Field" is an insightful review of the field and should be valuable for practitioners and their professional association, IOA.


July 19, 2017

Job Posting: University of Cincinnati

The public research university in Ohio is hiring its next Ombudsman. The search will fill a position vacated by the retirement of Lillian Santa Maria who led the UC Ombuds Office for 23 years. The position directs a program that serves a population of more than 50,000 faculty, staff, and students. Kim Fulbright is serving as the interim Ombuds. 

July 17, 2017

Northeastern University Appoints an Ombuds

The private university in Boston has appointed Diane Levin as its next Ombuds for faculty, staff, and administrators.  Levin is a well-known mediator and ADR professional who, most recently, has worked as the Executive Director of Congregation Shirat Hayam on Boston's North Shore. She is also currently a Lecturer in Negotiations at Boston University Questrom School of Business.

University of Northern Colorado Considers an Ombuds Program

A committee looking at campus climate issues at the public university in Greeley has recommended the creation of a Organizational Ombuds program. Last month, the UNC Climate Working Group identified a range of recommendations from surveys of the community, including: 


July 13, 2017

University of Washington Ombud Posts 2016 Annual Report

The UW Ombud, Chuck Sloan, recently released his annual summary. Notably the office handled 588 cases in 2016, a 20% increase from the prior year. This growth builds upon a remarkable 81% increase in traffic since 2013 The report's opening letter was penned by Associate Ombud, Emma Williams.  The UW Ombud Office now has spaces for each of the university's three academic campuses and two medical centers.

Cal State San Bernardino Ombuds Signs New Charter

In June 2017, CSUSB's Ombudsperson Twillea Evans-Carthen and signed a new charter for the Office of University Ombuds Services.  The charter follows IOA standards with the exception of sexual violence cases (which all Cal State University Ombuds are required to report).  

July 07, 2017

Job Posting: University of California Berkeley

The Ombuds Office for Students and Postdoctoral Appointees at Berkeley is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson for an 11-month appointment.  The position will report to Marcia G. Riley, Director and Ombudsperson, and fill in for Sunny Lee, Assistant Ombudsperson.

Caseload Declines Slightly for University of British Columbia Ombuds

In her latest annual report, UBC Ombudsperson Shirley Nakata says that her office worked with 441 students in 2016, a 9.8% decrease from the prior year.  Some of this decline was perhaps due to the closure of the Ombuds office at UBC's Okanagan campus early in the year.  Nakata noted that, "In 2016, the nature of student concerns and questions did not vary significantly from previous years; academic standing, appeals, graduate student supervision and misconduct matters were again common issues brought to the Ombuds Office."

NC State Expands Ombuds Service to Staff

North Carolina State University is launching an Ombuds program for staff.  Faculty Ombuds Roy Baroff will provide the service for a one year pilot program.  Baroff says that he handled 111 faculty cases last year.  (NCSU News.)

July 06, 2017

Norton Rose Fulbright Appoints First Ombuds

The international law firm has named Stephen L. Buchman as its first Ombudsman. From the firm's office in New York, Buchman "deals with issues including civility, harassment and discrimination, new employee evaluation practices, quality of life concerns, and other matters" from the 4,000 staff. His bio offers this further explanation of his work:

Journal of IOA Moves to Piecemeal Publication Schedule

In a move designed to lessen the pressures associated with biannual publication deadlines, the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association will now publish articles, "as soon as revisions are complete."  The turn away from a "bound" journal format (after nine years) includes fresh pagination for each article.  The first two articles under the new format have been posted:

July 05, 2017

U.S. Ombudsman Association Posts Agenda for 2017 Conference

USOA has announced that the details for its 38th annual conference, "The 21st Century Ombudsman: Big Challenges, Bigger Opportunities."  The event is set for October 4-6, 2017 at the Drury Plaza Hotel on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas.  (USOA Conf Info.)

July 04, 2017

Landmark Study Compares University Ombuds Internationally

Rob Behrens, the former Independent Adjudicator and Chief Executive of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education in England and Wales, has written a report about the role and status of University Ombuds in Europe, the Americas, Australasia, and elsewhere.  Published by the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education, the paper "Being an Ombudsman in Higher Education: A Comparative Study," was released last week.

July 03, 2017

Job Posting: University of Massachusetts Amherst

The largest public university in New England is hiring an Assistant Ombuds through an internal search.  The position reports to Carol Booth and serves faculty, staff, and 30,000 students.  Only current university employees are eligible to apply.  The new position expands the office and will also work with Associate Ombuds Martha Patrick.

Katy Kolodziejski: Former UCLA Ombuds

Katy Kolodziejski, who volunteered for two decades with the Office of the Ombuds at UCLA, passed away on June 20, 2017 at the age of 95. She came to the Ombuds Office after 35 years on the faculty in the School of Social Work. She officially retired from Ombuds work in December 2016.

Internship: International Organization for Migration

The IOM Office of the Ombudsperson is seeking an intern for a six-month position. Reporting to the Ombudsperson, Rogelio Bernal, the intern will support his teamwork with other colleagues in the Field Missions and IOM Headquarters. The intern will provoide case management and assistance with the intake and follow-up of cases, including the compilation of statistics and the preparation of regular reports.

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente Northern California

KP Northern California is hiring a full-time Health Care Ombuds/Mediator for its medical facilities in Roseville.  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."

June 27, 2017

FCO Elects 2017-19 Board

At a general meeting held during its biennial conference last month, the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman elected new board members for two-year terms.  Johanne Savard, the Ombudsman for the City of Montreal, will serve as the Board Chair.

June 23, 2017

CBA Magazine: Does Your Law Office Need an Ombuds?

The latest issue of official periodical of the Canadian Bar Association, National, features an article explaining why law firms need an Ombuds. The bottom line: "Having an ombudsperson is a signal to lawyers and staff that conflict resolution is a priority." This is particularly important in hierarchical organizations where individuals are not conflict averse.

June 22, 2017

Yeworkwha Belachew: Former Oberlin College Ombuds

Oberlin's founding Ombuds and Director of the campus dispute resolution and restorative justice center, Yeworkwha ("YB") Belachew passed away this week after a long illness.  

June 21, 2017

Holder Report Suggests Ombuds for Uber

In his report to the Uber Board of Directors last week, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recommended the creation of an Ombuds program to improve internal control mechanisms.  The board subsequently adopted all of the recommendations contained in the report.  There are few details about the proposed Ombuds program and there have been no further announcements from the company.  

June 20, 2017

ACGME Launches Ombuds Program

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education -- the not-for-profit that sets educational accreditation standards for US graduate medical education (residency and fellowship) programs and the institutions that sponsors them -- has established an Office of the Ombudsperson. The office offers residents and fellows, "an opportunity to report issues about residency programs and institutions without impacting their accreditation or Recognition status."

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Appoints Ombuds

The FDIC has named M. Anthony Lowe has been appointed the FDIC Ombudsman and Director of the Office of the Ombudsman, effective July 2, 2017. Lowe will be based in Chicago and replaces Cottrell Webster, who retired last year.  

June 19, 2017

International Ombudsman Association Releases 2015 Compensation Report

IOA has published the results of a survey of Ombuds compensation, including salary, bonus, and budget information.  The report is meant to supplement a survey of Ombuds practices released earlier this year.  Members of the professional association were queried in 2016 about compensation rates in 2015.  

Princeton Ombuds Launches Project to Help Women Share Their Stories

In 2014, Wokie Nwabueze, the Ombuds Officer at Princeton University, started interviewing women to collect their wisdom and share their stories.  The effort matured into the Seen & Heard Project which launched earlier this year.  In an interview with author Jennifer Brown, Nwabueze talks about the project and what she sees as the biggest challenges and obstacles for women when it comes to sharing their voice.  Nwabueze also reveals how her own experiences have shaped her ability to become more sensitive, empathetic, and observant.

June 15, 2017

Longtime Ombuds at University of Cincinnati Retires

Lillian Santa Maria, who has served as the Director of the UC Ombuds Office for 23 years, has retired.  She became the University Ombuds in 1994, shortly after the university changed the name from Ombudsman.  During her tenure, the office created several new programs, including student mediation training, and she was honored by the campus for creating a more just climate.  

Ombuds Office at Michigan State University Celebrates Half Century

MSU's Office of the University Ombudsperson is marking fifty years of continuous service. “Being the first office to reach the 50-year milestone really speaks volumes to Michigan State’s commitment to student well-being, student safety and student rights and responsibilities,” said Robert Caldwell, who serves as MSU’s fifth ombudsperson. 

June 13, 2017

Tech Strategist Suggests Ombuds as a Fix for 'Broken' HR System

Writing for Backchannel, the online magazine about the tech industry, Karen Wickre explains why 'HR is broken.' Notable failures include the treatment of Anita Hill and Ellen Pao. She writes, "The stories that have emerged show HR departments that ignore or penalize employees when they complain about harassment." The problem is worse in the tech

June 12, 2017

Faculty Seek Ombuds Programs Across University System of Maryland

The Council of University System Faculty for the University of Maryland will resubmit its recommendation for Ombuds offices for all faculty, staff, and students. Currently, the University System of Maryland has Ombuds programs on just three of its eleven campuses: UM College Park, UM Baltimore (including the schools of nursing and dentistry), and Frostburg State University. 

June 09, 2017

Senator Wants U.S. Parks Ombuds to be More of a Resource for Sexual Harassment Matters

In response to growing complaints of sexual harassment and a lack of leadership on employee misconduct, the National Park Service implemented a range of reforms in 2016, including the creation of an Ombuds Office.  This week, Acting NPS Director gave an update to the Senate and received some credit for the new Ombuds program.  One senator, however, thought that the Ombuds' website was not explicit enough in offering services for employees with sexual harassment concerns. 

Caribbean Ombudsman Association Convenes 9th Annual Conference

The Caribbean Ombudsman Association will hold its 2017 conference in Bonaire next week.  CAROA has 15 members who are mostly Classical Ombuds.  

Here are details from a press release:

June 08, 2017

U.S. Secretary of Energy Endorses Ombuds

In a statement to Department of Energy employees last week, Secretary Rick Perry gave his full support for workplace ADR programs and the DOE Office of the Ombudsman.  Perry said that he, "expect[s] all employees, including managers, to incorporate alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques in daily interactions so that workplace conflicts do not escalate and become destructive." Rita Franklin been the DOE Ombuds since the role was established in 2012.

MIT Adds an Experienced Ombuds

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has named Nick Diehl to fill the position held by Toni Robinson since 1998. Robinson will retire later this summer and makes up half of the MIT Ombuds with Judi Segall

June 07, 2017

Job Posting: Asian Development Bank

The regional development bank headquartered in Manila is hiring its next Ombudsperson. The position reports to the ADB President and functions as an informal grievance resource for all staff members with work place concerns.  The appointment is for a three-year term and may be renewed once. Nick Diehl has served in the position since late 2013 and Angelica ("Gigi") Alejandro is the Programs Officer.