October 23, 2017

Job Posting: University of California Berkeley

The Staff Ombuds Office at Berkeley is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson for a one-year contract.  The position reports to Director, Sara Thacker, and works with Assistant Ombuds, Julia Horvath, to provide conflict resolution and problem-solving services for all non-senate employees.

Internship: United Nations Uganda

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is offering a full-time, unpaid position as a Research Assistant Intern in its Entebbe office.  The internship will last six months and may be extended.  The position offers the opportunity to support outreach and advocacy, prepare data and reports, and conduct research.

October 20, 2017

U.S. Park Service Plans to Grow Ombuds Program

Following a recent survey finding that nearly 40 of employees had suffered sexual harassment in the past year, the National Park Service will hire more Ombuds.  Acting NPS Director Mike Reynolds said the department will grow the Ombuds program as part of a range of services for employees to raise concerns.  

October 19, 2017

Tribunal Protects Confidentiality of Asian Development Bank Ombuds

The external administrative tribunal that reviews personnel decisions for the regional development bank ruled that the Ombudsperson cannot be compelled to testify.  The tribunal issued the decision in response to a grievance filed by a terminated employee who wanted to call the ADB Ombuds (at the time Nick Diehl) as a percipient witness.  The decision explicitly rejected the request because of the Ombuds' inherent confidentiality.

October 18, 2017

Job Posting: University of California Merced

The UC campus in Northern California is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson. The position "serves as the initial, and sometimes sole, contact for students [about 8,000 and growing], staff and faculty seeking assistance from the Office of Ombuds Services," and provides conflict resolution services on cases of moderate complexity. The search will fill a position held by Henok Elias.

October 17, 2017

Journal of IOA: Reimagining the Role of the Ombuds

The latest article published by the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association delves deeper into the issues raised by a keynote speaker at the April 2017 IOA annual conference.  "Reimagining the Role of the Ombuds," was written by Wayne Blair, the Ombuds at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

October 16, 2017

Job Posting: Algonquin College

The public college of applied arts and technology in Ottawa, Ontario, is hiring a part-time, Assistant Ombudsman.  Reporting to Algonquin's Ombudsman, George E. Cole, the contracted position will work up to 24 hours a week until April 30, 2018 (which may be extended based on funding). 

Fanshawe College Welcomes New Ombuds

Rose Padacz has been named the Ombuds for the college in London, Ontario, taking over for Jennifer Gillespie, who has been the Acting Ombuds.  She reports to the college president and will work with 15,000 students and 40,000 part-time students.

October 13, 2017

University of Southern California to Create Ombuds Office

In the wake of several, recent, high profile scandals (two medical school deans accused of misconduct, fundraising executive accused of sexual harassment, and arrest of an assistant basketball coach on fraud charges), USC has announced that it will establish a University Ombuds program.  In a joint announcement that included other remedial measures, Michael W. Quick, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Todd R. Dickey, Senior Vice President for Administration, said:

October 12, 2017

Job Posting: Bastyr University

The alternative medicine (naturopathic) university in Kenmore, WA is hiring its first Ombudsperson. The part-time position will serve students, faculty, and staff, and report to the university president. In addition to providing confidential, neutral, and impartial third-party assistance, the position also raises systemic concerns and provides training to various constituents on conflict resolution, negotiation, and related topics. 

October 11, 2017

Job Posting: Minnesota Department of Transportation

The state agency is hiring an Assistant Ombudsman for a temporary, unclassified position to last one to three years.  As part of the Transportation Ombudsman, the full-time position serves internal stakeholders and constituents as a neutral, informal and independent resource. 

University of North Carolina Ombuds to Headline VCU's 2017 National Conflict Resolution Day

Wayne Blair will be the featured speaker at the event hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University Ombudsman William King on October 19, 2017.  The fifth annual event is free and open to the public.  

Here is the full agenda:

October 10, 2017

University of Pennsylvania Ombuds Notes Rise of Disrespectful Treatment in 2017 Annual Report

In her latest annual report, UPenn Ombudsman Lynn Hollen Lees said that the Office of Ombuds saw a slight rise in the number of visitors in 2016-17.  Although the total visitor count was essentially flat, Lees noted that:

Ombuds for Medical College of Wisconsin Post 2016 Report

Michelle Shasha and Natalie Fleury, the MCW Ombuds, report that they assisted 177 individuals in 2016.  In addition to visitor-initiated contacts, the total includes exit interviews with 26 faculty.  In addition to visitor data, the report also summarizes systemic issues and concerns, and five-year trends. (MCW 2016 Ombuds Report.)

October 09, 2017

Job Posting: Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA

The national social justice network is hiring a part-time Ombudsperson. It appears that this will replace SWOP-USA's founding Ombuds, Smitty Buckler, who started the program last year.  The position will help implement and fine-tune national and chapter grievance policies, and listen to concerns from stakeholders. Buckler is a Seattle-based artist and health care activist or collective.

Utah Valley University Appoints Full-Time Ombuds

The public university in Orem has named Talatou Abdoulaye as its first full-time Ombudsperson, serving the entire campus. He succeeds Maren Turnidge who had been the UVU Student Ombuds on a part-time basis since 2013.  

Video Introduces RIT Ombuds

Lee Twyman has been the Ombudsperson at Rochester Institute of Technology since 2003. She is also a current Director of the International Ombudsman Association. A video posted to YouTube for a student orientation program gives her the opportunity to introduce herself to a new crop of undergrads. (YouTube.) 

October 06, 2017

CERN Names New Ombuds

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire), which operates the world's largest particle physics lab, has named Pierre Gildemyn as its next Ombuds.  Gildeman takes over from Sudeshna Datta-Cockerill, who served as CERN's Ombuds for the past four years.  

IOA Seeks Nominations for 2018 Board of Directors

The International Ombudsman Association is seeking nomination for Directors who will serve a three-year term starting in April 2018.  There will be six open seats, meaning that some of the current Board members will not seek reelection or that the Board is expanding.  Only current IOA members may nominate individuals before the October 20, 2017 deadline. 

October 05, 2017

Job Posting: National Institutes of Health

The NIH Office of the Ombudsman is hiring an Associate Ombudsman in the Center for Cooperation for a one-year contract. The position joins a well-established Ombuds program that serves 23,000 senior leadership, scientific and clinical researchers, administrative and support staff, fellows, and a wage and contract workforce, mostly in the Bethesda, Maryland area. 

October 04, 2017

Free Webinar About Global Ombuds Hosted by Columbia University Tomorrow

Columbia's School of Professional Studies (which offers a MS in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution), will sponsor a webinar: "Challenges for Global Ombuds Programs." Set for October 5, 2017, the one-hour webinar is free for those who RSVP. 

University of Kansas Names Experienced Ombuds

The Jayhawks have hired DA Graham as its University Ombuds.  Graham has previously served as Ombuds for San Diego State University, Princeton, and the University of Alabama.  He was most recently the Vice President for Global Integrity for the Nielsen Corporation.  He succeeds Kellie Harmon, who retired earlier this year.  

Montgomery College Ombuds: Top Reasons People Don't Use Ombuds

Montgomery College's Ombuds, Julie Schwartz Weber, has posted a two-part list of of the top 12 reasons people do not visit with the Ombuds.  It's a great reminder about the barriers Ombuds face when developing their program.  

Edinboro University has a New Ombuds

Late last year, the public liberal arts university in Pennsylvania appointed Beth Zewe as University Ombudsperson. She succeeds Ron Wilson, who was the Ombuds since 2015.  Zewe works with faculty, staff, students, and other campus stakeholders folliwng IOA standards. She has worked at the university since 1984 and previously was Director of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. Zewe is also an alumnus. (Edinboro Ombuds; LinkedIn.)

October 03, 2017

U.S. Department of Education Suggests Mediation an Option for Title IX Complaints

The latest guidance from the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights says that colleges can use informal resolutions such as mediation to resolve Title IX complaints -- even those involving sexual assaults. In a conference call with members of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson discussed a new seven-page Q&A document the Department issued after rescinding its 2011 and 2014 guidance that led to significant changes in how campuses handled Title IX matters.

Ombuds Blog Poll: Should Ombuds Mediate Sexual Misconduct Cases?

The Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights believes that colleges can use informal resolutions such as mediation to resolve Title IX complaints -- even those involving sexual assaults. Ombuds have emerged as an important resource for individuals participating in campus Title IX processes. What do you think?

September 27, 2017

New Ombuds at Duke University to Practice to IOA Standards

Thomas Metzloff, a law professor who studies dispute resolution, has been appointed the Faculty Ombuds at Duke. A revised faculty handbook will allow him to practice to IOA standards. Metzloff teaches civil procedure, ethics, and dispute resolution, and has served as the Law School's senior associate dean for academic affairs.  As the Ombuds, he will work with nearly 1,500 faculty members.  

September 26, 2017

Job Posting: Baylor College of Medicine

The health sciences university in Houston, TX is searching for its next Ombudsman Director.  Reporting to the provost, the position serves staff, faculty, students, post docs, and trainees following IOA standards. The position has been held by Laurel Hyle since last October. 

National Capital Commission Appoints Ombuds

Kevin Saville has been named the Ombudsman for the Canadian Crown corporation that administers the federally owned lands and buildings in the National Capital Region.  Saville previously served as president of KSAR & Associates Inc., a management and leadership consulting firm. He will serves as the NCC Ombuds on a part-time basis for three years.

Iowa State University Ombuds Profiled

Deanna Clingan-Fischer, ISU's first full-time University Ombuds Officer, was introduced to the campus in a feature article in the Iowa State Daily. Clingan-Fisher is transitioning from nearly three decades as an advocate for the elderly with Iowa's Department on Aging and the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.

September 25, 2017

Syracuse Campus Groups Frustrated by Slow Progress Towards Ombuds

After nearly two years of advocacy by campus groups and several internal recommendations for the appointment of an Ombuds, Syracuse University has not yet created a program. The project has been delegated by the provost to LaVonda Reed, and a professor at the Syracuse College of Law. This past summer, the Women’s Concerns Committee contacted Reed about the upcoming USOA annual conference, which is concerning because most higher ed Ombuds are members of IOA. The editorial board of the Daily Orange, however, supports the creation of an Ombuds office following IOA standards.  (Daily Orange article, editorial.)

Colorado Ombuds Meet in Ft. Collins

The Colorado Ombuds met on Friday, September 15, 2017 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins for its Fall meeting. Fourteen of the 21 current members met to discuss a variety of topics including abrasive behavior, reporting structures, confidentiality, legislative efforts, service and emotional support animals, and more. The winter meeting is slated for Friday, January 26, 2018 at University of Colorado Boulder.

University of California San Francisco Adds an Ombuds

The UCSF Office of the Ombuds has hired Jeffrey Anderson as an Associate Ombuds. Anderson had been in a similar position at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. where he has worked with 75,000 employees stationed at 285 embassies, consulates and missions across the globe.

September 20, 2017

Long-Time Ombuds at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Retires

After three decades as the MIT Ombudsperson, Toni Robinson has retired. Robinson will be celebrated by the campus on September 29, 2017.  

Ohio Ombuds Organization Holds First Meeting

On September 15, 2017, nine Ombuds from Ohio held their first meeting at The Ohio State University. The group included: Kimberly Jackson Davidson (Oberlin College); Kim Fulbright (University of Cincinnati); Jill E. Rudd (Cleveland State University); Amy Quillen (Kent State University); Mac Stricklen (Ohio University); Sally Rudmann (The Ohio State University); Angela E. Dash (Northeast Ohio Medical University); Daniel Aleksiejczyk (intern at Ohio University); and Bob Towner-Larsen (The Ohio State University).

September 19, 2017

University of Missouri–Kansas City Names Staff Ombuds

UMKC's has appointed Marita Barkis as its first Staff Ombudsperson. This is a part-time appointment. Barkis is a licensed psychologist in private practice and previously served as the Director of Counseling, Health, Testing and Disabilities Services for the campus from 2000 to 2013.  

Saginaw Valley State University Ombuds Re-retires

Dick Thompson served as SVSU's Ombudsman from 2005-2008 after a career that included stints as an admissions representative, assistant registrar, registrar, director of admissions and student services, dean of student affairs, and athletic director. He came out of retirement in 2009 to return as University Ombuds. Now, at age 75, he has retired again. Sidney Childs, SVSU's associate provost for student affairs and dean of students, currently serves as the Ombuds. .  (Valley Guardian.)

September 18, 2017

Job Posting: North Carolina State Crime Laboratory

The forensics lab that supports the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is hiring an Ombudsman.  The Attorney III position works with internal and external stakeholders by mediating complaints attending meetings attorneys and judges, and making recommendations to the Director of the lab and the Attorney General. "The Ombudsman office and the Ombudsman position are independent; the position is neutral, impartial and unaligned. The Ombudsman holds all communications in strict confidence."  

September 15, 2017

Cal Caucus Seeks Nominations for 2017 Board, Honorees

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds is calling for individuals to be nominated to serve on its Board of Directors and to be recognized for their volunteer work. Here are the details:

Job Posting: UC Davis Extends Search

The University of California Davis has extended the deadline for applications for one of its two open Associate Ombuds positions.  The position is designated primarily to the UC Davis Medical Center and reports to the Campus Ombuds, Katherine Greenwood

September 14, 2017

Journal of IOA: Ombudsing in the New Era

The latest article published by the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association examines how Ombuds are adapting to recent changes in the social and political climate.  "Ombudsing in the New Era" was written by Shannon Lynn Burton, the Associate University Ombuds at Michigan State.

September 12, 2017

Job Posting: Transportation Security Administration

The TSA's Ombudsman Division (part of the Civil Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement Office) is hiring a full-time Ombudsman Specialist.  The position serves internal and external stakeholders and about 25% travel is required. 

Job Posting: Lakehead University

The public university in Thunder Bay, Ontario is hiring a part-time Ombudsperson for a seven-month contract. The position works with faculty, staff, and students (a total population of about 11,000) and reports to the provost. Dan Duckert became Lakehead's Ombuds earlier this summer and took over from Scott McCormack.

Smithsonian Searches Internally for Next Ombuds

The U.S. national museum and research center has opened a search for its next Ombudsperson, but will only consider internal applicants. The position reports to the CFO and serves about 7,000 employees, most of whom are federal workers.  The Smithsonian Ombuds also serves as the Threat Assessment Program Coordinator.  Chandra Heilman has been the Ombudsman since 1983.

September 11, 2017

Ombuds' Presence Grows at 2017 ACR Conference

Ombuds will be a prominent part of the Association for Conflict Resolution's 2017 annual conference, "Professionalize Your Passion." Set for October 11-14 in Dallas, TX, the event includes networking events for Ombuds, and Ombuds as plenary speakers, workshop leaders, and honorees. Virginia Tech Ombuds Bryan Hanson is ACR's current president.

September 08, 2017

IOA Reworks its Newsletter into a Blog Format

The International Ombudsman Association has reworked its newsletter, The Independent Voice, which previously was emailed to members about four times a year. The new online format resembles a blog and will be updated periodically. One major difference from a typical blog is that "TIV" is accessible to members only.  

September 07, 2017

Wesleyan University Debuts Ombuds Program

The private liberal arts college in Middletown, Connecticut has named Israela Adah Brill-Cass to serves as its first Ombuds for a one-year pilot program. According to a statement from President Michael Roth, "I’m pleased to announce that in response to feedback from faculty and staff, we have hired an ombudsperson—an informal, independent and confidential resource for employees dealing with Title IX and other workplace conflicts. [Brill-Cass] will be on campus one day a week beginning in mid-September...." Brill-Cass will practice to IOA Standards.  

Emeriti Professor Selected as Faculty Ombuds at Ohio State

The Ohio State University has appointed Sally V. Rudmann, an emeritus professor from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, as its next Faculty Ombudsman.  She replaces Lynne Olson, who served in the role since 2013.  (OSU Faculty Ombuds.)

September 06, 2017

Washington University in St. Louis Taps Insider as Faculty Ombuds

WUSTL has appointed Peggie R. Smith as its next Ombuds for Faculty. She succeeds Linda Nicholson (WUSTL's first Faculty Ombuds) and joins Jessica Kuchta-Miller, the Ombudsperson for Staff.  Smith is a Professor of Employment and Labor Law and will serve an academic staff of about 3,700.  

September 05, 2017

University of Louisville Snags an Experienced Ombuds

UofL has named Mindy L. Eaves as its next Ombuds.  Eaves had been the Ombudsman for the Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky's largest school system, since establishing the program in 2012.  She takes over from Robert Staat, who was the interim Ombuds following the departure of Tony Belak.