July 20, 2018

Job Posting: Florida State College at Jacksonville

The public college in northeast Florida is hiring an Ombudsman.  The position will serve a student body of greater than 80,000 across four campuses. The position was established by Maggy Dartiguenave in 2015.


Four Corners Ombuds Retreat Set for October 2018

Ombuds in the U.S. Southwest are invited to a three-day gathering in Santa Fe, New Mexico in late October 2018. Organizers Liz Hill (University of Colorado Boulder) and Jon Lee (University of New Mexico) are shaping up the agenda.

Here are the current details:

University of Louisville Hires an Ombuds

The public university in Kentucky has hired Diane Tobin as its next University Ombuds. Tobin reports to the provost and serves a student population of about 23,000 in addition to faculty and staff.  She succeeds Acting Ombuds, Robert Staat

July 19, 2018

Stockton Unified School District Names First Ombuds

Fhanysha (Clark) Gaddis has been appointed the first District Ombudsperson for the public school system in Central California. Gaddis will be a "designated neutral to facilitate the informal resolution of concerns of employees, managers, [40,000 enrolled] students and the community; with a focus on assisting in the resolutions of parent concerns."

July 18, 2018

Job Posting: European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere

The multinational intergovernmental research organization for ground-based astronomy is hiring its first Ombuds. The position will provide independent and confidential assistance for anyone working at ESO with work-related inter-personal disputes. The ESO Ombuds will also give upward feedback about systemic issues to the Director General. Although ESO is headquartered near Munich, the position is primarily based in Santiago ("a minimum duration of three months per year is to be spent at the ESO headquarters"). 

Job Posting: Fair Practices Commission, Ontario

The Fair Practices Commission in Ontario, Canada, is hiring an Intake Analyst. (The FPC provides an independent, neutral and confidential service for injured workers, employers and service providers with complaints about the provincial Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.) The position reviews complaints and engages in an early resolution process with complainants. The Intake Analyst will also provide referrals for non-jurisdictional matters, compile relevant information and documentation and summarize complaints in a case management system. 

July 16, 2018

Job Posting: Michigan State University

The public research university in East Lansing is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson. The full-time position will report to Shannon Lynn Burton, who was promoted to University Ombudsperson earlier this month. The position practices to IOA standards and helps "resolve disputes and conflicts between Michigan State University students and representatives of the university."

July 13, 2018

Job Posting: Inter-American Development Bank

The multilateral organization based in Washington, DC is hiring an Associate Ombudsperson for a two-year consultancy. The position reports to the IDB Ombuds, Marta I. Abello, and works with headquarters employees and in 26 country offices throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in 2 regional offices in Asia and Europe.

Job Posting: University of Minnesota

The of U of M is hiring a Director for its Office for Conflict Resolution (not the Student Conflict Resolution Center headed by Jan Morse).  The position provides informal dispute resolution services -- including private consultations, facilitated discussions, and mediation -- to non-bargaining unit faculty, staff, student employees, and administrators with employment-related concerns. It also manages a staff of three.

July 12, 2018

Global Green Growth Institute Names First Ombuds

The international organization the promotes sustainable development has hired Camilo Azcarate to serve as its first Ombuds. Azcarate will also establish a Respectful Workplace Advisors program and provide mediation support services to 260 GGGI staff in two dozen countries. For the past ten years, he has been in an equvalent position with the World Bank Group. This is a part-time, one-year contract. 

Ombuds Speaking at EEOC Training Conference

Today. three Ombuds will be presenting at the EXCEL Training Conference is sponsored by the EEOC's Training Institute. The annual conference is aimed at federal and private sector equal employment opportunity managers, supervisors, practitioners, HR professionals, attorneys and ADR specialists. One session of note focuses on Ombuds as change agents in federal agencies.

July 09, 2018

Job Posting: Columbia College Chicago

The independent, private, liberal arts college is hiring an Academic Ombudsperson. The part-time position will be available to full-time faculty members with workplace or academic conflicts. The Ombuds will report to the Provost for administrative and budgetary purposes. (Local mediator Connie Meyer briefly held the position in 2017, but left to join the faculty at Northwestern.)

July 06, 2018

Job Posting: Argonne National Laboratory

The national science and engineering research lab operated by the University of Chicago for the U.S. Department of Energy is hiring its first Ombuds. "The position ... will initiate and lead the newly created Office of the Ombuds reporting to the Laboratory Director (Argonne’s top official). The Ombuds will act as a safe, neutral and independent resource to provide confidential and informal dispute resolution assistance for members of the Argonne community who are seeking assistance to resolve a broad variety of issues."

Job Posting: Rochester City School District

The public school district in western New York is hiring a Chief Ombudsperson. The position is a designated neutral appointed to facilitate the informal resolution of concerns within the RCSD community, which includes 32,000 students and over 6,000 employees. The position reports to the Superintendent's Chief of Staff.

Chapman University Selects Next Faculty Ombuds

Frank Frisch has been tapped as the next Faculty Ombuds for the private university in Orange, California. The Chapman Ombuds practices to IOA standards. He takes over the role from Jim Brown, who served since 2014. Frisch is a Professor of Health and Behavioral Sciences. 

University of Missouri Medical School Names Ombuds

The UM School of Medicine has appointed Mark W. Drymalski as its next Ombudsman. He succeeds Christopher Sampson, who opened the office last year. As the Ombuds, Drymalski provides services to the house staff (doctors working as interns, residents, and fellows) of the University of Missouri Health Care. 

University of Washington Ombud: Cases Level Off in 2017

According to UW Ombud Chuck Sloan's 2017 annual report, cases at the university were about the same as the prior year. Nonetheless, the case load was still up over 80% from 2013. The UW Office of the Ombud serves all campus stakeholders and staff are the predominant visitors (41%), followed by faculty (26%), and students (18%). 

July 05, 2018

University of Idaho Lands an Ombuds

Laura Smythe has been announced as the next University of Idaho Ombuds, effective October 2. She will report to the U of I President and serve faculty, staff member, administrators, students, and groups. She succeeds Barbara Beatty, who moved to become the Ombuds at Metro State University in Denver. Smythe taught a half-day course on managing conflict during a time of grief before the 2018 IOA conference.

Penn State Names Next Faculty Ombuds

The Faculty Senate at the Pennsylvania State University has elected Mohamad A. Ansari to serve as the Faculty Ombudsperson for the next four years. He takes over from Pamela Hufnagel who served in the role since 2014. As the University Faculty Ombudsperson, Ansari will coordinates and trains of all college and campus Ombuds. He will report periodically to the Senate Council and maintain a liaison with the Provost and HR.

San Diego State University has a New Ombuds

According to a freshly updated website, Julie Logan has been serving as the SDSU Student Ombudsman since September 2017. Marit Bressesen, who served in the role since 2008, has apparently moved to an administrative position at UC San Diego. 

July 03, 2018

Job Posting: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Once again, the American Indian tribe in California's Inland Empire, is searching 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.

Emeritus Faculty Joins University of Colorado Ombuds Office

The Ombuds Office at the University of Colorado Boulder has added Yem Fong as a Faculty Ombuds.  Fong joined the faculty at CU Boulder in 1989 and has served in several capacities including as a library department director and liaison to Ethnic Studies and Women & Gender Studies. She joins two other Faculty Ombuds, Jerry Hauser and Lee Potts, Associate Ombuds, Liz Hill, and Ombuds Director, Kirsi Aulin.

July 02, 2018

IOA Training Returns to Chile

The International Ombudsman Association will offer its signature training program for Organizational Ombuds in Santiago on October 8-10, 2018. The training is sponsored by the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and its Organizational Ombudsman Office, which was the first such program in Chile. The course will be conducted in English with simultaneous Spanish translation. The course participant guide and materials will be translated into Spanish.

June 29, 2018

Karolinska Institutet Names Ombuds for Scientists

The world-class medical university in Stockholm, Sweden has appointed Anders Ekbom as its first Scientific Ombuds (vetenskapligt ombud) and chair of a new Ethics Council. According to a blog post by KI’s Rektor, Ekbom will be tasked with offering advice and guidance to individual researchers or research groups on issues relating to research and researcher ethics -- such as disagreement about authorship of a scientific article. There are now more than a dozen Ombuds in Swedish higher education. The Scientific Ombuds role at Karolinska is similar to those that have become common at German universities.

June 28, 2018

Ontario's Ombudsman Recommends Wider Use of University Ombuds

In his latest annual report, Paul Dubé, says that complaints about universities to the Ontario Ombudsman have grown steadily since his office gained oversight of them in 2016 (268 cases in 2017-2018). He says that all of the university cases were resolved without formal investigation. Moreover, Mr. Dubé encourages more universities, as well as colleges of applied arts and technology, to have their own Ombuds. 

June 27, 2018

Job Posting: Florida Atlantic University

The public university in Boca Raton has opened a search for its next Ombudsman. (Angie Gifford has served in the role for the past five years.) The FAU Office of the Ombuds primarily serves students, of which there are about 31,000 enrolled. The office practices to the usual Organizational Ombuds standards and reports to the campus's chief administrative officer.

June 26, 2018

U.S. Ombudsman Association Posts Agenda for 2018 Conference in Portland

USOA has released the agenda its 39th annual conference, "Ombudsman: Blazing a Trail to Fairness." The conference is preceded by two training programs, a two-day New Ombudsman Training and a one-day course on Dealing with Unreasonable Complainant Conduct. 

Here's a summary of the conference agenda:

June 25, 2018

Updated Website is Great Resource for U.S. Government Ombuds

The Coalilition of Federal Ombudsman has entirely overhauled its website. The result is a significant resource for members and other needing information about Ombuds programs in the federal sector. The new site offers an overview and history of federal Ombuds group, meeting information, links to relevant documents, and more. 

June 21, 2018

University of Michigan Appoints Two Faculty Ombuds

Michele Hannoosh and Robert Ortega have been selected as part-time Faculty Ombuds for Michigan. The report to the Office of the Provost and provide Ombuds services to faculty from the Ann Arbor and medical campuses. The vacancies were created when Bruno Giordani left the role after four and a half years. Michele Hannoosh is Professor of French and Robert Ortega, is an Associate Professor of Social Work. (UMich Record.)

Update: Prince William County School Board Appoints Committee to Work Up Ombuds Recommendation

Last month an independent investigator recommended the appointment of an Ombuds for the Virginia school district that has been roiled by complaints of workplace bullying and intimidation. On June 19 the Prince William County School Board appointed two board members to a committee to recommend a proposal for an Ombuds office. (Inside NoVa.)

June 19, 2018

Job Posting: Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior's Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution is hiring an Conflict Management Specialist to be based in Arlington, VA. Duties for the position include serving as "in-house coach, facilitator, mediator, or ombuds."

Momentum Builds for Student Ombuds at All Norwegian Universities

Norway's legislature (the Storting) continues work on legislation requiring Student Ombuds programs (Studentombud) for all universities, but most universities are not waiting for a legal mandate. A report in Khrono, an online newspaper published by Oslo University, says that 10 schools already have a Studentombud and most of the other the 28 universities in the country are actively considering the concept. 

Texas A&M Names Ombuds for School of Engineering

Nicole Pottberg has been named the Staff Ombudsperson for the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. She joins Jennifer Welch, the College's Faculty Ombudsperson. 

June 15, 2018

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Endorses Ombuds for Higher Ed's Sexual Harassment Problem

The umbrella scientific organization for the U.S. has issued a report calling for a culture change in academia to respond to continued mistreatment of women. In essence, the NASEM report recommends that academic science should become a national leader in responding to the #MeToo movement and ending sexual harassment. Recommendations include a call for institutions have an Ombuds to counsel those who have been harassed, separate from Title IX offices.

June 14, 2018

In Senate Testimony, Former EEOC Chair Says Ombuds Would Help Federal Courts Sexual Misconduct Problem

The U.S. federal court is having its own #MeToo moment and the Senate is investigating. On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee held a hearing to examine the federal court systems response to sexual harassment claims and broader misconduct issues. In her testimony, Jenny R. Yang, the immediate past Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said that formal systems to prevent misconduct should be supplemented with Ombuds office. She specifically cited IOA standards and the recent ACUS report on Ombuds. Clearly, Yang was well informed about Ombuds.

June 13, 2018

Stanford University Finally Hires Campus Ombuds

After an eight-month search that required two interim office holders, Stanford  has selected Brenda Berlin as its next University Ombuds.  Berlin is new to ADR and the Ombuds role. For the past two decades, she has worked at Duke Law School, where she is currently Clinical Professor of Law and Chair of the Public Interest & Public Service Certificate Advisory Board.  She starts in September and succeeds David Rasch, who retired last year. (Jim Laflin continues as the Ombuds for Stanford's School of Medicine.)

College of Charleston Names Ombuds

The South Carolina's oldest public university has appointed Evie Nadel as its next Student/Staff Ombudsperson. Nadel has worked for the university since 2003 and most recently served as the Senior Director of Community Relations. She takes over the role from Deni Mitchell.

June 11, 2018

ENOHE Changes Name and Selects New Leader

At its annual business meeting last week, the group previously known as the "European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education" replaced the word 'Ombudsman' in its name in favor of 'Ombuds" as part of a unanimous decision to become a formal corporate body. Further details are expected. In addition, ENOHE selected Dame Suzi Leather to be its next chair. The announcements came at the joint conference last week with the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons. 

June 08, 2018

United Nations Appoints American to be Next Ombudsman

Shireen L. Dodson, the Ombudsman of the U.S. State Department, has been tapped as the next UN Ombudsman. She succeeds Johnston Barkat who served two five-year terms in the role. Dodson has been the State Department Ombuds since 2010. In her new role, she will run the UN Ombudsman and Mediation Services office, which provides dispute resolution, coaching, change management and leadership training for nearly 75,000 people around the world from the UN headquarters in New York.

June 07, 2018

Michigan State University Promotes Assistant Ombuds

Shannon Lynn Burton, has been named the University Ombudsperson for MSU, effective July 1, 2018. Burton joined the office in 2012 as Assistant Ombuds and became the Associate Ombuds in 2016. She succeeds Robert Caldwell, who is retiring. MSU Interim President John Engler said Burton was the natural choice for the position: “Her work on sensitive issues has been praised by many at MSU, and we look forward to her plans for providing a high level of service for the university community.”

Geoffrey Wallace: Former UC Santa Barbara Ombuds

Geoffrey Wallace, who served as the Ombuds at the UCSB from 1970-2004, passed away on April 24, 2018. On May 2, 2018, Santa Barbara's Chancellor had the campus flag flown at half-mast to honor Geoffrey’s three decades of service to the campus. 

Job Posting: Washington State University

The public university in Pullman has opened a search for a University Ombudsman.  The part-time position will succeed Debbie Lee and join Max Kirk and Tena Old in an office that serves nearly 40,000 WSU stakeholders, particularly administrative professionals and classified staff. 

June 06, 2018

Job Posting: University of Southern California

The private research university in Los Angeles has opened the search for two Ombuds: one for the main campus and one for the health system. The decision to create an Ombuds program is part of an on-going effort to respond to a series of high profile scandals that have roiled the campus. According to the job postings, the new Ombuds will practice to IOA standards and "will be supported by the Vice Provost for Campus Wellness and Crisis Intervention."

Fairfax County Public Schools Hires First Ombuds

Armando Peri has been named the first Family and Student Ombudsman for the public school system in northern Virginia. Inexplicably and despite the original job posting, Peri has also been given the role of Title IX Coordinator. Somehow, the school system will need to resolve his conflicting mandates of "an independent, confidential resource, assisting students, families, and community members" (as Ombuds) and implementing "meaningful efforts to comply with Title IX." 

June 05, 2018

Stanford Appoints Interim Ombuds as Search Continues

Rosan Gomperts, Director of Stanford University's Faculty Staff Help Center, has been appointed the Interim University Ombuds. (Ellen Waxman, Director of Faculty Relations at Stanford School of Medicine and former Stanford Ombuds was also briefly the Interim Ombuds.) A search to permanently fill the position has been on-going since October 2017. 

Saint Louis University School of Medicine Names Ombuds

Lisa Israel is the first Director of Professional Oversight for the private Jesuit medical school in Missouri. According to the job description, her role is essentially that of an Ombuds for students, residents, and faculty. Israel moves into the position after serving as the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Student Success Center. The university briefly had an Ombuds for its undergraduate students a few years ago.

Smithsonian Selects Insider as Next Ombuds

Last November, Dania Palosky was appointed the new Ombudsman for the Smithsonian, replacing Chandra Heilman. As the Ombuds for the national museum and research center, Palosky reports to the CFO and serves about 7,000, mostly federal, employees.  

June 04, 2018

Job Posting: Minneapolis Public Schools

The Minnesota school district with over 36,000 students is hiring an Ombudsperson. The full-time position reports to the MPS Chief of Staff and works with parents, students, community members and employees.

Former Ombuds Returns to Head UN Office

James Lee has returned as the Acting United Nations Ombudsman and Acting Head of the UN Ombudsman and Mediation Services. A search is currently underway for the next UN Ombuds and an announcement is expected shortly. Lee was the first full-time UN Ombuds and worked for the organization for over twenty-five years. He was honored by IOA as a Distinguished Emeritus in 2017.  (UNOMS Staff.)

Seattle Mayor Considering Ombuds for Sexual Harassment

In response to a demonstration by city employees, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan says she will consider hiring an Ombudsperson to handle discrimination and sexual harassment complaints. Seattle Silence Breakers, a group of city staff concerned about workplace sexual and racial harassment first asked Durkan to appoint an Ombuds in April. Mayor Durkan met with the group last week and promised to, “give it deep thought.” (KUOW News.)