March 22, 2018

Rice University Creates Faculty Ombuds Program

The private university in Houston, TX has appointed Anne Schnoebelen as its first Faculty Ombuds. She will serve about 1,000 instructional faculty and practice to IOA standards. Schnoebelen is an emeritus professor of music and has been a member of the Rice faculty since 1974. 

Open Letter from Michigan State University Ombuds: Trust Us During Troubled Times

The MSU community has been roiled by the Larry Nassar scandal and the administration continues to struggle with its response. In response, the campus Ombuds, Robert A. Caldwell and Shannon Lynn Burton, published a letter, reminding the community that they are a trustworthy resource for addressing concerns.

March 21, 2018

Job Posting: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

FINRA, the non-governmental organization that regulates member brokerage firms and exchange markets, is hiring an Analyst in its Office of the Ombudsman.  Located in Rockville, MD, the position conducts analyses of case information to identify patterns, trends, and problematic issues. This is professional position, developing and refining skills and receives moderate supervision and regular direction from a manager.

March 19, 2018

FCO/Osgoode Ombuds Certificate Program Returns for Sixth Year

The Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and Osgoode Professional Development at York University will offer their annual certificate program, Essentials for Ombuds, September 24-28, 2018 in downtown Toronto. 

March 16, 2018

British Ombudsman Association Annual Conference Marks 25 Years

The professional association for Classical Ombudsmen in the UK, Ireland, and British dependencies looks back on its first quarter century at its next annual meeting. TOA has announced details of the conference set for May 24-25 at the Hilton Edinburgh Carlton Hotel:

March 15, 2018

Job Posting: Stockton Unified School District

The public school system in Central California with nearly 40,000 students is hiring its first Ombudsman. The full-time position will be a "designated neutral to facilitate the informal resolution of concerns of employees, managers, students and the community; with a focus on assisting in the resolutions of parent concerns." The SUSD Ombuds will report to the Assistant Superintendent for Educational Support Services. 

March 14, 2018

Job Posting: World Bank Group

The international financial institution is hiring a full-time Program Analyst to work for its Ombudsman, Axel Peuker. The description is similar to a job that was posted earlier this year.  The job is "responsible primarily for coordinating and facilitating collective IJS initiatives and activities, and for providing technical expertise related to workplace conflict resolution systems."

Ontario's Ombudsman Touts Collaboration with University Ombuds

Paul Dubé, the Ombudsman for Canada's most populous province, reports that his office has received more than 500 complaints about universities under his purview. Dubé was appointed to the position in 2016, shortly after the office was granted oversight of public universities, 11 of which had existing Ombuds programs. At the time, there was some concern that the governmental Ombuds would impair or undermine the work of campus Ombuds. It now appears that a collaborative relationship has developed. 

March 13, 2018

Journal of IOA: Amplifying Trends with Data

The latest article published by the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association explores the use of data to support the Ombuds work of providing upward feedback to their organization.  "Amplifying Trends with Data," was written by Jennifer Schneider, who has been the Student Ombuds at the University of South Florida since 2015.

(Internal) Job Posting: MD Anderson Cancer Center

The leading cancer research and treatment center in Houston has opened an internal search for a part-time Ombudsperson.  The position will join an office that serves all members of the MD Anderson workforce, including faculty, trainees and fellows of the institution. 

March 12, 2018

Organization of American States Appoints Next Ombuds

The international organization has named Chet Neymour as its next Ombuds, succeeding Sherry Tross, who founded the office in 2015. The OAS Office of the Ombudsperson provides assistance to over 1,000 OAS personnel in 35 different countries. The work is based on the principles of impartiality, confidentiality, independence and informality.

March 09, 2018

National University Names First Ombuds

LaCrisia "Cris" Gilbert has been appointed the first Ombuds for the private, non-profit university headquartered in La Jolla, California.  As the University Ombuds, Gilbert is expected to practice to IOA standards and serve a large student body.  Gilbert comes to National University from the University of North Texas, where she was an adjunct professor and director of a conflict resolution center for the past decade.

Ombuds at Northeast Ohio Medical University Joins FEMA ADR Corps

Angela E. Dash, who established the Ombuds program at NEOMED in 2015 will become an independent contractor so that she can join the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a Reservist Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisor. She told the medical school's newsletter that she is following the example of her father--who also worked for FEMA. 

March 08, 2018

Job Posting: Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA's Alternative Dispute Resolution Division will be hiring multiple, ADR Advisors. The position provides professional conflict prevention and resolution services to FEMA employees during disaster operations. Locations for the jobs have yet to be determined and may be negotiated with the incumbents. The positions are full-time, but temporary and will not last longer than two years.  

March 07, 2018

Job Posting: Clemson University

The public university in South Carolina has opened a search for its next Ombuds for Staff. (Tom Ward has held the position since July 2006.) The Clemson Staff Ombuds serves about 4,000 employees and collaborates with the University Ombudsman for Faculty and Students, R. Gordon Halfacre and the Ombudsman Assistant, Glenda L. Dickson. It is a full-time position.

Interview of Cal State San Bernardino Ombuds

CSUSB's Ombudsperson Twillea Evans-Carthen was recently interviewed by the campus newspaper. She talked about her role on the campus and how she decided to change professions.  

March 06, 2018

Job Posting: UC Davis

The University of California Davis is hiring an Associate Ombuds.  The position will cover both the Davis and the Sacramento Health campuses, and report to the Campus Ombuds, Katherine Greenwood. The office follows IOA standards.

March 05, 2018

Job Posting: U.S. Department of State

The Office of the Ombudsman at the State Department is hiring a Program Management Specialist. The incumbent will work as an Ombuds, providing, "subject matter expertise in conflict resolution, utilizing mediation, facilitation, conflict coaching and other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques, as appropriate."Some travel is required and there is an opportunity to telecommute. The position is open only to family members of a federal employee working or who has worked overseas or internal applicants.

March 02, 2018

Call for Submissions: 2018 Journal of Cal Caucus

The Journal of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds is seeking scholarly articles for its 2018 edition. Articles should be focused the varied aspects of Ombuds work in academia, The Journal publishes original theoretical and empirical articles dealing with national and international issues, case studies, op-eds, conference session abstracts, and book reviews.

March 01, 2018

Texas A&M Names Graduate Student Ombuds

George Cunningham has been appointed the Graduate Ombuds Officer for the public university in College Station. He will practice to IOA standards in serving about 15,000 graduate students. 

February 28, 2018

Job Posting: Grambling State University

The public university in Louisiana is hiring its first "Student Ombudsman." (Jazmine Cherry has held the position on an interim basis for a few months. ) The job description is not, unfortunately, consistent with the prevailing professional standards or the predominant practices for Organizational Ombuds in higher education.

February 27, 2018

Cal Caucus Seeks Proposals for 45th Meeting

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds is soliciting session proposals for its 2018 conference on November 4-7, 2018 at the Asolimar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove. The theme for the 45th annual gathering is "Honoring Our Past to Engage with Our Future."

Edwin Lewis: Former Ombuds at Iowa State

Edwin Lewis, who served as Staff Ombuds during a pilot program for the office in 2006-08, passed away earlier this week. Lewis was a longtime faculty member and administrator at Iowa State University. He was fellow of the American Psychological Association and certified mediator, and served on the boards of many non-profit organizations. A funeral service will be held this afternoon in Minneapolis. (Inside Iowa State.)

February 26, 2018

Job Posting: Rochester Institute of Technology

The private university in Upstate New York has opened a search for its next University Ombudsperson--a position held by Lee Twyman for nearly 15 years. The RIT Ombuds practices to IOA standards and serves over 24,000 students, faculty, staff, and administrators. The position also oversees an Associate Ombuds, who has not yet been hired.

Elon University Appoints a Staff Ombuds

The private university in North Carolina has named Stephanie Page as its first Staff Ombudsperson. The university has had a Faculty Ombudsperson since late 2007. Page has been Associate Director of HR at Elon since 2000. Notably, while the Faculty Ombuds explicitly practices to IOA standards, the Staff Ombuds does not. 

February 23, 2018

American Historical Society to Create Ombuds Program

The largest professional association for historians will be implementing an Ombuds program to serve its members. In an announcement released yesterday, AHA President Mary Beth Norton announced a number of changes to address sexual and gender discrimination in the profession. The appointment of an Ombuds team was one of several steps she identified.

Metropolitan State University Denver Names Ombuds

The public university in Colorado has hired Barbara Beatty as its next Ombuds Officer. She fills a position held by G. Michael Kilpatrick, who opened the office in 2013. “We’re excited about hiring Barbara,” said Myron Anderson, associate to the president for diversity and hiring authority. “She brings substantial experience as a mediator and has an extensive conflict resolution background. She also has a proven experience as a University ombuds.” 

February 22, 2018

Job Posting: Kungl Konsthögskolan (KKH), Sweden

The Royal Institute of Art (also known as the Royal University College of Fine Arts) in Stockholm is hiring its first Studentombudsman. The part-time position will serve a student body of about 230. In addition to start up activities, the position is expected to serve as an alternate member of the Working Environment Council and the Equal Opportunities Council and work closely with the KKH Student Union. 

February 21, 2018

Job Posting: African Development Bank Group

The multilateral development finance institution based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire has opened a search for a Second Ombudsman. This new position in the AfDB Office of Ombudsman and Mediator reports to the Ombudsman, Alisand Singogo, and provides impartial, confidential, independent and informal assistance to staff with workplace grievances and complaints. Some travel to country offices is required.

Norfolk State University Names Ombuds

NSU has appointed Erick S. Cage as University Ombudsman, succeeding Clementine Cone  who opened the office in 2017. The scope of the program has been narrowed and Ombuds services are now available only to faculty and staff, and no longer students.  Cage also serves as Executive Advisor to the President and Board of Visitors for Policy and Compliance,  providing senior policy counsel on a wide range of issues impacting higher education administration and governance including compliance. The Ombuds program still ostensibly practices to IOA standards.

February 20, 2018

February 2018 ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Newsletter Features Ombuds

The Ombuds Committee has sponsored the latest edition of the ABA DRS Just Resolutions newsletter. An introduction by Ombuds Committee Chair provides this introduction, "This issue of Just Resolutions also highlights our Committee’s progress in ensuring that ombuds programs have the ability to operate in accordance with appropriate standards."

February 19, 2018

IOA Seeks Nominations for 2017 Distinguished Emeriti Ombuds

The International Ombudsman Association is soliciting nominations for the Distinguished Emeritus Award. Each year the IOA Nominations and Governance Committee solicits nominations to recognize outstanding and dedicated service to the organization and Ombuds profession. 

February 18, 2018

Norwegian Legislature to Consider Mandating Student Ombuds for All Universities

A committee of the Storting (Norway's supreme legislature) has approved a proposal to mandate Studentombud for all universities in the country. At present, ten universities provide Student Ombuds programs, which serve about two-thirds of all university students. 

February 15, 2018

IOA Announces New Board Members for 2018

The International Ombudsman Association has announced the results of the annual election for its 2018 Board of Directors. Beginning April 24, following the Annual Business Meeting, seven new directors will join the IOA Board. The following individuals were elected to three-year terms:

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. The position is open to current and former permanent Federal employees and veterans.

February 13, 2018

Job Posting: Syracuse University

The private university in Upstate New York has opened a search for its first permanent Ombuds. (Samuel Clemence was recently appointed to the position on an interim basis.) The full-time position will report to the university chancellor and be charged with establishing an office for faculty, staff, and graduate students according to IOA standards.

Syracuse University Unveils Ombuds Program

Syracuse Chancellor Kent Syverud has appointed Samuel Clemence as the university's first Ombuds. Clemence is a professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering and will serve in an interim capacity until a search committee identifies a permanent Ombuds. Several campus groups have advocated for the creation of an Ombuds program over the past several years. The new Ombuds office already has a charter agreement that adopts and incorporates IOA standards.

February 12, 2018

Baker Hughes Shutters Ombuds Office

Reliable sources are reporting that the oilfield services company in Houston has closed its Organizational Ombuds Office (known as "o3"). The closure came about six months after Baker Hughes was acquired by General Electric Co., which has an "Ombudsman Process" that functions like an audit department. The Baker Hughes o3 office opened in 2012 and its Ombuds--Melanie (Lewis) Jagneaux and Bonnie Bonnivier--quickly became engaged in professional activities as speakers and leaders.

Michigan State University Posts History of Ombuds Office

MSU has published materials from its archives to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its Office of the University Ombudsperson.  The primary source materials document the appointment of every university Ombuds from 1968 to the present and explain their evolving role on the campus. 

Here's an excerpt from the history:

CU Boulder Hosts Colorado Ombuds

The Colorado Ombuds Group gathered for its Winter 2018 meeting on Friday, January 26, 2018 at the University of Colorado Boulder. Here's a summary provided by Liz Hill, one of the organizers:

February 08, 2018

Job Posting: Office of Attorney General of Texas

The Texas OAG is hiring its first an Employee Ombudsman. The full-time position is based in Austin and "performs highly advanced (senior-level) conflict management and dispute resolution work" for 4,000 employees throughout the state. 

Cornell University Ombuds Post 2017 Annual Report

Cornell University Ombudsman Charles Walcott and Ombuds Office Director Linda Falkson said that their office assisted 306 visitors in the 2016-17 academic year. They reported an increase in the number of non-academic employees visiting the office and a decrease in the number of academic employees and undergraduate students. The total number of visitors was down slightly from the prior year and below the ten-year average.  (Cornell Ombuds 2017 Report.)

February 07, 2018

Job Posting: United Nations, New York

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is hiring a Conflict Resolution Officer for a temporary position. The appointment will be for six months and may be extended. The position will provide Ombuds and other conflict resolution services to UN headquarters staff in New York, but some travel may be required. 

Call for Proposals: ACCUO-ENOHE Joint 2018 Conference

The Conference Planning Committee of the ENOHE-ACCUO Joint Conference 2018 is now calling for proposals for presentations (including papers, workshops and roundtables). The conference is set for June 6-8, 2018 at the University of Edinburgh and is titled "Resolving Conflicts on Campus: Strategies for Enhanced Policies and Effective Operations." Workshops are sought on the general conference themes or sub-themes in English, French, or Spanish.

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Names Experienced Ombuds

After a protracted national search, the American Indian tribe in California's Inland Empire has hired Jen G. Sims as its Ombuds. In the role, which has been vacant for about three years, Sims will serve all employees of the Tribe from an off-site office in Redlands. “While conflicts do occur from time to time, these conflicts can provide opportunities for positive change, learning, and professional development,” she said. I look forward to being of service to the employees of San Manuel, and I am happy to be back in Southern California.” 

Internship: UNICEF, New York

The United Nations Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking an intern for UNICEF (as well as UNDP, UNFPA, UNOPS, and UN Women) in New York City.  The full-time, paid internship will last six months and offers the opportunity to support the office's mediation training, outreach, and advocacy.

February 06, 2018

IOA Pre-Conference Training in Richmond Appeals to Range of ADR Professionals

The pre-conference training programs offered by the International Ombudsman Association in April 2018 is designed to be relevant for a variety of professionals working in alternative dispute resolution. Eight of the nine courses are open to the public and are not limited to Ombuds or conference attendees. (A new core course is open only to people who have completed IOA's Foundations.) The programs include:

World Health Organization Ombuds Says Dysfunctional Management is Impacting Mission

Last week, the Ombudsman for the international public health agency told leadership that managers lack the interpersonal skills required for effective team communications, constructive conversations about performance, and conflict resolution. The report was published by Devex, a media platform for the global development community. According to the report, the Ombuds told WHO's executive board about a number of cases of “dysfunctional” relationships between managers and staff across the three country, regional, and headquarters levels of the organization. 

February 05, 2018

University of North Carolina School of the Arts Names First Ombuds

Joshua Canzona has been appointed the first University Ombuds for the UNC campus and public arts conservatory in Winston-Salem.  Canzona practices to IOA standards and serves nearly 2,000 faculty, staff, and administrators. He started in July 2017.