September 20, 2018

Francis Marion University Creates Ombuds Program

The public liberal arts university has named Katherine Barnette as its first Student Ombudsman. She serves a student body of 4,200 students on the campus near Florence, South Carolina. Her work follow IOA standards of confidentiality, neutrality, informality and independent. She reports to the VP of Student Affairs & Dean of Students.

Job Re-posting: Columbia College Chicago

The independent, private, liberal arts college in Illinois has re-opened its search for an Academic Ombudsperson. (A search that opened in July apparently hasn't been successful.) 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. 

Lehigh University Appoints New Faculty Ombuds

Elizabeth (Beth) Dolan has been named the second Ombudsperson for the private university in Bethlehem, PA. She joins Robert Thornton, who has served in role since 2014. Dolan is an Associate Professor of English and has been at Lehigh since 2001. The Lehigh Ombuds office serves about 9,000 faculty, staff, and students. 

Ombuds at University of Washington Offers Perspective

Chuck Sloane, the University Ombud at UW (he is one of the few that drops the 's' from the neutered label), was interviewed for the campus newsletter. The wide-ranging conversation covered his career path, and explanation of the Ombuds role and challenges gained during his five-year tenure.

September 19, 2018

Internship Opportunity: UNICEF, New York

The United Nations Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking an intern for UNICEF (and including UNDP, UNFPA, UNOPS, and UN Women) in New York City.  The full-time, paid internship will last 26 weeks and offers the opportunity to support the office's mediation training, outreach, and advocacy. The position starts before the end of November.

Video Introduces University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Ombuds Program

A new video explains the work of the UW-Milwaukee's Ombuds Council. The seven members provides impartial and confidential conflict resolution services to 5,000 university employees. The video features Nadya Fouad, Chair of the Ombuds Council, and council members Jeanne Wagner, Clinical Associate Professor & Director of Social Work Field Education, and David Pate, Chair of Social Work & Associate Professor. (YouTube.)

University of Iowa Ombuds Reports Surge in Cases

In her latest annual report, UI University Ombudsperson, Cynthia Joyce, says that her office received 737 visitors in 2017-18, a 10% increase from the prior year. Staff comprised more than half the visitors and the hierarchical relationship issues predominated. 

September 18, 2018

Job Posting: Rochester Institute of Technology

The private university in Upstate New York has opened a search for an Associate Ombudsperson. The position will report to John Johnston, who became the University Ombudsperson this summer, and replace Lee Twyman, who ran the office single-handedly for nearly 15 years. The RIT Ombuds Office practices to IOA standards and serves over 24,000 students, faculty, staff, and administrators. 

United Nations Publishes Interview with New Ombuds

Shireen L. Dodson, who started her job as the United Nations Ombudsman earlier this month, was interviewed by the UN's news organization. She traces the arc of her career, which had its origins as child peace-maker at Thanksgiving dinner. 

September 17, 2018

Job Posting: California State University Channel Islands

The public university in Ventura County is hiring its first University Ombuds Officer. The position serves about 1,100 faculty and staff and reports to the University president. Although not mentioned in the job description, the Cal State University Ombuds cannot keep sexual misconduct allegations confidential. The position is required to receive IOA training.

ABA to Host Ombuds Day Reception in Washington, DC

The American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section Ombuds Committee is hosting a reception in the nation's capital the inaugural Ombuds Day on October 11, 2018.

Job Posting: Halliburton

The Halliburton Dispute Resolution Program in Houston is hiring an Dispute Resolution Analyst -- essentially that of an entry-level position in an Organizational Ombuds office. Depending on the applicant's qualification, there are increased opportunities for Ombuds duties. 

September 14, 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. (It appears that a search for this new position earlier this year was not successful.) The job 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.

September 13, 2018

Job Posting: The New School

The private university in New York City is hiring a Student Ombudsman for Enrollment and Success. The part-time position reports to the Chief Enrollment and Success Officer and serves a student population of about 10,000. The work hours will be three hours a day, two days a week. A few years ago, Keisha Davenport-Ramirez served as the Student Ombuds at the New School and has now moved into an administrative position. Ann-Louise Shapiro has been the Faculty and Staff Ombuds since 2017.

Update: Cal Caucus 2018 Reaches Capacity

Organizers of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds say that registration for the event is now closed, having reached the attendance limit for the space. People interested in attending may join a waitlist. (Cal Caucus Info.)

September 12, 2018

Job Posting: Holyoke Community College

The public community college in Massachusetts with 9,000 students is hiring its first Ombudsperson and Chief Culture Officer to start in January 2019. The full-time position will report to the college president and serve, "as a designated impartial, neutral, and confidential employee who: assists faculty and staff in dispute resolution through informal and formal means, including consulting and mediation; advocates for a fair conflict management system and supports changes to achieve these goals; and serves in an independent capacity." 

IOA Posts Teaser Video for 2019 Annual Conference

The International Ombudsman Association has posted a video promoting its 14th annual conference (“Ombuds: Providing Calm in a Conflicted World” at the New Orleans Sheraton, April 1-3, 2019). It seems to feature nearly everyone who attended the 2018 conference. The voiceover testimonials are not identified, however. (YouTube.)

Job Posting: KU Leuven

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the prominent research university in Flanders, Belgium, is hiring a Student Monitor/Counselor/Ombuds in the Department of Engineering. The full-time position supports and works with undergraduate students. The Ombuds-component of the job involves providing confidential, independent, and neutral assistance to students, including mediation if necessary. In addition, the position acts as a resource for faculty with diversity issues. 

September 11, 2018

Tool-Kit Offers Resources for Ombuds Day

Organizers of the first annual Ombuds Day on October 11, 2018 have published a tool-kit for practitioners, programs, and organizations. The resources include articles, resources, case examples, marketing and outreach materials, social media materials, proclamations, press releases, and ideas for celebrations. Organizers of local events and activities are encouraged to share their ideas with the ABA Ombuds Day Task Force Co-Chairs Jon Lee and Lauren Marx. (Ombuds Day Tool-Kit.)

New Ombuds at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Offers an Office Tour

Nicole Klein became a Faculty Ombuds at SIUE earlier this year. This week, she posted a video walk through of her office, selfie-style. Klien is an Associate Professor in the School of Education, Health and Human Behavior. She works with another Faculty Ombuds, Seran Aktuna, a Professor of English Language & Literature. Together, they provide Ombuds services to about 1,000 faculty members. (SIUE Ombuds; YouTube.)

New Ombuds for Baylor College of Medicine Interviewed

Melanie Jagneuax, who became the BCM Ombuds earlier this year  was interviewed for the staff newsletter. She talks about her role as Ombuds, career path, and personal interests.  (BCM Family.)

September 10, 2018

Job Posting: World Food Programme

The food assistance branch of the United Nations is hiring an Ombudsman. This job is part of the Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services and is based in Rome. Frequent travel to other locations to provide conflict resolution services is required.

NC State Ombuds is a Consistent Blogger

North Carolina State University Faculty & Staff Ombuds Roy Baroff has written regular blog posts since January 2015, shortly after his appointment. His posts range from thoughts on the profession and his relationship with NC State to more personal musings. Baroff is the most consistent Ombuds blogger in the past several years. Highly recommended.(NCSU Faculty Ombuds Blog.)

Wake Tech Ombuds Interviewed

Wake Technical Community College's Ombuds, Jerry Nuesell, was the first guest for interviewed for a series by the school's EVP, Gayle Greene. (YouTube.)

Related post: Wake Tech Opens Campus Ombuds OfficeWake Tech Ombuds Posts an Introductory Video.

California State University Sacramento Defers Appointment of First Ombuds

After a national search yielding experienced applicants for the position, Sacramento State has decided against hiring its first Ombuds. Emails to finalists for the position simply stated that the university had "decided not to fill the position at this time." 

Related: Job Posting.

September 07, 2018

Job Posting: United Health Services

The regional not-for-profit health care system based in Binghamton, New York, is hiring its first Employee Ombudsperson. (In May, the organization started a search for a Talent Management Specialist with many of the same duties). The full-time position serves as the, "designated neutral dispute resolution practitioner who provides confidential and informal assistance to [7,000] UHS employees."

FCO-ACCUO 2019 Conference Call for Papers

The Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons are taking speaker proposals for their next biennial conference, set for April 15-17, 2019 at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto.  

September 06, 2018

Job Posting: Harvard Medical School

The Ombuds Office for Harvard’s Medical, Dental and Public Health Schools is hiring its first Associate Ombudsperson. The position will report to Melissa Brodrick, who, like her predecessors, has run a solo practice. The full-time position will provide services to faculty, staff, students, trainees and appointees for an initial two-year appointment. 

IOA Seeks Nominations for 2019 Board of Directors

The International Ombudsman Association is seeking nomination for Directors who will serve a three-year term starting in April 2019. There will be three open seats. For the first time in several years, the board will be filling only termed-out seats and not replacing directors who stepped down early. Nominations are due by September 19; voting begins November 7; and election results are announced in January 2019.

Oklahoma State University Names Next Ombuds

The land-grant university in Stillwater has appointed Sue Williams as its Ombuds Officer, succeeding Kenneth Bartels who served since 2015.  Williams has worked for OSU over four decades in a range of professional and volunteer capacities, including professor and department head. 

September 05, 2018

Cooper Medical School Names First Ombuds

The public medical school connected to Rowan University in New Jersey has appointed Debrah Meislich as its first Ombuds. Meislich, who is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, provides independent, neutral, confidential, and informal dispute resolution services for 340 medical students.

ENOHE and ACCUO Publish Report from 2018 Conference

A report summarizes the proceedings of 2018 joint conference of the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education and Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons. The conference, "Resolving Conflicts on Campus:
Strategies for Enhanced Policies and Effective Operations," was held on June 6-8, 2018 at the University of Edinburgh. 

Østfold University Opens Search for First Student Ombuds

The public university in southern Norway (Høgskolen i Østfold) expects to hire its first Studentombud by the end of the calendar year. Plans for the position began in the early spring of 2018. The new Ombuds will split time between the school's campuses in  Østfold, Fredrikstad, and Halden to reach 4,000 students.

September 04, 2018

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Unveils Ombuds Program

The medical teaching and research arm of Johns Hopkins University has created an Office of the Ombuds for its medical students. Eleven faculty members aim to help 400 students, "feel comfortable reporting instances of mistreatment, discrimination, and other related experiences." The faculty Ombuds come from a variety of departments and programs so that students can be assigned without concern for a conflict of interest.

IOA Announces Research Agenda for Ombuds Profession

The International Ombudsman Association has created a guide for future research of the professional. A committee appointed by the IOA Board of Directors has published an article, "The Research Agenda for the Organizational Ombuds Profession: A Living Document," which outlines eight new goals.

August 30, 2018

Frederick County Public Schools to Appoint First Ombuds

The Board of Education for the public school system in Maryland has approved funding for an Ombuds position, starting in 2019. According to a local new report, the FCPS Ombuds "will be a neutral and impartial party working to address the concerns of students, families, parents, employees and county residents," but will not participate in formal investigations. The board approved an annual budget of $115,000, which will cover start up costs (about $3,000), salary, and fringe benefits.

August 29, 2018

U.S. Student Loan Ombuds Quits in Disgust

This week, Seth Frotman, the Student Loan Ombudsman for the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau resigned his post. In a letter copied to two cabinet members and several members of Congress, Frotman scorched the Acting Director, Mick Mulvaney, saying that “the Bureau has abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting” and instead now serve the wishes of powerful financial companies. 

Wesley Smith: Former Ombuds at University of Pennsylvania

Wesley D. Smith, emeritus classical studies professor at Penn, died in June at the age of 88. He joined the faculty in 1961 and retired in 1996. In 1986, he was appointed University Ombudsman in 1986. (UPenn Almanac.)

August 28, 2018

Job Posting: Colorado State University

The public land-grant university in Ft. Collins is hiring an Assistant Director of Conflict Resolution. The position has many Ombuds functions and seems to replace the Ombuds program that had headed by Lanai Greenhalgh earlier this year. Job duties include: conflict management for student issues (40% time); facilitation and education for all campus stakeholders (20%); restorative justice for student issues (20%); collaboration with other campus entities (10%); and administrative functions (10%).

August 27, 2018

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District Names First Ombuds

The public school system in North Carolina has appointed Earnest Winston as its first Ombudsman. The move comes after the local teachers' union demanded an Ombuds as an option for teachers feeling bullied at work. Winston will serve parents, community members and employees with concerns coming out of 159 schools.

IOA Issues RFP for Public Relations Services

The International Ombudsman Association is soliciting bids from PR consultants to develop communications strategy. The move comes in the wake of the unexpected loss of IOA's management company, which has provided PR services as part of its overall agreement. According to the RFP, IOA seeks to have the new PR plan in place by the end of the year. 

August 24, 2018

IOA Seeks Bids for Intermediate-Level Course on Communication Skills

The Professional Development Committee of the International Ombudsman Association is currently seeking an individual(s) to develop a replicable core course for Ombuds professionals. The selected course will then be presented as part of the pre-conference training in March 2019.

Make Plans for the First Ombuds Day

The American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section Ombuds Committee has designated the second Thursday of October as Ombuds Day to coincide with Conflict Resolution Month and Mediation Week.

August 21, 2018

Cal Caucus Announces Agenda, Opens Registration for 45th Meeting

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has posted the lineup for its the 45th annual gathering, which has the theme: "Honoring Our Past to Engage with Our Future." The event will be held at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California, November 4-7, 2018. The caucus attracts Ombuds from beyond California and the higher education sector with its inclusive, casual, and intimate tradition. 

August 20, 2018

International Ombudsman Association Seeks Presenters for 2019 Conference in New Orleans

IOA Conference Committee presentation proposals, speaker, and topic suggestions for its 14th annual conference on the theme of “Ombuds: Providing Calm in a Conflicted World.” The conference is set for April 1-3, 2019 at the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Job Posting: Safer Care Victoria

The Department of Health and Human Services agency that oversees and supports health services is hiring an Independent Facilitator -- its first Organizational Ombuds. Based in Melbourne, the position is an "independent, neutral and confidential resource for employees of designated Victorian health services, providing informal assistance and support to employees regarding workplace issues, concerns or complaints." The job practices to IOA standards. 

New Ombuds Blogger: Chris LaHatte

Earlier this year, Chris LaHatte launched a blog to offer his insights on alternative dispute resolution. LaHatte is currently the ICANN Ombudsman and lives in New Zealand. His latest post delves into the #metoo movement. He observes that the current discussion lacks consideration of: 1. an independent resource for complainants; and 2. restorative justice as an important remedy. He asserts that Organizational Ombuds programs would fill these needs.

August 17, 2018

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente San Francisco

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

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 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.

August 16, 2018

American Lawyer Magazine: Law Firms Need Ombuds for Sexual Harassment Problem

The monthly law magazine published a commentary by Gwen Mellor, "Law Firms Need Informal Reporting Programs to Quash Sexual Harassment." The piece outlines steps firm leaders can take to improve reporting and resolving misconduct. Mellor urged firms to create an Ombuds that complies with IOA standards.