November 16, 2018

Job Posting: United Nations, New York

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

Conference at The Hague to Consider Ombuds for International Aid Organizations

On November 21, 2018, the International Institute of Social Studies and the Platform for Humanitarian Knowledge Exchange in the Netherlands will hold a symposium to present their report on the need for an International Ombuds. The presentation will be followed by a debate.

November 15, 2018

University of Nebraska-Lincoln to Reopen Faculty Ombuds Program

According to a report in the Lincoln Journal Star, the state's flagship public university soon will appoint a Faculty Ombudsperson. UNL ended the position years ago because of budget constraints and has only Ombuds programs for staff and students. The decision to reappoint a Faculty Ombuds came from the Faculty Senate, which has pointed out that the university's bylaws require the position.

Video Features Ohio University's Ombuds

In a new video posted by OU's communications department, Mac Strickland explains his role as the University Ombudsperson. He explains what he does, who he works with, and more. (OU Compass.)

November 14, 2018

IOA Brings Ombuds Training Course to New Mexico

The International Ombudsman Association will offer its signature training program on January 28-30, 2019 at the Hotel Albuquerque. "Foundations" provides the primary training for new Organizational Ombuds.

Ombuds Blogger Chris LeHatte on Restorative Justice

In his latest blog post, Chris LaHatte delves into the topic of restorative justice and how the practice relates to the work of Organizational Ombuds. Because he works in New Zealand, where Classical Ombudsmen predominate, LaHatte takes time to explain fully the standards for Organizational Ombuds. He concludes that restorative justice is a natural fit for the role.

November 13, 2018

UC Riverside Ombuds Marks Half Century

The Office of the Ombuds at the University of California Riverside is celebrating its 50th anniversary.  University Ombuds Andrew Larratt-Smith is inviting people to a commemorative party on December 3, 2018. There will be opening remarks by the Provost followed by a brief history of the office as well as where the office fits in currently at UCR.  Items of historical importance to the office will also be on display. (UCR Events.)

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research to Expand Ombuds Office

The nonprofit university consortium in Boulder, Colorado, is looking to add a third person to its Ombuds program. Currently, UCAR has two Ombuds, Jeff Weber and Cindy Bruyere, who also have other staff duties. The organization is hoping for a volunteer from its lab in Mesa to provide geographic balance. The application period closes at the end of the month so that the new Ombuds can be sent for training. (UCAR Announcements.)

November 12, 2018

IOA Opens Voting for 2019 Board

The International Ombudsman Association is holding its annual election for members of its Board of Directors. The timing is earlier than usual and the out-going management company will complete the election process before a transition. The election will fill three seats from a slate of four nominees for three-year terms starting in April 2019.  

FCO/Osgoode Adds a Spring 2019 Ombuds Certificate Program

Due to popular demand, the Professional Development Program at Osgoode Hall Law School and the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and Osgoode Professional Development at York University will offer a course next spring, February 25 to March 1, 2019. The Essentials for Ombuds is a five-day intensive training collaboration in the heart of Toronto.

November 09, 2018

Job Posting: University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

The public research university at the southern tip of Texas is hiring its first Faculty Ombudsperson. The full-time position will serve about 1,200 academic employees and practice to IOA standards. UTRGV has been considering an Ombuds for faculty and staff since at least 2014.

November 08, 2018

Kavli IPMU Designates an Ombuds

The Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, an international research institute affiliated with the University of Tokyo, has named Mark Vagins as its first Organizational Ombudsman. In a recent announcement to Kavli IPMU members, Institute Director Hitoshi Murayama said that the new Ombuds would help address internal conflicts and concerns:

Weber State University Opens Internal Search for Next Faculty Ombuds

The public university in Ogden, Utah will select a current, tenured professor to serve as its next Faculty Ombuds. The position serves a three-year term starting July 2019 and will fill a position currently held by History Professor, Kathryn L. MacKay. The new Ombuds will report to Weber's Provost and the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, and practice to IOA standards. (Weber Ombuds Announcement.)

November 06, 2018

Meet the New Ombuds at the University of Montréal

In June, Caroline Roy was appointed to a five-year term as the Ombudsman of the University of Montreal. Her mandate is to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of all university stakeholders by the university administration, of all situations experienced by each member of the university community. She works with the Advisor to the Ombudsman Monique Laforest, who served as Interim Ombudsman before Roy was appointed.

November 05, 2018

Job Posting: Virginia Tech

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, the public, land-grant, research university in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech is seeking applications and nominations for the inaugural director of its University Ombuds Office. The new position will establish a program that follows IOA standards and serves faculty, staff, students, and other university stakeholders. Currently, VT has only a Graduate School Ombuds, Bryan Hanson.  

Ombuds at University of Toronto Posts 2018 Annual Report

UT Ombudsperson, Ellen Hodnett, reports that her office saw a 10% increase in cases in 2017-18 (a total of 374 compared to 339 in the prior year). The most remarkable change was a 25% increase in the number of graduate students cases. Hodnett made three recommendations regarding which all have been adopted by the university's administration.

October 31, 2018

Wake Tech Ombuds Starting Group for Community College Ombuds

Wake Technical Community College's Ombuds, Jerry Nuesell, is heading up a new group for colleagues at other community colleges. While Ombuds Offices exist at hundreds of traditional four-year institutions of higher education and graduate programs, there are significantly fewer programs at community colleges. 

October 30, 2018

Job Posting: Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior's Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR) is hiring an Organizational Ombudsman. Based in Arlington, Virginia, the full-time position "works with other CADR staff to support the full range of conflict management and dispute resolution services and to identify opportunities and strategies to expand access to ombudsman services and improve the design and/or operation of the Department’s integrated conflict management system and further CADR’s mission."

Southwest Ombuds Retreat to Four Corners

Nineteen Ombuds from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah gathered in Santa Fe, NM October 25-27, 2018, at the Inn on the Alameda for an informal opportunity to connect and learn.

October 29, 2018

Job Posting: Northeastern University

The private university in Boston has opened a search for its first Graduate Ombudsperson. The full-time position will work only with graduate students and report as part of the Provost's office. It is not clear how the position will relate to Northeastern's Ombuds for faculty, staff, and administrators, Diane Levin.

Department of Energy Adds an Experienced Ombuds

Scott Deyo has been hired as an Associate Ombudsman for the DOE. He will be based in Washington, DC, and serve federal employees across the department, world-wide.  Deyo has served as the Ombuds for the National Park Service, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, and helped guide the creation of other federal Ombuds programs. He is a Past-President of the Coalition of Federal Ombudsmen.

Queen's University Assessing Its Ombuds Office

An external reviewer will conduct a thorough review of the Office of the University Ombudsman at the public research university in Kingston, Ontario. Stephen Strople, retired secretary general of McGill University and higher education expert, will look at the Ombuds' effectiveness, profile among the campus community, the communication of services, and future direction. All campus stakeholders will be queried.  

October 25, 2018

Job Posting: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

The worldwide humanitarian aid organization has opened a search for its first Ombudsperson. Based at the IFRC headquarters in Geneva, the full-time position will be "providing impartial and confidential assistance to employees in resolving employment-related disputes and complaints with the aim of improving the overall work environment, including personnel management and operational efficiency."

Brown Undergrads Seek Expansion of Ombuds Service

Earlier this week, Brown's Undergraduate Council of Students unanimously approved a resolution demanding that the University provide an Ombuds to work with undergrads. Currently, the University Ombudsperson, Ruthy Kohorn Rosenberg, works only with faculty, staff, postdocs, and grad students. Brown has an undergraduate population of 7,000.

October 24, 2018

Save the Date for Southeast Regional Ombuds Meeting in June 2019

Kennesaw State University will host a professional development program and regional group kick-off in Savannah, Georgia next summer, June 19th-21st. This event is intended to re-establish a Southeast regional group.

Workshop topics will likely include:

University of Oregon Ombuds Tapped for Forward50 Committee

UO Assistant Ombuds, Jennifer Hudson, has been selected for the Accessibility Subcommittee of Forward50, the Higher Education Committee of 50. Hudson will spend a year working on policy recommendations destined for Capitol Hill. “I think it’s a really exciting moment to not only change the dialogue regionally but nationally around these issues for students,” Hudson said. “We want to diversify campuses, we want student retention, we want student success; we need to start thinking about these things not only as it pertains to our institutions but at large.”

October 23, 2018

Eastern Kentucky University Signs Ombuds Charter

EKU's President, Michael Benson has endorsed a document that further defines the role of the Ombuds program founded last year. EKU Ombuds Joan Beck university explained that the document provides “a point of reference for how the work of conflict resolution gets done. It also advises faculty and staff what they can expect when calling on the ombud for assistance. It adopts the Standards of Practice of the International Ombudsman Association for this office, and expounds and limits those standards to create a fuller understanding of the role of the ombud in the organization.” 

Michigan Medicine Opens Internal Search for First Faculty Ombuds

The academic medical center of the University of Michigan has opened searches for three Faculty Ombuds. The 5%-time positions will be filled by faculty from the instructional, research, and clinical tracks, and report to the Sr. Associate Dean for Faculty and Faculty Development. The each will serve their respective constituent faculty groups. (Indeed postings: instructional, research, and clinical.)

Update: School Board Candidates Skeptical of Ombuds Plan for Frederick County Schools

This summer, the Board of Education for the public school system in Maryland has approved funding for a new Ombuds position. Nonetheless, several candidates for the school board have expressed concerns about the plans. Mostly, the issues are cost and independence. “At this time, I cannot support the ombudsman position because I do not believe an employee making $115,000 can be an impartial, neutral third party,” candidate Jay Mason said. The new Ombuds program is budgeted to cost $115,000 inclusive of benefits. (Frederick News Post.)

October 22, 2018

Inter-American Development Bank Names Associate Ombuds

The Latin American development bank has appointed Harbey Peña Sandoval as its Associate Ombudsperson. Sandoval will be based in Washington, DC and report to IDB Ombuds, Marta I. Abello, for an intial two-year appointment.

University of Colorado Ombuds Launch Blog

The Ombuds Offices from the four University of Colorado campuses (Anschutz Medical Campus, Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver) are collaborating on a new blog named "Ombuzz." Teresa RalickiOmbuds at CU Denver, wrote the first article "'Ombuds'… What's in a Name?" (Ombuzz.)

Video Introduces University of Kansas Ombuds

A new video features KU's University Ombuds DA Graham and Faculty Ombuds Maria Orive talking about how they work with visitors and campus stakeholders. Graham was appointed last fall and Orive has been with the office for a decade. The video shows them in a variety of setting from candid to scripted. (YouTube.)

October 16, 2018

Job Posting: Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA's Alternative Dispute Resolution Division is recruiting for experienced ADR practitioners.  ADR Advisor work is very similar to Ombuds work and many Ombuds have transitioned into this work. Positions are currently available in Washington and Puerto Rico.

October 15, 2018

American Society for Aesthetics Appoints First Ombuds

The Board of Trustees for the professional association has named Jeanette Bicknell as its first Ombudsperson. She was appointed pursuant to ASA’s new Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Respectful Behavior. As the ASA Ombuds, Bicknell will provide confidential and informal assistance to members with concerns about sexual harassment within the association or at sponsored events. If a matter is not resolved informally, a formal complaint is transmitted to the Board via the Ombuds.

University of Barcelona Confirms Ombudsman

Earlier this month, the large public university in Catalonia, Spain has made permanent the appointment of Lluís Caballol i Angelats as Ombudsman after serving in an interim basis since September 2015. At the same time, Juan Carlos Hortal Ibarra was named the Assistant Ombudsman. The Ombuds at Universitat de Barcelona works with all stakeholders, including students, teaching and research staff, and administration and services staff. 

October 12, 2018

Job Posting: Bowie State University

The public university in Maryland is seeking its first Ombudsperson. The position will develop and implement an Ombuds program for faculty, staff, and students utilizing the University System of Maryland's Guidelines for Ombudsperson. The position reports to the University President.

Ganja State University Names First Ombuds for Students

Gəncə Dövlət Universiteti, the public university in Azerbaijan, has appointed Rashad Isgandarov (Rəşad İsgəndərov) as its first Student Ombudsman. The appointment follow the recommendation of a new program in Azerbaijan designed to improve student protections under the Bologna Process: "Advocacy Establishment for Students through Ombudsman Position" (AESOP). (Ganja State Ombuds; AESOP.)

ETH Zurich Refills Ombuds Vacancies With Two New Appointments

After a dramatic year at the leading Swiss engineering and technology university, two new Ombudspersons have been appointed.  Margrit Leuthold and Peter Frischknecht, were elected by the ETH Executive Board. They join Gerhard Tröster, who was appointed earlier this year. 

October 11, 2018

Today is the First Ombuds Day!

The Inaugural Ombuds Day is finally here and Ombuds programs around the world are hosting events to mark the occasion. Please make sure to share photos, highlights, and more on social media using the hashtag #ombudsday.

Guest Post: The Thread that Unites Us All – A Celebration of Ombuds Day*

The following post was submitted by Reese Ramos, CO-OP, former IOA President and Ombuds for Sandia National Lab and UCLA:

October 10, 2018

State of Connecticut Declares Ombuds Day 2018

Governor Dannel P. Malloy has issued a Official Statement declaring October 11, 2018 to be Ombuds Day in the State of Connecticut.

Job Posting: University of Toronto

 The large, public research university in Ontario is hiring an Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council & Ombuds Officer. The position has two roles. The Assistant Secretary provides administrative support, advice, and information to the Governing Council on policies, precedents, and procedures for assigned Boards and Committees. In addition, as Ombuds Officer the position reports to the University Ombudsperson, Ellen Hodnett, and serves as a primary contact for faculty, staff and students seeking assistance from the Office of the Ombudsperson. The position is part of the recently announced expansion of the UT Ombuds office.

October 09, 2018

State of Colorado to Observe Ombuds Day 2018

John Hickenlooper, Colorado's governor, has issued a proclamation marking October 11, 2018 as Ombuds Day. 

Job Posting: Tarion

Tarion Warranty Corp. is hiring an Early Resolution Officer in its Ombudsperson Office.   The position works with home buyers, owners, vendor/builders and other stakeholders to provide advice, guidance and direction for early resolution of complaints.  

October 08, 2018

Job Posting: Ryerson University

The public research university in Toronto, Ontario has opened a search for its next Ombudsperson. The position leads a well-established office that serves 24,000 students. The position has been held by Nora Farrell since 2000. Other members of the office are Assistant Ombudspersons Ayesha Adam and Gemma Kerr.

October 05, 2018

Sandia National Labs Shutters Ombuds Program

The National Nuclear Security Administration research and development laboratory has announced the immediate closure of its Corporate Ombuds Office immediately. The move affects Mauricio "Reese" Ramos, Sandia's the Ombuds in Livermore, CA, and Jennifer Stinebaugh, the Ombuds in New Mexico. No explanation was given for the decision, but it may be lined to the recent management change--Honeywell International took over management of Sandia in May 2017. 

Mars Inc. Hires Ombuds in Arizona

The global foods conglomerate has added Ish Baki to the Mars Ombudsman Program. Baki has worked for Mars since 2005, most recently as a Team Leader in pet specialty products.  He joins a seven-person Ombuds office, which includes Isabel CalderonWillem Kweens, CO-OPGuangYi Li, CO-OPLorraine Medal, CO-OPNikolai Pankratiev, CO-OP, and Sam Zhou

October 04, 2018

More Organizations Join Celebrations for Ombuds Day 2018

Momentum continues to build for the first annual Ombuds Day on October 11, 2018. The following organizations will be marking the event:

October 03, 2018

Update: Amazon to Produce TV Show About a College Ombuds

Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Amazon Studios will produce a half-hour TV show centered on the work of a college Ombuds. The comedy will be co-created and co-written by Whitney Cummings (2 Broke Girls) and Lee Daniels (Empire). Cummings will star.