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.

2018 ABA Dispute Resolution Conference Includes Just One Ombuds Panel

The American Bar Association's Section of Dispute Resolution Annual Spring Conference will feature just one session about Organizational Ombuds. In years past, there often have been four sessions featuring Ombuds. In addition to the single panel, there will be a networking meeting for Ombuds. The conference takes place in Washington, DC, April 4-7.

February 02, 2018

Job Posting: World Bank Group

The international financial institution is hiring a Program Analyst to work for its Ombuds Services and the Respectful Workplace Advisors Program. The full-time position reports directly to the WBG Ombudsman in Washington, DC, Axel Peuker. The primary role is to provide technical expertise related to workplace conflict resolution and the Ombuds practice, including conducting research, analysis, and developing approaches for effective conflict resolution.

Job Posting: United Nations, Uganda

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is hiring a Conflict Resolution Officer to be based in Entebbe.  The position will provide Ombuds and conflict resolution services to UN staff "in the UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, South Sudan, the border between these two countries and some other missions in the region."

Updated Job Posting: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

UNC's search for its next University Ombuds has been updated. Applications are now due by February 22, 2018 (previously it was February 8) and the expected start date is June 4, 2018 (previously it was March 1). These changes should dispel any implication that the search is perfunctory and that an internal candidate has been pre-selected.

California Legislature Hears Testimony on Role of Ombuds in Sexual Misconduct Matters

Last week, as part of its on-going effort to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct in the state capital, a joint subcommittee of the California legislature heard about how the Ombuds programs work at the University of California.