Here now is the second installment of the top ten Ombuds stories of 2018, numbers 7-4. The list will continue, Friday, December 28.
7. Me Too Movement Drives Interest in Ombuds -- As organizations continue to address their history of gender discrimination and harassment, interest has grown in Ombuds as part of the response. For example, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said that institutions should have Ombuds to supplement Title IX programs. The U.S. Senate heard testimony that recommended an Ombuds program for the Federal Court system. In the private sector, a national law firm publicized the work of Pfizer's Ombuds as a response to harassment issues. There's even the potential for a new TV sitcom centered on a college Ombuds navigating PC culture and the #metoo movement.
6. More Non-U.S. University Create Ombuds Offices -- Several of the new Ombuds programs created in 2018 were in universities outside the United States, more than any prior year, including: Al Akhawayn University; Ganja State University; Karolinska Institutet; Kavli IPMU; Politecnico di Milano; and Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción.
5. Ombuds Catch on at Medical Schools -- Perhaps 2018 was the tipping point for Ombuds at American medical schools. New programs were unveiled at: Cooper Medical School; Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Meharry Medical College; Saint Louis University School of Medicine; University of Rochester Medical Center; and, in December 2017, The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
4. IOA Gets a New Management Company -- It was a bit of a rocky year for the International Ombudsman Association. In March, IOA and its management company, Kellen selected a new executive director. Many expected this would herald positive changes. Then, Kellen abruptly terminated its contract with IOA in July, leaving the association scrambling to find a replacement in just a few months. At the end of November, IOA announced the selection of SBI Association Management as its new administrative partner starting in January. It remains to be seen how smooth the transition will be.Related post: Ombuds Year in Review: 2018 (Intro).