September 20, 2019

Momentum for Academic Ombuds in Polish Universities Worries Some Unions

Several leading universities in Poland are considering the appointment of Academic Ombuds following the lead of U.S. universities. Currently only the University of Warsaw has an Ombuds, Anna Cybulko, but the University of Silesia expects to appoint its first Ombuds by the end of the year. Ombuds are also under review at Jagiellonian University, the University of Rzeszów, and the University of Bialystok. Polish union leaders, who have traditionally negotiated issues involving university employees, are growing concerned about the new Ombuds.

IOA Signs on as ACR 2019 Conference Sponsor

The International Ombudsman Association is a sponsor of the Association for Conflict Resolution's annual conference currently underway in Tucson, Arizona (September 18-21, 2019). IOA joins Mediate.com and National Association for Community Mediation as "Organizational Sponsors." 

September 19, 2019

Job Posting: University of Minnesota

The U of M is hiring a part-time Outreach Ombuds. The position is located in the Student Conflict Resolution Center headed by Jan Morse. The primary job duty is providing Ombuds services to all members of the campus community. A significant secondary duty is directing the center’s communications, training, and outreach program to the University community.

Job Posting: Lund University

Lunds universitet, the prestigious Swedish university founded in 1666, is hiring a Doctoral Ombudsman. The position works with all doctoral students enrolled in Lund University's eight faculties. The Ombuds is employed by the Lund Doctoral Student Union and this is independent of the university. The full-time position will start with a six-month probationary period. 

September 18, 2019

Thomas Scott: Former Cornell University Ombuds

Thomas W. Scott, an Emeritus Professor of Agronomy and former University Ombudsman, passed away on August 22, 2019 at the age of 89. At Cornell, Scott served as University Ombuds from 1992 to 1994, and he retired from the faculty in 1995. Ralph Obendorf, a fellow professor recalled a constant stream of students coming to see Scott. “He fought hard for the underdogs,” Obendorf said. “The typical aggie student that was going back to the farm, he could relate to them. [...] He had a really good rapport with them.” (Cornell News; Ombuds.)

September 17, 2019

Job Posting: Colorado State University

The public land-grant university in Ft. Collins has opened a search for a full-time Ombuds. This signals CSU's continued commitment to the Ombuds program that was in doubt after the resignation of the former Ombuds, Lanai Greenhalgh, in April 2018. The position oversees the CSU Ombuds Office Ombuds, which serves university employees and includes a quarter-time Faculty Ombuds, half-time EAP Counselor/ Coordinator and shared Community Resources Coordinator. The University Ombuds Office reports functionally to the Offices of the President and Provost, and administratively to the Associate Vice President for Human Capital.

Job Posting: Carleton University

The public university in Ottawa, Ontario has opened a search for its next University Ombudsperson. The position is, "Responsible for conducting investigations and making recommendations to resolve complaints, from any university community member, exclusive on union employment and labour relations." These duties are not unusual for Ombuds in Canada.* The Carleton Ombuds reports to a Committee comprised of members of the campus community. 

Summer 2019 Meeting of Colorado Ombuds Includes Swag

On Friday, September 13th the Colorado Ombuds Group gathered for an all-day retreat hosted by the CU Denver|Anschutz Ombuds Office team (Melissa Connell, Lisa Neale, and Teresa Ralicki). Participants received "Om-mugs."

Queen's University Selects Ombuds

Lavonne Hood has been appointed the next University Ombuds for the public research university in Kingston, Ontario. She succeeds  Heather Cole, who served as Ombuds on an interim basis for the past year. Hood will work with students, staff and faculty across six faculties and numerous departments—a total population of about 35,000. Previously, Hood was the Senior Legal Counsel in the office of the University Secretariat & Legal Counsel. (Queen's Ombuds.)

September 16, 2019

León Declaration Joins Five Ombuds Networks in Collaboration

At the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education's 15th annual meeting in June 2019, representatives from five networks of Ombuds in higher education in Spain, Portugal, Canada, Latin America, and Europe agreed to increase joint cooperation. 


Texas Tech Selects Next Faculty Ombuds

Tara Stevens has been named the Faculty Ombudsperson for the public research university in Lubbock, Texas. She succeeds Jean Pearson Scott, who established the position in 2015. Stevens is a Professor of Educational Psychology. 


Job Posting: Inkomoko

Inkomoko is hiring a Director of People (HR Director) for its headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda. The position has significant, but not exclusively, Organizational Ombuds duties. The company is the Rwandan affiliate of African Entrepreneur Collective, a US-based network of accelerators that offer business education, consulting, and access to affordable capital to help entrepreneurs create jobs.

September 13, 2019

Job Posting: National Institutes of Health

The NIH Office of the Ombudsman is seeking an Associate Ombudsman for an initial, one-year contract appointment. The search will fill a position recently vacated by Tyler Smith. The position will join a highly respected team in the NIH Center for Cooperative Resolution and report to the Director, Kathleen Moore.

Elon University Appoints a Faculty Ombuds

Jeff Clark has been named the next Faculty Ombuds for the private university in North Carolina, effective July 1, 2019. He succeeds Mat Gendle. Clark completed IOA training in July.

September 12, 2019

Marquette University Shuts Down Ombuds Office

The Office of the Ombuds at Marquette University closed last Friday, September 6, 2019.  The office, which opened in 2002, served faculty and staff.  The closing affects Kerry Egdorf, who served as the Ombuds for 12 years.  No explanation was given for the closing; however, the position was one of 24 jobs eliminated last week. 

VCU's 2019 National Conflict Resolution Day Program to Feature New USC Ombuds

The National Conflict Resolution Day celebration at Virginia Commonwealth University will include a keynote by Tom Kosakowski, the new Ombuds for the Health Sciences Campus at the University of Southern California. This is the seventh annual event hosted by VCU University Ombudsman William King and will take place on October 17, 2019. As usual, the event is free and open to the public.  

East Carolina University Moves to Make Staff Ombuds Permanent

ECU, the public research university in Greenville, North Carolina, as opened an internal search for an Ombuds. The half-time position has been held on an interim basis by Mickey A. Herrin Sr., a local mediator and arbitrator, since April 2019. The University Ombuds will provide services to ECU faculty, staff, and administrators and report administratively to the Chancellor's chief of staff.

September 11, 2019

Athletes Continue to Press WADA for Ombuds

At its meeting last month in Peru, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Athlete Committee continued its work on a number of issues including an Ombudsperson proposal. The WADA Athlete Committee continues to advocate for an Ombuds Office at WADA for the purposes of "supporting athletes with a channel through which to report issues, seek advice, ensure rules are applied as they should be and assist with navigating the increasingly complex world of anti-doping." This would be very similar to some of the work of the U.S. Olympic Committee's Athlete Ombudsman.

Bastyr University Shutters Ombuds Office

Leslie (Nelson) Kellogg, the first Ombudsperson for Bastyr University, the alternative medicine university near Seattle, has departed, and the President has decided to close the office. The Ombuds Office was created January 2018 as an IOA-compliant resource for all staff, students, and faculty on both campuses and for two medical clinics.

September 10, 2019

Job Posting: USC Gould School of Law

The law school at the University of Southern California is hiring a part-time lecturer to teach a new two-unit course about Organizational Ombuds. Here's the full job posting:

Global Game Jam has an Ombuds

The world's largest game creation event has an Ombuds for participants with concerns about unacceptable behaviors. GGJ involves thousands of participants worldwide: In January 2019, there were teams at 860 sites in 113 countries, who over the course of one weekend created 9,010 games. The next GGJ is set for January 31 - February 2, 2020. It appears that the Ombuds was established earlier this year.

September 09, 2019

University of Amsterdam Plans Ombuds Program

The leading Dutch public university, Universiteit van Amsterdam, will appoint its first Ombudsperson as part of a push to embrace the increasing levels of diversity in the student body and staff. The UvA employs 8,000 members of staff and has a student population of 40,000, figures that include over 120 different nationalities. This week, the university's Executive Board adopted the recommendations of a Diversity Committee’s report, which included a first-ever Ombuds.

Stockton Unified School District Loses its First Ombuds

The first District Ombudsperson for the public school system in Central California, Fhanysha (Clark) Gaddis, has departed, leaving the program in question. The SUSD Ombuds was implemented in July 2018 as a resource for employees, managers, [40,000 enrolled] students and the community. Gaddis has taken a position as Deputy City Attorney for the City of Sacramento. SUSD has not announced a plan for the Ombuds Office. (LinkedIn; SUSD Ombuds.)

September 04, 2019

Richland Two in South Carolina Appoints First District Ombuds

Kelli Johnson has been named the new Ombuds for Richland County School District Two, a fast-growing public school district in Columbia, South Carolina. Johnson will respond to inquiries and provides coordination of district services and report to the superintendent. “The ombudsman serves as a liaison between the community, schools and district administrative functions,” explained Superintendent Dr. Baron R. Davis.

Archaeological Institute of America to Appoint Ombuds for 2020 Conference

The professional association with over 200,000 members has promised an Ombudsperson will be in place for its next annual conference. The decision was made by AIA and the Society for Classical Studies, which co-sponsors the annual conference set for Washington, D.C. on January 2-5, 2020. The two organizations have also adopted a Harassment Policy to ensure that conference attendees are "free from harassment, as well as any kind of bullying or intimidation." AIA and SCS have not yet identified the Ombudsperson or specified the applicable standards for the position.

August 30, 2019

UTHealth Appoint First Ombuds

Robin Dickey has been named the Academic Ombuds at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. In this new role, she serves faculty, medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and medical graduates who are part of the largest medical center in the world. She continues also as a Faculty Assistance Specialist for UTHealth. As the Ombuds, she practices to IOA standards.

August 29, 2019

Job Posting: University of Rochester

The private research university in Upstate New York hiring an Ombuds Director. It appears that this is a new position that will work with all faculty, staff, and students—a population of about 15,000. It is not clear from the posting whether this is a full- or part-time position or how it will interact with the existing Ombuds programs for Arts, Sciences and Engineeringgraduate students and faculty, and School of Medicine and Dentistry graduate students, postdocs, and trainees. The position is located in the provost's office.

Job Posting: Brandeis University

The private university near Boston, MA is hiring a part-time Ombuds Officer. The position will work with the two University Ombuds, Don Greenstein and Elena Lewis, and serve about 7,500 faculty, staff, and students.  

[Missed] Job Posting: U.S. Census Bureau

The Department of Commerce agency that produces data about the American people and economy is hiring its first Ombudsman. The position is based in the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer at the Census Bureau Headquarters in Suitland, Maryland. The position serves all Census employees and travel will be required. Telework may be an option.

August 28, 2019

Northeastern Illinois University Selects Experienced Ombuds

Tyler Smith, an Associate Ombuds at the National Institutes of Health, has been named the next Ombuds for NEIU, the public state university in North Park, Chicago. Smith succeeds Bradley R. Ginn who established the program in 2012 and who moved to Argonne National Lab earlier this year. Smith will report to the University President and serve faculty, staff, and 8,000 students. 

Job Posting: County of Santa Clara

The county in Silicon Valley, California is hiring a Senior Mediator with significant Ombuds duties. In addition to providing ADR services (including Ombuds work), the part-time position also provides professional training and development efforts in the fields of ADR and/or Ombuds. 

FCO/Osgoode Launches Advanced Ombuds Course

In 2013, the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and Osgoode Professional Development began an certificate program taught by distinguished Ombuds, lawyers, and academics from across Canada. The program has been so successful that a second spring session was added last year. FCO/Osgoode are now offering an advanced course with modules in November 2019 and February 2020.

August 27, 2019

Concordia Ombuds Pens Book on Effective Complaining

Amy Fish, the Ombuds at Concordia University, is releasing a book in October, I Wanted Fries with That: How to Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need. She wrote it “for people who would really like to stand up for themselves — but they don’t because they don’t know how to.” Fish believes that standing up for oneself is “absolutely a skill anyone can learn.” She has been an Ombuds since 2017.

August 26, 2019

University of the Bahamas Appoints First Ombuds

Marisa Mason-Smith will be the first Ombuds for the national university based in Nassau and the country's first Organizational Ombuds. Mason-Smith will report to UB's board of trustees and serve students, faculty, staff and administrators—a population of almost 7,000. 

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Creates Ombuds Program

The independent nonprofit mathematical research institution in Berkeley, California has named Catherine Glaze as its first Ombuds. Practicing to IOA standards, Glaze will provide services to MSRI's 260 members, including visiting faculty and fellows.

August 23, 2019

University of California Santa Barbara Adds an Associate Ombuds

UCSB's Office of the Ombuds has hired Don Lubach as an Associate Ombuds, starting September 1, 2019. This is a new position that expands the size of the office. Previously, Lubach was the university’s Associate Dean of Students and Director of First-Year and Graduate Student Initiatives. He helped redevelop the Graduate Student Resource Center, taught graduate students, and helped establish a social justice and public policy program in Mexico.

University of Kansas Names Faculty Ombuds

Ada Emmett has been selected as the next Faculty Ombuds at KU. She joins University Ombuds DA Graham and succeeds Maria Orive, who served in the role for over a decade. Emmett is expected to serve an initial, renewable three-year, renewable term. The Faculty Ombuds position is a 20% appointment and Emmett continues as a Librarian and the director of a campus center that provides online tools for faculty, staff, and students to share scholarly work and educational resources.

August 15, 2019

Job Reposting: Minneapolis Public Schools

The large Minnesota school district has reopened its search for a Director, Staff Ombudsperson. MPS has been seeking to fill the position since June 2018. The current posting gives applicants a window of four business days to submit. 


August 14, 2019

Chuck Howard Tapped as IOA's Inaugural Executive Director

In an announcement last night, the International Ombudsman Association Board announced that Charles Howard will become the inaugural Executive Director starting next month. He is expected to be, "the public champion and representative for the IOA, its members, and the organizational ombudsman profession." This is a momentous development. An attorney by profession, Howard has been the leading advocate for Organizational Ombuds for decades and authored the definitive legal treatise. 

August 13, 2019

Ombuds Day 2019 Gathers Momentum

The American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section Ombuds Committee has a number of exciting updates for the next Ombuds Day. Set for Thursday, October 10, 2019,  the second annual celebration of the Ombuds profession will be marked by several events. Already planned are events in Washington, D.C. and Chicago at the ABA headquarters, in Boulder, CO at the University of Colorado School of Law.

University of California Berkeley Hires Assistant Ombuds

Rachel Nicholson has joined the the UC Berkeley Staff Ombuds Office as an Assistant Ombudsperson. She follows Evan Lutz and joins Director, Sara Thacker, and Associate Ombuds, Julia Horvath. Previously, Nicholson was a Case Assistant at the University of Oregon Ombuds Program.

August 12, 2019

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Names First Ombuds

Marcus Stergio will be the new Ombudsman for OFCCP, the U.S. Department of Labor office ensures Federal contractors comply with the laws and regulations requiring nondiscrimination. “The Ombudsman fits squarely within the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ broader initiative to improve transparency in our compliance evaluation and compliance assistance activities,” said OFCCP Director Craig E. Leen. “The Ombudsman will provide an independent perspective and facilitate communication between external stakeholders and OFCCP regional and district offices.”

August 08, 2019

University of Toronto Now Has Ombuds on All Campuses

Fulfilling its promise to have Ombuds for each of its three campuses, the Ombudsperson's Office at U of T now has five staff members. University Ombudsperson, Ellen Hodnett, has been joined by: Kristi Gourlay, Ombuds Officer at the St. George (Downtown) campus; Cindy Ferencz Hammond, Ombuds Officer at the Mississauga campus; Emma Thacker, Ombuds Officer at Scarborough campus; and Stephanie Goldner, Secretary to the Ombudsperson. In May, Hodnett was reappointed to a two-year term that ends June 31, 2021. (UofT Ombuds; UofT Governing Council.)

IOA Board Fills One of Two Vacated Director Positions, Names New Secretary

In an email to members, the International Ombudsman Association Board announced that two Directors have stepped off due to personal and professional commitments. Ruthy Kohorn Rosenberg and Elaine Shaw have served on the Board since April 2018 and departed in July 2019. Both served as IOA Secretary. 

August 07, 2019

Job Posting: Chevron, Australia

The multinational energy company is hiring an Ombuds Manager. The full-time position is based in Perth, Western Australia and reports to Chevron's Principal Ombuds Manager, Sana Manjeshwar. The office practices to IOA standards

Registration Opens for 2019 Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Committee Meeting

More details are now available and registration has started for the fourth annual International Ombudsman Association's APRAC meeting, hosted Asian Development Bank at its Manila headquarters. Set for October 16-18, 2019, the meeting includes two full days of meetings about the opportunities and challenges of Ombuds practices in the Asian-Pacific region.

August 06, 2019

Villanova University Appoints First Ombuds

Meg Willoughby has been selected as the first Faculty Ombudsperson for the private Catholic university in southeast Pennsylvania. This is a part-time position and Willoughby is concurrently employed as Senior Attorney and Subject Matter Expert (investigator) in the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, where she has practiced since 2005. 

IOA Bylaw Changes Will Smooth Membership Process

The International Ombudsman Association Board of Directors is seeking approval from its members for a set of bylaws amendments. The changes will move the association from a calendar-year membership schedule to rolling memberships. IOA voting members can vote online via proxy now or during a special online meeting August 27, 2019. The full text of the bylaw changes and related policy changes are available online along with instructions for voting. (IOA Proposed Bylaw Changes.)

August 02, 2019

University of Texas at Dallas Unveils Students Ombuds Program

The fast-growing campus of the University of Texas System has named Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Diego Garcia Theodore as its first Student Ombuds. Practicing to IOA standards, Theodore serves a student population of about 30,000. He moves into the position after a short stint as senior director of the International Center at UT Dallas.