January 31, 2019

IOA Announces Agenda for 2019 Annual Conference

The International Ombudsman Association convenes its 13th annual conference at the Sheraton Hotel New Orleans on April 1-3, 2019. The three-day event will be familiar to anyone who has attended in recent years: the days start with keynote events from Ombuds and others professionals, plenary and concurrent sessions, and opportunities to hear from association leaders. The full agenda with presenter bios is now available and registration is open.

Job Posting: University of California, Davis

The Ombuds Office at UC Davis has opened a search for a newly created Assistant Ombuds position. This full-time position will provide all visitor intake, represent and promote the office through outreach, coordinate the administrative and financial aspects of the office, assist with the creation of annual reports, and work on strategic initiatives. 

Florida Atlantic University Names Ombuds

Last October, the public university in Boca Raton appointed Angella Wint as its next Ombudsman. She works primarily serves students, of which there are about 31,000 enrolled. Wint moves into the position after working as a paralegal in FAU's Office of General Counsel since 1990. She earned her master’s degree in public administration at Nova Southeastern University. 

January 30, 2019

Job Posting: University of California San Francisco

The Office of the Ombuds at UCSF, a top-tier academic healthcare institution, has posted a job opening for a full-time, 12-month contract Associate Ombuds.  The position will report to Director Maureen Brodie and join a team of three Ombuds and a Program Coordinator.  

St. George's University Appoints First Ombuds

Earlier this month, the private international university in Grenada, West Indies, named Karen Blackmon as its first Ombudsman. She will report directly to the Provost and "will provide a safe and informal channel for students, faculty, and staff to report concerns about the integrity of their academic and work environment." Blackmon is also an Assistant Professor at St. George’s Department of Physiology, Neuroscience, and Behavioral Sciences.

January 29, 2019

IOA Posts First Press Release

Yesterday, the International Ombudsman Association published its first press statement. The bulletin focused on the article posted by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation which argued that Ombuds are a best practice for companies in the #metoo era. The press release included quotes from IOA President Marcia Martinez-Helfman. (IOA Press Releases.)

Job Posting: University of Maryland, Baltimore

The original campus of the University System of Maryland is hiring its next Ombudsperson. The office was established in 2016 by Laurelyn Irving. Brian Godette has served in the position since early summer 2018. The new position will work with students, non-represented staff, post-doctorals, fellows, and faculty from six professional programs, including schools of dentistry, law, medicine, pharmacy, social work and nursing, a total population of about 15,000.

University of Oregon Ombuds Annual Report: Cases Nearly Doubled

In an report covering the 2017-18 academic year, UO Ombudsperson Brett Harris says that her office managed a of 399 cases covering 1092 total concerns and worked directly with more than 1000 members of the university community in dispute resolution processes. 

University of California, Davis Names Interim Campus Ombuds

Dana Hinojosa, Davis’s Associate Ombudsperson, has been tapped to serve as the Interim Director of the Ombuds Office following the departure of Katherine Greenwood. She will oversee two Associate Ombuds, Lindsey Dunning and Lauren Bloom, and the hiring of another Ombuds. (UC Davis News.)

January 28, 2019

Job Posting: Western Governors University

The private, nonprofit, online university based in Salt Lake City, Utah is hiring its first Ombudsman. The position is located in the Office of Student Affairs and will provide impartial and confidential consultation to student population of nearly 100,000. 

IOA Seeks to Recognize Volunteers

The International Ombudsman has implemented a peer recognition program to recognize the work of its many volunteers. There are two types of recognition: The Presidential Recognition Program; and The Peer Recognition Program.


January 25, 2019

University of Bern Appoints Ombuds for Staff

Switzerland's third largest university (Universität Bern or Université de Berne) has named Silvio Decurtins, a Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, as its first Ombudsperson. Decurtins will serve university employees "directly involved in complaints relating to their employment relationship ... if no other authorities are, or were, involved in formal proceedings." The position is independent of other university offices and the work is strictly confidential.

Ombuds as a Best Practice for Corporate Boards

An article posted by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (the leading online resource for discourse on corporate governance) asserts that Ombuds are a best practice for companies in the #metoo era. 

January 23, 2019

Penn State Schuylkill Appoints First Faculty Ombuds

The Pennsylvania State University campus in Schuylkill Haven has named Michael Cardamone as its first ever Ombuds and Rod Heisey as the Alternate Ombuds. Penn State Schuylkill enrolls about 800 students and has 50 full-time academic staff. Cardamone is an emeritus professor of physics. Heisey is professor and program coordinator in the Department of Biology. (PSU Schuylkill Faculty Ombuds.)

University of California Berkeley Promotes Staff Ombuds

The UC Berkeley Staff Ombuds Office has confirmed Júlia Horváth, CO-OP, as Associate Ombudsperson. She was promoted to the position after serving as Assistant Ombudsperson from 2016 - 2017 and as Interim Associate Ombudsperson in 2018.  

January 22, 2019

New Management Refreshes IOA Website

With the help of its new management company, the International Ombudsman Association has dramatically renovated its online presence with an entirely new website. SBI Association Management took over IOA's administrative support earlier this month, including responsibility for the website. Rather than simply move the page to a new host, SBI and IOA collaborated on a new look and new features.

January 21, 2019

Syracuse University Names First Permanent Ombuds

Alumnus and former employee, Neal Powless, will return to Syracuse as its first University Ombuds, effective tomorrow. He takes over from Interim University Ombuds Samuel Clemence who helped guide the selection process. SU Chancellor Kent Syverud said that Powless's, “experience in career and academic advising, in social and personal counseling, and in the Office of Multicultural Affairs have prepared him to serve in this key role.”

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 at least four 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.

Job RePosting: University of Toronto

The large, public research university in Ontario is still seeking its first Assistant Secretary of the Governing Council & Ombuds Officer. The Assistant Secretary position provides administrative support to the Governing Council. As Ombuds Officer, the job reports to the University Ombudsperson, Ellen Hodnett, and serves as a primary contact for faculty, staff and students seeking assistance from the recently expanded Office of the Ombudsperson. In a recent interview with the Varsity, Hodnett explained that the separate duties of the position do not present an unmanageable conflict of interest.

January 18, 2019

ABA 2019 Dispute Resolution Conference to Include Ombuds Panel

The American Bar Association's Section of Dispute Resolution Annual Spring Conference will feature a panel session about all types of Ombuds organized and moderated by Liz Hill, Associate Director University of Colorado Boulder Ombuds Office. The conference takes place April 10-13, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis, MN. The full agenda is still being developed and additional Ombuds-relevant events may be added.

January 17, 2019

Society for Personality and Social Psychology Creates Ombuds Program for Annual Conference

The largest organization of social psychologists and personality psychologists has contracted with ProActive ReSolutions to provide independent, confidential Ombuds services for its members and conference attendees. Ashley Moore and Shirley Nakata will be available by phone and email during and immediately after the SPSP annual convention set for February 7 - 9, 2019 in Portland, Oregon.

Call for Presenters and Attendees: 2019 Summer Academic Ombuds Meeting

DePaul University will be hosting the 2019 Summer Academic Ombuds meeting in Chicago on June 24-25.  As in years past,  the "New Academic Ombuds Workshop" will be offered on the first part of the day on June 24. The planning committee is still seeking presenters and organizers would like an idea of how many people will be attending.

January 16, 2019

Job Re-Posting: University of California Berkeley

The flagship campus of the UC system has revised its search for an Assistant Ombudsperson. The top end of the annual salary range has been increased $5,000 and the application deadline has been extended. The position is in the Ombuds Office for Students and Postdoctoral Appointees and reports to Director Marcia Gee Riley.

Robert Shelton: Long-time University of Kansas Ombuds

Bob Shelton, who served as the KU University Ombudsman for 18 years, passed away on December 23, 2018. Shelton was a professor for nearly five decades, and was Chair of the Religious Studies Department at KU for ten years. He was widely regarded as a leader in the Organizational Ombuds field and in 1993 was elected president of the University and College Ombuds Association.

Job Posting: World Health Organization

The UN agency that focuses on international public health has reopened its search for a Regional Ombudsman for the Pan American Health Organization. The 80% time position will be based in Washington, DC, for a two-year, renewable contract. Dolores Gómez-Morán has held the post for the past five years.

IOA Announces Pre-Conference Training for New Orleans

The International Ombudsman Association will offer a number of training opportunities before its 2019 annual conference in New Orleans. The sessions are designed to be relevant for a variety of professionals working in alternative dispute resolution, not just Ombuds. 

The programs include:

Meet Southern Oregon University's New Ombuds

Dominick Robertson has been named the new Faculty Ombuds for the public, liberal arts university in Ashland. He takes over the position from Lynn Kirms, who established the program in 2016. Robertson will serve nearly 1,000 academic staff, practicing to IOA standards. Robertson has been member of the Psychology Department faculty since 2009.  

January 15, 2019

Job Posting: Chevron Corporation

The multinational energy company is hiring a Principal Ombuds Manager, to be based at its headquarters in San Ramon, California. The position has been held by Jackie Osborne since 2013. Chevron's Principal Ombuds Manager oversees a geographically dispersed team of Ombuds Managers, in addition to the processes and procedures for fulfilling the mandate of the company's Global Office of Ombuds. Some travel is required.

ABA Ombuds Committee Now Has Social Media Presence

In the wake of a very successful Ombuds Day roll-out, the American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section’s Ombuds Committee has created profiles on three social media platforms. The goals of their social media posts will be to:

Co-Founder of Bravely on Why Organizations Need Ombuds

In an article contributed to Forbes, Sarah Sheehan says that the allegations of sexual harassment and pay disparity in the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign exemplified the need for organizations to have an Ombuds. Sheehan is a co-founder of Bravely, an online company that offers an independent and external Ombuds service. She says that Sanders' promises of new promises to address the problems, calls to mind the concept of an Ombuds: 

January 14, 2019

Job Posting: Fair Practices Office, Manitoba

The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba is hiring a Director for its Fair Practices Office. The position functions as the organizational Ombudsman for the Workers Compensation Board--addressing issues of alleged unfairness raised by any worker, claimant, employer or external service provider. The Director manages the office and reports to the Workers Compensation Board of Directors.

Job Posting: Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

The independent federal that provides mediation services government agencies and other entities worldwide (and which is currently funded and not shut down) is hiring an ADR Mediator for its Office of Conflict Management and Prevention. The position will conduct outreach, develop programs and services, design and deliver training programs, and provide mediation, facilitation, coaching, dispute systems design and other related services to Agency clients. Travel is expected.

Journal of IOA Opens Access for 2019

The peer-reviewed journal for the Organizational Ombuds profession has removed its paywall for 2019. In 2017, the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association moved to a piecemeal publication schedule and moved its content to the members-only area of it's website. Earlier this month, IOA's new management company updated the association's website and opened access to JIOA. The Journal is also available through EBSCO. (JIOA Home.) 

Group Demands Reinstatement of Dartmouth Ombuds

Last week, an advocacy group called “Dartmouth Community Against Gender Harassment and Sexual Violence,” delivered a list of demands to the college that included reinstatement of an Ombuds program that was closed two years ago. The community group, which includes hundreds of students and alumni members, is seeking to have the private Ivy League college in New Hampshire adopt stronger protections against sexual harassment.

January 09, 2019

Job Posting: University of California Los Angeles

The top ranked public university in the U.S. is hiring an Ombudsperson for a one-year contract. Reporting to the Campus Ombudsperson, Kathleen Canul, the full-time position will provide impartial and confidential conflict resolution services to all members of the UCLA campus community and also work on outreach efforts and special projects.

January 08, 2019

Two Experienced Ombuds to Create New Program at USC

The University of Southern California has hired Katherine Greenwood and Tom Kosakowski as its first University Ombuds. Together, they will serve as co-equals and create an Ombuds program for a campus that has been roiled by a series of high profile scandals in recent years. Greenwood will serve the main university campus and Kosakowski will serve the nearby medical center. According to the job postings, the two new Ombuds will practice to IOA standards and become part of a new administrative center: "Campus Wellness and Crisis Intervention."

January 07, 2019

Job Posting: Austin Community College District

The community college system in Central Texas has re-opened the its search for its first Staff Ombudsperson. (A search in May 2018 was unsuccessful and the college has also resumed an internal search for its first Faculty Ombuds.) The full-time position will report to the Executive Vice President, Finance & Administration and provide confidential and informal assistance to staff members and students with concerns about a staff member. (ACC enrolls over 60,000 students.) 

Franciscan Podcast Urges Catholic Bishops to Appoint Ombuds

Greg Stone is a transformational mediator who leads Taming the Wolf, a non-profit dedicated to Franciscan peacemaking. In his latest podcast, Stone discusses the need for an Organizational Ombuds program within the Catholic Church. 

Here's the summary for the 11 minute podcast:

January 02, 2019

Job Posting: University of Minnesota

The of U of M has reopened its search for a Director for its Office for Conflict Resolution (not the Student Conflict Resolution Center headed by Jan Morse).  The position is currently held on an interim basis by Eric Schnell. The position provides informal dispute resolution services -- including private consultations, facilitated discussions, and mediation -- to non-bargaining unit faculty, staff, student employees, and administrators with employment-related concerns. It also manages a staff of three.

Job Posting: Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

The U.S. Department of Labor office that is responsible for ensuring that Federal contractors comply with the laws and regulations requiring nondiscrimination is hiring its first Ombudsman. The new OFCCP Ombuds program is intended to increase transparency and communication with stakeholders.