September 28, 2023

Georgetown University Selects First Staff Ombuds

Linda Brothers has been named the first Staff Ombudsperson for the private research university in Washington, DC. In this new role, she will serve about 1,500 staff and academic & administrative professionals across five campuses and report to the Chief Operating Officer. Brothers joins several other existing Ombuds at Georgetown: Student Ombuds, Daniela Brancaforte, Faculty Ombuds Office, Catherine Langlois, and Ombudsperson for the School of Medicine, Stacey Kaltman (all with separate offices and reporting lines, and all also practicing to IOA standards).

Oregon State University Announces Next Ombuds

Michael Steinberg has been selected as the next University Ombuds for Oregon State. He follows Sue Theiss, OSU's founding Ombuds, who moved to Seattle University earlier this year. Steinberg joins Associate Ombuds, Robynn M. Pease (who served as the Interim University Ombuds), and Program Coordinator, Jenni Allemann. The OSU Ombuds Office provides services to over 40,000 faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders.

September 27, 2023

Job Posting: SOS Children's Villages, Ethiopia

The Austria-based international development organization for children is hiring a Regional Ombuds to be based in Addis Ababa. As part of a team of Ombuds, the position will supervise National Ombuds throughout the East and Southern Africa region and report to the Global Ombuds (currently filled on an interim basis by Judi Fairholm and Andrew Azzopardi). The initial appointment will be for two years.

Job Posting: SOS Children's Villages, India

The Austria-based international development organization for children is hiring a Regional Ombuds to be based in Faridabad. As part of a team of Ombuds, the position will supervise National Ombuds throughout the Asia region and report to the Global Ombuds (currently filled on an interim basis by Judi Fairholm and Andrew Azzopardi). The initial appointment will be for two years.

September 26, 2023

IOA Call for 2024 Conference Presenters

The International Ombuds Association is inviting presentation proposals and speaker suggestions for its 19th Annual Conference, which is set for March 18-20, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Proposals are due by October 23, 2023 and will be considered by the IOA Conference Committee Programming Subcommittee. Proposals will be evaluated in consideration of several criteria (including being "relevant to the conference theme," which has not yet been announced).  Presenters will be notified of the committee’s decisions in November 2023. (IOA Call for Presentations.)

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Arranges for Interim Ombuds Services

As the search for its first full-time Ombudsperson stretches into a tenth month, UT Chattanooga has contracted with UT Knoxville to provide Ombuds services. UTK's Campus Ombudsperson, Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, and Associate Ombudsperson, Brooke Wichmann, will serve as Interim Ombuds for faculty and staff at UTC until the national search is completed. 

September 25, 2023

University of Colorado Boulder’s Ombuds Office Celebrates 50 years

The Ombuds Office at Colorado's flagship university is celebrating a half century of service on Wednesday, September 27th from 4-7 pm MT. For five decades, the University of Colorado Ombuds Office has served as a resource for campus stakeholders to surface, voice, clarify and discuss university-related issues. The 50th celebration will include remarks from the chancellor, provost, and chief operating officer as well as insights from guest speaker Laura Crawshaw, who will discuss "Managing Abrasive Conduct in the Age of the Unruly: The Power of Intervention." Following the program, guests are invited to enjoy music and dinner in the chancellor's hall as well as beautiful views of the iconic flatirons from the balcony.

September 22, 2023

Raiffeisen Bank Adds a Deputy Ombuds

Katharina (née Hülmbauer) Smith has been selected the Corporate Ombudsperson Deputy for Raiffeisen Bankengruppe, the international financial institution and Austria's largest banking cooperative. Her appointment marks the expansion of RBI's Corporate Ombuds-Office established in 2021 by Judith Klaiber. Smith is based in Vienna and provides Ombuds services to RBI Group’s staff. An initial contract of one and a half to two years is expected.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Shutters Ombuds Program

In or about March 2023, the public polytechnic and applied sciences institute in Edmonton abruptly closed its Ombuds Office. Alexia Wright had served in the position for three and a half years and the program had been in existence since 2015. (Wright also served as the Treasurer for ACCUO for at least a year in 2020.) NAIT made the closure without announcement and quickly removed references to the Ombuds from online policy materials. A Reddit post offers a few sinister allegations. (LinkedIn; ACCUO Bulletin; Reddit.)

IOA Appoints Two Interim Ombuds

The International Ombuds Association has appointed Elaine Shaw, CO-OP, and Willem Kweens, CO-OP, as Interim Association Ombuds. Their appointments fill a position vacated by Breanne Taylor, who recently stepped down. They will serve until IOA completes a current search. Shaw was IOA's first Ombuds in 2020 and Kweens was an Ombuds for Mars, Inc. in Europe.

September 21, 2023

IOA Offers In-Person Foundations Training in Europe

The International Ombuds Association's signature training course will be presented at the Hotel Royal in Geneva, Switzerland on October 22 and 23, 2023. The training follows the IOA Board of Directors first ever international meeting. The course and materials will be presented in English. This is an accelerated version of Foundations, which usually lasts three days. Due to the high demand for the Foundations course, IOA gives initial priority to practicing Ombuds and limits registration to 36.

University of Nebraska Medical Center Announces New Assistant Ombuds

Kristie Hayes
, an emeritus professor of dermatology has joined the UNMC Ombuds Program on a part-time basis. She follows Jessica Koran-Scholl, who served in the role for about a year and joins David Carver, the long-time Ombuds Program Director. In addition to her faculty appointment, Hayes previously served as assistant dean for students and multicultural affairs in the UNMC College of Medicine. She was the recipient of the 2023 UNMC Unsung Hero Award. (UNMC Newsroom.)

University of Pittsburgh Adds Yet Another Grad Student Ombuds

Jessica Maguire has been named the Executive Director of Student Affairs and Ombudsperson for the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Pitt. She follows Kellie Beach. In this role, Maguire assists graduate students and postdocs with academic issues and conflict. She joins several other collateral duty Ombuds serving grad students and postdocs across the university:

September 19, 2023

Job Posting: UC Law San Francisco

The University of California's law school in San Francisco (formerly known as UC Hastings College of Law) has reopened its search for an inaugural Ombudsperson. After an eight month national search, Lucia Galante Johnson was selected to be the school's first Ombudsperson in June 2023. The new, 37.5% part-time position (previously only 25%) will establish a program to serve all campus constituents and practice to IOA standards.

Boston University Selects Associate Ombuds

Erin F. Wright has joined the Ombuds Office at BU. She joins University Ombuds, Francine Montemurro, Associate Ombuds, Riley E. Barrar, and Consulting Ombuds, Howard Gadlin. This is Wright's first Ombuds job, but she brings experience from higher education and ADR program management.