January 16, 2020

Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality to Announce its First Ombuds

The oldest professional organization dedicated to the research of sexuality will have an Ombuds in place for its annual conference later this year. In November 2019, the SSSS Board of Directors approved a "Statement of Values and Expectations" that revealed the appointment of an Ombuds for members and event goers experiencing severe violations of the Code of Conduct. The identity of the SSSS Ombuds has not yet been announced but s expected befre the SSSS conference in New Orleans in November 2020.

January 15, 2020

IOA Opens Online Content to Members

In a recent email, the International Ombudsman Association announced that webinars and other educational programs are now free for all members. This is the latest initiative to increase access to IOA materials and improve member benefits. In the past 18 months, IOA has opened access to its Journal, added certification categories, produced a shareable promotional video, revised membership processes, launched a job board, and hired an executive director.

January 14, 2020

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Restores Faculty Ombuds Program

After a hiatus of several years, during which the state's flagship public university offered Ombuds services only to students and staff, Marjorie Kostelnik and Rodrigo Franco Cruz were named the UNL Faculty Ombuds. As of yesterday, they will be providing Ombuds services to about 1,500 instructional employees according to IOA standards. Judy Walker, Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty and Academic Affairs said, "Marjorie and Rodrigo care deeply about our university and will be an excellent resource for our faculty."

Michigan Medicine Rolls Out Ombuds Program for Staff

This week, the academic medical center of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor introduced its new Office of the Staff Ombuds. The office is comprised of Jacqueline Bowman, Staff Ombuds, Jennifer Symanns, Ombuds Assistant and Mediator, and Donna Hooper, Program Specialist. Together, they serve non-academic employees on the Ann Arbor campus and from Michigan Medicine.

Texas A&M School of Engineering Selects Faculty Ombuds

Anastasia Muliana has been named the Faculty Ombudsperson for the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University for a two-year appointment. In this role, she "serves as an independent, neutral and impartial, confidential and informal resource for faculty" following IOA standards. She joins Nicole Pottberg, the College's Staff Ombudsperson. 

January 13, 2020

Job Posting: Florida Gulf Coast University

The public university in Fort Myers has opened a search for its first Assistant Ombuds. The position will serve all FGCU stakeholders, a population of nearly 20,000 and report to the University Ombuds, Monique McKay. In addition, the Assistant Ombuds, "plans meetings and events, conducts research, tracks cases and compiles data, and performs other administrative duties."

Labor Leader Hopes Eindhoven University of Technology Appoints Ombuds in 2020

Marjo van der Valk, a spokesperson trade unions at TU/e (Technische Universiteit Eindhoven), said she is optimistic the university will give in to long-standing demands and appoint and Ombuds this year. Van de Valk is encouraged by the four Dutch universities that started a pilot in 2019: the University of Twente, TU Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Maastricht University.

Job Re-Posting: Gila River Indian Community

The Indian reservation on the south side of Phoenix, Arizona has reopened its search for its first Ombudsman. The position will "provide services which include being a liaison between Community Members and the Tribal Government, listening to citizens’ complaints when they think the Gila River Indian Community has treated them unfairly, and coaching, assisting, and investigating the complaints received from Community Members."

January 10, 2020

Job Posting: Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System

The human resource management system for the U.S. Department of Defense Intelligence Community is hiring an Ombudsman (apparently its first). The full-time position based at the National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, Virginia will serve "in an independent capacity as the lead principal advisor and designated neutral party for dispute resolution and conflict management within NGIC [National Ground Intelligence Center]."

January 09, 2020

Job Posting: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University

The private graduate school (Okinawa Kagaku Gijutsu Daigakuin Daigaku) located in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson. OIST's Ombuds Office was established in June 2019 (with a full-developed policy) as an IOA-compliant resource for all employees and students of the highly-ranked institute. The part-time Assistant Ombudsperson will work with and serve as an alternate to the existing OIST Ombudsperson. (It is not clear from public materials who serves as the Ombudsperson, but the implication is that the first Ombuds also holds another position at the institute.)

Report by WHO Ombuds Responds to Organization's New Values Charter

This week, the World Health Organization's Ombudsman, José Martínez-Aragón, released his annual report on the activities of the WHO Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services. According to statistics for WHO in the Americas (regional WHO Ombuds for Europe and Africa report separately), the cases in 2018 increased 18% to 392 in 2018 from 333 in 2017. In addition, the WHO identified two systemic issues, including one directly tied to the organization's recent efforts to definite its core values.

January 08, 2020

Job Posting: University of the Sunshine Coast

The public university in Queensland, Australia is hiring its first Student Ombudsman. The position, which was established by policy in 2016, will serve as an independent, neutral, impartial, and confidential advocate for fairness, applying the principles of natural justice. The Student Ombudsman reports to the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Students. 

IOA Voting for 2020 Board to be Strictly Pro Forma

The International Ombudsman Association has opened balloting for its Board of Directors election. This year, six candidates are up for six open seats, so the outcome is predetermined. In an announcement to its membership, IOA explained that, "this result is simply a function of typical nominee attrition from the total number of nominations received for members of its Board of Directors." Terms for the new directors will begin in April 2020.

January 07, 2020

Job Posting: University of Mississippi Medical Center

The health sciences campus of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) is hiring its first Ombudsperson. The full-time position will provide services to all members of the UMMC community, which comprises seven schools (medicine, nursing, dentistry, health related professions, graduate studies, population health, and pharmacy) and related research and clinical activities. The UMMC Ombuds will practice to IOA standards.

Job Posting: Chevron, Northern California

Chevron’s Global Office of Ombuds is hiring an Ombuds Manager based at its headquarters in San Ramon. The full-time position reports to the Global Principal Ombuds Manager, Sana Manjeshwar. It's been a dynamic year for Chevron's Ombuds program; in addition to Manjeshwar's promotion, the service has been expanded to Angola, Nigeria, Indonesia, Philippines, and Australia.