October 16, 2019

Charleston County to Hire First Ombuds

The coastal county in South Carolina has opened an internal search for its first Organizational Ombuds. The new Ombuds will subsume the existing Ombudsman program for constituent complaints and offer a new Organizational Ombuds service for county staff. The position reports to the Clerk of Council and is expected to "seek certification as a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner" or comparable certification and training. Charleston would become one of a very few counties or municipalities with an Organizational Ombuds program.

October 15, 2019

Emerging Ombuds Network Seeks Input on Internship Toolkit

EON, the group that advocates for and supports the development of emerging Ombuds and the Ombuds profession, is developing a set of resources to guide the creating of internship programs. An intership in an established Ombuds office is a significant learning experience for aspiring Ombuds. Yet many Ombuds are reluctant to take on an intern because of the time commitment and unfamiliarity with internships in general. If developed, EON's toolkit could benefit many.

October 14, 2019

Job Posting: Defense Human Resources Activity

The U.S. Department of Defense Field Activity that supports the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness is hiring a full-time Ombudsman. It is not clear whether this is a new DHRA position. Previously, the agency had hired Ombuds to mediate complaints between military service members and their employers. This posting seeks a more typical Organizational Ombuds.

NIH Ombuds Retires, Interim Appointed

J. Kathleen Moore has retired from her position as NIH Ombudsman and Director of the Center for Cooperative Resolution. Moore worked at the NIH for over three decades, as a counseling psychologist and then as NIH Senior Associate Ombudsman. In January 2016, she became Acting Director, and, following a nationwide search, was named NIH Ombudsman and Director of CCR. Julie Muroff has been appointed the Acting NIH Ombudsman and Director of CCR.

October 11, 2019

Job Posting: Lambda School

The for-profit online coding boot camp for adults based in San Francisco is hiring its first Ombudsperson. (Lambda is remarkable among unaccredited coding schools because it has no campus and it allows students to pay with an income share agreement.) The full-time position will provide dispute resolution services to about 1,000 students and "provide suggestions to the executive team in creating and/or changing policies that may surface as a result of discrepancies between the stated goals of Lambda and actual practices."

Job Posting: Emory University

The private research university in Atlanta, Georgia is hiring an Associate Ombudsperson. The full-time position will report to Lynell Cadray who was appointed the inaugural Emory University Ombudsperson last month. It also seems that the position will be working almost exclusively with students, undergraduates and graduates. "As Director of Programs, [the Associate Ombuds] will manage university outreach, strategic planning, development and implementation of programs to educate the community on conflict management and the Office of the Ombuds."

Job Posting: U.S. Department of Energy

The department responsible for U.S. energy and nuclear safety policies is hiring an Associate Ombudsman. This will fill a position recently vacated by Bill Mauer, who moved the the Census Bureau. The job is based in either Germantown, MD or Washington D.C., and serves all DOE federal employees, world-wide. Some travel is required.

Job Re-Posting: Oregon Health & Science University

The academic medical center in Portland has reopened its search for its next Ombudsman. Merle Graybill established the program in 2015 as a part-time position and the job now is full-time. Reporting to the provost, the OHSU Ombuds works with employees, students, and trainees.  

Northwestern University Promises an Ombuds Program Next Year

After at least 15 years of requests by various stakeholder groups seeking an Ombuds, Northwestern's Provost Jonathan Holloway announced that the university will appoint an Ombuds in the 2020-21 academic year. The decision follows a recommendation from an Ombuds Program Task Force that had sought “extensive stakeholder input.” The University will hire a trained Ombuds to head the office according to the Provost's email announcement. (Daily Northwestern.)

October 10, 2019

The Power of Speaking Up: Thoughts On Ombuds Day (Guest Post)

Submitted by Reese Ramos, CO-OP, Director and University Ombuds at Virginia Tech.

My heart, and spirits, sank a bit as I sat down at my typewriter laptop to draft a little something to commemorate the second ever Ombuds Day*. Why? Because, in preparing to write this article, I looked at what I wrote last year; I spoke then about how there is much in the world that divides us.  And it struck me that the events I alluded in last year’s article are still headline news – every single one. I guess that sometimes, not much changes in a span of a year. 

October 09, 2019

U.S. Census Bureau Selects First Ombuds

Bill Maurer, CO-OP, has been named the first Ombudsman for the U.S. Census, the Department of Commerce agency that produces data about American people and economy. Maurer moves to the position from the Office of the Ombudsman at the Department of Energy. He has also served as the Vice-Chair of the Coalition of Federal Ombudsman.

Mars, Inc. Highlights Work of Global Ombuds Team

Publicity for Ombuds in the private sector is often relegated to internal publications or firewalled websites available only to insiders. So it's noteworthy when a corporation touts the work of its Ombuds program. This week, Mars, Inc., the global foods conglomerate promoted the work of its Ombudsman Program on a public news site. The article highlighted five attributes of the Ombuds:

Cases Tick Up for University of Pennsylvania Ombuds in 2018-19

In their latest annual report, UPenn Ombuds Lynn Hollen Lees and Associate Ombuds Marcia Martínez-Helfman, said their Office of Ombuds handled 5.5% more cases in 2018-19 compared to the prior year. University staff accounted for the largest proportion of visitors (43%), followed by faculty (24%) and graduate and professional students (19%)—proportions have remained roughly stable for the last several years.

October 08, 2019

UConn Health Recruits Experienced Ombuds

Donna Douglass Williams has been selected as the first Ombuds for the University of Connecticut health system. She will provide services to faculty, students, trainees, and staff affiliated with a teaching hospital, the UConn School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, and Graduate School. Williams will be based in Farmington and coordinate with the UConn Ombuds in Storrs, Jim Wohl.

Internship: United Nations, Kenya

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking a full-time intern to be posted in Nairobi, the UN headquarters in Africa. The unpaid internship will last six months and offers the opportunity to support outreach and advocacy, prepare data and reports, and conduct research. The position reports to the Regional Ombudsman, Nicholas Theotocatos.