June 30, 2008

Job Posting: United Nations

In addition to the UN Ombuds positions previously posted, the United Nations is also hiring Ombuds for two regional branches with the peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Sudan, based in Kinshasa and Khartoum, respectively. Applications are due by August 25. (UN Human Resources.)

Prior: Job Posting.

June 27, 2008

Job Posting: United Nations

The Office of the UN Ombudsman is hiring five Regional Ombuds to head branches in Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi, Bangkok and Santiago. Under the general authority of the UN Ombuds, the Regional Ombuds will be responsible for establishing and direction the branches, consulting with UN employees, identifying and analyzing trends, preparing reports, and raising awareness of the Ombuds Office. An advanced degree or experience, especially in alternative conflict resolution, is preferred. Applicants should have 10 years of professional experience. Experience in resolution of conflicts or disputes, especially at the international level, is highly desirable. Applications are due by August 25. (UN Human Resources.)

Related posts: UN Budget Increases Funds and Scope of Ombuds Office; Barkat Appointed UN Ombuds.

Northwest Ombuds Group Meeting

The Northwest Ombuds Group is a regional cross-sector gathering of practicing Ombuds and interested others. Participants come from the US northwest and Canada's western provinces 2-3 times a year to network, to learn, and to discuss issues relevant to Ombuds. The group met most recently on June 17 in conjunction with the International Forum on Online Dispute Resolution at Royal Roads University. The meeting was coordinated by Martine Conway, Ombudsperson at the University of Victoria. (ODR Forum 2008 Blog; UVic Ombuds.)

June 26, 2008

Baylor Names Faculty Ombuds

Baylor University has appointed Dr. Robert M. Baird, professor of philosophy and Master Teacher, to the position of Faculty University Ombudsperson. "I appreciate the confidence shown in me by the provost and the Faculty Senate," Baird said. "In any organization conflicts inevitably arise, and I hope that I can play a constructive role in helping to resolve them." A cum laude graduate of Baylor, Baird also earned his master's degrees from Baylor, and his doctorate from Emory University. Baird has edited 17 books on contemporary issues in philosophy. He is a member of several professional societies, including the American Philosophical Association, Society of Christian Philosophers, Southwestern Philosophical Society and American Civil Liberties Union. Baird also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Church and State and Philosophy in the Contemporary World. (Baylor News.)

Update: Waco Tribune article.

Prior post: Baylor to Reinstate Faculty Ombuds Position.

Cal Poly Pomona Appoints Ombuds

The California State Polytechnic University in Pomona has announced that Dr. Lavada Austin will become the director of the Ombuds Office on July 31. A former director of Cal Poly Pomona's Counseling and Psychological Services, fills the vacancy by the retirement of Glenda Brock, who established the office in late 2006. "It's a great day for Cal Poly Pomona," said President Michael Ortiz. "Lavada's experience in counseling and conflict resolution makes her a natural fit for our Ombuds program. She is also well-versed in the campus culture, making her transition that much easier. It's good to welcome her back home." Austin has worked as a psychologist at UC Irvine and UC Riverside, and chief psychologist and coordinator of Mental Health Services for the Watts Health Foundation in Los Angeles. She received her master's and doctorate degrees in psychology from Southern Illinois University. (PolyCentric.)

Prior posts: Cal Poly Pomona Debuts Ombuds Office; Cal Poly Pomona's Interim Ombuds to Retire; Job Posting.

June 25, 2008

Inspector General Recommends Realignment of TSA Ombuds Program

A report from the Office of the Inspector General at the US Department of Homeland Security released Tuesday strongly recommended that the Transportation Security Administration reorganize its Ombuds Office and bolster other conflict management programs. The Inspector General found that many TSA employees don't trust or know about the program. The report also recounted several anecdotes from TSA employees who were intimidated by supervisors for attempting to visit with the Ombuds. The Inspector General therefore recommended that TSA restructure its Ombuds Office to report directly to the head of the agency rather than a special counselor, thus ensuring the Ombuds' independence. In addition, TSA was urged to establish a charter outlining the Ombuds' authority and permit the office to carry out its duties without interference. A TSA spokesperson denied charges of low morale and defended the agency's remedial efforts. (OIG Report; USA Today; Homeland Security Today; Pro Publica.

Related: Job Posting.

The Inspector General's recommendations would bring the TSA Ombuds program in line with the standards recognized by the International Ombudsman Association and the American Bar Association, and go a long way toward restoring employees' confidence in the program. The silver lining in this story is the Inspector General's recognition of the value of an effective Ombuds program.

Job Posting: San Jose State U.

The California State University at San Jose is accepting applications for a University Ombudsman. As a Vice President of Student Affairs, the Ombuds primarily serves student interests. The position is not described as complying with IOA best practices: "If informal resolution is not possible, the University Ombudsman administers to the Student Fairness Committee." Conflict resolution experience or training is not required, but five years experience with student services functions is required. Priority applications due by July 3; salary ranges from $72,000 to $78,000 per year. (SJSU Jobs, job no. 13395, via HigherEdJobs.)

Related post: Calif. Appellate Court Relies on Testimony of University Ombuds in Denying Student's Grade Challenge.

Profile of UC Riverside Ombuds Gets Some Facts Right, Some Wrong

Earlier this year, the University of California appointed Indu Sen as its Campus Ombudsperson. She is profiled in the current faculty and staff newsletter, but there are some significant misstatements. The profile accurately states that Sen is a 1997 graduate of UCR and earned her law degree in 2000 from the University of San Diego. It is also true that Sen will earn her Masters in dispute resolution from Pepperdine University later this year. On the other hand, the article says that Sen takes over the position because the former Ombuds, Andrea Briggs, left to serve as the president of the University and College Ombudsman Association (UCOA). In addition, the article says that the UCR Ombuds Office is located in a cottage it vacated more than two years ago. (Inside UCR.)

Related posts: Former UCR Ombuds Heads to Iran; UC Riverside Appoints Ombuds.

June 24, 2008

Where Are All the Women Who Mediate?

Blogger Diane Levin wonders why it seems that there are more men working as professional mediators. (Mediation Channel.) My quick analysis indicates that about 60% of full IOA members are women. Moreover, many of the leading lights in the profession are women (e.g., Hasenfeld, Wagner, Rowe). So here’s at least one sector of ADR where women predominate professionally.

A Credo For Facilitators

Peter Adler and a group of ADR professionals have written a statement of philosophy for facilitators. At core, they believe in the inherent wisdom of groups and the high value of collaboration and consensus seeking. Yet facilitators have come under scrutiny, even as they are asked to take on a growing variety of roles. This compelled the following manifesto of beliefs for facilitators:
  1. A Good Faith Contract;
  2. Trustworthiness and Impartiality;
  3. Inclusion and Participation;
  4. Respect for Culture;
  5. Clarity About Ownership and Decision Making;
  6. Better Politics; and
  7. [An Appreciation for] The Facilitators Role.
Inasmuch as Ombuds often serve as facilitators, this statement of ideals is relevant and notably consistent with Ombuds best practices. (Mediate.com.)

Public Conversations Workshop in NY

The Public Conversations Project is offering its signature workshop, the Power of Dialogue, in New York City on July 27-29. The program is offered for a variety of professionals including Ombuds and mediators. Through presentations, discussions, and simulations, participants learn to apply the key elements of PCP's approach to dialog. Co-sponsored by the New York Tolerance Center and the Family Institute of Cambridge, the course costs $450-$750 (sliding scale) for three full days. (Public Conversations.)

June 23, 2008

Western Michigan U. Selects Ombuds

Kathy L. Mitchell, a longtime Western Michigan University staff member with experience in a number of campus departments, has been selected to head the WMU Ombuds Office. Mitchell, currently WMU's director of field placements in the College of Education since 2004, will replace Dr. Thomas Bailey on July 1. Mitchell earned a bachelor's degree in family studies from WMU in 2002 and a master's degree in family life education in 2005. Since 2007, she has been working on a doctoral degree in higher education leadership. Dr. Gary Wegenke, dean of the College of Education, said that Mitchell, "has wonderful communication skills, she's always willing to talk with anyone and there is great integrity in what she says." (WMU News.)

Related posts: WMU Reopens Ombuds Office; WMU Looking In-House for Permanent Ombuds.

Journal of the CCCUO Calls for Papers

The Journal of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds is accepting manuscripts applicable to the practice of ombudsing in the academic setting. Suggested topics include: ombudsing methods and techniques; the history of academic ombudsing; and similarities and differences in regard to ombuds practice in other settings. Manuscripts for consideration in the 2008 issue of the Journal are due September 1, 2008, and should be sent to Kerry Egdorf.

Related posts: Cal Caucus Journals Back Online; Cal Caucus Annual Conference in Pacific Grove.

Russert Eulogized as America's Ombuds

In a widely syndicated editorial, Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post explained why the death of journalist Tim Russert generated such a huge reaction:
I think it's not just because of who Russert was, but also because of the role he carved out for himself as a kind of ombudsman -- the mediator not only of a television show but of a weekly dialogue between the public and the political establishment.

Robinson also said that Russert effectively confronted his fellow insiders with the questions and concerns of those living outside. Words that will resonate with Ombuds in any industry. (Washington Post, thanks Walt.)

Related posts: An Ombuds By Any Other Name; Tim Gunn: Ombuds?

June 22, 2008

U. Nebraska, Omaha Appoints Ombuds

The University of Nebraska at Omaha announced the appointment of three Ombuds for the 2008-09 academic year. They are: Tracie Anderson, assistant director of New Student Orientation; Rhonda Sheibal-Carver, staff assistant in Public Administration; and Mark Scherer, associate professor of History. (UNO eNotes.)

June 21, 2008

UC Santa Barbara Whistleblower Policy Now Protects Ombuds

The University of California, Santa Barbara just published Implementing Procedures for its Whistleblower Policy. The policy specifically states:
The Office of the Ombuds is not required to report the matter pursuant to this policy. Therefore, discussing an issue with the Office of the Ombuds does not constitute formal notice to the University.

This language is significant because it increases the likelihood that the UCSB Ombuds will be able to successfully argue that it is not an office of notice. (UCSB Whistleblower.)

So far as I can tell, UCSB is the only University of California campus that specifically addresses this relationship between the Ombuds and the Whistleblower. On a related note, university-wide policy exempts UC Ombuds from reporting allegations of sexual harassment. (UCOP Policy, see § F.)

Related posts: New Ombuds Appointed at UCSB; International Conference on Transformative Mediation at UCSB.

U. Washington Searching Internally for Ombuds

In February 2008, the University of Washington appointed an Advisory Search Committee for the University Ombudsman & Ombudsman for Sexual Harassment. The Provost's charge to the Committee (now available on line) is to "widely advertise and search within the university community for a faculty member qualified to assume this important position" and to propose three candidates. Susan Neff, formerly the Assistant Ombuds, is serving as Interim Ombudsman until the appointment. (UW Leadership Searches; Committee Charge.)

My concern (and this is a purely personal opinion*) is that an internal candidate will be less likely to bring the UW program into compliance with prevailing standards of practice for university Ombuds. Given the recent and deeply troubling decision by the Washington State Appellate Court, it would seem to be a good time to reform the UW Ombuds office.

Related post: U Washington Faces Lawsuit Despite Mediation by Ombuds.

June 20, 2008

Job Posting: Monterey County

The Monterey County Resource Management Agency is hiring an Ombudsperson to provide confidential, neutral, informal and independent dispute resolution and mediation services to constituents and the RMA. Reporting to the RMA Director, the Ombuds "serves as a resource on issues related to land use processes; recommends steps towards problem resolution and appropriate action consistent with County policies and procedures; identifies and evaluates systemic issues, trends or policies that affect organizational efficiencies and makes appropriate recommendations to modify policies or practices to reduce or eliminate recurring problems; and performs other related duties as assigned." Applicants should have dispute resolution experience and knowledge of applicable laws and regulations. The position pays $66,564 to $90,864 per annum. (SHRM; Position Description.)

Although there are many examples of local permitting and development Ombuds, they are primarily classical in nature. This is a rare example of an organizational Ombuds in the role. (N.B. This position was created in 2005 following a Grand Jury's recommendation for changes in Monterey County's administrative practices.)

June 19, 2008

UGA Promises Three New Ombuds by October

University of Georgia President Michael Adams has promised that three Ombudspersons for faculty, staff and student will be hired by October 1. "Discussions are still underway to see what the positions may look like," said Tom Jackson, vice president for public affairs. (Red and Black.)

So far, though, no job opportunities have been posted by UGA.

Prior posts: University of Georgia Petitions for Staff Ombuds; UGA to Hire Three Ombuds; UGA Ombuds News Roundup.

June 18, 2008

World Directory of ADR Blogs Celebrates Second Anniversary

On June 5, the World Directory of Alternative Dispute Resolution Blogs celebrated its second anniversary. The site, developed by Diane Levin, lists 146 blogs (including the Ombuds Blog) from 25 countries, focusing on mediation, negotiation and conflict resolution, in languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Romanian, Danish, and Turkish. (ADRBlogs via Mediation Channel.)

Tips For Raising Difficult Subjects

Gretchen Rubin, who blogs at The Happiness Project, offers advice for starting those conversations that people dread having:
  1. Don't stall;
  2. Don't start off angry;
  3. Pick your moment;
  4. Think about why the subject is difficult for you;
  5. Be certain you need to discuss the difficult subject;
  6. Don't ruminate about worst-case scenarios;
  7. Ask yourself, "What's the very worst that could happen?";
  8. As yourself if it can wait;
  9. Use notes;
  10. Write a note instead; and
  11. Get plenty of sleep and exercise.
(Huffington Post.)

I disagree with number ten and generally urge people to raise important and difficult issues in person or by phone. The temptation to use email is strong but should be avoided at all costs because it is so easy to be misunderstood. Otherwise, this is an excellent list and useful tool for visitors.

Related posts: Advice for Stopping a Nag; Advice for Visitors Dealing with Someone Really, Really Difficult; Don't Send That Angry Email; Using Email in Dispute Resolution.

June 17, 2008

Job Posting: Pomona College

The private, liberal arts college is hiring an Ombuds for faculty, students, and staff. The new, half-time position will report directly to the President of the College. Applicants must have 5-10 years experience in an Ombuds or very similar role, work experience with diverse communities and cultures, and be able to speak conversational Spanish. An advanced degree in a relevant discipline is highly desired. A review of applications credentials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For best consideration, submit by July 15, 2008. No salary indicated. (Academic Employment Network.)

Related posts: Pomona Students Press Demand for Staff Ombuds; Pomona College Committees Endorse Ombuds Position.

June 16, 2008

Public Conflict Resolution Training Materials

The Southern Rural Development Center has published a manual to train the trainers in public conflict skills: "Turning Lemons into Lemonade." The objective of the manual is to give extension educators, community officials and citizen leaders the tools to help teach others how to identify, understand, manage, and when possible and desirable, to resolve conflicts within their own communities. The materials include handouts and overheads. Especially relevant to Ombuds is Unit 9: "Problem Solving as a Neutral." (SRDC Series #221 via Campus-ADR Weblog.)

June 13, 2008

Study: Abusive Behavior Is Top Ethical Concern for HR

Abusive or intimidating behavior tops the list of egregious ethical misconduct identified by HR professionals, according to a new study from the Society of Human Resource Management and the Ethics Resource Center. Despite ethical concerns, less than a quarter of HR professionals said that their organizations have a comprehensive ethics and compliance program in place. HR professionals also felt that top management would be less likely to be held accountable if caught violating their organization's ethics standards than non-management employees. (Ethics Resource Center.)

These fundamental problems indicate continued demand for Organizational Ombuds.

June 12, 2008

Job Posting: Simon Frazer University

The Canadian university in British Columbia is accepting applications for an Ombuds to work with undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants should have a master’s degree, with a minimum of five years of related experience (or equivalent), and a comprehensive understanding of issues in higher education. The job pays $61,924 - $73,949 (CDN), and applications are due June 16. The position is vacant due to the death of Laurine Margaret Harrison, who passed away suddenly from a heart attack in June 2007. Historically, the office has operated in compliance with USOA standards. (SFU Jobs; e.Peak News; e.Peak News.)

Occidental College Ombuds Stepping Down

Diana Akiyama has announced that she is leaving Oxy and the position of College Ombuds later this month. As Director of the Office for Religious and Spiritual Life, Akiyama created the office in 2005. There is no information on whether or not the college will be continuing the program.

Ombuds to Speak at ACR Regional Conference in New York

John Barkat, United Nations Ombudsman, Janis Schonauer, Ombudsman at Alliance Capital Management, and Marsha Wagner, Ombuds at Columbia University, will speak at the ACRGNY Sixth Annual Conference on June 26-27, 2008. The subject of their panel will be
“Balancing Neutrality and Organizational Change.” The conference takes place at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. (ACR Update.)

Too Many Mediators

Diane Levin at the Mediation Channel suggests that the proliferation of mediation training programs has created a surplus of mediators. As a result, too many recent college graduates are unable to find work in the competitive ADR job market. Although Levin does not believe that we should stop training people to be mediators, she argues that there should be better disclosure to those seeking to enter the field. (Mediation Channel.)

Government Manual Suggests Using Bureaucracy as Sabotage

A declassified 1944 field manual from the US Strategic Services, explains how to train people to sabotage their workplace. The list of suggestions include what have become common management practices six decades later:
  • Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
  • When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and considera­tion.” Attempt to make the committees as large as possible — never less than five.
  • Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
  • Haggle over precise wordings of com­munications, minutes, resolutions.
  • Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reason­able” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
  • Be worried about the propriety of any decision — raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the juris­ diction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.
(Enterprise 2.0, via BoingBoing.)

Just a funny perspective on some of the things Ombuds often work against.

June 11, 2008

Pepperdine Opens Ombuds Office

Pepperdine University, home of one of the leading institutes for dispute resolution, has created an Ombuds office for faculty and staff (including student workers). James C. “Chip” Moore has been appointed University Ombuds. Previously, Moore served as Pepperdine's director of Personnel Services and later as Chief Human Resources Officer. He is a graduate of Pepperdine with a bachelor’s in history and languages and a master’s in business administration. Moore also earned a master’s in international relations from the University of Southern California. Moore has directed Pepperdine's fall and summer programs in Heidelberg, Germany, and served there as a member of the faculty. (Pepperdine Ombuds; Pepperdine Today.)

June 10, 2008

House Bill Would Create VA Ombuds Office

In response to confusion veterans face when trying to arrange benefits, the House Veterans' Affairs Health Subcommittee has approved H.R. 2192 that would create an Ombuds office within the Veterans Affairs Department. According to the draft legislation, the VA Office of the Ombudsman would act as a liaison for veterans and their family members with respect to the receipt of VA health care and benefits and protect the confidentiality of information provided to the Office. The VA, however, does not support the bill, reasoning that it would create an unnecessary level of bureaucracy within the VA. (Government Executive; Bill Status.)

Job Posting: Santa Clara County DFCS

The Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children’s Services, Dispute Resolution & Ombuds Programs is hiring an Associate Ombuds for a one-year contract. The position will help establish the program. A bachelor's degree and relevant experienced are required. (References to TOA and SPDR indicate that this program has been in the works for some time.) Salary ranges from $60,000 to 69,999; applications are due by August 1. (SCC Position Summary, via Straus Institute Jobs.)

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser is accepting applications for a HealthCare Ombudsman / Mediator in San Francisco. Health care experience is preferred. No closing date or salary indicated. (HotJobs.)

Job Posting: George Mason

George Mason University is accepting applications for a Faculty Employee Relations Partner. This new position "will act as ombudsperson for faculty issues including coaching, mediation, team building, stress management, work/life balance, interpersonal conflict, work-related and personal concerns, and performance issues and other issues that may arise." A master's degree is highly preferred; and extensive related work experience, preferably in the public sector or higher education is required. (GMU Jobs, via SHRM.)

Since the position is part of HR, there is some comfort in the fact that it is not titled as an "Ombuds." However, GMU faculty may be suspicious (and rightly so) that they will truly receive confidential consultations from HR.

June 08, 2008

Job Posting: Customs & Border Protection

The Department of Homeland Security is seeking one or more Ombuds for the Customs and Border Protection Agency. The position reports to the Office of the Commissioner and will be responsible for employee complaints, disputes, and disagreements regarding the application of agency policies and procedures. In addition, the Ombuds will provide advice to the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner on a wide variety of policies, procedures, and issues having a major impact on CBP management. Informality, impartiality and confidentiality are emphasized in the job description. Proof of citizenship and a background check are required; annual salary ranges from $115,317. to $149,000. Applications are due June 11! (Federal Government Jobs, vacancy no. WAS-193490-AGO.)

Related posts: Profile of New Immigration Ombuds; Customs & Border Protection Job Posting; US Immigration Officials Rejects Ombuds' Reform Proposal; Historian: Homeland Security Ombuds Unable to Stem Erosion of Civil Liberties.

June 06, 2008

(Not So New) Ombuds at Kenyon College

In March 2007, Kenyon College appointed alumna Robin Goodstein as its first, dedicated Ombuds for employees. Previously, the quarter-time position was filled by the three-quarter time equal opportunity officer. Goodstein background includes a variety of experiences with law and education, which led her into many different fields, including teaching, freelance writing, writing for websites and college counseling. After graduating from Kenyon in 1987, she earned an MA in English from Georgetown University in 1991 and a JD from American University-Washington College of Law, in 1998. (Kenyon Collegian; Kenyon News.)

It's heartening to see that Kenyon saw the wisdom in separating the Ombuds and EEO functions. This moves brings their office into line with IOA best practices and clarifies the role of the Ombuds as a confidential, informal and neutral resource and distinctly different than the role of EEO.

June 05, 2008

Texas School Officials Debate Need for Ombuds

An article in the Dallas Morning News surveys the debate among local school district administrators over the value of organizational Ombuds. Counting the number of school ombudsmen in Texas is difficult. But Beverly Reeves, an Austin school ombudsman, says there are about a half-dozen, including Arlington, Austin and Fort Bend school districts. Greg Gibson, superintendent of the Crowley Independent School District, says the number of formal grievances filed with his district has "significantly declined" since an Ombuds was hired. A sidebar to the article explains what a school ombudsman does and does not. (Dallas Morning News.)

National Association of Corporate Directors Newsletter Touts Ombuds as Essential for Effective Board Governance

NACD, the national organization that promotes corporate board standards, publishes a monthly newsletter for its 17,500 members and customers. The latest issue of Directors Monthly features an article by Jonathan E. McBride and James S. Hostetler, "Board Champions for the Ombudsman." The authors argue that Organizational Ombuds are one of the most powerful governance tools available to corporate boards achieve best practices in governance, risk management, and compliance:
To practice governance and risk management powerfully and effectively, CEOs, boards, and audit committee chairs must integrate effective ombuds programs into the DNA of twenty-first century corporations. Ultimately, directors should become "champions" for the critical role organizational ombudsmen can play in corporate America.

Directors Monthly, via McBride Associates; NACD.)

This is an outstanding article from a credible source that can be used to promote and defend Ombuds in any organization with a governing board.

Related post: Sloan Management Review: Hire Ombuds to to Resolve Board Disputes.

June 04, 2008

National Mediation Board Publishes Ombuds Charter

The National Mediation Board has released the charter for its Organizational Ombuds Office. The charter reaffirms NMB’s commitment to its workplace ADR program, and brings the office in line with the “Standards for the Establishment and Operations of Ombuds Offices” established by the American Bar Association as annotated by the Coalition of Federal Ombudsmen and the Federal Interagency ADR Working Group Steering Committee. (NMB Ombuds Charter.)

Related post: Interview: Ombuds & Director of ADR Services for National Mediation Board.

FDA Ombuds Issues Annual Report

The FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Ombuds Office has issued a report summarizing its activities in 2007. In total, the CDER Ombuds received 660 communications, the vast majority of which came via electronic mail and phone. Half of the contacts came from the pharmaceutical industry and researchers, 40% from consumers and health care professionals, and 10% from CDER employees. The report also marked the retirement of Warren Rumble, who served as the CDER Ombuds since 2001, and the appointment of Virginia L. Behr.

Although the job posting for the CDER Ombuds position seemed in conflict with IOA and USOA standards, the CDER Ombuds Annual Report specifically states:
The CDER Ombudsman’s Office draws its ethical principles and standards from those established by the Coalition of Federal Ombudsmen, USOA, and the International Ombudsman Association. These include standards for ensuring confidentiality, neutrality, independence, a credible review process, and informality. The Office reports to the Director of the Office of Executive Programs within the Office of the Center Director. The Ombudsman is a member of the Coalition of Federal Ombudsmen.

This is a notable change from the prior five annual reports, which stated that the CDER Ombuds was "a member of the Coalition of Federal Ombudsmen, and the American Association of Ombudsmen." Whatever that is. (FDA CDER Ombuds Report.)

Prior: Job Posting.

Interim Ombuds at U Miami

The University of Miami has appointed Devang Desai as its Interim Ombudsperson and Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Desai earned his A.B. and J.D. from Miami and has been very active as an alumni. Following graduation, he worked as the Legal Officer for Student Discipline through the Office of the Dean of Students. There is no information regarding the duration of the appointment or whether the university will undertake a search for a permanent Ombuds. (U Miami Alumni Assn.)

June 03, 2008

Job Posting: Savannah College of Art and Design

The Savannah College of Art and Design has revised its search for a Ombuds. Ths position will now serve students (in addition to faculty and staff), and the on-line and Lacoste, France campuses (in addition to Savannah and Atlanta). A master's degree is required with three years experience in a similar role. Successful candidates will possess mediation or conflict resolution experience; training or certification; and excellent interpersonal skills and diplomacy. Experience in academia, resolving issues for students, faculty and staff is preferred. (SCAD Jobs, posting no. 0400810.)

Prior: Job Posting.