March 31, 2010

Job Posting: Office of Personnel Management

OPM is hiring a director for the Office of the Ombudsman in Washington, DC. The position is located in the Office of the Executive Secretariat and provides impartial, neutral, independent and confidential assistance to OPM customers and employees of the agency with issues of concern or complaints regarding quality and timeline standards, requirements and expectations or other matters affecting efficient operation.

Howard Gadlin on the Future of Mediation has posted short interview with the Ombudsman and Director of the Center for Cooperative Resolution at the National Institutes of Health. Gadlin offers his perspective on the future of the mediation field and says that it will become another reasonably established profession, with protective guilds, credentialing standards and regulations.

African Ombuds Meet Next Month in Angola

The African Ombuds and Mediators Association will hold its third general assembly in Luanda, April 12-15, 2010. The Angolan Ombudsman, Paulo Tijipilica, saidthat the theme “Ombudsman and Good Governance” was chosen due to the specific work of this figure, who checks the illegality and injustices in administrative acts.

March 30, 2010

Berkeley Lab Announces New Ombuds Program for Staff

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has announced a new Ombuds service for staff with work-related conflicts. The service will be provided by the UC Berkeley Ombuds Office, led by Sara Thacker, beginning on Thursday, April 1.

Organization of News Ombudsmen Will Hold 2010 Conference in Oxford

The association for mainstream media watchdogs will convene May 12-15 at Reuters Institute, Oxford University in Oxford, England. The conference will feature a session on how news Ombuds cope with maintaining values and ethics in the new media landscape at St Anne’s College.

March 29, 2010

Tenth Annual ACR Conference Set for Chicago

The Association for Conflict Resolution will hold its tenth annual conference at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, September 1-4, 2010. This year's theme, “Many Paths: One Destination” recognizes the connections within and across ADR practice areas.

Google Voice Technology for Ombuds

Clayton Gilman's latest post at the Organizational Ombudsman Blog reviews Google Voice. He explains why Ombuds should consider this new phone service that utilizes VoIP telephone services and simplifies communications.

March 28, 2010

University of Florida Resumes Search for Student Ombuds

The public university in Gainesville opened a search for Ombuds an last October with the expectation of filling the position at the first of the year. UFL has reposted the announcement, but has limited the search to internal candidates. 

ENOHE-ACCUO 2010 Conference Embraces Diversity of Ombuds Practice in Higher Education

The 2010 joint conference of the European Network for Ombudsmen in Higher Education and the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons in Vienna promises a rich array of information for Ombuds.

March 26, 2010

University of Georgia to Evaluate Ombuds Program After Two Year Trial

Two years after UGA created an Ombuds Office in response to allegations of harassment by faculty, a University Council committee is calling for an independent evaluation of how allegations are now being addressed by the office.

Ombuds are Important Tool for Dealing with Toxic Boss

An article in the Economic Times gives employees advice for dealing with toxic bosses. HR expert Adil Malia says the first step is getting a reality check from coworkers. If the problem is not you, but a toxic boss, she advises getting human resources involved.

Taiwan to Host 2011 Australasian & Pacific Ombuds Conference

After ten years of offering, Taiwan will host the 26th Australasian and Pacific Ombudsman Region Conference in 2011. APOR is a regional group of the International Ombudsman Institute. Taipei officials with Control Yuan, an investigatory agency that monitors the other branches of government, said improved relations with Hong Kong lead to the agreement.

March 25, 2010

University of Calgary Appoints First Ombuds for Students

The U of C has named Robert Clegg as its first-ever Ombuds for nearly 30,000 students. The process of creating the Ombuds program started three years ago when student leaders realized that Calgary was one of the few campuses without an office.  Although terms of reference have not been finalized, the search process quickly identified Clegg, who has been the Ombuds for Graduate Students since 2008, as the leading candidate.

Job Posting: Federal Student Aid

The FSA Office of the Ombudsman is hiring a Management and Program Analyst to serve as Team Leader in the Washington, DC area. As an External Ombuds, the position uses the values of independence, impartiality, confidentiality and informality to resolve student loan disputes and analyze case data for potential of program improvement.

March 24, 2010

UCLA Ombuds Office Marks 40 Years of Service

The Office of Ombuds Services at the University of California Los Angeles will host an open house March 31 to celebrate more than four decades of service to the campus.  An article in the staff and faculty newsletter profiles the office headed by Kathleen Canul and including Brenda Woods-Patin, Katy Kolodziejski, Thomas Griffin and Tom Kosakowski.

Job Posting: Wayne State

The public research university in Detroit has reposted its announcement for a Research Ombuds. The position will serve as a designated neutral or impartial dispute resolution practitioner for issues related to Sponsor Program Administration, and reports to the Vice President of Research, with a dotted line reporting relationship to the Director of Business Affairs.

Job Posting: Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is hiring three Senior Ombudsman Specialists to work in Schaumburg, Illinois; Jacksonville, Florida; and Dallas, Texas. The GS-13/14 positions are External Ombuds and provide the Office Director and Office of the Ombudsman staff with technical expertise in assisting customers with loans at failed financial institutions.

March 23, 2010

Civil Rights Group Endorses New Ombuds Office at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a non-profit group that advocates for civil liberties in academia, has hailed the opening of an Ombuds office at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Oklahoma State Appoints New Ombuds

In January 2010, Pauline Harris was appointed the Ombudsperson for the Oklahoma State University System, an institution comprising four campuses, two medical centers and 33,000 students. Harris concurrently serves as the Coordinator for Diversity Education in the Office of Institutional Diversity Department of Affirmative Action, a position she has held since January 2009.

Job Posting: University of Ottawa

North America's largest bilingual university is hiring its first Ombuds. The position will serve all of the university community, including the 38,000 students. The ideal candidate will have considerable knowledge of dispute resolution practices, principles and operational processes, and experience with diverse staff and multiple unions.

March 22, 2010

Job Posting: Cleveland Clinic, Florida

The Cleveland Clinic, one of the world's largest private medical centers, is hiring an Ombudsman Manager to be stationed in Weston, Florida. In addition to resolving patient problems, the position will provide ongoing training and support to Ombuds staff and represent the Ombudsman Department throughout the state and nationally.

Certification Exam Registration Deadline is Wednesday

March 31, 2010 is the last day to register for the certification examination to be offered at the IOA conference in New Orleans. 

IOA Issues RFP for Website Development

The International Ombudsman Association has a issued a Request for Proposals to establish a contract with a qualified vendor to provide internet management services.

March 20, 2010

FCO Surveying Members on Training Needs

Between March 17 and 23, the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman is surveying its members on their training needs. 

March 19, 2010

York University President Asks Ombuds to Review Student Elections

In the face of complains about the recent York Federation of Students elections, President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri has asked the University Ombudsperson to conduct a review.

John F. Kennedy University Opens Ombuds Office

The private university with four campuses in the California Bay Area, has unveiled an Ombuds program for students, employees and faculty. The website states that the JFKU Ombudsman, "is guided by the Standards of Practice and the Code of Ethics of the International Ombudsman Association."

Alfred University Posts Updated Ombuds Terms of Reference

The small private university in Western New York has published a revised definition of its Ombudsman role. The changes bring the position into line with IOA standards and eliminate the responsibility of the Ombuds for deciding grade disputes.

March 18, 2010

Update: University of Missouri, Kansas City Opens Search for Faculty Ombuds

UMKC is conducting an internal search for its first Faculty Ombuds. The part-time position works only with faculty and reports to the Provost for a two-year term. The job description generally follows IOA best practices, with one significant exception:

March 16, 2010

New Cable Series Highlights Work of Mediator

The USA Network has ordered a new original series about a mediator. "Facing Kate" follows Kate Reed, a frustrated litigator turns away from the bureaucracy and injustice in the legal system to become a neutral.

Job Posting: Texas Tech University

TTU is hiring its first Assistant Ombuds for Students. The newly created position will be responsible for meeting with students, outreach and education, strategic planning, assessment, and assisting the Ombuds for Students, Drew Canham, with the daily operation of the office.

March 15, 2010

Could an Ombuds Progam Have Saved Lehman Bros.?

According to the New York Times, formal channels at Lehman Bros. failed to alert senior management about issues that ultimately lead to the compay's demise.  John Zinsser deconstructs the situation further and argues that an Ombuds program could have saved the investment bank.

March 14, 2010

Making Smart Choices in New Orleans

A timely article from offers advice on what not to do in New Orleans. So if you're attending the IOA conference in about three weeks, here are some things to keep in mind:

Update: One Name Added to the List of First Certified Ombuds

The Board of Certification for Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioners has added another name to the list of newly certified Ombuds. Scott M. Deyo of the U.S. Department of Defense has been added to the list of 20 individuals from 13 different organizations who have passed the qualifying exam and demonstrated one year of experience and compliance with the IOA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. (CO-OP Directory of Practitioners.)

March 12, 2010

Job Posting: Eaton Corp. (India)

Eaton Corporation is hiring a Field Ombuds for its India operations. Based in Pune, the position serves as a neutral dispute resolution practitioner for employees throughout India. Initially, the position is responsible for launching the Ombuds program following IOA standards, including the development of materials, employee training and web page development.

March 11, 2010

New York ACR Panel on the Emerging Role of Ombuds

On March 16, the Greater New York Regional Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution presents a program on "Emerging Role of the Corporate, Organizational & Transnational Ombuds."

COFO Collaborating With Federal Agencies Creating New Ombuds Programs

At its February meeting, the Coalition of Federal Ombudsmen heard from several government administrators developing new programs.  Mindy Fleisher from the Patent and Trademark Office gave details about the development of an external Ombuds. Barbara Malebranche updated the efforts to create an Ombuds program in the Office of Personnel Management, including a charter and prototype website.

March 10, 2010

CO-OP Board Announces First Class of Certified Ombuds

The Board of Certification for Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioners has announced the names of the first Ombuds to become certified. Nineteen individuals from 12 different organizations have now passed the examination and have demonstrated they have at least a year of experience and practice to the IOA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

Enjoy Mediation Blog: Interview With Chuck Howard

Jeff Thompson, a conflict expert in NY who writes the Enjoy Mediation Blog, has posted a 19-minute interview with Chuck Howard, author of The Organizational Ombudsman.

March 09, 2010

Job Posting: Office of Personnel Management

The OPM is filling more than just two positions for its Office of the Ombudsman in Washington, DC. The current posting for the OPM Ombudsman's Office seeks to fill a "few" vacancies at the GS-11, 12 and 13 levels.

Job Posting: General Electric Health Care

GE is hiring a Global Ombuds Manager for its Health Care division. Based in Wauwatosa, WI, the Ombuds Manager is a key member of the GEHC Compliance organization, responsible for building and sustaining the global Ombuds network across GEHC.

March 08, 2010

Scholarship Will Honor Late Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Ombuds

The University of California Berkeley has created a new student award to honor Harry Reed, the former Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Ombudsperson.

CUPA-HR Panel Promotes Ombuds as Tool Against Bullying

At its latest conference, the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources was overwhelmed by the demand for a session on designing and implementing anti-bullying and faculty incivilities programs.

March 05, 2010

Friday Poll: Why Aren't You Attending the IOA Conference?

Although hundreds of Organizational Ombuds and others will gather at for the International Ombudsman Association's fifth annual conference April 7-10, 2010, many will not attend. This week's poll seeks to know why readers are not going to New Orleans.

Update: Early bird registration has been extended to March 19.

March 04, 2010

House Bill Would Establish Ombuds for Intelligence Security Clearance Issues

On February 26, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. In addition to authorizing appropriations for intelligence-related activities, HR 2701 would require the Director of National Intelligence to appoint an Ombudsman to handle concerns, complaints and questions from people applying for intelligence community security clearances.

March 03, 2010

Reminder: IOA Annual Conference Registration

Priority registration for the International Ombudsman Association's fifth annual conference in New Orleans is Friday, March 5, 2010. Conference fees go up by $50 after that. In addition, this Friday is the deadline for the group hotel rate at the Marriott New Orleans. (IOA Conf. Info.)

Ombuds’ Claim Against Airline Highlights Pitfalls of High Profile Ombuds Positions

On Sunday, the Ottawa Citizen reported that the Canadian Transportation Agency had dismissed a complaint filed by an Ombuds who had asserted that Canada’s largest airline had unfairly denied him travel after a disagreement with a flight crew.

March 01, 2010

Job Posting: Bridgepoint Education

The California-based for-profit education services holding company is hiring an Associate Ombudsman for its San Diego headquarters. The position will report to the recently appointed Ombudsman and will travel about 25% of the time.

McMaster University Ombuds Survey Entices With Netbook Prize

Students at the public university in Hamilton, Ontario are being surveyed about their awareness of the campus Ombuds office. Students who complete the survey are eligible to win a Netbook with Windows 7. The survey resembles a "push poll" in that it seeks to educate participants rather than soliciting critical feedback.

Confederation College Gives Quick Update on Usage

Kim Morgan, the Ombuds for the community college in Thunder Bay, Ontario, reported that her office assisted 63 students this past fall. She noted that many students displayed signs of “culture shock” for various reasons--technology, home sickness, program expectations, physical illness, etc.