June 30, 2010

University of Ottawa Publishes Ombuds Terms of Reference

Subsequent to appointing its first Ombuds, the University of Ottawa has posted the chartering document for the program. The document specifies an Organizational Ombuds model that serves all members of the uOttawa community.

Ombuds are Valuable Supplement to Compliance Efforts

An article by Chuck Howard appeared in the June issue of the BNA Prevention of Corporate Liability Current Report. He points out that corporate tools developed in response to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines -- compliance and ethics programs, employee hotlines and whistleblower policies -- have limits to their effectiveness in dealing with a worker who is reluctant to come forward.

June 29, 2010

Office of Personnel Management Unveils Ombuds Program

A new website confirms the new Ombuds program for the federal agency that manages civil servants. The OPM established an Ombudsman Office in January 2010, "to provide a neutral, independent and confidential resource to review, identify, facilitate and timely resolve individual claims, concerns or complaints by OPM customers and employees."

Ombuds to Give Update on UN Justice Program

At a press briefing scheduled for Thursday, July 1, Assistant Secretary-General and Ombudsman, John Barkat will join Under-Secretary-General for Management, Angela Kane, and the Executive Director of the Office for the Administration of Justice, Andrei Terekhov, to discuss the United Nations new system of administration of justice. (UN Daily Press Briefing.)

June 28, 2010

CERN Appoints an Ombuds

The European Organization for Nuclear Research -- the world's largest particle physics laboratory near Geneva -- has appointed Vincent Vuillemin as its first Ombuds. Following the Organizational Ombuds model, the CERN Ombuds will assist with inter-personal relations while remaining confidential, impartial and independent.

Simon Fraser University Honors Former Ombuds

In a ceremony last week, the university renamed is graduate student lounge in honor of Laurine Harrison, the former Ombudsperson of the Simon Fraser Student Society who died of a heart attack in 2007 at age 51. Donations for an endowment fund in Harrison's name are still being accepted. (The Peak.)

June 27, 2010

Job Posting: World Bank

The World Bank Group hiring an Ombudsman for a five-year term appointment. This position will add a third position to the Office of Ombuds Services to work closely with two other Ombuds (Thomas Zgambo and Constance A. Bernard).

June 25, 2010

IOA Stands for More Than You Might Think

According to Wikipedia, the International Ombudsman Association is the primary definition of IOA. However the acronym also stands for:

June 24, 2010

IOI Publishes Papers from Stockholm 2009 Conference

The International Ombudsman Institute has posted papers from presenters at its World Conference celebrating the Bicentennial of the Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman.

Penn State Faculty Elects Next Ombuds

The Faculty Senate at Pennsylvania State University has elected Deborah F. Atwater to a four-year term as University Ombudsperson effective July 1, 2010. She succeeds David (Duff) Gold, Professor Emeritus of Geology, who has served as the interim Ombuds since February 2009.

June 23, 2010

University of Ottawa Appoints First Ombuds

Lucie Allaire has been appointed to the newly created position of University Ombudsperson for uOttawa. University President Allan Rock said, “We’re very proud that the University has created the position of ombudsperson, a joint effort with the Student Federation and the Graduate Students’ Association.” 

June 22, 2010

Michigan State to Appoint Ombuds for Student Athletes

MSU, home of the first American university Ombuds program, has announced that it will appoint a student-athlete Ombuds. Last week, Michigan State Athletics Director Mark Hollis has announced the appointment of Alan Haller as human resource officer for the MSU Athletics Department and as the student-athlete Ombudsman.

University of Central Florida Ombuds Offers Video Welcome

UCF's Ombuds Officer, Vicky Brown, has produced a short video introducing her service to students, faculty and staff, alumni and parents. Brown succintly describes the features of an Organizational Ombuds program in English and Spanish. (YouTube.)

June 21, 2010

Financial Reform Bill Likely to Include New SEC Ombuds Program

Securities industry expert James Hamilton reports that the Financial Reform Conference Bill (reconciling differences between HR 4173 and S 3217) includes an Ombuds program for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Is 15 Minutes of Fame Approaching for BP Ombuds?

Stanley Sporkin, BP's Ombuds, is drawing increased attention as politicians and journalists probe the oil giant's safety record. Recent revelations include the following.

Columbia Ombuds Offers Insights on Her Career Change

Bathabile Mthombeni, the Associate Ombuds at Columbia University, was recently interviewed for 85 Broads, a network for high-achieving women. Mthombeni describes how and why she transitioned into the Ombuds field after working as a New York litigation attorney.

June 17, 2010

Ombuds, Not Mediators or Arbitrators, are the Solution for Workplace Bullies

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education caused some consternation among Organizational Ombuds, especially those on college campuses. The piece acknowledged a problem Ombuds know well: "College faculty members who are bullied or abused by coworkers often feel they must either suffer through it or quit." Indeed, the annual conference of the American Association of University Professors featured three sessions devoted to the problem of faculty bullying. What piqued Ombuds was the plan by two companies to offer mediation and arbitration services to colleges as a remedy for bullying.

Job Posting: Fair Practices Commission

FPC, the Organizational Ombuds for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario, is hiring a Bilingual Intake Analyst. The position serves as the initial point of contact for new matters, manages information gathering and file preparation, engages in an early resolution processes, and maintains the database. Applicants must have a post secondary education and relevant experience, and speak English and French.

June 16, 2010

Ombuds at University of British Columbia Publishes First Annual Report

Shirley Nakata, who was appointed UBC Vancouver’s first Ombuds for Students in 2009, has issued an annual report covering the latest calendar year. Nakata provides data about the 53 cases she handled and provides case summaries of several matters.  (UBC Ombuds 2009 Annual Report.)

More Thoughts From Howard Gadlin on Mediation

Mediate.com has posted more of an interview with Howard Gadlin, the Ombudsman and Director of the Center for Cooperative Resolution at the National Institutes of Health National Institutes of Health.  (Mediate.com.)

June 15, 2010

Job Posting: Brock University

The public university in St. Catharines, Ontario is hiring a Student Ombudsperson. The position reports to the Brock University Students’ Union Board of Directors and serves a student population of 17,000.

June 10, 2010

Auburn University to Continue Ombuds Program

Earlier this week, the Auburn University Senate approved a proposal to continue the Office of Ombudsman, which was started as a trial program in 2008. The senate also extended the term length for the University Ombuds from two to three years. Jim Wohl founded the AU Ombuds Office and continues in that position. (Opelika-Auburn News.)

Job Posting: American Red Cross

The Red Cross Office is hiring a Deputy Ombudsman to work closely with its the Corporate Ombudsman in Washington, DC.  The Deputy Ombudsman will assist in the development and administration of the Red Cross Ombuds program, including managing a cadre of volunteer Ombuds and handling complex group facilitations and organizational cases. (This is not the same position as the Ombudsman Analyst position posted here last week.)

USOA Will Meet in Ohio for 31st Annual Conference

The United States Ombudsman Association will hold its annual meeting in Dayton, Ohio, October 6-8, 2010. The theme, "Soaring to New Heights: Innovations in Ombudsmanship," emphasizes recent developments in the field. A preliminary agenda for the event indicates there will be sessions on a wide range of issues, many of which will be relevant for Organizational Ombuds.

June 09, 2010

University of Waterloo Renames Ombuds Office

The 25,000-student public university in Ontario has changed the Office of the Ombudsperson into the Student Resource Office. UW Ombuds Evalena Matlock-Corley is on maternity leave and the interim Student Resource Coordinator said that the office hasn't been widely known and hopes to better engage students.

Leading Silicon Valley Attorney Supports Ombuds for Professional Conflicts

Mark Shem, a partner at Borton Petrini and President of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, supports an informal mechanism for resolving conflicts between attorneys. In his monthly blog post, Shem recalled a informal SCCBA program for lawyers with concerns about opposing counsel.

University of Oregon to Host Conference for Dispute Resolution Scholars

The University of Oregon School of Law's Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution will host the fourth annual Fall 2010 AALS Dispute Resolution Works-in-Progress Conference. The event convenes scholars from across the country who are teaching and researching in the area of dispute resolution. Submissions for presentations are due by August 1, 2010. (2010 WIP Conf. Info.)

June 08, 2010

Iowa's Director of Aging Forced Out After Attempting to Muzzle State's Long-Term Care Ombuds

Last month, Iowa's Iowa Long-Term Care Ombudsman Jeanne Yordi revealed that her boss, Department on Aging Director John McCallum, had repeatedly dictated the Ombuds' position on legislative and policy issues. 

June 07, 2010

Job Posting: University of California, Los Angeles

The public research university in Los Angeles has opened a search for an Ombuds. Under general direction of the Campus Ombudsperson, the Associate Ombuds position provides impartial and confidential conflict resolution services to all members of the UCLA campus community, including consultation, negotiation, mediation and problem solving.

Ombuds Perspectives on Buenos Aires ODR Forum

Last week, Daniel Rainey and Frank Fowlie both attended the 2010 Online Dispute Resolution Forum, “Peace Building in the Digital-Era.” Rainey, who is the Ombuds and Director of ADR Services for the National Mediation Board, was impressed by the turn out and predicts that demand will soon result in a Spanish language page for ODR.info.

June 04, 2010

Is the BP Disaster a Wake-up Call for the Ombuds Field?

John Zinsser is a vigorous and thoughtful advocate for Organizational Ombuds, but he is no Pollyanna. He is currently concerned about the role of the Ombuds program at BP and how that will impact perceptions of the field by the public at large, the management/leadership communities and the politically powerful.

Job Posting: National Transportation Safety Board

The NTSB is hiring a Senior Advisor for Workforce Operations in Washington, DC. In addition to advising the Managing Director on workforce concerns and issues, the position also serves as the Agency Ombudsman in resolving internal matters of conflict, dispute and disagreement. Major duties also include directing and managing NTSB's Workplace Alternative Dispute Resolution program. 

Friday Poll: Preaching to the Choir?

Have I written a post about you or your Ombuds program?

June 03, 2010

University of Colorado Denver Ombuds Reports 31% Jump in Cases

The Ombuds Office for students, staff, and faculty at CU Denver reported that it assisted 371 people in the 2008-09 fiscal year, a significant increase from 283 in the prior year. In addition, the office provided workshops and other presentations to about 2230 individuals. The office attributed the increase in part to individual concerns related to the poor economy.

Danish Broadcast Journalist Elected President of ONO

Jacob Mollerup, the Listeners and Viewers Editor at DR (the Danish Broadcasting Corp.), has been selected as the next president of the Organization of News Ombudsmen.

June 02, 2010

Resources Online and Beyond for the Aspiring Ombuds

Diane Levin recently offered a list of essential resources for aspiring mediators. Many of these are good resources for aspiring Ombuds and her blog, Mediation Channel, should be regular reading for anyone looking at a career in dispute resolution. Here are some other suggestions for people looking to become Organizational Ombuds.

Update: André Marin is Reappointed as Ontario Ombudsman

The Ontario legislature has unanimously reappointed the province's chief watchdog to a second five-year term after weeks of public controversy. Marin's first term expired March 31 and he has been serving under a contract extension while the government conducted a search for his successor.

June 01, 2010

Job Posting: American Red Cross

The Red Cross Office of the Corporate Ombudsman is hiring an Ombudsman Analyst for its Washington, DC headquarters. The position provides professional and technical support for case intake and projects, and assistance in preparing reports.

Why Bosses Avoid Conflict

Mediator and author (Conflict Resolution at Work For Dummies) Vivian Scott observes that some managers have a special knack for looking the other way when it comes to bad behavior and conflict on the job. She suggests there are four possible explanations.

Fort Valley State University Ombuds Starts Blog

Dawn Della DeVeaux, the Ombudsperson for the historically black university in Georgia, has launched a blog. Her bi-weekly postings will share her reflections about her work as a professor as well as an administrator at the academy. (FVSU Blog.)