July 30, 2010

Ombuds of Texas to Look at Emergence of the Profession at August Meeting

The Ombuds of Texas will meet August 11 and the topic will be "Evolution of the Ombuds." The bi-meeting will be held at the LCRA Dalchau Service Center in Austin. 

Noted Journalist Serves as First Ombuds for EMPA

In January 2010, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (commonly known as Empa, German for "Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt") appointed Michael Hagmann as its first Ombudsperson for PhD students.

July 29, 2010

IOA to Offer Ombuds Training in Toronto

The International Ombudsman Association will offer introductory and advanced training for Organizational Ombuds at the Hyatt Regency Toronto, October 25-29, 2010.

July 28, 2010

New CERN Ombuds Debuts Website

A website for the Ombuds at the European Organization for Nuclear Research went online yesterday and provides more information about the program that was introduced last month. The page reveals that the Ombuds--Vincent Vuillemin--serves full time for a three year term. The website also references the International Ombudsman Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

July 27, 2010

Public Invited to Comment on Proposed SEC Ombuds Office

The Securities and Exchange Commission is calling for public commentary on proposed regulatory initiatives under the Dodd-Frank Act, including the new Ombuds for the Office of the Investor Advocate. Members of the public can express their view by email or an online form.

Auburn University Appoints Ombuds to Permanent Post

Auburn Provost Mary Ellen Mazey and the Executive Committee of the University Senate has reappointed Jim Wohl to a three-year term. Wohl recently completed a two-year trial as the university's first Ombuds for employees.

July 26, 2010

Tenth ACR Conference Will Highlight Ombuds Issues

The Association for Conflict Resolution's tenth annual conference will include several sessions that Organizational Ombuds will find relevant, including:

University of Miami Ombuds Offers Guidance for Students in Conflict

Last week, the student newspaper at the University of Miami published an interview with Dr. Gail Cole-Avent, who serves as the Ombudsperson for non-academic issues. She explained that Miami relies on a network of "University Troubleshooters" to triage student concerns and refer more significant issues to the Ombuds office.

July 23, 2010

Financial Regulatory Reform Will Create New Ombuds Programs

The sweeping reform legislation signed into law by President Obama on July 21 will establish an Ombuds programs for the Securities and Exchange Commission concerns and two programs within the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. An early version of the legislation also included an Ombuds program for the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, but this was not included in the final version.

FCO President to Speak at Brazilian Ombuds Conference

Ian Darling, President of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman, will be a featured speaker at the 1st International Congress of Executive, Legislative, Prosecutorial and Judicial Ombudsmen in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

July 22, 2010

Job Posting: Jackson Community College

The 6,700-student community college in Jackson County, Michigan is hiring an Ombuds. The full-time position provides students a "consistent, centralized point of contact for questions, concerns and/or problems they may be experiencing at JCC." It appears that this is the first Ombuds for the college.

Reasons Agreements Fall Apart After Workplace Negotiations

Mediator and conflict resolution coach Dr. Tammy Lenski writes Conflict Zen, one of the blogs I read faithfully. In her latest post, she considers why do solutions and agreements fall apart after the organizational conflict appears resolved.

July 21, 2010

Recap of 2010 Midwest Meeting of University & College Ombuds

Tim Griffin reports that 24 Ombuds from 18 different colleges and universities convened on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois on July 12. The annual meeting was preceded by a workshop for 13 new Ombuds -- a new attendance record for this event.

African Development Bank Ombuds Increases Capacity

AfDB Ombuds Amabel Orraca-Ndiaye has issued an annual report to Bank staff outlining key areas of the office’s main activities last year. The report emphasizes that the Ombuds office will continue to play to create increased group cohesion in the institution.

ICANN Ombuds Receives Peacekeeping Medal

According to his blog, Frank Fowlie has been awarded the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal for his service in East Timor with the United Nations Transitional Administration.

July 20, 2010

Job Posting: Federal Bureau of Investigation

The FBI is conducting an internal search for a Supervisory Ombudsman to be stationed in Washington, DC. This appears to be a re-posted position that was open to external candidates earlier in the year.

African Educator Calls for University Ombuds

In the wake of student riots at several prominent universities in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, a leading educator is recommending that campuses adopt Ombuds programs.

July 19, 2010

Growing Business for Workplace Chaplains

Last night, the NBC Nightly News profiled a service more employers are adopting to care for their employees: office chaplains.  "Finding someone to listen – really listen – to your personal concerns is not what most offices are known for but some folks are trying to change that, with chaplains at work." (NBC Nightly News.)

July 16, 2010

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente

KP is hiring a Health Care Ombuds/Mediator for their facility in Fresno, CA. The Kaiser HCOM "functions as a trained alternative dispute professional offering patients, family members, staff & providers a conflict management program to resolve patient/provider healthcare disputes early thereby improving patient safety & reducing the costs of health care dispute resolution."

Photos From New Orleans Conference

Trey Reckling has posted photos from the International Ombudsman Association's conference April 7-10, 2010. (Southern Sports Photo.)

July 15, 2010

LSU Ombuds Office Faces Elimination Under 2011-12 Budget

Louisiana State University has outlined $46 million in possible budget reductions for the 2011-12 fiscal year in anticipation of severe cuts to higher education. A committee divided campus units into three categories and the Ombuds Office is in the first category targeted for cutbacks.

New Research Confirms Cost of Workplace Conflict and Reveals Benefit of Venting

Research by economists at the University of Nottingham has revealed that feuding opponents will continue to retaliation even when they realize their efforts are damaging their own interests.  Fortunately, the likelihood of vendettas is mitigated by giving participants the opportunity to vent their anger.

July 14, 2010

University of Missouri–Kansas City Appoints First Faculty Ombuds

UMKC has named long-time professor Nancy Day as its first Ombuds for faculty matters. The announcement seems to indicate that Day will be available to all faculty rather than just faculty from the School of Arts & Sciences as initially contemplated.  She begins a two-year term on September 1, 2010.

Job Posting: University of California Santa Barbara

The UCSB Office of the Ombuds is hiring an Analyst and Intake Coordinator. The position supports the work of the office by handling cases at intake, calendaring, researching issues, managing data, implementing evaluation procedures, maintaining and updating internal financial records, and designing awareness development tools.

July 13, 2010

Update: USOA 2010 Conference Registration Now Open

The United States Ombudsman Association has opened registration for its 31st annual meeting in Dayton, Ohio, October 6-8, 2010. The agenda now also includes information on pre-conference opportunities: a two-day New Ombudsman Training; and a day-long session on Advanced Legal Writing and Editing presented by the renowned Bryan Garner, J.D.

July 12, 2010

Job Posting: University of Michigan

The Public Ivy in Ann Arbor is hiring an Ombudsperson. The full-time position serves student body of 41,000 and reports to the Vice President for Student Affairs. Applicants must have a Master's degree or better, experience in student services administration or counseling, and knowledge of University practices.

Ombuds for Department of Defense Inspector General Posts First Annual Report

Scott M. Deyo, who became the first DoD IG Ombudsman on March 1, 2009, met with 225 employees in the first seven months on the job -- nearly 14% of the 1,600 DoD IG employees worldwide. Most of the contact resulted from a climate assessment survey, which gave Deyo the opportunity to interview individuals about organizational concerns and to introduce the new Ombuds program.

July 08, 2010

ABA 2011 Dispute Resolution Conference Set for Denver

The American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution convenes its 13th Annual Spring Conference at the Sheraton in downtown Denver on April 13-16, 2011. For the first time in several years, the largest Ombuds conference and the largest ADR conference will not conflict.

July 07, 2010

Job Posting: Office of Personnel Management

The new and growing Ombuds program at OPM is hiring an Ombudsman Support Technician. The position supports the work of the office by serving as the initial contact to incoming callers and visitors, managing the online database, acting as a liaison within the office, and preparing written materials.

July 06, 2010

Job Posting: International Organization for Migration

The IOM Office of the Director General in Geneva is hiring an Ombuds for a one-year appointment. The position follows IOA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics and assists staff members with employment-related problems.

IOI President Bids Adieu in June Newsletter

In the June 2010 newsletter from the International Ombudsman Institute, President and long-time advocate for Classical Ombudsmen, Bill Angrick reflects on his career. Other items in the newsletter include:

July 02, 2010

California Caucus Returns After Year Hiatus

After missing its first year in nearly four decades, the California Caucus of Colleges and University Ombuds returns to Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California, November 7-12, 2010. The conference has been a fixture for West Coast Ombuds since 1973, but did not occur in 2009 due to declining attendance. Organizers and stakeholders have spent the past year strategizing about return of the event, which is uniquely different than other Ombuds conferences.

Job Posting: Cleveland Clinic, Florida

The Cleveland Clinic has reopened its search for 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.

USCIS Ombuds Submits Annual Report to Congress

The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman has submitted its seventh annual report to Congress. The Ombuds for Department of Homeland Security immigration issues provides confidential, independent and impartial assistance to the public.

July 01, 2010

Update: UN Ombuds Reports Growing Demand for Service

At a press briefing this afternoon, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Ombudsman John Barkat joined other administrators to report on the organization's new justice system. Barkat said his office has opened 536 cases in the first five months of 2010, a 70% increase from the same period last year.

BP Targeting Its Internal Ombuds Program

CNN is reporting exclusively that BP has been trying to shut down its Ombudsman program. According to "sources close to the office" and Rep. Bart Stupak, the Ombuds office headed by retired federal judge Stanley Sporkin has been targeted for closure. (CNN.)

IOA to Offer Organizational Ombuds Training in Paris

UNESCO will host the next training offered by the International Ombudsman Association September 6-8 in Paris.  Two courses will be presented: one for beginning Ombuds and one specialized course.