September 30, 2010

Job Posting: National Institutes of Health

The NIH Center for Cooperative Resolution (CCR) is hiring an Associate Ombudsman. The GS-14 position provides neutral and independent third party dispute resolution services to managers and employees under the direction of the Ombudsman (Howard Gadlin) and Deputy Ombudsman (position being filled).

Northern Arizona University Faculty Ombuds Reports 55% Jump in Cases

NAU's Faculty Ombuds Program reports that it handled 55% more requests for assistance in the 2009-10 academic year compared to the prior period. The greatest increase came from administrators and the proportion of faculty without continuing status contracts also increased substantially.

September 29, 2010

Reposting: 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.

Job Posting: Georgia State University

The large research university in Atlanta is hiring a Coordinator for its Office of the Ombudsperson. The position serves as the initial point of contact with students, staff; provides planning, coordination, and implementation of routine and/or complex activities and projects related to the management of the office; and serves as a liaison for the office.

September 28, 2010

Milton J. Brawer: Pioneering Ombuds

Milton J. Brawer, who established one of the first University Ombuds programs in the United States, passed away on September 8 at the age of 84. Brawer served as the University Ombudsman at Western Michigan University from 1970 to 1974.

Brawer's reflection on his work as an Ombuds, "Notes of a Novice Ombudsman," was published by The Journal of Higher Education in 1973. He described his day-to-day work as part detective, personal advisor, listener, red-tape cutter, and expediter. Brawer earned his bachelor's degree at Harvard and PHD at Columbia. He was a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at WMU from 1960 until he retired in 1995. (Western Herald; Journal of Higher Education.)

Faculty Ombuds at University of Colorado Boulder Report Increase in Caseload

Lee Potts and Larry Singell, the Faculty Ombuds at CU Boulder, report that they handled 57 cases in the 2009-10 academic year, a 42.5% increase from the prior year. The report indicates that the Faculty Ombuds consulted with a total of 87 people regarding cases and engaged with 215 individuals through service and outreach activities.

Profile of New Ombuds at University of Ottawa

Lucie Allaire, who was appointed as the first Ombudsperson for the University of Ottawa in June, is profiled in the local independent student newspaper. Allaire said she is excited to begin the new position, which was first proposed in 1990. “I’ve been really welcomed. I really feel that the time was right for the university to have this position,” she said.

September 27, 2010

Washington State Schools Ombuds Office May be Downsized

Since Washington State opened the Office of Education Ombudsman in 2007, the office has become an important resource for K-12 stakeholders. In the 2009-10 school year, the number of cases handled by office increased 79% from the prior year. Nonetheless, the OEO faces cutbacks as Washington wrestles with another year of budget shortfall.

Reminder: Deadline for October Ombuds Certification Exam

There a less than two weeks to register for the next IOA Certification Examination the week of October 18-23, 2010. Applicants for the the two-hour, online test must register by October 8, 2010.

Survey Finds Trust, Openness and Fairness are Key Organizational Objectives for the Next Decade

According to a new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, the biggest investment challenge facing organizations over the next 10 years is obtaining human capital and optimizing human capital investments. According to the HR professionals surveyed, the most effective tactic to attract and retain people is to provide work/life flexibility for employees. The second most effective tactic is to create a organizational culture where trust, open communication and fairness are emphasized and demonstrated by leaders.

September 24, 2010

Job Posting: National Institutes of Health

The U.S. agency responsible for biomedical and health-related research is hiring a Deputy Ombudsman for the NIH Center for Cooperative Resolution (CCR). The position provides neutral and independent third party dispute resolution services to managers and employees.

Corporate Ombuds Group Meeting Set for October 14-15

Halliburton is sponsoring the 2010 Corporate Ombudsman Roundtable in Houston, Texas on October 14 and 15, 2010. The agenda features presentations and discussions aimed at capitalizing resources, maximizing outreach to management and employees, and reinforcing the message about the Ombuds program. Participants also will review Ombuds best practices from a global perspective.

September 23, 2010

IOA Extends Deadline for Conference Proposals

The International Ombudsman Association has extended the deadline for suggestions and ideas for conference sessions. Proposals may be submitted to the IOA Conference Committee through Monday, October 4. The conference is scheduled for April 3–6, 2011 at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower in Portland, OR. (SurveyMonkey.)

Job Posting: MD Anderson Cancer Center

The top-ranked cancer center in Houston is adding to its Ombuds Office. The position will work with a team of experienced Ombuds to provide services to faculty, staff and trainees.

September 22, 2010

Loss of Ombuds is an Issue in Washington, DC School Board Election

The election of school board members in Washington, DC has returned attention to the public schools Ombuds Office that was shuttered in August 2009. Some school officials and activists say restoring the Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education is a crucial aspect of reform implementation for the next school board.

University of West Georgia Ombuds Office Issues Annual Report

The Ombuds Office at UWG has released its second annual report showing that the new program continues to be a vital service for the campus. In the 14½-months ended June 30, 2010, the office handled 105 cases: 45% were administrators or staff; 12% were faculty; and 43% were students.

Job Posting: United Nations

The Office of the Ombudsman for United Nations Funds and Programmes is hiring a case manager to work in its New York office. The position assists in providing impartial, independent and informal conflict-resolution service for the settlement of employment-related problems for staff members and related personnel of the funds and programs.

Job Posting: Savannah College of Art and Design

SCAD Atlanta is hiring an Ombuds. The position serves as a neutral, independent and confidential resource for students, faculty and staff, and gives upward feedback to university administrators. In addition, "this individual will have significant supervision and management responsibility for the Atlanta location's graduate mentor program."

ICANN Ombuds Honored by University of Regina

Frank Fowlie, the Ombudsman for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is the Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award for his alma mater. The University of Regina bestows the award on a graduate who, over the course of a lifetime, has distinguished himself or herself on a regional, national or international basis in any field of endeavor.

September 21, 2010

Western Michigan University Ombuds Office Moves Closer to Student Affairs

Western Michigan University has taken steps to more closely align its Ombudsman Office with student affairs both programmatically and physically. Earlier this year, the WMU Ombuds Office took over the late withdrawal process from the Office of the Registrar. Then last week, the Ombuds Office moved into WSU's student services building.

Amherst Schools Appoints First Ombuds

Amherst Regional Public Schools (sometimes referred to as the Union #26 and Amherst-Pelham Regional School Districts) in Western Massachusetts has appointed its first Ombuds. Barry Brooks, who retired in 2007 after 29 years at the Regional Middle School, mostly as a guidance counselor, has agreed to fill the new position, said Interim Superintendent Maria Geryk.

New Ombuds Websites Highlight IOA Ethical Tenets

In the past few weeks, websites have appeared for Ombuds offices at Ohio State University, Algoma University and the Inter-American Development Bank. The university programs are new and the IADB program has simply not had a website until this summer. All three emphasize the core features of Organizational Ombuds practice: confidentiality, neutrality (or impartiality), independence and informality.

September 20, 2010

York University Ombuds Delivers Report on Student Elections

Earlier this year, the President of Canada's third-largest university, Mamdouh Shoukri asked the University Ombudsperson to conduct a review of student elections after allegations of misconduct. York Ombuds, John D. McCamus has now completedhis investigation and delivered a report.

Canada Post Ombuds Office Wins National Award for Excellence

The Office of the Ombudsman at Canada Post has been awarded one of the prestigious Canada Awards for Excellence by the National Quality Institute. The annual award recognizes excellence in quality, customer service and a healthy workplace.

Navy Appoints Two New Ombuds-at-Large

The U.S. Navy has appointed Brandy Clingan and Bobbi West as Ombudsmen-at-Large. They will advise the Chief of Naval Operations and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy on matters affecting Sailors and their families. In addition, they facilitate communications between other Navy Ombudsmen, Sailors, families, the Chief of Naval Operations and the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. Clingan and West will also advocate for the Navy Family Ombudsman Program. (Navy Live.)

Canisius College Ombuds Returns

Anthony R. Weston, PhD, will resume his role as Ombudsman for the private Roman Catholic college in Buffalo, effective September 15, 2010. Jack D’Amico, PhD, professor of English, had served as Ombuds while Weston, a professor of mathematics, was on sabbatical. (Under the Dome.)

September 17, 2010

Federal Bureau of Investigation Appoints New Ombuds

FBI Director Robert Mueller has named Monique A. Bookstein as Chief Ombuds for the Bureau. Bookstein is a 22-year veteran of the FBI and took office in August 2010.

University of Central Florida Ombuds Honored as Employee of the Year

Vicky Brown attended UCF's annual staff event in August, expecting to be recognized for her 20 years of service to the University (16½ years as the Ombuds). To her surprise, she was named the administrative and professional employee of the year.

NPR Job Posting Highlights Duties of News Ombuds

National Public Radio is soliciting applications for the position of Ombudsman. This is one of the most high-profile News Ombuds in the U.S., and not the type of position for which there is often a public search. The job posting highlights the similarities and differences between Organizational Ombuds and News Ombuds.

Signs It's Time to Leave Your Job

Molly Peckman advises attorneys on law firm life and professional development. Her recent article for The Legal Intelligencer on recognizing when it's time to leave a legal job may be relevant for Ombuds' visitors.

September 16, 2010

Profile of Binghamton University Ombuds

Dawn Osborne-Adams, who was hired as Binghamton's Ombuds in June, is profiled in the latest issue of the campus newsletter. She says she might have been predisposed to work as an Ombuds because her father once served in the role for McDonald’s franchisees.

Job Posting: International Baccalaureate

The international educational foundation is hiring an Ombudsman. The three-year position position can be "virtual" in nature with a preference for reasonable accessibility to one of the three IB Global Centers in Geneva, Bethesda and Singapore.

September 15, 2010

Update: Cal Caucus 2010

The California Caucus of College & University Ombuds has updated information for its 37th meeting on November 7-10, 2010.

University of Florida Ombuds to Retire

Tommie C. Howard, UF University Ombudsman, is retiring later this month after four decades of service to his campus. Howard has served as the UFL Ombuds since he was promoted from Assistant Ombuds in 2000 and his retirement has been repeatedly postponed while the University searches for his replacement.

September 14, 2010

International Monetary Fund Announces New Ombuds

The intergovernmental organization that oversees the global financial system has appointed Lois Petzold to succeed Wilbur Hicks as its seventh Ombuds. Petzold has served as the Undergraduate Student Ombuds for Clemson University in South Carolina since 2005.

New Hampshire Creates Ombuds Office for Health & Human Service Issues

The state agency has unveiled a website for a new Ombuds program for clients, employees, and members of the general public. Although it does not explicitly adopt IOA standards of practice, the New Hampshire DHHS Ombuds is confidential, unbiased and informal.

Evaluating Organizational Context of Employment Disputes

Maria Simpson, an executive coach and mediator, says that there are three dimensions of organizational culture will give quick insight into the context and origin of an employment dispute. Ombuds may find this perspective useful in evaluating cases and identifying options for resolution.

September 13, 2010

Job Posting: University of California Berkeley

UC Berkeley is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson for matters involving students and post-docs. The half-time position serves as the first point of contact for callers/visitors to the Student Ombuds Office, ascertains the nature of requests and inquiries and, in consultation with the Ombuds as required, determines appropriate course of action including possible referral to other Campus resources.

Inter-American Development Bank Appoints Project Ombuds

IADB has named Isabel Lavadenz-Paccieri to lead the bank's Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism. As the ICIM Ombuds, Lavadenz will address complaints from parties affected by IADB project utilizing flexible and consensual methods.

September 10, 2010

North Carolina Plans Ombuds for State Crime Lab

Following reports of systemic problems at its forensics lab, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has announced changes that include an external Ombudsman.

The Power of Emotional Detachment

When Ombuds are consulted by people targeted by a bully, Ombuds try to identify a range of options for responding. Oftentimes, the visitor may choose to cope with the situation by disengaging. Bob Sutton, the author of The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't, seems to agree that emotional detachment is an important job skill.

September 09, 2010

ATF Seeks Bids for Ombuds Service

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has issued a solicitation for facilitation and mediation support services for its Ombuds office. The Bureau will be hiring a vendor to provide these services for administrative workplace disputes for bureau employees that are in the field as well as headquarters.

Former Ombuds Returns to University of Minnesota

In July, Michael V. Huyen was named the Assistant Director for the Student Conflict Resolution Center and Ombudsman at UM. Huyen served as an Ombuds at the university in 1990-1994 and then worked private sector working in the field of employee relations and operations. 

FCO Offers Training on Unreasonable Complainants

The Forum of Canadian Ombudsman is sponsoring a one-day workshop by Chris Wheeler, Deputy New South Wales Ombudsman, "Dealing with Unreasonable Complainant Behaviour." The program will take place in Toronto on October 7, 2010.

September 08, 2010

University of Texas Medical Branch Ombuds Describes His Career Path

Vince Loffredo, who serves as UTMB's Ombuds and Associate VP of Student Services, is profiled in the campus online newsletter. The article highlights Loffredo's sense of humor and includes a photo of the Ombuds in a Superman costume.

Some Space Left for Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Training

Steve Olive, the Administrator for the FCO Secretariat, says that there are some spaces left for the two-day Ombuds fundamentals program on September 20 and 21, 2010 in Toronto. (FCO Training Will Feature a Wide Range of Ombuds Practices.)

September 07, 2010

Job Posting: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

FINRA is hiring an Associate Director/Director Ombudsman for its headquarters in Rockville, MD. The position is responsible for conducting reviews and investigations related to complaints received by the Office of the Ombudsman, as well as work with other FINRA staff to ensure appropriate resolution to any issue or question that arise. 

Job Posting: Federal Bureau of Investigation

The FBI is hiring an Associate Organizational Ombudsman to work in Washington, DC. As a senior staff member in the Office of the Ombudsman, the position serves as an expert advisor, liaison and consultant to FBI stakeholders including the Director's Advisory committee representatives.

September 06, 2010

IOA Seeks Entries for Second Annual Student Writing Competition

The International Ombudsman Association is again sponsoring a contest to reward scholarship relevant to Organizational Ombuds. In the second IOA-sponsored writing competition, graduate and law students are invited to submit articles on the issue of how organizational ombudsmen can avoid being deemed as agents for notice. 

September 03, 2010

Cleveland State University to Appoint Permanent Ombuds

CSU Ohio has opened an internal search for a permanent University Ombudsperson. Earlier this year, CSU President Ronald Berkman announced that he was reinstating the Ombuds Office with the appointment of psychology professor Richard F. Rakos, PhD as interim Ombuds.

Classical Ombuds Job Postings at FCO

The Forum of Canadian Ombudsman has posted six new jobs this week. The positions are in a variety of cities across Canada.