February 28, 2011

UTC Ombuds to Give Seminar for Institute of Business Ethics

Stephen Corderey, the Corporate Ombudsman for United Technologies Corporation, will speak at IBE in London on March 10. Corderey, who serves approximately 200 companies and 100,000 employees for UTC in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia, will share his experiences as an Ombuds and explain how Ombuds add value to an ethics program.

Chuck Howard to Speak at Quinnipiac Law School

The author of "The Organizational Ombudsman: Origins, Roles and Operations," will speak at a public forum on March 4 at the Quinnipiac University School of Law in Hamden, Connecticut. The event is part of the Quinnipiac-Yale Dispute Resolution Workshop series. (Quinnipiac-Yale DRW Info.)

IOA Updates and Opportunities

The International Ombudsman Association is seeking submissions for its quarterly newsletter, organizers for regional advisory committees and sponsors for the upcoming conference.

February 25, 2011

FCO/ACCUO Post 2011 Conference Agenda

Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons have announced details for their joint conference, "The Ombuds Office in Canada Today: Looking Towards Tomorrow," set for Vancouver, BC on May 16-18, 2011. Registration is now open for the event and supplemental workshops.

February 24, 2011

Job Posting: AllianceBernstein

The global investment management firm is accepting applications for an Ombudsman. The position provides neutral, confidential, informal and independent assistance to all employees of the firm with work-related issues. The Ombuds reports to the general counsel and is based in New York.

IOA Past President Jan Schonauer Announces Retirement

Janis Schonauer, a leading Organizational Ombuds, has announced that she is retiring from her current position as the Ombudsman for AllianceBernstein this Spring. Previously, she worked in the Ombuds offices at Caltech and UC Irvine. In addition, she was president of the International Ombudsman Association in 2007-08 and also served as president of the University and College Ombuds Association.

February 23, 2011

New Ombuds Course at Southern Methodist University

SMU has added "The Role of an Ombuds in Organizational Conflict" to its list of electives for a certificate or master's in conflict resolution at the Simmons School of Education & Human Development. Belinda Newman, the Ombuds at the University of North Texas, is the instructor for the course that started January 25 and runs through March 29.

February 22, 2011

Job Posting: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

For the third time in 15 months, the non-governmental securities industry regulator is searching for an Associate Director in its Office of the Ombudsman. The position is responsible for conducting reviews and investigations related to complaints received by the FINRA Ombuds, as well as working with senior managers to ensure appropriate resolution to any issue that arise.

Job Posting: Bridgepoint Education

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February 18, 2011

Job Posting: World Bank Group

The international financial aid organization has reopened its search for a third Ombuds. The appointment will add a third position to the Office of Ombuds Services to work closely with two other Ombuds, Thomas Zgambo and Constance A. Bernard, for a five-year term.

February 17, 2011

Harvard Law Students Assist Red Cross Ombuds Office With Strategic Research

This spring, the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program is partnering with the American Red Cross Ombudsman Office to develop a strategic and long-term growth plan. The Red Cross Ombudsman asked HNMCP to research what different stakeholders at the American Red Cross need and expect from the Ombuds’ office, and subsequently how the office can systematically measure whether it is meeting those expectations.

More Ombuds Offices Create Facebook Pages

Organizational Ombuds in higher education are following their constituents into social media and establishing Facebook pages to boost awareness and to diversify the ways of offering resources.

Auburn University Ombuds to Speak at CUPA-HR Conference

Jim Wohl, the University Ombuds at Auburn, will address the 2010 College and University Professional Association for Human Resources Southern Region Conference on April 12. Wohl will address the principles and scope of Ombuds practice at colleges and universities and explain how Ombuds interact with formal university offices such as HR. (CUPA-HR Southern Conf. Info., Session 6E.)

Interview with University of Toronto Ombuds

The student life blog for the St. George campus of UToronto sought an interview with the campus Ombuds and was surprised to receive a prompt response. Assistant Ombudsperson Garvin De Four explained what the Ombuds does.

February 16, 2011

Job Posting: California State University San Marcos

The California State University campus north of San Diego is hiring an Associate Vice President for Diversity, Educational Equity and Ombudsperson. The position description does not apportion time between the two areas of responsibility, but this will be the first Ombuds for the university.

Externship: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

FINRA is offering an unpaid summer externship in its Washington, DC office. The extern will work with FINRA Ombuds staff in the Summer 2011 semester for 15-20 hours per week.

February 14, 2011

USC Athletic Director Considering Ombuds for Student-Athletes

Pat Haden, who became the Athletic Director just weeks after the University of Southern California was suspended from NCAA Division One Football for two years, says that he is considering an Ombudsman for student athletes. The remarks came last week at a conference with NCAA and NFL officials and sports agents to educate administrators on agent issues.

ABA Ombuds Committee Gets New Leadership

The American Bar Association Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice has appointed new leadership to its Ombuds Committee. The new chair is Nina Elizabeth Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate for the Internal Revenue Service, and the vice-chair is Elizabeth Hill, the Arizona Ombudsman Citizens Aide.

Howard Gadlin to Speak at University of Minnesota

The Ombudsman and Director of the Center for Cooperative Resolution at the National Institutes of Health will present faculty workshops at UM on April 11 and 12. Gadlin's program, "Building Successful Research Teams: Preventing and Managing Conflict," is co-sponsored by the Office for Conflict Resolution and Student Conflict Resolution Office, and satisfies a continuing education requirement for UM researchers. (Event Info.)

February 13, 2011

Job Posting: South Texas College

The public community college based in McAllen, Texas is hiring an Ombudsperson. The position, "provides guidance to the South Texas College community regarding college protocol and procedures and assists students in resolving disputes and conflicts in a way that facilitates individual responsibility, contributes to their maturation, and promotes the development of self-advocacy skills."

Idaho State University Ombuds Presides Over Second No Confidence Vote

For the second time in less than a year, the ISU Faculty Ombudsman has helped oversee a faculty referendum on University President Arthur Vailas. According to news reports, the Ombuds, Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and University Attorney counted ballots in a confidence/no confidence vote last Thursday. Last April, the ISU Ombuds counted votes in a similar referendum on the university's provost and vice president for academic affairs.

ACR New York Calls for Conference Proposals

The Association for Conflict Resolution Greater New York Chapter will hold its tenth annual conference on June 23, 2011 at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Organizers seeking proposals for presentations on a broad range of themes and topics, including and specifically Ombuds programs. The deadline for submissions is March 4. (ACR-GNY Conf. Info. via Enjoy Mediation.)

February 11, 2011

Friday Poll: How is Your Office Evaluated?

The Northern Illinois University campus newspaper recently announced the annual performance review of its Ombudsman, Tim Griffin. Pursuant to the NIU Bylaws, the University Affairs Committee of the University Council will conduct the review and is soliciting information and comments from students, faculty and staff before March 1. (NIU Today.) 

This Friday Poll asks about your review process -- when, who or even at all.

Recent Conflicts Highlight Role of Kidsports Ombuds

The CBS affiliate in Eugene, OR recently featured the new partnership between Competition Not Conflict, a University of Oregon Law School Graduate program, and local youth sports organization Kidsports to provide conflict resolution for participants, parents, coaches, fans and referees. The local news on KVAL 13 referenced recent misbehavior by coaches during youth to explain the need for the new program. Kidsports Ombuds Carly Bynelson provided a short soundbite about teaching coaches to deescalate conflict. (Youtube.)

Revamped International Ombudsman Institute Publishes First Annual Report

The restructured and relocated IOI has released a comprehensive annual report covering its first full operational year in Vienna.

February 10, 2011

IOA Opens Registration for 2011 Annual Conference

Registration is now open for the International Ombudsman Association's sixth annual conference at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower, April 1-6, 2011. The general conference cost for IOA members is $495 and $545 for non-members. Rates go up $50 after the early registration deadline of March 10. Discounts are available for Ombudsman 101 and the general conference.

Profile of The New School Ombuds

The newsletter for parents of students at the Greenwich Village university highlights the work of the Student Ombuds, Keisha Davenport-Ramirez. In addition to serving as the Ombuds since 1996, Davenport-Ramirez is the director of The New School's Office of Intercultural Support/Higher Education Opportunity Program.

February 09, 2011

USOA to Elect New Board in March

Next month, the United States Ombudsman Association will open the nominations for candidates for its 2011-2013 Board of Directors.  The election highlights similarities and differences between the USOA and IOA governance structures.

February 08, 2011

Ombuds for University of Missouri–Kansas City Goes Online

Nancy Day, the first Faculty Ombudsperson at UMKC, has published a website for her new office. The page offers information about Day, what an Ombuds does, and what to expect during a visit to the office. The website explains that the UMKC Ombuds practices in accordance with IOA standards. (UMKC Ombuds.)

Mediate.com Posts Full Interview With Howard Gadlin

In 1999, Mediate.com filmed an interview with Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman and Director of the Center for Cooperative Resolution at the National Institutes of Health, as part of the series, "The Mediators: Views from the Eye of the Storm." Previously, short portions of the interview were published. Now, the one-hour video is available. (Mediate.com.)

Ombuds of Texas Cancels February Meeting

The Texas Ombuds group will not hold its scheduled meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, February 8, 2011. The guest speaker, Ken Cloke is unable to attend that day due to expected weather conditions in the Dallas area. The next OOT meeting is scheduled for May 11. (Ombuds of Texas.)

As Costs Discourage New Whistleblowers, Where Are Ombuds?

In spite of a plethora of financial protections for whistleblowers (including the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill) and growing numbers of corporate ethics and compliance officers, legal experts say that whistleblowing is unlikely to increase significantly.

February 06, 2011

Job Posting: Washington State University

The 25,000-student public research university in Pullman is hiring a part-time Ombuds to work with all members of campus, particularly the administrative professionals and classified staff. The position is a 50% FTE, nine (9) month position and current WSU employees will be given preference in this recruitment. Screening of applicants begins February 16 and continues until the position is filled. No salary is indicated. It is unclear whether this is a new position for the WSU Ombuds Office or if the search will replace one of the existing Ombuds. (WSU Posting.)

Ombuds Certification Exam to be Offered in April, Deadlines Approach

The next computer-based testing for Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioners will be offered April 2 through 8, 2011, at a range of testing centers internationally. The registration deadline for these examinations is March 31. In addition, the test will be offered at a testing center near the IOA conference hotel in Portland. The deadline for this special testing site is earlier: Friday, 11, 2011. (IOA CO-OP Info.)

February 04, 2011

Interviews with Leading Ombuds Give Perspective on Future of Profession

The latest issue of Conflict Resolution Quarterly includes an article by Samantha Levine-Finley and John S. Carter on the history of Organizational Ombuds profession and the challenges that lie ahead. "Then and now: Interviews with expert U.S. organizational ombudsmen," incorporates comments from two dozen leading Ombuds:

February 03, 2011

City of Portland Declares April 3, 2011 to be 'Ombuds Day'

In recognition of the International Ombudsman Association annual conference being held in Portland April 1-6, Mayor Sam Adams has declared April 3 to be 'Ombuds Day."  Full text of the proclamation after the jump.

Baylor University Begins Work on Staff Ombuds Position

The private university in Waco, Texas has constituted a committee to gather information and make a recommendation about an Ombuds for staff issues. David Murdock, Baylor's Judicial Affairs Coordinator, chair the newly formed committee of faculty and staff. According to a news release, "the committee understands that a partnership with HR will be required for a positive outcome" regardless of its decision.

February 02, 2011

New IRS Ombuds Program Seeks Presidential Management Fellow

A new Organizational Ombudsman office at the Internal Revenue Service--the Proactive Resolution and Education Division--is seeking a Presidential Management Fellow to actively assist in the development and implementation of the program. According to the fellowship announcement, "the Employee Ombudsman Program is currently under development, and once operational, the program will offer a variety of conflict resolution services to the IRS workforce."

IOA Elects Five to Board for Terms Starting 2011

The membership of the International Ombudsman Association has elected Sara Thacker, Ombuds at the University of California at Berkeley, to the Board of Directors. Jennifer Moumneh, Pierre Niedlispacher, and Tom Kosakowski, were re-elected to their second three-year term. Brian Bloch, an Ombuds with ISKCONResolve, was elected as the associate member representative for 2011-2013. Board service for all five begins in April at the annual IOA conference.

February 01, 2011

Job Posting: California Pharmacists Association

CPhA has opened a search for its first Organizational Ombudsman. The position will serve as a confidential, neutral, independent party for CPhA members, employed pharmacists, with concerns or questions regarding workplace issues.