March 29, 2012

Gallaudet Ombuds Launches YouTube Channel

Update 4/2/12:  The channel was not intended to be public and is no longer available.  (YouTube.)

March 28, 2012

Job Posting: Kent State University

The public research university in Kent, Ohio is hiring a Student Ombuds. The full-time position assists students with resolving university-related concerns, complaints, and grievances and reports to Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. 

Ombuds to Speak at Conference for Minority Professionals in ADR

Capital University Law School in Columbus, OH will host the Tenth National Conference for Minority Professionals in Alternative Dispute Resolution on May 15-16, 2012. The conference aims to prepare lawyers and nonlawyers alike to help resolve conflicts outside the courtroom. Dispute resolution experts from a wide range of fields will provide trainings. 

March 27, 2012

Florida International University Creates Ombuds for Medical Students

FIU, which has previously had an Ombuds for faculty, has recently appointed its first Ombuds for students at its Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. As Ombudsperson, Sheldon H. Cherry provides HWCOM students with, "a highly confidential, independent and informal forum in which to help them to clarify their concerns, identify their goals and consider all of their options in managing or resolving conflicts." 

Princeton Surveys Ombuds Users

A new survey at the Princeton University Ombuds Office asks for feedback from visitors. The questions posed by Ombuds Wokie Nwabueze, who was hired six months ago, cover a range of services issues and allow for written feedback. 

Coast Guard Marks Ombuds Appreciation Day

The U.S. Coast Guard acknowledged the contributions of volunteer Ombudsmen on March 26, 2012. Amanda Satter, Ombuds for the Maritime Safety And Security Team in San Diego, CA was selected as the recipient of the 2011 Wanda Allen-Yearout Ombudsman of the Year Award, which will be presented by the USCG Commandant on March 27, 2012. 

March 26, 2012

University of Stuttgart Debuts New Ombuds Office for Students

One of the leading technical universities in Germany appointed its first Ombudsperson in October 2011. According to a new website for the office, "The Ombudsperson is an impartial and strictly confidential contact person who lends her support to all students and facilitates dialogue between students and the University when they need help to settle disagreements, problems and grievances." In addition, the position helps to identify trends, issues and concerns about policies and procedures. 

McGill University Ombuds Posts 2010-11 Annual Report

Spencer Boudreau, the McGill Ombudsperson, reports that he responded to 261 inquiries in the year ended May 30, 2011. Visitors were split almost evenly between undergraduates and graduates. Boudreau also handled 15 cases from non-students (groups, faculty, staff and community members). In addition to statistical data, the report also offers recommendations regarding graduate student supervision and the student mental health. 

Furniture World Magazine: Use Ombuds to Tame Workplace Bullies

The latest issue of the a trade publication founded in 1870 includes an article on, "Taming Disruptive Workplace Behavior." The author offers five concrete actions that managers must take to prevent workplace bullying when it occurs. The fourth includes having an Ombuds or other mechanism that is: accessible; confidential; and trusted by both the individual making the claim and by those who are part of the claim. 

March 22, 2012

Concordia University Ombuds Posts 2010-11 Report

In a recently published report, Concordia's Ombudsperson Kristen Robillard says that her office handled 477 cases in the 11 months ended April 30, 2011. The report, titled "Promoting Fairness at Concordia," the describes the Terms of Reference of the Ombuds Office, its activities for the year, including statistics on the concerns and complaints received from the community, as well as annual recommendations.

March 21, 2012

Job Posting: University of California Santa Barbara

The fifth largest UC campus is hiring a Campus Ombudsperson. The primary function of the full time position is to provide a confidential, impartial, and informal setting for problem resolution for the entire campus community, including students, faculty, staff, administrators, and other campus constituencies -- a population of more than 25,000. 

March 20, 2012

Job Posting: U.S. Department of Energy

The federal agency responsible for policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material is hiring a Deputy Ombudsman. The position serves as the "full alter ego to the Director, Office of Ombudsman" and provides dispute resolution services to DOE employees, supervisors, and management personnel regarding work-related concerns. 

March 16, 2012

Job Posting: University of Arkansas

The flagship campus of the University of Arkansas System in Fayetteville is hiring a Director of Student Ombuds Services. "The Director represents the Vice Provost of Student Affairs/Dean of Students with respect to the ombudsman function for students in policy matters across the University, ensures equitable treatment of students of the University community, and facilitates the resolution of student problems and complaints with other students, faculty and staff." The search will fill the position vacated by Sue Theiss, who was recently appointed the Ombuds for Oregon State University. 

March 15, 2012

Seattle Public Schools Name First Ombuds

Ron McGlone has been appointed as the first District Ombudsman for the families of 48,500 public school students in Seattle. SPS Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield said that the position, which reports directly to her office, was created to help families better navigate the customer service process. According to the website for the new SPS District Ombudsman, the program is independent, confidential, and informal. 

Save the Date for 2012 Cal Caucus at Asilomar

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds will hold its 40th annual meeting in Pacific Grove, California on November 11-14, 2012. The theme has already been chosen, "The Work of Ombuds: Reflection and Practice," and organizers are looking for volunteers to join in the planning. (CCCUO Email.) 

March 14, 2012

Ryerson University Will Host Forum of Canadian Ombudsman 2012 Meeting

FCO's 2012 Learning Symposium & Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto. The agenda includes a keynote speaker (tba); workshops focused on mental health and Ombuds issues including: capacity and fairness, stigma, and increasing access to services; and the Annual General Meeting. (FCO Meeting Info.)

US News & World Report 2012 Ranking of ADR Grad Programs

There was little change in the US News & World Report's annual ranking of the best law school ADR programs. A couple programs changed places, but the names were the same as last year.

March 13, 2012

Report from February 2012 Meeting of Coalition of Federal Ombuds

At its latest monthly meeting, CoFO continued its discussions of best practices in the federal sector. In addition, CoFO opened elections for new officers. 

Discussion topics at the February meeting included: 

Pomona College Ready to Hire First Ombuds

The private, liberal arts college in Claremont, CA is reportedly close to finishing a search for its first Ombudsperson. According to the student newspaper, two candidates for the position were scheduled to visit the campus this week, but one withdrew due to reservations about the college's response to dining hall employees' effort to unionize.

March 12, 2012

Job Posting: MD Anderson Cancer Center

The leading cancer research and treatment center in Houston is hiring a Manager for its Ombuds Office. The MD Anderson Ombuds Office serves all employees, including faculty, administrative and classified staff, trainees and fellows and adheres to IOA standards.

College of Southern Nevada's New Ombuds Office Goes Online

Last summer, Nevada's largest post-secondary institution appointed its first two Ombuds: professors N. Mark Rauls and Jennifer Basquiat. The website for their new office recently went online. Rauls is a Professor of Philosophy & Womens Studies and works out of CSN's Cheyenne Campus.

Update: Alumnus Criticizes Yale's Refusal to Create an Ombuds Office

In a letter to the editor of the Yale Alumni Magazine, Jim Hostetler (Class of 1955), says that University President Richard Levin failed to adopt the single most important recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Campus Climate.

March 09, 2012

Nine of Ten Grad Student Grievances Resolved by University of Maryland Ombuds

An article in the UM student newspaper reports that a three-year old grievance procedure for graduate students is rarely used. The procedure was implemented in 2009 for graduate students who felt abused by their supervisors. Despite the extensive work that went into creating the remedy, the vast majority of aggrieved graduate students chose instead to use informal mechanisms offered by the campus Ombuds office. 

Todd Simon: Kansas State University Ombuds

Todd Simon, who served as University Ombuds at K-State in 2010 and 2011, passed away March 5, 2012. April Mason, provost and senior vice president, said in a statement, "Todd Simon served the university with distinction in multiple roles: from faculty member, to director of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism, and as university ombudsperson. His loss to the K-State family will be felt by many and our thoughts and prayers go out most especially to Geri and their children." (K-State Collegian.) 

March 08, 2012

Ombuds Candidates and Employers Can Connect at IOA 2012 Conference

The International Ombudsman Association's seventh annual conference in Houston will include a Career Connections Program for Ombuds candidates and potential employers. The new program is based on a mailbox system in which candidates can indicate their interest in Ombuds positions and employers can invite candidates to interview for available positions within their organizations. 

Asian Development Bank Appoints First Ombuds

Anu Rao has been named as the first Ombudsperson for the regional development bank headquartered in Manila, Philippines. Rao says that the ADB Office of the Ombudsperson has been created by an Administrative Order to meet IOA standards, in consultation with multi-lateral organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. 

March 07, 2012

Job Posting: G4S Secure Solutions

The global security services company is hiring an Ombudsman for its Americas Region corporate headquarters in Jupiter, Florida. The position will facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution of employee concerns and conflicts and for providing advice to upward feedback on trends, common issues, and general themes. It appears that this is a new position for the company. 

March 05, 2012

Job Posting: United Nations

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is hiring a Regional Ombudsman for Vienna, Austria. The position will head the regional branch and report directly to the Director of Office and work under the overall direction of the UN Ombudsman. The appointment will fill the position vacated by Kyoko Shiotani, who was promoted last fall to Director of the Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services. 

USOA 2012 Conference Announcement and Call for Speakers

The United States Ombudsman Association will hold its 33rd annual conference in Spokane, Washington on October 10-12, 2012. The conference will be hosted by Tim Burns, City of Spokane Police Ombudsman, and the keynote address offered by Nina E. Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate. The event will be preceded by two days of training on October 8-9. 

March 02, 2012

Information Session About Ombuds Certification

The Board of Certification for Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioners is offering a teleconference on Monday, March 19th at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern. During the one-hour session, members of the Board explain the process, answer questions and provide information about how to become certified.

March 01, 2012

Job Posting: Oregon State University

OSU is hiring an Assistant Ombuds for its new Ombuds program. This is a full-time, 12-month, fixed term professional faculty position that reports to University Ombudsman, Sue Theiss. The Assistant Ombuds is responsible for communication and marketing; coordination of programming and training; administrative support and office management; and assistant-level Ombuds services. 

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente San Diego

KP is hiring a full-time Health Care Ombuds/Mediator for its facility in San Diego, California. 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."