August 31, 2012

Northern Illinois University Names New Ombuds

Sarah Klaper has been appointed the new Ombuds at NIU. Klaper, a local attorney with higher education experience, told the campus newspaper that she promises to maintain the relationships and reputation fostered by her predecessor, Tim Griffin. “All of my past experience in higher education and as a community lawyer lends itself to this position,” she said.

New Ombuds at South Dakota State Also Oversees Student Conduct

South Dakota State University has appointed Sam Jennings as its first Dean of Students and his primary role is to serve as the Ombuds for 13,000 students. “If a student has some kind of issue before they get into real trouble, then hopefully I can help them out,” Jennings told the campus newspaper. In addition to his Ombuds work, Jennings also oversees the Student Conduct System.

August 30, 2012

MD Anderson Cancer Center Hires Ombuds Office Director

The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston has appointed Donna Douglass Williams to be the next Director of its Ombuds program. She succeeds Rita Burns, who retired at the end of August after six years at M.D. Anderson and four years at Marquette University. 

August 28, 2012

Kenyon College Ombuds Posts Info About Workplace Bullying

Carrie Knell, the Ombudsperson at Kenyon, has updated her website with a new page about workplace bullying. The page covers: What is Workplace Bullying?; Who does a bully target?; Why do bullies bully?; Bullying tactics; What are the Effects?; What to do if you're being bullied; and links to Additional Resources.

August 27, 2012

Penn State Faculty Weigh New Ombuds as Part of Response to Athletic Sanctions

At a meeting tomorrow afternoon, the Penn State Faculty Senate will consider whether to challenge the sanctions imposed by the NCAA and the Big Ten related to the Jerry Sandusky scandal.  The senate feels that its was ignored when the sanctions were quickly imposed.  As part of the proposal to seek reconsideration by the NCAA, the senate will also take up several other issues, including the creation of new Ombuds program.

Ombudsman Association Publishes 2011-12 Annual Report

The annual report by professional association for Classical Ombudsmen in the UK, Ireland, and British dependencies (formerly known as BIOA), recaps "a productive year which has seen the transition to a more engaged representative body."

August 24, 2012

Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons Publishes Standards of Practice

At its meeting on June 8, 2012, ACCUO adopted its first Standards of Practice, which are intended to serve as a guide for Canadian post-secondary Ombuds offices, while acknowledging "distinct institutional contexts." 

University of Memphis Appoints New Ombuds

Lawrence A. Pivnick has been named as the next Faculty Senate Ombudsperson for the University of Memphis, succeeding Bill Brody. With the transition, the position's tenure has been realigned to report directly to the university president. Pivnick will "assist all tenured, tenure-track, clinical, research, one-year instructors to resolve complaints with the goal of promoting alternatives to adversarial processes."

August 23, 2012

Job Posting: McMaster University

The public research university in Hamilton, Ontario, is hiring a temporary, part-time Ombudsperson. The position reports jointly to the university president and the student union president, and serves as a resource for nearly 37,000 students, faculty, and staff members.

August 21, 2012

AMF Ombuds Resolves Conflicts in the French Financial Sector

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (Financial Markets Authority), France's independent regulatory authority, appointed Marielle Cohen-Branche as its Ombudsman in November 2011. Since then, she has reoriented the office of the AMF Ombudsman as an important ADR resource for investors in line with the revised AMF Strategic Plan.

Flip Adversary by Asking for Advice

The latest post on the Harvard Program on Negotiation Blog reflects wisdom many Ombuds share with their visitors.  "Turn Your Adversary Into Your Advocate: The Benefits of Seeking Advice" suggests four benefits generated by requests for advice during negotiation: collaborative problem solving; increased likability; shifted perspectives; shared responsibility.

August 20, 2012

UC Santa Barbara Names New Campus Ombuds

Kirsi Aulin has been appointed the next Campus Ombuds for the University of California in Santa Barbara effective July 23. She follows Priscilla Mori, who served as the Ombuds for five years and retired earlier in 2012. In a public announcement, Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas said:

Introduction to Auburn University's Ombuds

In a video welcome for new faculty, Jim Wohl provides a thorough overview of the Ombuds Office at Auburn.  He carefully details how the office complies with the IOA standards of practice.  Wohl established the office in 2008 and serves faculty, staff, and students.  (Auburn's YouTube Channel.)

NIH Ombuds to Speak at Marquette Dispute Resolution Conference

Howard Gadlin, the Ombudsman for the National Institutes of Health, will be a featured panelist at the conference at Marquette University, "Health Care Reform and Health Care Stakeholder Disputes: Can We Identify Common Ground?" on Friday, October 12, 2012. The event is being hosted by Marquette's graduate program in dispute resolution and interdisciplinary Center for Dispute Resolution Education.  (Marquette Health Care Conf.)

August 17, 2012

Job Posting: University of Connecticut

The leading public university in New England has reopened the search for its first Ombuds Officer for faculty and staff.  "Under administrative review and reporting to the University President, this position is responsible for designing, implementing and coordinating all aspects of a university Ombuds Office and its operation." Eventually, the program is expected to expand to serve other constituencies. The full-time position will practice to IOA standards.

Job Posting: Department of Energy

The department responsible for U.S. energy and nuclear safety policies is hiring an Associate Ombudsman. The position serves as a neutral and impartial source of assistance to the newly-created DOE Ombudsman and represents her in consultations with the Department's federal employees, supervisors, and management personnel workforce regarding work-related concerns.

Job Posting: Oakland Cannabis Dispensary

California's premier medical cannabis (but unnamed) dispensary is hiring an Ombuds Associate. According to a Craigslist posting, the position will, "Assist patients with orientation and or registration; manage phone line and patient intake. Provide information on policies and procedures and general information about cannabis laws and regulations as they apply. Act as a resource to assist patients with questions, concerns, special needs and activism activities." 

August 16, 2012

Cal Caucus Posts Agenda for 2012 Conference

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has posted the schedule for its 40th annual meeting in Pacific Grove, CA on November 11-14, 2012. This year's theme is "The Work of Ombuds: Reflection and Practice" and features presenters from the US and Canada.

Study Finds Persistent Mistreatment of Medical Students Despite Mitigation Efforts Including Ombuds Program

A study into student mistreatment over the past 13 years at the UCLA School of Medicine found that eradication efforts had been largely unsuccessful despite a multi-pronged approach. Administrators at the medical school had created policies to prevent medical student mistreatment, including an Ombuds office and other resources reporting and educating students, faculty, and residents. Nonetheless, the researchers found that more than half of students experienced some form of mistreatment. 

August 15, 2012

ABA Launches Ombuds Task Force

The American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution has created an Ombuds Task Force "to explore the feasibility of offering ombuds services as an ABA Member Benefit." Bennett Feigenbaum and Peter Scarpato have been appointed to co-chair the group, but other members have not been identified.  One of their first tasks will be developing a mission statement and an action plan.

IOA Issues Call for Conference Proposals

The International Ombudsman Association Conference Committee is accepting speaker presentation proposals and topic suggestions for the IOA 8th Annual Conference taking place April 21-24, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Miami in Miami, FL.

August 14, 2012

IOA Representative Keynotes Conference of Brazilian Ombuds

The International Ombudsman Association was invited by the Association of Brazilian Ouvidores/Ombudsmen to participate in its Fifteenth Annual Congress which was held in the city of Vila Velha, in the state of Espiritu Santo on August, 6-8 2012. José Martínez-Aragón delivered the keynote speech on behalf of IOA in which he gave an overview of the role of both Organizational Ombuds and the IOA.

Coalition of Federal Ombuds Welcomes New DOE Ombuds

At the July meeting of the Coalition of Federal Ombuds, Rita Franklin introduced herself as the new Ombudsman for the U.S. Department of Energy. The office serves the Department’s 15,000 employees with workplace issues and identifies systemic issues. The Office has direct access to Under Secretaries and is able to work closely with other related areas within DOE.   Cathy Barchi serves as the Deputy Ombudsman.

August 13, 2012

NASA Magazine Highlights Role of Ombuds

The latest issue of NASA Academy of  Program/Project & Engineering Leadership's ASK magazine, profiles the agency's Ombudsman Program.  NASA’s ombudsmen are all civil servants who perform the collateral duty of being an agency ombudsman.

August 10, 2012

SelectUSA Creates Ombuds Program

SelectUSA, the Commerce Department program that aims  to improve business investment through federal services, has created an Ombudsman program following IOA standards. 

August 09, 2012

Update: DOJ Defines Role of New "Whistleblower Ombuds"

A statement from the U.S. Department of Justice clarifies yesterday's appointment of Robert Storch as the agency's first "Whistleblower Ombudsperson."  DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said, "Whistleblowers play a critical role in uncovering waste. fraud. abuse. and mismanagement and this new position will enable the OIG to continue its leadership as a strong and independent voice within the Department of Justice on whistleblower issues."

Kentucky SHRM Conference Will Feature Ombuds

Tony Belak, the University of Louisville Ombuds, will be a speaker at the 28th Annual Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management Conference. Belak, who also owns a consulting business, will be joined by Patrick Smith, HR director for a local residential health care organization.

August 08, 2012

Justice Department Appoints "Whistleblower Ombudsman"

The Department of Justice's Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, announced the appointment of a "Whistleblower Ombudsman" to monitor whistleblower complaints and investigations of retaliation claims. Robert Storch, an experienced federal prosecutor, was named to the new position.

Baylor College of Medicine Creates Ombuds Program

The highly ranked medical school and leading center for biomedical research center in Houston, TX has named Shelley Sazer as its first Ombudsman. Sazer was appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School and will serve graduate students and research postdoctorals with academic and personal problems and conflicts. According to a website for the new office, Sazer will practice to IOA standards.

August 06, 2012

Job Posting: Defense Human Resources Activity

The U.S. Department of Defense program is hiring multiple Ombudsmen to work within the Employee Support of the Guard & Reserve from offices near Washington, DC. The "national level" Ombuds mediate complaints between military service members and their employers.  Previously, much of this work was done by volunteers.

Video Introduces Northern Illinois University Ombuds Office

NIU has posted a YouTube video about its Office of the Ombudsperson. The two-minute piece features Graduate Student Assistant, Matt Bauer, who explains what the office is and how it operates.  The video is aimed at students.