October 30, 2012

Related Job Posting: University of Maryland University College

The public university in Prince George's County is hiring a Resolution Services Manager. The job description sounds strikingly similar to that of an Organizational Ombuds. It provides confidential, impartial, and informal dispute services to stakeholders, and gives upward feedback on trends and patterns:

Job Posting: University of California, Davis

The only University of California campus that has not had an Ombuds program* has opened a search for a Campus Ombuds Program Manager. The new position will be responsible for establishing an office to serve 24,000 faculty and staff.  The UC Davis campus is located near the state capital and is the third largest by enrollment in the state-wide system. Davis drew national attention when a UC police officer pepper sprayed students protesting against tuition hikes.

Town of Chapel Hill Ombuds Office Goes Online

The North Carolina town has created a website for its new Ombuds Office, which serves about 1,000 municipal employees.  According to the website, the office practices to IOA standards.  Jim Huegerich is the Senior  Ombuds and Faith Thompson is the Ombuds. (Chapel Hill Ombuds.)

Texas A&M Engineering Appoints Faculty Ombuds

The Dwight Look College of Engineering, the largest Texas A&M college, has named Nancy M. Amato as its Faculty Ombudsman Officer. Amato reports to the Office of the Vice Chancellor & Dean and serves about 418 engineering faculty following IOA practices.

October 29, 2012

Job Posting: University of Texas at Austin

UT has opened a search for a part-time Student Ombudsperson to start January 1, 2013.  The position reports to the University President and provides neutral and impartial information and assistance to students with academic and non-academic concerns.

Pomona College Posts Ombuds Website

A website for the new Ombuds Office at the selective liberal arts school in Claremont, CA went online recently.  The site introduces the new Campus Ombuds Conchita Serri, explains her role and function, references the IOA ethical tenets, and provides a lengthy list if concerns that may be brought to the Office. (Pomona Ombuds.)

October 25, 2012

Job Posting: University of Cincinnati

The public research university in Ohio is hiring an Associate Ombuds. The position reports to the University Ombuds and serves a population of more than 50,000 faculty, staff, and students.

Update: Documents Reveal Details of Ombuds Proposed for Fairfax County Schools

Documents posted by the Fairfax County School Board show that administrators are not following any particular model for their proposed Ombuds program. The draft job description includes only a few of the typical ethical standards for Ombuds and does not reference either of the two professional organizations that have established guidelines for Ombuds.

October 23, 2012

Korean Book Surveys Ombuds Field

A new book by Hee Eun Kang, 옴부즈만, 국민의 친구입니다 (Ombudsman, is a Friend of the People), provides an overview of Ombuds programs around the world. Kang is the Director of Systemic Investigation at Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission of South Korea and was a Fellow with the Iowa Office of Citizens’ Aide/Ombudsman from 2009 to 2011.  It appears that this is the first treatise about Ombuds written in Korean.

October 22, 2012

University of California Merced Enacts Ombuds Charter

UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland has signed a Charter Agreement for the Office of Ombuds Services that opened this summer. The charter references and closely tracks the IOA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.  It outlines the history and purpose of the office and enumerates the authority and limitations of the Ombuds.

CERN Ombuds: Leadership Depends on Empowered Employees

In a recent newsletter article, Vincent Vuillemi, the Ombuds at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, discusses self-empowerment and leadership. Vuillemi observes most of his cases arise from an evaluative relationship, but believes that the problems are not solely due to a lack of leadership of a direct or indirect supervisor.

October 19, 2012

Job Posting: Pan American Health Organization

The UN-affiliated international public health agency is hiring a part-time (75% FTE) Ombudsperson to be stationed in Washington, DC. The position will provide managers and employees both in Headquarters and Country Offices with an independent, informal, voluntary and confidential process to hear and facilitate the resolution of complaints or conflicts in the workplace.

Pressed on Travel Expenses, Toronto Ombuds Cites IOA Practices

Just weeks after Toronto's Ombudsman, Fiona Crean issued a scathing report on the city's public appointments process, she was subjected to detailed questions about her budget. City Councillor Doug Ford, who sparred with Crean during her last appearance before the council, objected in particular to Crean's trip to Azerbaijan for the first Eurasia Ombudsman conference. According to the Toronto Sun, Crean said it was part of sharing professional best practices through the International Ombudsman Association.

ACTRA Montreal Appoints First Ombuds

The local branch of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists has named Matt Holland as its first Ombudsperson.  According to the union's website, the Ombuds "will act as an impartial intermediary between the branch and any member – assisting the member in communicating any issues and helping to identify possible solutions to problems that arise between individual members and our branch."

October 18, 2012

Online Dispute Resolution Treatise Includes Chapter on Ombuds

In anticipation of Cyberweek 2012 (October 29 - November 2), the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution has posted its new book, Online Dispute Resolution: Theory and Practice, for free. The seminal text includes a chapter, "Online Dispute Resolution and Ombudsmanship" by the former ICANN Ombudsman, Frank Fowlie.

Penn State Ombuds Publishes 2011-12 Report

The faculty Ombuds program at Pennsylvania State reports that it handled 48 matters in the 2011-12 academic year. The Penn State Ombuds program, which comprises about 60 Ombuds coordinated by a University Ombudsperson, resolved 63% of its cases. Only one in five cases were referred to formal processes handled by the Faculty Senate or Human Resources.

October 17, 2012

Gallaudet Loses its First Ombuds

Suzy Rosen Singleton, the Campus Ombuds for Gallaudet University, will step down at the end of this week. According to an announcement from University President T. Alan Hurwitz, Rosen Singleton has accepted as an attorney-advisor with the Disability Rights Office of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the FCC.  Professor Michael Moore will serve as the interim Ombuds for up to a year while Gallaudet searches for a permanent replacement.

McGill Ombuds Prompts Mental Health Awareness Week

Last week, McGill University hosted its first Mental Health Awareness Week -- a series of panels and workshops to increase awareness of mental health issues on campus. According to the campus newspaper, the Ombudsperson for Students Spencer Boudreau proposed the event to Senate after seeing many students with mental health concerns. 

Fairfax County Schools Weighing Ombuds Program

According to Sandy Evans, an FCPS Board Member, the public school district in Virginia is considering an Ombuds program.  The district is the largest in the DC area and enrolls about 180,000 students.

October 16, 2012

Job Posting: American University in Cairo

The independent, nonprofit, liberal arts university in Egypt has opened a search for its second Ombuds Officer. Reporting to the President, the position "is responsible for neutral and impartial dispute resolution, providing confidential and informal assistance to constituents of the university community, including students, staff, faculty and administrators." 

Ohlone College Creates Ombuds Office

The community college in Fremont, California, has appointed Debbie Trigg as its first Ombuds for its 19,000 students. The Ohlone Office of the Ombudsperson, "provides a safe and comfortable environment for students to discuss complaints, concerns or problems confidentially."

Ombuds Burger and Facilitator Fries

To mark Conflict Resolution Day on October 18, the cafeteria at the Department of Energy is offering a grill special: the Ombuds Burger and Facilitator Fries plate. In addition, any food purchase comes with a free bag of "I'm all ears popcorn."  (DOE Events.)

October 15, 2012

Northeastern Illinois University Debuts Ombuds Office

The public state university in North Park, Chicago, has appointed Bradley R. Ginn as its first full-time, Employee Ombuds.  Ginn reports to the University President and serves as a confidential, informal, impartial, and independent resource for about 2,500 employees. 

UMass Dartmouth to Host University of Colorado Ombuds for National Conflict Resolution Day

On October 18, 2012, the Office of the Ombudsperson at UMass Dartmouth will celebrates National Conflict Resolution Day, with a discussion lead by Tom Sebok, University Ombudsperson, University of Colorado at Boulder on "Starting a Restorative Justice Program on Campus."

University of South Carolina Ombuds Shares Civility Presentation

Jim Augustine, the Faculty Ombudsman at USC, has posted on his website a recent presentation on “Faculty Incivility.” The slides give context to the range of uncivil behavior involving professors and lecturers. Campus Ombuds may find the remarks and list of resources especially useful in their work. (USC Ombuds: “Faculty Incivility.”)

October 08, 2012

University of Texas at San Antonio Adds Research Ombuds

UTSA has appointed Donna Edmondson as its first Research Ombudsperson. In this new role, Edmondson provides assistance to faculty, staff, and student employees with questions, concerns and complaints about research related issues. The position was created earlier this year and reports to UTSA's Senior Associate Vice President for Research Administration.

October 04, 2012

Jefferson County, KY Public Schools Opens Ombuds Office

The public school district in Kentucky's most populous county and the 28th largest school district in the U.S., has appointed Mindy Eaves as its first Ombudsman. Eaves will fields concerns from the public and from employees. "When you feel like you've tried it all, and you don't know what else to do, you can call the ombudsman," she said. 

October 03, 2012

IOA Announces International Scholarships to 2013 Conference

The International Ombudsman Association is offering financial support for members or prospective members living outside the U.S. or Canada to attend its 8th Annual Conference on April 21-24, 2013, in Miami, Florida. The scholarship supports IOA’s goal to increase access for practitioners and others in under-served and under-represented regions.

Differentiating Advocacy and Organizational Ombuds

Kathy Biala discusses the work of Advocate Ombuds and Organizational Ombuds in her latest blog post at Milestone MMA. She brings an unique perspective having been both. Biala is a Certified Long Term Care Ombudsman assigned to a 180-bed, skilled nursing facility and also as Campus Ombuds with a large university graduate medical education facility.

Update: University of California Report on Protest Policies Reaffirms Role of Ombuds

After student protests at UC campuses drew national attention in November 2011, the UC Office of the President commissioned a review of its police and protest management policies. A final version of the report acknowledges the role of the campus Ombuds offices, but downplays their ability to serve as a resource during such protests.

October 02, 2012

UK Office of the Independent Adjudicator Recommends Against Ombuds for Universities

After an extensive survey of colleges and universities across England, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) has published its response the Government’s 2011 White Paper on Higher Education. OIA specifically considered the issue of whether the higher education sector should implement Campus Ombudsmen and associated support networks, but concluded that the Ombuds model found the in U.S. and Canada was not a good fit.

October 01, 2012

District of Columbia Bar Sponsors Program on Corporate Ombuds

The second largest bar association in the U.S. will offer a two-hour program on October 30, 2012: "The Role of Corporate Ombuds: An Organizational Partner for Risk Mitigation and Conflict Prevention."