March 29, 2013

Job Posting: University of California Berkeley

The Staff Ombuds Office at Berkeley is hiring an Associate Ombudsperson. The position provides impartial, informal, independent and confidential conflict resolution services to the campus community, including staff, faculty who direct their work, and non-Senate academics. The office reports to the Director of the Staff Ombuds Office and works with an Assistant Ombuds.

Job Posting: University of Michigan Medical School

The highly ranked medical school in Ann Arbor is hiring a Project Senior Manager (Ombuds). The position provides confidential and informal assistance to Medical School faculty when conflicts arise with other faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders. The Ombuds reports to the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Faculty Development.

Job Posting: Federal Reserve System

The governing board of the US central bank is hiring a Directors Program Assistant Manager and Ombudsman Specialist. The non-Ombuds part of the dual role position helps the Board appoint and coordinate directors and chairs. The balance of the work is in the FRB's Ombudsman Office, an Executive Ombuds program that facilitates the resolution of complaints from financial institutions and members of the public related to the regulatory and supervisory activities of the Federal Reserve System.

March 28, 2013

Job Posting: Columbia University

The private, Ivy League, research university in New York City has opened a search for a University Ombuds Officer. The position provides services to nearly 60,000 faculty, staff and students including: Dispute Resolution, Consultation and Referral; Upward Feedback on Policies, Procedures, and Climate; Community Outreach and Education; Supervision of Staff; and Ombuds Office Operations and Budget.

Job Posting: University of New Mexico

The state's flagship, public research institution in Albequerque is hiring a University Ombudsperson. The position manages the day-to-day operations of UNM's alternative dispute resolution service for faculty and staff, including facilitating resolution of workplace conflict and providing ADR and team-building training, techniques. In addition, the Ombuds, "administers the peer hearing process."

IOA Publishes Consultant Directory

The International Ombudsman Association has unveiled its Directory of Ombuds Service Providers. The directory includes IOA members who offer a range of services, from training to hiring support to ombuds database development. The OSPD Steering Committee says that additional service providers will be added and the format of the directory will continue to be enhanced.

March 27, 2013

Job Posting: University of Washington

The public research university in Seattle has opened a search for an Ombud. (The position has traditionally been called "Ombudsman" and it is not clear whether the job posting reflects an intentional change.)  The Ombuds reports to the University President and offers, "an independent, impartial, informal, accessible service by which members of the community may voluntarily explore a variety of paths for addressing their questions, concerns, and complaints."

West Texas A&M University Appoints First Faculty Ombuds

Harry R. Hueston has been named the first Faculty Ombuds Officer for the public university in Canyon Texas. Hueston joined WTAMU's Department of Criminal Justice in 2000 and is an Associate Professor. The new position was through an agreement between the Faculty Senate and the Office of the President. The Ombuds follows IOA standards of practice and provides services to all faculty and the professional librarians.

March 26, 2013

Job Posting: FEMA ADR Cadre

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is hiring Advisors for its Alternative Dispute Resolution cadre. These are part-time, intermittent, on-call government positions that support disaster operations with work that closely resembles Organizational Ombuds: assisting with employee and team conflicts, conducting training, facilitating meetings and dialogs, and informing senior disaster management about trends and areas of concern. 

EMCI Consortium to Designate Ombuds

The European Masters in Conference Interpreting (a consortium of 11 European universities in collaboration with the European Commission and the European Parliament), has enacted a constitution that requires the appointment of an Ombuds for internal disputes. Article 13 of the ECMI Constitution states:

March 25, 2013

Job Posting: Halliburton

The Halliburton Dispute Resolution Program in Houston is hiring an "Entry Level Ombudsperson." Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, organizational psychology, or a similar discipline, and have some experience in field operations. Some travel is required. No salary or closing date specified.

Concordia University Ombuds Publishes 2012 Report

In her 2011-12 annual report, Concordia's Ombudsperson Kristen Robillard says that her office had a caseload of 540, an increase of 13% from the prior year. Students comprised the largest share of visitors (76.9%) and employees were a distant second (14.8%) Robillard also reported that the university had completed an appraisal of the Ombuds Office and that she her appointment had been had been renewed for an additional five years, starting in September 2012.

IOA Launches Internet Radio Show

IOA Radio is a new, teleconference-based “talk show” in for IOA members about practices and other topics relevant to practicing ombudsmen.  Each call will include time for a question-and-answer period.  The first show on March 27 will feature Nick Diehl, President of IOA and Deputy Ombudsman at the American Red Cross.

March 22, 2013

Ombuds to Headline 2013 Summer Institute on Conflict Management in Higher Education

The annual conference hosted by the Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution will feature workshops taught by Donna Douglass Williams and Jenna Brown. Douglass Williams, Director of the Ombuds Program at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, will co-teach "Advance Mediation" on June 11-12. Brown, the Ombuds at the University of Denver, will teach "Building, Restoring and Sustaining Trust in the Workplace" on June 13-14. 

Retired Jurist to Serve as Auburn's Interim Ombuds

Retired State Circuit Judge Howard Bryan will serve as Auburn University's interim ombudsman following the departure of Jim Wohl. Bryan served as a circuit judge in Alabama's Fifth Circuit for 27 years prior to his retirement in 2007. Bryan earned his bachelors degree and JD from the University of Alabama. Prior to serving as a judge, Bryan was a Deputy District Attorney, Law Clerk, and Adjunct Professor. 

March 21, 2013

ICANN Ombuds Posts Annual Report

Chris LaHatte, the Ombudsman for the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers, has published his first annual report. (LaHatte was appointed on July 28, 2011.) He says that one of his first priorities was to re-establish confidence in the Ombudsman Office and conduct more outreach to ensure that the ICANN community was aware of his services. The result: The number of complaints increased ten-fold, from 10 to 132 during LaHatte's first year on the job. 

Interview with University of North Texas Ombuds

In latest episode of his Conflict Specialists Show, Dave Hilton interviews Belinda Newman, the UNT Ombudsman. Newman talks about her career path and training in dispute resolution. She gives an overview of her work as a University Ombuds and explains how the IOA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics apply to her work. Hilton asks about getting an Ombuds job, setting up an office, and about collecting data, among many other topics. The interview runs about 44 minutes.

March 20, 2013

Job Posting: United Nations

The Office of the UN Ombudsman and Mediation Services is hiring offering a Special Assistant. The position is responsible for coordinating substantive and administrative support to the UN Ombudsman, including conflict resolution services, special initiatives (e.g. outreach to other UN offices), and substantive support for meetings.

University of Oregon Faculty Endorse Ombuds Proposal

At its meeting on March 13, 2013, the OU Faculty Senate approved an advisory resolution supporting the creation of a permanent Ombuds program.  The resolution recommended that Ombuds Office conform to IOA standards, report directly to the university president, and be established by the beginning of the 2013-14 academic year. 

March 19, 2013

UC Santa Barbara Appoints Ombuds

The Office of the Ombuds at UCSB has hired Caroline Adams as Associate Ombuds. Adams graduated from Pomona College and earned a JD at the University of Montana's School of Law and a MFA at Montana State University. Previously, she worked at the university's HR department in Employee and Labor Relations from 2011-13, before being hired as the Associate Ombuds.

IOA Conference Organizers Seek Testimonials

The 8th Annual IOA Conference Committee is fast approaching and the Conference Committee wants you to be a part of it. Last year there were displays with testimonials on the value and purpose of the Organizational Ombudsman role. (These are now available on the IOA website.) This year the committee wants to hear from you, the practicing Ombuds, and they are inviting you to share with the world why being an Ombuds is so great. 

March 18, 2013

European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education Seeks Feedback

Although ENOHE has been holding conferences for ten years, it remains loosely organized and has no official members or membership lists. Organizers are hoping to collect feedback from stakeholders using a confidential on-line survey. Here is a letter from Josef Leidenfrost, the Austrian Student Ombudsman.

Students Launch Petition for Ombuds at University of Saskatchewan

The Graduate Students Association at the public research university in Saskatoon is debating the issue of an Ombuds. The organization has published a statement of why U of S might want to consider an Ombuds and a list of other Canadian universities with Ombuds or student advocacy offices. In addition, a petition to establish an Ombuds is available for students to sign.

African Ombuds Executive Committee to Review Commitments

The Executive Committee of African Ombudsman and Mediators Association is meeting this week in Luanda. In addition to hearing from regional representatives, the committee will also be considering a report from the Institute for the Training of Ombudsmen and Collaborators at Kwazulu-Natal University in South Africa. AOM's executives will also analyze the 2011 cooperation agreement with the African Union, aimed at materializing the accord. (Angola Press.)

March 14, 2013

Which Top-Rated US Law School Programs for Dispute Resolution Have Ombuds for Students?

The US News & World Report has just released its annual ranking of the best law school ADR programs. The top eleven are a familiar bunch of names. What is surprising is that most do not have an Organizational Ombuds for students.

Organization of News Ombudsmen to Convene in Los Angeles

ONO’s 2013 annual conference will be in Los Angeles at the Omni Hotel on May 19-22, 2013.  The Los Angeles Times will co-host the conference and events are planned to allow attendees to see Southern California.  Sessions will be translated simultaneously into Spanish and English.  Conference fees are $300 for ONO members and $200 for spouses/partners.  (ONO 2013 Conf Info.)

March 13, 2013

University of Calgary Appoints Ombuds

The U of C has named Duncan W. McDonald as its new Student Ombudsperson. McDonald earned a masters in conflict analysis and management from Royal Roads University where his major research project was on the role of Ombuds in higher education. He earned his bachelors from Ambrose University and also studied at the University of Regina.

Job Posting: Department of State

The U.S. State Department is hiring a Human Resources Specialist for the Office of Ombudsman. Under the direction of the Ombudsman, the position "serves as a dispute resolution practitioner to provide confidential, impartial and competent assistance and facilitate achieving sustainable resolution early, efficiently and effectively." In addition, the position assists with outreach and training.

University of Michigan Faculty Ombuds Offers Insights

Earlier this week, UM’s Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs questioned Faculty Ombuds Michael Welsh on the technicalities of the Office of Ombuds and issues the unit currently faces. Welsh explained how he manages confidentiality and offered a warning about using e-mails for conflict resolution.

March 12, 2013

USOA Conference Announcement and Call for Proposals

The United States Ombudsman Association will hold its 34th Annual Conference on October 30 through November 1, 2013 at the Indiana Government Conference Center in Indianapolis. The conference will be preceded by two training programs on October 28 and 30: the Reid Technique of Investigative Interviewing and the New Ombudsman Training. 

March 11, 2013

Job Posting: United Nations

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is hiring a Senior Conflict Resolution Officer. The position reports to the UNOMS Director and is responsible for providing mediation services; managing a panel of external mediators; identifying systemic issues encountered during mediation and make proposals towards relevant actions to be taken; and developing and delivering outreach and learning activities on mediation and conflict management.

March 04, 2013

University of Iowa Advised Ombuds When Responding to Gun Permit Inquiries

An investigation by the Des Moines Register has found that University of Iowa officials gave a county sheriff detailed information about students’ academic progress and behavior, along with the school’s “OK to proceed” on those students’ gun-permit applications. According to an article this weekend, the school’s Ombuds was also given the information by email. The UI Ombuds Office apparently did not respond or forward the emails.

Next Ombuds Certification Exam to be Offered in April 2013

The Board of Certification for Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioners will be administering the next certifying examination between Thursday, April 18  and Sunday, April 28, 2013. Passing the exam is a necessary step in obtaining certification as a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner® (CO-OP®). In addition to 300 computer testing centers, candidates attending the IOA Annual Conference in Miami, can take the test at a nearby location.

Video Introduces King County Ombudsman's Office

The Ombuds program for King County, Washington has posted a video to explain how it can help residents and employee.  The video shows the offices and includes interviews with Ombudsman Amy Calderwood, Deputy Ombudsman Chuck Sloan, and Senior Deputy Ombudsman David Spohr. The office handles about 2,000 matters per year.  (YouTube.)