April 30, 2013

UC Davis Appoints First Ombuds

The only University of California campus that has never had an Ombuds program has named Susan Park as its first Ombudsperson.  “Several campus groups recommended that we create an ombuds office; I strongly believe we need one, and we are very happy to open this office with such an experienced and effective ombuds,” UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said.

Cost-Benefit of ADR, Including Ombuds

Bruce MacAllister, former Ombuds and business consultant, recently blogged about some objective data on conflict resolution systems he has collected over the years. With regard to an Ombuds program he writes:

Full Agenda for Southern California Ombuds Meeting

Andrew Larratt-Smith promises a full agenda when the Southern California Ombuds meet at UC Riverside on May 9. Keynote remarks will be given by Prof. Collie Conoley on: "Creating Productive Interactions using Positive Empathy."

April 29, 2013

University of Kansas Medical Center Opens Ombuds Office

KUMC has created the Office of the Student Ombudsman to assist students in its Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Professions on campuses in Kansas City, Salina, and Wichita. Vince Loffredo is the Ombudsman and Chris Meiers is the Assistant Student Ombudsman. Loffredo reports that the office received three students request in the first week.

Apollo Group will Host Arizona Ombuds in May

On Thursday, May 16, 2013, the Apollo Group’s Office of Ombuds Services is hosting the Arizona Ombuds Group’s spring brown bag lunch from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm in Phoenix, AZ.

Amherst College Ombuds Reports on First Year

Cate Woolner, who was appointed as the Ombudsperson for the private, liberal arts college in 2012, says that she was consulted by 66 individuals between the end of February and December 31, 2012. 

April 26, 2013

Job Posting: Asian Development Bank

The regional development bank headquartered in Manila is recruiting an Ombudsperson. The position reports to the ADB President and functions as an informal grievance resource for staff members with work place concerns. The position was established by Anu Rao in early 2012 and follows IOA standards.

Law Review Article Lays Out Justification for Ombuds Privilege

An article in the latest issue of the Marquette Law Review offers a, "Justification for Creating an Ombudsman Privilege in Today's Society."  The student author, Ryan Spanheimer summarizes the relevant history on the issue and explains why the creation of such a privilege is a logical next step in the policies encouraging settlement of conflicts outside of court.

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente San Francisco

KP is hiring a full-time Health Care Ombuds/Mediator in San Francisco, 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."

Brown University Ombuds to Serve Entire Campus

The university has decided that its Ombuds program should now serve undergraduates, graduate students and staff.  Previously, the University Ombudsperson Ruth Rosenberg worked only with post-doctoral students and faculty members.  The decision is still tentative as there has yet to be a formal announcement, Rosenberg said, but it is expected that the change will happen this fall.  Rosenberg's appointment will likely increase from part time to full time.  (Brown Daily Herald.)

April 25, 2013

Job Posting: U.S. Department of Education

The Federal department is hiring an Internal Ombudsman for its Federal Student Aid agency. The new position will serves as a neutral, independent and confidential resource that receives and facilitates resolution of complaints and/or issues raised by FSA employees. The incumbent facilitates recognition, prevention and resolution of workplace disputes without resorting to formal means of dispute resolution.

International Coach Federation Webinar Features Ombuds

The professional association for Executive Coaches, Leadership Coaches, and Life Coaches presents a one-hour webinar, "Role of Ombudsmen in Managing Organizational Conflicts," on April 30, 2013 with Nick Diehl, the Deputy Ombudsman for the American Red Cross.

Romania's Largest Corporation Seeks Input on Ombuds Practices

OMV-Petrom SA, the largest gas and oil producer in Eastern Europe, is inviting Organizational Ombuds to participate in an on-line, anonymous survey. The corporation has recently launched an Ombuds office and hopes that the survey findings will provide important information and guidance on best practices that can be applied to their Ombuds office design.

April 23, 2013

IOA Elects Officers for 2013-14 Terms

The Board of Directors for the International Ombudsman Association has elected the following officers for terms starting today.  The executive cabinet includes co-vice presidents, a new feature for the all-volunteer board.

April 17, 2013

IOA 2013 Conference Recap

Here are links to prior Ombuds Blog posts about the International Ombudsman Association's eighth annual conference in Miami which starts in a few days:

Lois Price Spratlen: Former University of Washington Ombudsman

Lois Price Spratlen, the longtime UW Ombuds, passed away on March 30 at the age of 81.  According to the university, she was the first female Ombudsman at the UW, serving in that position from 1988-2009. In 1998 she was honored as Ombuds of the Year by the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds.  She developed Price-Spratlen Ombudsing (PSO) Model to provide services in the areas of conflict management, dispute resolution and mediation in the nursing field.  (UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity News; Washington State Nurses Association Hall of Fame.)

April 16, 2013

Next Ombuds of Texas Meeting Will Feature Diversity Training

The Ombuds of Texas will hold its next quarterly meeting at the Delco Activity Center in Austin on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Ralph Osio, a professional trainer at the Texas General Land Office will present: "Ouch Diversity Training," a fun and highly interactive session that explores strategies for communicating respectfully in a diverse world.

Ombuds Offices Flourish in Florida

As Ombuds gather in Miami for IOA's eighth annual conference, many won't have far to travel as Florida is home to an abundance of Ombuds Offices.  One big reason is a state law enacted in 2002 that requires public colleges and universities to have a student Ombuds office that reports to the campus president. (Fla. Stat. § 1006.51.)

April 15, 2013

Job Posting: Department of the Interior

The Interior's Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution is hiring an Organizational Ombudsman in Arlington, VA. The position reports to the Director of the CADR office and supports the full range of conflict management and dispute resolution services for the Department. The two-year position is open to any applicants, regardless of Federal status. 

Head of UK Office of the Independent Adjudicator Urges Closer Ties Between European Ombuds

In an editorial for the Times Higher Education, OIA's chief executive, Rob Behrens says that university Ombuds in European must share best practice to improve resolution of students’ grievances. Behrens explains that an increase in complaints in the context of rising university costs has become a common experience, making the sharing of good practice not only worthwhile but imperative.

April 14, 2013

No Ombuds in Yale's Future

An article in the Yale Daily News highlights the fact that, unlike most Ivies, Yale University lacks an Ombuds.  Although Merle Waxman has effectively served as the Ombudsperson for the School of Medicine since 1992, Yale President Richard Levin says that there are no plans to establish a university-wide Ombuds program. “There’s no strong prejudice against it. It just seemed like we had many avenues available,” Levin said. “I doubt that’s one of the issues I’ll take up in the last 11 weeks.”  Levin is set to step down in June

University of Wisconsin Ombuds Honored

Rosa Garner, the Ombudsperson for the UW–Madison Schools of Medicine and Public Health, and Pharmacy, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service to the University. Pat Kokotailo, professor of pediatrics and associate dean for faculty development and faculty affairs said that Garner works behind the scenes, “to improve the climate and community within the [schools] and the entire campus, with her diligence, persistence and attention to all people’s needs.” (UW-Madison News.)

University of Toronto Reappoints Ombuds

U of T has reappointed Joan E. Foley to another two-year term as University Ombudsperson. A committee that recently reviewed the Office of the University Ombudsperson found that the University continues to be well-served by the Foley and her team, which includes Assistant Ombudsperson, Garvin E. De Four. (U of T Review Committee Report.)

April 12, 2013

Riverside, CA Schools Appoint First Ombuds

The Riverside Unified School District in California has hired Victoria Friedman as its first Ombudsperson. She will report to the District superintendent and serve 44,000 students and other district constituents.  Friedman’s prior conflict resolution experience includes serving as a mediator at the Center for Conflict Resolution at Loyola Law School and the Victim-Offender Restitution Services Program in California, and training others in dispute resolution techniques. 

Journal of IOA Highlights Ombuds' Creative Side

The latest issue of the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association celebrates the creative side of professional Ombuds.  As the editors of the first JIOA “Creative Edition,” Tom Sebok and Laurie Patterson explain, “Not surprisingly, many of our colleagues have talents and interests that go far beyond the boundaries of their ombuds work. Ours is a profession that is made up of a richly diverse talent pool.”

April 11, 2013

American Red Cross Hires Associate Ombuds

The Red Cross Office of the Corporate Ombudsman has appointed Robert Hosea as its newest Associate Ombudsman. Hosea recently completed an Internship with the National Institutes of Health Office of the Ombudsman / Center for Cooperative Resolution. He has also been a higher education consultant and trainer, and was the Coordinator of the Student Mediation Services program at Nova Southeastern University, in Ft. Lauderdale for several years.

Santa Fe College Has New Ombuds

In November 2012, the state college in Gainesville, Florida appointed Bea Awoniyi as its Ombudsperson. Awoniyi also serves as the new Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, with responsibilities for the Disabilities Resource Center and Student Affairs grants programs. Previously, she was the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Student Disability Resource Center at Florida State University. 

Cal State San Marcos Appoints Three Interim Ombuds

While the California State University campus north of San Diego continues its search for an Ombudsperson, the role has been filled on a temporary basis.  The interim ombuds are Martha Stoddard-Holmes, a professor and former department chair, Fritz Kreisler, lead psychologist at CSUSM, and Rodger D’Andreas-Wahl, a therapist and professor.

April 05, 2013

University of Massachusetts Amherst Ombuds Publishes 2012 Annual Report

Catharine Porter, the UMass University Ombudsperson reports that a significant increase in visitors to her office during the 2011-12 academic year. Over that period, the office received a total of 618 visitors -- a 32% increase. Increases were seen in all visitor categories with the most notable increases in graduate students (60%) and parents (63%).

Faculty and Students Support Expansion of Brown University Ombuds Office

The Faculty Executive Committee and Graduate Student Counsel recently and separately voted in support of increasing the University Ombudsperson position to full-time and expand access for students and some employees starting in 2014. The current Ombuds, Ruth Rosenberg, was hired in 2012 to a half-time appointment providing services only to faculty and post-doctoral students.

April 04, 2013

IOA to Offer Ombuds Training in Rome

The International Ombudsman Association has announced that it will offer its most popular course, Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice, and a one-day specialized course at the World Food Programme Headquarters in Rome, Italy on June 23 through June 26, 2013. 

Southern California Ombuds to Meet in May 2013

After a hiatus of almost two years, Andrew Larratt-Smith has stepped up to convene a meeting of the Southern Californian Ombuds Group. Local Ombuds are invited to meet at UC Riverside on May 9, 2013. 

April 03, 2013

Iowa State University Enacts Charter for Ombuds Office

ISU President Steven Leath has signed a charter for the Ombuds Office that was established in 2008. The document does not change the role of function of the program, but as Ombuds Officer Elaine Newell explains, "It affirms the confidentiality and independence of the ombuds office and is a statement of the university's support for early and informal effort in conflict management and resolution."

IOA 2013 Conference to Connect Employers and Applicants

The Annual Conference Committee of the International Ombudsman Association is pleased to offer the "Career Connections" program again. According to an announcement from the committee, "There is no better opportunity to find qualified ombuds candidates, or to introduce yourself to potential employers than at the annual meeting of ombuds professionals!" 

Halliburton Ombuds Explains Her Work

Anamaris Cousins Price, Halliburton's Latin America Region Ombudsman, has penned a post for Argentinian attorney and blogger Guillermo Ceballos Serra. Price, who has worked in the profession eight years, gives an excellent overview of the role of an Organizational Ombuds in an corporation. Since Halliburton is a multi-national organization, much of her work is handled by phone:

April 02, 2013

Job Posting: United Nations

The Office of the UN Ombudsman and Mediation Services is hiring a Regional Ombudsman in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The position will head the regional branch in Kinshasa and will report directly to the Director of Office and work under the overall direction of the UN Ombudsman. The position will also collaborate with the Ombuds of the Funds and Programmes and of UNHCR.

University of Toledo Medical School Appoints First Ombuds

The UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences has named Maurice Manning as its first-ever Ombuds for about 700 medical students. Manning is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology. He has been widely recognized for his excellence in teaching having received the Deans Award for Teaching Excellence. He attended college and earned advanced degrees from University College Galway, Ireland.

Bentley University Creates Website for Ombuds Office

Earl A. Avery has served as the Ombudsman at the small private university outside Boston known for its undergraduate business program for several years and now has a website. Bentley's Office of the Ombudsman serves over 6,000 students, faculty and staff by, "determining options to help resolve conflicts, problematic issues or concerns, and bringing systemic concerns to the attention of the organization for resolution."

April 01, 2013

Job Posting: Magellan Health Services

The medical management services company is hiring an Ombudsperson for its operations in Arizona. The position provides confidential and informal assistance, including informal investigation as needed regarding services, policies and programs. The Ombudsperson is a neutral representative and an advocate for fair process, as well as a source of information and referral, and aids in answering questions and concerns. The Ombuds provides direct conflict resolution services when needed, including coaching, facilitation and mediation between patients, families, employees, providers, clinics and other stakeholders.

Research Shows More US Corporations Adopting ADR, Including Ombuds

An updated survey of corporate counsel in Fortune 1,000 companies finds that growing implementation of internal dispute resolution programs. Comparing responses from 1997 and 2011, researchers found a shift away from litigation and arbitration for employment disputes conflicts, and a growing emphasis on proactive approaches such as early neutral evaluation, early case assessment, and integrated systems such as Ombuds.