May 31, 2013

Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Offers Certificate Program

FCO has partnered with Osgoode Hall Law School to offer "a comprehensive certificate program which explores the theory and practice of the Ombudsman/person role in an in-depth manner." The first certificate program will be offered September 16–20, 2013 at Osgoode Professional Development in downtown Toronto.

Reminder: Last Day to Enter IOA Writing Competition

Today Saturday, June 1 is the last day to submit manuscripts for the International Ombudsman Association's 2013 writing competition.  In addition to the IOA information page, applicants may contact the contest administrator, Andrew Larratt-Smith, at (IOA Writing Competition Info.)

May 29, 2013

Job Posting: Baker Hughes Canada

The oilfield services company is seeking a Canada-based Ombuds to join its newly-formed Organizational Ombuds Office (o3). Among other duties, the position will provide explanation/interpretation of policies and procedures especially being aware of differences between Canadian and U.S. requirements and laws, and assist in identifying and communicating systemic patterns to Canadian leadership.

May 28, 2013

Job Posting: Department of Defense

The U.S. Defense Department is hiring an Ombudsman for its Washington Headquarters Services. Reporting directly to the Director/Deputy Director, the position serves as an Ombuds and senior-level advisor with responsibility for the ADR Program, functioning as the practitioner for this program. 

American Institute of Chemical Engineers Honors New Chevron Ombuds

Earlier this month, the Fuels and Petrochemicals Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) presented its annual outstanding achievement award to S. Shariq Yosufzai, Chevron Corporation's new Vice President of Global Diversity, Ombuds, and University Affairs. 

May 22, 2013

Job Posting: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory in Richland, Washington is hiring an Employee Concerns Program Manager. The hourly, part-time, on-call position responds to employe concerns by prompt identification, reporting, and resolution of issues; independent and objective evaluation; supplementing existing processes for reporting concerns; and providing alternative dispute techniques.  

Ombuds at the 2013 ACR Conference

The Association for Conflict Resolution's Annual Conference on October 9-11, 2013 in Minneapolis, Minnesota will feature two presentations about Ombuds work.

May 21, 2013

IOA Offers Ombuds Training in Phoenix

The International Ombudsman Association presents several training sessions for new and experienced Ombuds in Phoenix, Arizona on July 8 through 12, 2013. The programs include "Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice," "The Next Step for New or Growing Programs," and "Ethical Dilemmas Facing Organizational Ombuds."

Job Posting: Beacon Health Strategies

The managed behavioral health organization is hiring an Ombudsperson to provide confidential, neutral assistance to members in Woburn, MA. "The Ombudsperson advocates for fairness, serves as a source of information and support, acts as a liaison among stakeholders, and supports risk management for BHS." The duties are primarily those of an Organizational Ombuds, but also incorporate some duties that are similar to those of a Classical Healthcare Ombuds. 

Update on May Meeting of Arizona Ombuds

On Thursday, May 16, 2013, twenty-four Ombudsman throughout the State of Arizona gathered for a “brown bag” lunch meeting hosted by Apollo Group’s Office of Ombuds Services.  The meeting agenda included networking, IOA highlights, information about USOA’s upcoming Fall conference, an overview of Apollo Group’s Office of Ombuds Services, and brainstorming potential topics for discussion or presentations for the Arizona Ombuds’s summer conference.  

May 20, 2013

Job Posting: University of Colorado Boulder

Colorado's flagship public research university is hiring an Associate Ombuds. The position serves as a designated neutral dispute resolution practitioner for students, staff, faculty, and administrators. CU-Boulder employs four Ombuds and follows IOA best practices. The salary range for this position is $62,000-$76,0000, commensurate with skills and experience.

Job Posting: Jackson Community College

The 6,700-student community college in Jackson County, Michigan is hiring a Student Ombudsman. The full-time position is primarily responsible for "providing a consistent, centralized point of contact for questions, concerns and/or problems they may be experiencing at Jackson Community College."

IOA Radio to Interview Shell Oil Ombuds

The second episode of the International Ombudsman Association’s teleconference-based “talk show,” will feature Sean Banks, Director of Ombuds Services and Corporate Ombuds for the Shell Oil Company.

Corporate Counsel Magazine: "How an Ombuds Can Foster Collaboration and Reduce Risk"

The current issue of the leading periodical and website for in-house attorneys includes an article on Ombuds. The piece focuses on the benefit of Ombuds for "knowledge workers," who collaborate frequently and are largely autonomous.

May 16, 2013

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente Vallejo CA

KP is hiring a full-time Health Care Ombuds/Mediator for its Northern California medical center in Vallejo. 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."

Overview of Ombuds in Africa and the AOMA

A recent article in the Ethiopian Herald provides an excellent the history of Ombuds in Africa and their professional body, the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association. 

Here's a portion:

May 15, 2013

Sexual Assault Task Force at University of North Carolina will Include Ombuds

At UNC-Chapel Hill today, a task force will convene to review the university’s policies and procedures on sexual assault cases. The 21-member task force will meet weekly with a goal of a recommendations for a revised policy by the end of the summer. The group is comprised of administrators, faculty, staff and students, and includes University Ombuds and Professor of Public Law and Policy, Laurie Mesibov. (Raleigh, NC News & Observer.)

New Ombuds for American University in Cairo

Earlier this year, AUC appointed Lamia Eid as the University Ombuds, filling the role vacated by the founding Ombuds, Hana Sabea. Wafaa Abdelhamid, who had continued as the Director of the office in the interim, is now the Associate Ombuds. 

May 14, 2013

DePaul University Will Host 2013 Summer Meeting of Academic Ombuds

The eleventh annual Summer Meeting of College and University Ombudspersons is set for July 28-29, 2013 at DePaul University in Chicago. This annual event provides an opportunity for academic Ombuds to become better acquainted, to share concerns specific to their professional environments, and to support and learn from each other’s experiences.  

IOA Annual Report Reveals Plans for Organizational and Strategic Change

The International Ombudsman Association has published its 2012 Annual Report, which shows that the professional body is working on a number of internal changes.  Based on feedback received at its last conference, the IOA Board has identified three initiatives for the coming year.

May 13, 2013

University of Victoria Ombuds Posts 2012 Annual Report, Highlights Issue of 'Fairness'

Martine Conway, the UVic Ombudsperson, said that her office assisted 364 students in the 2012 calendar year. Most of the matters were handled with information, referral, and advice from the Ombuds; less than 10% of cases needed Ombuds intervention. 

Conway also emphasized the role of the Ombuds in promoting fairness on campus. She writes:

Organization of News Ombudsmen to Select New Director

When the media Ombuds gather in Los Angeles next week, they are expected to appoint a new executive director. Jeffrey Dvorkin, who became ONO's first Executive Director in May 2009, has announced that he will step down and Kirk LaPointe has agreed to volunteer for the position. 

May 10, 2013

District of Columbia Moves to Reinstate Education Ombuds

A D.C. Council committee has recommended about $279,000 in funds for the Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education, a program that has been dormant for five years due to budget cuts. If it receives the approval of the full council next month, the Ombuds for public K-12 schools could be restored in January 2014. (American University Radio.)

Southern California Ombuds Meeting Highlighted by Presentation on Positive Empathy

Collie Conoley, a professor at UC Santa Barbara and expert on positive psychology, was the keynote speaker at the Southern California Ombuds Group meeting yesterday. Host Andrew Larratt Smith, Ombuds at UC Riverside, said Conoley's presentation was the highlight of the event. Nearly 40 attendees included Ombuds from public universities and corporate or non-profit organizations. (UCR Today; Conoley Bio.)

Northcentral University Hiring an Ombuds

The private, for-profit university based in Prescott Valley, Arizona is hiring an "Associate Director of Ombudsman." The university is not taking applications currently and the posting does not disclose the duties of the position. It appears from other NCU literature that the office assists students with grade disputes and disability accommodations. (Job Posting; MA MFT Handbook; ADA Office.)

May 07, 2013

Job Posting: Fanshawe College

Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology in Ontario, Canada is hiring an Ombuds. Reporting to the President and practicing to ACCUO standards, the Ombuds is a provides impartial and confidential assistance to about 15,000 full-time and 40,000 part-time students.  This is a full-time temporary administrative position (37.5 hours per week) for six months with the possibility of extension.

May 03, 2013

Job Posting: Edison State College

The public community college in Fort Myers, Florida is hiring a Student Ombudsman--a confidential, neutral, informal and independent resource for about 26,000 students. In addition, as a Special Assistant to the Vice President, the position provides technical and administrative managerial support in the daily operations of the Student Affairs division. 

UC San Diego Expands Ombuds Office With New Hire

John Armijo has been appointed as the Associate Ombudsperson at UCSD. Armijo has more than 20 years of experience in law and dispute resolution, and has worked as a mediator and in various capacities in professional alternative dispute resolution settings, including having spent six years as an Ombuds in the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

Caribbean Ombuds Convene in St. Maarten

The Caribbean Ombudsman Association will hold its seventh annual conference on May 5 through 9 at the Sonnesta Maho Beach resort in St. Maarten. The theme is "Towards Exemplary Public Service at its Challenging Times the Role of the Ombudsman."

May 02, 2013

Cornell to Adopt IOA Standards for Ombuds

Earlier this week, the Cornell University Assembly approved new guidelines for the Office of the University Ombudsman.  The office had been operating under guidelines that had note been updated since the office was founded in 1969 and referenced “many out of practice actions, such as keeping records on behalf of other organizations and serving as a ‘rumor clinic’.”

May 01, 2013

National Renewable Energy Lab Names Ombuds

Last month, the U.S. lab in Golden, Colorado appointed Donna J. Louden as its new Ombuds.  Louden provides NREL staff with conflict management assistance and education, coaching, and other workplace guidance, and fills a position vacated when Carolyn Noorbakhsh retired in 2011.