June 26, 2013

New Bullying Policy at Oregon State Endorses Ombuds

Oregon State University has adopted a policy prohibiting bullying of or by faculty, staff and students.  OSU President Edward J. Ray explained that, "bullying is defined as conduct that can cause substantial emotional distress and ... is contrary to the culture and climate that we desire for our community."  The President's announcement said that the University Ombuds Office can provide general information and education about bullying.

GSU Ombuds Seeks Submissions for Annual Conflict Resolution Forum

Georgia State University Office of the Ombudsperson is seeking submissions for the Third Annual CR Symposium, "Getting to Peace: Using Art as a Tool for Conflict Resolution," on Thursday, October 17, 2013. This one-day symposium will provide an opportunity for students and conflict resolution practitioners to network and showcase their current projects, as well as bring attention to their work nationally. In addition to workshop presentations, the Symposium will also feature an exhibition of art (including media and performance art) that speak specifically to conflict resolution.

June 24, 2013

Job Posting: Detroit Public Schools

The school district that enrolls all of the city of Detroit in Michigan is hiring an Ombudsman. Serving as a "Special Assistant to the Superintendent of Academics" the position works to resolve parental concerns, maintaining confidentiality whenever possible. Applicants must have at least five years of work experience in conflict resolution and mediation, preferably in a non-profit or governmental agency. The full-time position pays $49,500-$54,000. (DPS Jobs.)

Next Episode of IOA Radio to Feature Distinguished Emeritus Ombuds

The next episode of the International Ombudsman Association’s teleconference-based “talk show,” will feature Wilbur Hicks, Distinguished Emeritus member of IOA. The title of this episode is "Because Starting One Ombuds Office Wasn’t Enough." The show will take place on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 12:00pm Eastern and will be recorded for future access. (IOA News.)

Fanshawe College Appoints Ombuds

Earlier this month, the College of Applied Arts and Technology in Ontario named Rose Valle as its acting Ombuds, filling the position vacated by Greg Hessian. Valle graduated from Western University in London, Ontario and earned a master's in Conflict Resolution and Management from Royal Roads University.

June 20, 2013

USOA Posts Agenda for 2013 Annual Conference

The United States Ombudsman Association has announced details of its 34th Annual Conference.  The event takes place October 30 through November 1, 2013 at the Indiana Government Conference Center in Indianapolis and will feature a keynote address by Nick Diehl, Deputy Ombudsman at the American Red Cross.

June 19, 2013

Virginia Commonwealth University Appoints Ombuds

VCU has appointed William E. King to be its new Ombudsperson starting August 1. “I am excited that William King has decided to join us as our new ombudsperson,” said Beverly Warren, Ed.D., Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at VCU. “His background and experience in mediation and dispute resolution in an academic environment will be an invaluable resource here at VCU and ensure that our university remains one of collegiality, openness and inclusion.”

Is Rockland Community College Considering an Ombuds Program

The two-year college in the State University of New York located in the Hudson Valley has not had an Ombuds office. However, the College is hiring a Director of Student Involvement, which has the following responsibility: "Develops and maintains a College ombudsman program." No other details are available.  (Monster.)

June 18, 2013

AllianceBernstein Ombuds Posts Annual Report to Employees

In her 2012 report, Ombudsman Sana A. Manjeshwar says that 161 individuals contacted her for guidance, comprising 4.8% of the employee population. She attributes this higher-than-usual volume to increased awareness activity in 2011, the year she was appointed. Manjeshwar also said that approximately 1,500 employees have used the services of the AB Ombudsman Office in its first eight years.

June 17, 2013

Ombuds Serves Staff at University College Cork

The constituent College of the National University of Ireland recently created a webpage for its Independent Staff Ombudsman. The program was established 2011 and serves as a resource for almost 2,800 staff following Organizational Ombuds standards.  Currently, there are two part-time Ombuds.

June 14, 2013

Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Drafts Statement of Ethical Principles

FCO, the professional association of government, private industry and higher education Ombudsmen in Canada, has drafted a Statement of Ethical Principles. The document culminates a year of work by the FCO Board to develop and promote professional standards of conduct and a code of ethics.

University of South Carolina Faculty Approve Workplace Bullying Policy

At its regular monthly meeting this week, the USC Faculty Senate unanimously approved a resolution endorsing a workplace bullying policy. The new policy was promoted by a study that concluded that workplace bullying is a serious issue that affects faculty members. The bullying policy, which is being forwarded to the administration for action, relies on the University Ombudsman as an integral part of the campus response.

June 13, 2013

Interview With Ombuds at University of the Andes

Margarita Gómez Ordoñez, who became the Ombudsperson for Universidad de los Andes just six months ago, recently explained the "what, who, and how" of her role.  Gómez Ordoñez explained that her primary task is to respond to queries from all members of the university community--students, faculty and staff--about academic, administrative or disciplinary concerns.

June 12, 2013

University of Washington Names Ombuds

Chuck Sloane has been appointed the University Ombuds for UW and will start in July.  University of Washington President Michael K. Young said, “Chuck Sloane has the skill and passion for helping individuals solve problems and resolve disputes within large organizations.” He will succeed Susan Neff, who retired after working in the UW Ombudsman Office since 1994.

University of Warsaw Ombuds Works With Students and Staff

For the past year and a half, Anna Cybulko has served as a confidential, independent and neutral resource for 6,000 employees and 66,000 students. The University of Warsaw (Uniwersytet Warszawski) is Poland's largest university and the only to have an Ombudsman Office. In addition to individual inquires, the Ombuds provides conflict management training and may suggest systemic changes to improve university functions and to prevent conflicts.

June 10, 2013

Job Posting: BP America

British Petroleum America is hiring an Ombudsman Program Case Manager. According to the job posting, the position "supports the administration of all BP employee concerns programs in BP America including the Office of the Ombudsman and other BP Group programs."

Corporate Compliance Insights: "The Whistleblower Paradigm: How Companies Can Get in Front of a Crisis"

An article in the latest issue of the online magazine for compliance and ethics professionals recommends Ombuds as a resource for responding to and mitigating whistleblowing. David Martin, a Principal with Berkeley Research Group, cites IOA research to explain why “employees would rather report directly to somebody they know than to a hotline.”

Mediterranean Ombudsmen Convene in Amman

The Association of Mediterranean Ombudsmen holds its seventh annual meeting in Jordan today and tomorrow, June 10-11.  Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour opened the meeting and remarked, "There is an increasing conviction at the international level of the need to enhance good governance that is based on transparency, justice, equality, the rule of law and accountability." (Jordan News Agency.)

June 08, 2013

Job Posting: Gallaudet University

The federally chartered university for the education of the deaf and hard of hearing in Washington, D.C. has opened a search for its next Ombuds. Reporting directly to the president, the University Ombuds provides confidential and informal assistance to students, staff, faculty and/or administrators.

ACCUO Chronicles Three Decades of Ombuds in Higher Education

The Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons has published a timeline of its "activities, encounters and some landmarks in the development of ombuds in higher education in Canada and many parts of the world" over the past 30 years. The document, which begins in the 1960's, marks the establishment of Canadian higher education Ombuds offices, ACCUO landmarks and other Ombuds landmark events.

June 05, 2013

UConn Appoints First Ombuds

After several years of work and an extended national search, Connecticut's flagship public university has named Jim Wohl as the first University Ombuds.  The new program at UConn (which was the only Public Ivy without an Ombuds) was established with a Charter that follows IOA Standards of Practice. In an introductory letter to the UConn community, University President Susan Herbst said that Wohl will report directly to her.

Simon Fraser University Ombuds Posts 2012 Report

Jay Solomon, the SFU Ombudsperson, says that his office was consulted by 364 students in 2012 (January 3 to December 20), nearly a 10% increase from the prior year. The report provides demographic details and examples that illustrate the range of issue that come to the SFU Office of the Ombudsperson. These case studies also frame feedback from the Ombuds about systemic concerns.

June 03, 2013

Job Posting: Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN

FAO, the specialized United Nations agency that leads international efforts to defeat hunger, is hiring an Ombudsman. The two-year position provides confidential, impa rtial and independent advice on conflicts and problems to FAO staff at the Rome Headquarters and in decentralized offices. In addition, the Ombuds will coordinate and manage FAO’s mediation program.

ENOHE Newsletter Marks Decennial

The latest publication from the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education looks back at its first decade and anticipates a fruitful future.  In addition to articles that trace the beginnings of the growing group, a recent survey provides a snapshot of of academic Ombuds in Europe.