July 31, 2013

Ohio University to Seek New Ombuds

OU has appointed Judy Piercy to serve as Interim Ombudsperson, filling a vacancy left by Dianne Bouvier, who moved to the University's Office for Institutional Equity. Piercy will begin her Ombuds duties on August 12 and will continue to support special projects in the Division of Student Affairs about one-third of her time.

Seneca College Ombuds Posts Annual Report and New Terms of Reference

George Fry, the Ombudsperson for the applied arts and technology college in Toronto, reports that significant fluctuation in the demand for Ombuds service over the past three years. Cases rose from 45 in 2009-10 to 114 in 2011 (when there was a transition to calendar year reporting), and then fell to 66 in 2012. Fry attributes the variation in part to changes in the Ombuds Office, including his appointment in 2011.

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."

July 30, 2013

Canadian Paralympic Committee Appoints 2014 Ombuds

The non-profit organization representing Canadian Paralympic athletes has named Jeff Palamar to serve as the team Ombudsperson for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games. Palamar has volunteered in the position for three prior Paralympic Games. 

University of British Columbia Appoints First Ombuds for Okanagan

UBC has announced that Maria Mazzotta is the new Ombuds Officer for its Okanagan campus. She will be setting up the new office in the University Centre over the summer. Like the UBC Ombuds Office in Vancouver, Mazzotta will serve students. 

Autorité des Marchés Financiers Reports Jump in Cases

AMF, the independent Ombuds for Frances financial markets, said that cases rose 15% in 2012 -- coinciding with a new strategic focus. Marielle Cohen-Branche, the AMF Ombudsman, said that her office received 747 last year. More than have of the cases, 382, were resolved by mediation.  AMF practices to IOA standards. 

July 18, 2013

Job Posting: U.S. Olympic Committee

The USOC Athlete Ombudsman Office in Colorado Springs is seeking an Assistant Ombudsman. The position will assist in providing independent and confidential advice to elite athletes regarding their rights under the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, and all applicable rules and regulations from the IOC, USOC, IFs and NGBs; and mediating conflicts between athletes and their respective NGB.

IOA Radio Show to Feature ICRC Ombuds

The next episode of IOA’s teleconference-based “talk show,” will feature Reto Meister, Ombudsman of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The show will take place on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 12:00pm Eastern and will be recorded for future access. (IOA News.)

July 17, 2013

Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Seeks Bids for Secretariat Contract

FCO, the non-profit professional association of government, private industry and higher education Ombudsmen in Canada has issued a request for proposals for provision of professional administrative services. The FCO Secretariat assists the Board of Directors and volunteers under a contract for approximately 45 hours per month. 

Job Posting: Howard University

The federally chartered, private university in Washington, D.C has opened a search for its first Ombudsperson. The position reports directly to both the President of the University and the Chair of the Faculty Senate and will work with administrators, faculty, students and staff. The search follows a decision by the Howard University Board of Trustees in January 2011 approving a Faculty Senate recommendation to establish an Ombuds Office.

July 16, 2013

Job Posting: Oklahoma State University

The land-grant, public research university located in north-central Oklahoma has reopened its search for an Ombudsperson. The full-time position reports directly to the university president and serves a population of about 26,000 faculty, staff, administrators, and students. (A search during the winter had sought only a part-time Ombuds.) 

Kenya Ombuds to Host African Ombudsman Colloquium

Kenya's Office of The Ombudsman (Commission on Administrative Justice) will convene a meeting of African Ombuds and oversight institutions on September 18, 2013. The Colloquium is intended to offer an opportunity to share lessons and insights as well as examin new prospects for administrative justice and human rights in Africa and especially, the future of Ombuds institutions in the continent.

IOA Translates Standards Ombuds Into More Languages

The International Ombudsman Association has published its Standards of Practice in Chinese, Russian, and Italian. Previously, the association had translated its English standards into Spanish and French. (IOA News.)

July 15, 2013

Job Posting: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The U.S. federal agency that regulates consumer protection with regard to financial products and services is hiring an Associate Ombudsman. The position liaises between CFPB and consumers, banks, or nonbanks to address individual and systemic issues resulting from the CFPB’s regulatory activities, while practicing to basic Ombuds principles of independence, impartiality, and confidentiality.

July 12, 2013

IOA Announces 2013-14 Conflict Management Webinar Series

The International Ombudsman Association will offer a six-part, live webinar program on conflict management starting in August and running through March 2014.

July 11, 2013

Creative Education Journal Publishes Article on University Ombuds

Creative Education, a monthly peer-reviewed journal focused on education research, has published an article by Josef Leidenfrost, the Austrian Student Ombudsman: "Ombudsmen in Higher Education: Helping the Single Student, Contributing to the Universities’ Institutional Changes." The article gives insight into the major challenges facing universities and describes how Ombuds can help to minimize the students’ feelings of disconnection created by formal and judicial processes and get fair treatment.

July 10, 2013

Top 10 Reasons to visit Chicago in July

The 11th Annual Summer Academic Ombudspersons Meeting at DePaul University is a great reason to visit Chicago in the summertime, but it’s not the only reason! If you have not already registered to attend, co-organizer Craig Mousin offers the Top 10 Reasons to visit Chicago in July.

July 09, 2013

Job Posting: Texas Department of Public Safety

The Texas state agency responsible for law enforcement and vehicle regulation has opened another search for a Deputy Ombudsman.  Based in Austin, the supervisory position performs advanced mediation work for the Office of the Ombudsman, working with individuals and groups in the agency to explore and assist in determining options to help resolved conflicts and bringing systemic concerns to the attention of executive management. 

ABA Section of Dispute Resolution 2014 Call for Proposals

The American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution is accepting proposals for its annual conference to be held April 2-5, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Miami.  This large conference attracts a wide range of attendees, including national and international ADR practitioners and organizations, corporate leaders, government employees, judges, court administrators, and academics. 

July 08, 2013

Job Posting: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

The combat support agency of the U.S. Department of Defense is hiring an Ombudsman. Reporting to the NGA Director and following IOA standards, the position "is authorized to address issues of common concern that transcend organizational boundaries and engages with appropriate personnel throughout the Department of Defense (DoD), Intelligence Community, and other Federal agencies." 

University of Utah Appoints Ombuds for Student Athletes

In response to misconduct by a coach at the state's flagship university, President David W. Pershing announced new policies new policies to better support student athletes, including the the appointment of an independent "Athletics Ombudsman." Ryan Randall was appointed to the Ombuds role and will report directly to the dean of students. This is the first Ombuds program of any kind at the U of U and no other information has been made public.

University of British Columbia Ombuds Reports Continued Growth in Cases

In her 2012 annual report, UBC Ombudsperson for Students Shirley R. Nakata and Ombuds Officer Joy Coben said that their office assisted 317 students in 2012, a 27% increase from the prior year. Nakata opened the UBC Ombuds office in 2009 and has seen steady growth in caseload every year. Despite the robust data, her annual report emphasizes the Ombuds "role in connecting individuals to the right people and places: to air individual concerns and to create the tables to have conversations across portfolios and constituencies to advance fairness systemically."

July 05, 2013

Job Posting: Northcentral University

The private, for-profit university based in Prescott Valley, Arizona is hiring a Student and Faculty Ombudsperson. The faculty-level position reports to the provost's office and serves as a neutral or impartial dispute resolution practitioner whose major function is to provide confidential and informal assistance to students and faculty.

July 02, 2013

Job Posting: Eastern Michigan University

The public university in Ypsilanti has opened a search for an Ombudsman. The position works with a student population of about 23,500. The search will fill a position vacated by the retirement of Gregory Peoples. Perry Francis, a Professor of Counseling and Coordinator for Counseling Services, has been serving EMU's Interim Ombudsman.

Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Elects Officers for 2013-2015

At the Annual General Meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia on June 11, 2013, FCO elected a Board of Directors and Officers to two-year terms. The FCO Board is comprised of:

Externship: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

FINRA's Office of the Ombudsman is offering an opportunity for a graduate student to extern in its Rockville, MD office. The extern must be earning course credit and be able to work at least 15 hours a week during the Fall 2013 semester.