August 30, 2013

IOA Webinar to Address Cultural Components in Conflict

On September 12, 2013, two Organizational Ombuds with extensive international experience will present the next IOA webinar: "Strategies for Analyzing Cultural Components in Conflict." José Martínez-Aragón , United Nations Regional Ombudsman in Santiago, Chile, and David Talbot, Ombudsman for the World Bank Group in Bangkok, Thailan will review the theory of conflict and conflict resolution from the perspective of culture, outlining through practical examples how the lenses of culture may help to disentangle intractable situations.

New Ombuds at Edinboro University

The public liberal arts university in Pennsylvania has appointed Marilyn Goellner to serve as its University Officer. She works with faculty, staff, students, parents and retirees and practices to IOA standards. In addition to her duties as the Ombuds, Goellner continues to serve as Edinboro's Director of Annual Fund and Stewardship, a position she has held since 1994.  She replaced Valerie Hayes.

August 29, 2013

USF St. Petersburg Appoints Ombuds

The University of South Florida campus has named Deni Elliott as its Ombuds. The Ombuds Office at USF St. Petersburg provides students and employees (staff, faculty, administration, and temporary) a confidential opportunity to discuss concerns regarding their experience at USFSP and to explore alternatives for how to best address those concerns.

EEOC Ombuds to Speak at HR Conference

Joe Bontke, Outreach Manager and Ombudsman for the Houston district office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will address the Wichita Falls Human Resource Management Association on September 18. Brontke will discuss conflict resolution and how appropriate actions taken early in a conflict can avoid EEOC complaints and litigation. (Whichita Falls Times Record.)

August 28, 2013

Arizona Ombuds to Meet in September

The Arizona Summer Ombudsman Conference is slated for Friday, September 20, 2013 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Office of the Arizona Ombudsman - Citizens’ Aid is hosting the conference, which will be held at the State Senate in the Senate Caucus room.

August 23, 2013

Call for Proposals: IOA 2014 Conference

Organizers of the International Ombudsman Association's ninth annual conference, set for April 6-9, 2014 in Denver, are accepting presentation proposals, and speaker and topic suggestions. The conference attracts new and experienced Organizational Ombuds from various sectors and countries, as well as individuals, organizations and agencies interested in developing Ombuds programs and/or learning about conflict management.

August 21, 2013

Cal Caucus Posts Agenda for 40th Annual Meeting

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has announced program details for its 2013 meeting at Asilomar in Pacific Grove on November 17–20, 2013.  The highlight of the annual conference with its distinctive intimate feel, which allows for new and strengthened connections with other Ombuds.

August 16, 2013

IOA Ombuds Training Returns to Baltimore

The International Ombudsman Association returns to Baltimore to provide several training sessions for new and experienced Ombuds, October 21-25, 2013. The programs include "Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice," "The Next Step for New or Growing Programs," and a specialized course, "Working With Leadership."

August 15, 2013

Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance Creates Ombuds Program

CATAAlliance, the largest high-tech trade association in Canada, has created an Ombudsperson Program for its 8,100 members. According a press release, "The CATAAlliance Ombudsperson Program provides our members with the services of a confidential and neutral third-party Ombudsman to help resolve problems confidentially and as early as possible in an amicable and expeditious fashion."

Alcorn State University Appoints First Ombuds

The historically black university in Mississippi has hired C. Rob Shorette II to serve as "Presidential Ombudsman for Administrative Affairs." In this role, Shorette responsible for strategic planning, managing and contributing to the research being produced in the Office of the President, and serving as a liaison between the president and various constituencies on campus.

August 14, 2013

Job Posting: Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The FDIC is hiring an Internal Ombudsman Specialist.  The position serves as a "neutral source for internal agency employees to raise concerns, identify options, and request assistance to informally resolve conflict and problems." The position is thus quite different from the existing FDIC Ombuds program that serves local customers of banks taken over by the agency.

Amtgard Creates Ombuds for Players

The international organization dedicated to medieval and fantasy battle gaming and live-action fantasy roleplaying has established an Ombudsman program following IOA standards. In July 2013, the governing board, the Circle of Monarchs, approved the plan and appointed a player named Sir Goldcrest to the position. 

Texas A&M Names Ombuds for School of Engineering

Jennifer L. Welch has been named the Faculty Ombudsperson for the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. She starts a two-year appointment on September 1 and will function as the intermediary between college faculty and university offices. Welch is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and has been a member of the faculty since 1992. She graduated from UT Austin and earned a SM and PhD from MIT. (TAMU Engineering News.)

August 13, 2013

Northwestern School of Medicine Names First Ombuds

The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, a top-tier American medical school, has appointed its first Ombudsperson. Lisa A. Rone, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, will serve as an impartial, neutral, and confidential facilitator for students.  Northwestern has Ombuds program for general faculty.

Ontario Waldorf School Creates Ombuds Program

Mulberry Waldorf School in Kingston, ON, an independent elementary school that is part of the humanistic, global education movement, has appointed Anja Troje to serves as its first Ombudsperson. The new Ombuds will "support and guide members of the school community in conflicts when direct communication between the people involved has failed or seems impossible." Her services are confidential.

August 12, 2013

Job Posting: Parks Canada

The agency that protects and promotes Canada's natural and cultural heritage sites is hiring an Advisor to work in its Centre for Values and Ethics. The position reports directly to the Ombudsman and provides agency employees with independent, confidential, impartial and personalized services for work-related concerns. In addition, the Advisor is responsible for providing Informal Conflict Management and Organizational Ombudsman services in English unilingual regions.

University of North Dakota Appoints First Ombuds

North Dakota's oldest and largest university named Dusty Bates Farned to be its first Ombuds on on July 1. UND President Robert Kelley said, "We are delighted to have Dusty join us as UND's first Ombuds, a position that will be a neutral resource for members of the entire University community. Dusty will be available to assist members of the UND community by listening to concerns and then proposing various options for positive resolution, providing information, and making referrals."  Farned reports directly to President Kelley.

International Baccalaureate Organization Updates Ombuds Website

The website for IBO's Office of the Ombudsman has been supplemented extensively with information about how the position serves stakeholders of the educational organization.  The revamped pages include links and explanations of the IOA standards and certification, dispute resolution processes, the current Ombuds: Indu Sen, and other related IBO resources.

August 02, 2013

Job Posting: Florida International University

The public university in Miami has opened a search for a Student Ombudsman.  The position holds the title of Assistant Dean and serves as a resource for nearly 50,000 students on two campuses. The search will replace Larry Lunsford, who served as the Ombuds for the past nine years and was recently promoted to Vice President for Student Affairs.

IOA Announces 2013 Writing Competition Winner

Zach Ulrich, an IOA student affiliate member, has been selected the winner of the International Ombudsman Association's 2013 Writing Competition for his entry, "Reconsidering the Neutrality and Impartiality Standard: A Multidisciplinary Analysis.” 

August 01, 2013

Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis Creates Ombuds Program

The Los Angeles based institute has established an Ombudsman Office to serve as a confidential resource for stakeholders. According to a new website, the office "serve[s] as an independent, neutral and informal resource...for facilitating solutions to concerns and issues raised by candidates, members, faculty, and staff. The intent of the Ombudsman Office is to help build community and to strengthen opportunities for enriching interaction within the analytic program."

Save the Date for Cal Caucus 2013

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds will mark its 40th anniversary at Asilomar in Pacific Grove on November 17–20, 2013. Additional details will be posted soon. (Cal Caucus 2013.)

Job Posting: Life University

The private, health sciences college near Atlanta is hiring its first Ombudsman/Employee Relations Officer.  The full-time position provides "neutral, impartial and confidential dispute resolution confidentially to all members of the Life University community." However, the job posting includes some duties that contravene best practices for Organizational Ombuds (e.g. representing the university in Title IX issues). A call seeking clarification was not returned.