April 30, 2014

CERN Ombuds Recaps 2014 IOA Conference

Sudeshna Datta-Cockerill, the recently appointed Ombuds for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, writes about her participation in the International Ombudsman Association's annual conference earlier this month.  In the CERN newsletter article, Datta-Cockerill highlighted her connection to other Ombuds around the world and explained the relevance of the IOA Standards to her work.  (CERN Bulletin.)

April 29, 2014

Video Introduces UConn Ombuds

The University of Connecticut has posted a YouTube video to introduce its Ombuds, Jim Wohl.  In the two and a half minute video, Wohl explains how his office works and why students may want to consult him.  UConn appointed Wohl as its first Ombuds in June 2013.  He also established the Ombuds office at Auburn University. (YouTube.)

HUBrussel Ombuds Serve Students on Four Campuses

Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel has created an Ombuds Service to serve nearly 20,000 students at four campuses. The European university which was created in 2007 by the merger of European University College Brussels, Vlekho, HONIM and the Catholic University of Brussels. The HUBrussel Ombuds Service works only with students having issues around final exams and thus is available for three weeks in June.

April 28, 2014

Federal Court for Northern California Creates Ombuds Program

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California has unveiled an Ombudsperson Program for attorneys to raise issues about the Court or individual judges. Retired Judges Fern M. Smith and James P. Kleinberg have volunteered to serve as the Court’s Ombudspersons.  The program will be reviewed after two years.

Oxford Handbooks Online: The Organizational Ombudsman

The academic press has published an online chapter written by Mary Rowe and Howard Gadlin. Rowe is the MIT Ombudsperson and Gadlin is the Ombudsman and Director of the Center for Cooperative Resolution at the National Institutes of Health. 

ICANN Ombuds Recaps 2014 IOA Conference

Chris LaHatte, the Ombudsman for the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers, posts his thoughts and recollection of the IOA conference in Denver earlier this month.  He explains to his constituents that the annual event, “is an important way to ensure that I am kept up-to-date with appropriate standards and new thinking.” LaHatte presented at the conference on: “What Is This Thing Called Fairness, a study of the European test of proportionality for ombudsman.”  (ICANN Ombudsman Blog.)

April 24, 2014

Job Posting: Transportation Security Administration

The Department Of Homeland Security agency is hiring a Program Specialist for its Office of the Ombudsman in Arlington, VA. Located in the Office of Civil Rights and Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement Office, the position serves as an Ombuds, providing confidential, neutral, independent and informal assistance to TSA employees and the traveling public.

Purdue Opens Search for First Faculty Ombuds

The public university in Indiana is conducting an internal search for its first Faculty Ombuds to report to the Provost and to the Chair of the University Senate. The position half-time will serve a two-year term and assist with "concerns and conflicts related to faculty rights and responsibilities." The job description references the IOA Standards of Practice. (Purdue Position Description.)

Survey of Career Trends in Conflict Resolution Highlights Ombuds Work

An article recently posted on Mediate.com summarizes a research study into the employment opportunities in the conflict resolution field.  Maryland-based attorney, mediator, consultant, and trainer, Bob Rhudy based his report on months of interviews with conflict resolution professionals and others across the U.S., and through other research. 

April 23, 2014

Job Posting: WEA Trust

The not-for-profit insurance company that serves Wisconsin school districts is hiring an Ombudsman to be based in Madison. The position "acts as a conduit between conflicting parties; provides confidential, neutral assistance to constituents to help resolve formal grievances; advocates for fairness; and serves as a source of information and support." 

April 22, 2014

Chadbourne & Parke Ombuds Mentors Columbia Law Students

Columbia Law School has implemented a Partners in Residence program to provide students with one-on-one meetings with experienced attorneys to discuss career strategies, professional life, and related matters. One of the first Partners in Residence is Steve Buchman, Chadbourne & Parke’s Ombudsman and Attorney Advisor.  Buchman works with employees around the world, “dealing with issues including civility, harassment and discrimination, new employee evaluation practices, quality of life concerns, and other matters that any employee thinks require attention.”

April 18, 2014

Update: Gov. Christie Appoints an Ombuds

New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie has named Patrick E. Hobbs, Dean of Seton Hall University School of Law, as the first Ombudsman for the Office of the Governor. According to the New York Times, Hobbs will be in charge of ensuring that employees receive “robust” training in ethics, and will shape a new office of the chief ethics officer for the governor and create a system for employees to report concerns about wrongdoing. No other details about the Ombuds program have been published.  (NY Times.)

April 15, 2014

Job Posting: University of Minnesota

The of U of M is hiring a Director for its Office for Conflict Resolution. The position provides informal dispute resolution services -- including private consultations, facilitated discussions, and mediation -- to non-bargaining unit faculty, staff, student employees, and administrators with employment-related concerns. It also manages a staff of three.

April 14, 2014

Coalition of Federal Ombudsman Elects Officers for 2014

CoFO has elected new officers.  Wendy Kamenshine (CFPB), Neal Cohen (CPSC), Craig Cabrera (TSA), and Virginia Behr (FDA/CDER) have all rotated off the board.  

Here are the new officers:

April 11, 2014

District of Columbia Appoints Schools Ombuds

The public school system in Washington, DC filled a position that has been dormant for over four years with the appointment of Joyanna Smith as its next Ombudsman. Smith will provide District residents with problem resolution services regarding education issues and also identify trends and potential problems, making reports to education stakeholders as required by statute.

Grand Valley State University Faculty Endorse Ombuds Program

The Executive Committee of the GVSU Faculty Senate voted unanimously in favor of creating an Ombuds Office last week.  The concept has already received the support of the student senate at the public liberal arts university in Allendale, Michigan--one of only two major universities in the state without an Ombuds program. 

Job Posting: American University in Beirut

After more than a year, the secular, private university in Lebanon has still not found its its first Ombuds.  Reporting to AUB's president, the Ombuds will establish an office to provide a neutral, impartial, confidential, and informal assistance on university-related concerns or disputes, including recipients of health care services. 

April 10, 2014

Ralph Nader Says General Motors Needs an Ombuds

In an interview with the Daily Intelligencer, the consumer advocate says that GM's CEO Mary Barra should create an independent Ombuds for its engineers. In response to a growing scandal about GM's failure to remedy a faulty ignition switch design that lead to 13 deaths over the last ten years, Nader said that an Ombuds should be one of Barra's next steps:

National Autonomous University of Nicaragua to Appoint First Ombuds

La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, the flagship public university in Managua will soon appoint its first Ombudsman. It will also be the first University Ombudsman in Nicaragua. According to a news report, UNAN will update its polocies to follow the Ombuds model developed by leading European, U.S. and Latin American Universities when it creates its own program. (El Nuevo Diario.)

April 09, 2014

IOA Announces Officers for 2014-15

On the last day of its ninth annual conference in Denver, Board of Directors of the International Ombudsman Association announced the election of officers.  The following will serve terms until the next conference in April 2015:

IOA Scholarship Encourages Work of Kenyan Advocate

On April 7, 2014, the International Ombudsman Association introduced its 2014 International Scholarship Recipient: Daisy J. Mosse-Toigat.  The IOA International Committee selected Mosse-Toigat to receive the award based on an essay that outlined her interest in the Organizational Ombuds profession and plans to promote it in her area of the world.  The award paid for her travel and conference expenses.

April 07, 2014

IOA Honors Two Distinguished Retirees

IOA honored two of its own with the Distinguished Emeritus award at a luncheon today during its ninth annual conference.  The recipients were Marsha Wagner and Alan Lincoln.  

Denver Declares April 7, 2014: "Ombudsman Day"

The Mayor of the City and County of Denver, Michael B. Hancock, declared today to be "Ombudsman Day."  The announcement kicked off the first day of the IOA annual conference.  

April 03, 2014

Job Posting: AllianceBernstein

The global investment management firm is accepting applications for a permanent, part-time Ombudsman in New York.  The position, which reports to General Counsel, provides neutral, confidential, informal, and independent assistance to employees with work-related issues.  

ENOHE Publishes 2013 Conference Report

The European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education has published summaries of the presentations at it 2013 conference.  The papers presented reflected a diversity of experience.  Yet all authors agreed on the importance of a multi-skilled approach, and of the value of creativity, imagination and resilience.

April 02, 2014

IOA 2014 Conference Recap

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

Overview of Internal Dispute Programs at Intergovernmental Organizations

The Winter 2014 issue of ACResolution Magazine, the quarterly publication of the Association for Conflict Resolution, surveys the dispute mechanisms at the preeminent intergovernmental institutions: the International Monetary Fund; World Bank; United Nations; and International Labour Organization. 

April 01, 2014

Ombuds Offices Thrive in Colorado

Ombuds gather next week in Denver for the annual conference of the International Ombudsman Association.  The state is home to several leading Ombuds and many programs.