October 29, 2014

Striking Faculty at General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church Seek an Ombuds

For the past month, eight out of ten full-time faculty members at the Episcopal seminary in New York City have refused to teach, alleging pattern of harassment and bullying behavior by the school's dean, Kurt Dunkle. The GTS trustees subsequently deemed the striking faculty ("The GTS 8") to have resigned on September 29. Negotiations between the two sides reached an impasse last week when the faculty group called for the appointment of an Organizational Ombuds.

October 23, 2014

U.S. Olympic Committee Appoints Next Ombuds

The USOC has announced that Kathleen (Kacie) Wallace will be its new Athlete Ombudsman.  She succeeds John Ruger, who established the program in 1999, and joins Sara Clark, Athlete Ombudsman Specialist, who was hired earlier this year.  Sarah  Konrad, chair of the Athletes' Advisory Council said, "Kacie is a world-class attorney and mediator, and committed to doing right by the athletes. We couldn't have found a better fit."

Job Posting; United Nations, Chile

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services has opened a search for a Regional Ombudsman in Santiago, Chile.  The position will head the regional branch, reporting directly to the Chief of Office of UNOMS and provide services to UN staff in the region and others as assigned.

October 21, 2014

Job Posting: East Carolina University

The public university in Greenville, North Carolina is hiring a Director of Conflict Resolution and Mediation Programs.  Reporting to an Associate Provost, the position will provide leadership and oversight of the informal resolution strategies, programs, and resources for faculty and staff, including student workers.

October 20, 2014

Job Posting: Prince George's County Public Schools

The large school district in Maryland has reopened the search for an Ombudsman.  The job description, qualifications, and pay range have been revised significantly from the prior search in May.  

October 17, 2014

Webinar to Feature Ombuds from University of Denver and University of Connecticut

The alternative dispute resolution portal will host a webinar on the evening of October 23 on, "Peer Case Consultation: an Approach to Professional Development."  The  presenters will be Jenna Brown, the Ombuds at the University of Denver, and Jim Wohl is the Ombuds at the University of Connecticut.  

Meet Columbia's Ombuds

Seven months ago, the private research university in New York City appointed Joan C. Waters as University Ombuds, only the second person to hold the position.  She told the Columbia Spectator that Waters said that she’s already seen 175 visitors, one-third of which have visited the office more than three times.

October 16, 2014

Job Posting: Medical College of Wisconsin

The private medical and graduate school in Milwaukee is hiring its next Ombuds. The 20%-time position reports to the president and will serve as a resource for faculty, staff and 1,300 students. Applicants must have a terminal degree and seven years of related professional experience (experience in conflict resolution and mediation preferred), and must complete IOA’s Ombuds Foundations course within the first year.  

UC Davis Expands Ombuds Office

 The University of California in Davis has hired Rita Callahan to serve as an Associate Ombudsperson.  She joins Director Susan Kee-Young Park, who opened the Ombuds Office and has been serving the campus single-handedly since April 2013.  Callahan started on October 15.

October 15, 2014

Volunteer Opportunity: Mediators Beyond Borders International

The international non-profit is seeking applicants to open an Office of the Ombudsperson.  At least two part-time, volunteer Ombuds will work with MBB staff and volunteers worldwide. The organization has already created a Charter and the program will follow IOA Standards of Practice.

October 14, 2014

Ombuds Certification Board Sets New Informational Conference Call

The Board of Certification for Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioners has reset its teleconference information session to Thursday, October 16 from 11 am - 12:00 pm Pacific (2:00 - 3:00 pm Eastern) after a problem arose during the October 9 call. In addition, the deadline to register for the November qualifying exam has been extended to October 22, 2014.

UC Berkeley Staff Ombuds Releases 2014 Biennial Report

Sara Thacker, Director of the Staff Ombuds Office at Berkeley, said that
respect and civility continued to top the list of concerns for the 535 staff visitors to her office in 2012-14.  Moreover, cases from employee with concerns about job/role clarity and work styles increased significantly.  

October 13, 2014

IOA Seeks Nominations for 2015 Board of Directors

The International Ombudsman Association is inviting member nominations for its governing board.  For the IOA Board term starting in April 2015, there will be six Director positions open. Both Associate Member Representative positions are currently filled and neither term will expire this year.

October 10, 2014

Job Posting: Pfizer, China

The global pharmaceutical company is hiring a Regional Ombudsman Director for its Asia operations.  The position reports to the company's Chief Ombudsman, Tim Shore; and is based in Beijing.

Dartmouth to Reopen Ombuds Office After Retirement

The Ombuds office at the private Ivy League college in New Hampshire has been closed since June, when the first Ombudsperson, Mary Childers retired. Childers opened the office in 2007 and began initially in a part-time capacity. According to an article in the campus newsletter, the College is forming a committee to conduct a six- to nine-month search. 

Updated Sexual Misconduct Policies at UC Irvine Assert Ombuds' Confidentiality

The Orange County campus of the University of California has revised its policies and procedures for reporting and responding to sex offenses.  The new policies make it clear that the UCI Office of the Ombudsman is a confidential resource.

October 08, 2014

Cal Caucus Invites Nominations for 2014 Awards

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds is soliciting nominations for awards to be given during its meeting at Asilomar in Pacific Grove on November 16–19. Each year, CCCUO publicly acknowledges individuals who have distinguished themselves through outstanding and noteworthy contributions to the Ombuds field, within Cal Caucus and the profession at large.

Iowa State University Ombuds Reports That Cases Have Doubled

ISU Ombuds Officer Elaine Newell told a university committee that, "Business is booming."  According to an article in the campus newspaper, Newell said about 600 new clients have visited her office since 2008.  Moreover, over the last quarter she has seen business double. 

October 07, 2014

North Dakota State University Establishes Ombuds Office

The North Dakota's largest university has appointed Kristine Paranica to serve as its first Ombudsperson.  Paranica will work with NDSU faculty and others working in academic affairs including graduate research assistants.  She is working out of a temporary  location while an Ombuds office is being built in the campus library.

Ombuds Certification Exam Set for November 2014

The Board of Certification for Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioners will administer its next qualifying exam November 10-20, 2014. Passing the exam is a necessary step in obtaining certification as a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner® (CO-OP®). The registration window for candidates wishing to take the exam is now open and an early bird rate is available until October 15.

Bill Would Create Staff Ombuds at U.S. Department of Veterans Administration

Proposed legislation to improve management and accountability within the Veterans Health Administration at the VA would establish an "Management and Accountability Ombudsman." The pilot program described by H.R. 5618 has aspects of being an Organizational Ombuds and Classical Ombuds. The proposed VA Ombuds would report the the Secretary and respond to employee concerns, but also conduct investigations.

October 03, 2014

Job Posting: Department of the Interior

The Interior's Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution is hiring an Organizational Ombudsman in Arlington, VA. The position reports to the Director of the CADR office and supports the full range of conflict management and dispute resolution services for the Department. The two-year position is open to any applicants, regardless of Federal status. 

Job Posting: University of the Pacific

UOP has decided to open the search for its first Ombudsperson to external candidates.  The full-time position will work with over 8,000 faculty, staff and students at eight school on three campuses (Stockton, San Francisco and Sacramento).  

Virginia Commonwealth University Ombuds Sponsors National Conflict Resolution Day Event

VCU's new Ombudsperson, William E. King will host a morning conference on October 16 to mark the annual National Conflict Resolution Day.  The event will be highlighted with a keynote presentation by Toni Robinson, the MIT Ombuds.  

University of Louisville Ombuds Posts 2013 Annual Report

Tony Belak, the Ombuds for UofL, says that he consulted with 70 individuals during the 2012-13 academic year and provided 16 teaching or training programs for the university.  Belak also announced two initiatives to promote mediation and workplace relationship skills. (UofL Ombuds Report.)

October 02, 2014

University of Calgary Ombuds Publishes Annual Report

In a report released last week, UCalgary Ombuds Duncan W. McDonald said that his office dealt with 326 undergraduate cases and 64 graduate cases last year.  The beautiful report presents three exemplary cases to illustrate the work of the Ombuds summarizes the Ombuds' recommendations to the university.  (UCalgary Ombuds Report; The Gauntlet.)

Kennesaw State Reorganizes Ombuds Program, Downgrades Student Ombuds

As KSU completes its merger with nearby Southern Polytechnic State University, President President Daniel Papp announced the restructing of this Ombuds Office.  There is now an Ombuds on each campus for students and one for staff and faculty. 

Queen Margaret University Offers Master's Degree in Dispute Resolution

The university near Edinburgh, Scotland has announced the a new masters degree qualification for professional complaint handlers. QMU’s Consumer Insight Centre developed the MSc course after a long collaboration with the Ombudsman Association and the International Ombudsman Institute.

October 01, 2014

Job Posting: Columbia University

The private, Ivy League, research university in New York City has opened a search for an Associate University Ombuds Officer. The position works with the University Ombuds, Joan C. Waters, to provide services to nearly 60,000 faculty, staff and students.

Interagency Alternative Dispute Resolution Working Group Launches Newsletter

On September 15, 2014, the group that promotes ADR within the U.S. government, published the first issue of a newsletter, Resolving Conflict. Victor Voloshin, IADRWG Steering Committee Chair explained that the inaugural newsletter gives some background about the IADRWG and provides a historic perspective on the development of the Federal ADR. It also features some of the current ADR programs within Federal agencies. 

University of the Pacific Opens Internal Search for First Ombuds

The private university in Stockton, California has appointed a search committee to evaluate internal candidates for its first Ombudsperson.  In addition, UOP has decided that the position, which will work with faculty, staff and students on three campuses, should be full time rather than part time as initially proposed last year.  No other details of the search have been made public.  (UOP News.)