January 26, 2015

Job Posting: Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education's Alternative Dispute Resolution Center is hiring an Ombudsman. The incumbent practices to IOA standards and serves as an Ombuds for staff with employment disputes before the formal complaint stage. The GS-14 position pays $106,263 to $138,136 per year. Applications are due February 6, 2015. (USA Jobs.)

CPR 2015 Annual Meeting in San Diego Will Feature Panel of Ombuds

The next meeting of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution will include a panel session on Ombuds.  The conference is set for February 19-21 at The Lodge at Torrey Pines.

January 14, 2015

Oslo and Akershus University College Names First Ombuds

Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus, "HiOA"), Norway's largest public university has appointed its first Studentombud: Anita Tøien Johansen. She will serve a student population of more than 16,000 for an initial appointment of two years and reports to HiOA's head of internal auditing

Konflikt Dynamik: Insights on the Creation of an Ombuds Program at Petrom

The latest issue of Konflikt Dynamik, a German language magazine dedicated to the study of organizational conflict, includes an article about the Ombuds program at the largest gas and oil producer in Eastern Europe. The authors, Daniel-Remus Laes, Livia Dumitrescu, Ioana Laes-Ichim, were part of the team that set up the "PetrOmbudsman" office in 2013. 

University of Connecticut Ombuds Posts First Annual Report

UConn Ombuds Jim Wohl says that 214 visitors brought a total of 1301 issues to his office in 2013-14, the first full academic year of operations. Wohl explained that the usage rate for employees was 3.5%, while the graduate student usage rate was 0.4%. 

January 13, 2015

Cal State San Bernardino Appoints New Ombuds, Removes Title IX Duties

CSUSB has appointed Milton Clark to serve as its next Ombuds Director.  At the same time, the university removed responsibility for gender equity issues from the Ombuds role with the addition of a new, separate Title IX office.  (The first CSUSB Ombuds, Tera Bisbee, was the "Director of Ombuds and Gender Equity.")  

FCO/ACCUO Extends Deadline for 2015 Conference Proposals

The deadline to submit proposals for the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons biennial Conference has been extended to January 23. Additional proposals will round out an exciting preliminary agenda

January 12, 2015

Texas Representative Renews Call for Upgraded TSA Ombuds Program

On the first day of the new Congress, U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) sponsored two new bills relating to Ombuds programs within the Transportation Security Administration.  HR 80 would allocate funds for a revised and expanded TSA Organizational Ombudsman program.  HR 81 would create an Ombudsman for the Federal Air Marshall Service.  

Update: Ontario Ombudsman Says He May Second-Guess University Ombuds

Last December, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario granted new oversight powers to the Ontario Ombudsman, including universities.  When the Ontario Ombudsman, André Marin said he was eager to flex his new legislative muscles, some wondered whether this could affect existing Ombuds programs at universities newly under his purview.  In an editorial in the Toronto Sun, Marin said that existing University Ombuds programs would not be a deterrent to an investigation.

January 07, 2015

Fellowship Opportunity: D.C. Schools Ombuds

The Ombudsman for Public Education in Washington DC is accepting applications for its first cohort of fellows.  The Ombudsman Fellows will "work directly with families, learn about the education system in DC, learn about conflict resolution, develop creative problem solving skills, and develop expertise on issues including special education, student discipline, truancy, and bullying prevention."  The part-time, year-long fellowship offers academic credit or a stipend.

January 06, 2015

Job Re-Posting: University of California Office of the President

The University of California has reopened its search for an Ombudsperson to serve about 1,500 staff members in Oakland and throughout California. The changes in the posting are inconsequential. This is still a 40%-time position.  Applicants must have a bachelors degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training, with at least eight years of Ombuds experience working in an academic environment strongly prefered

Austrian Student Ombuds Issues Second Annual Report

In December, Josef Leidenfrost, the Austrian Student Ombudsman,  submitted his second annual to the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy, and Parliament.  The report said the the Austrian Student Ombudsman resolved 77% of the 606 cases directly with the party submitting the case, an increase of 20% from the prior year.  Men comprised 47% of cases and women 53%.

January 02, 2015

Your Turn: What Was the Ombuds Story of the 2014?

Dear Readers:
What do you think was most important story about Organizational Ombuds in 2014? Choose your top three stories in the poll in the right hand column or comment on this post.  I'll publish the results.

Here's a recap of my top ten: