April 30, 2015

Forum of Canadian Ombudsman 2015 Essay Contest

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the first Ombuds role in Canada, FCO is has announced a writing competition with the winner receiving enrollment in the FCO/Osgoode ‘Ombuds Essentials’ course (in English, September 28 – October 2, 2015 in Toronto or in French in May 2016 in Montreal.

April 29, 2015

Registration Opens for 2015 FCO/Osgoode Ombuds Certificate Program

The Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and Osgoode Hall Law School at York University will offer their certification program, Essentials for Ombuds, September 28 - October 2, 2015 in downtown Toronto.  

University of Oregon Ombuds to Answer Questions On-line

UO Ombuds Bruce MacAllister has started an anonymous question and answer service for the UO community.  "Ask the O" is expected to run every week.  In addition to responding to the particulars of the query, his response also plugs the Ombuds Office as a resource.  (Ask the O.)

April 28, 2015

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente East Bay

KP Northern California is hiring a full-time Health Care Ombuds/Mediator for its Oakland and Richmond Medical Centers. 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." 

Montgomery College Ombuds Selected for AAA Fellowship

The American Arbitration Association has chosen Sarah Miller Espinosa, the Montgomery College Ombuds, for a one-year fellowship in alternative dispute resolution training, mentoring, and networking. The 2015 AAA Higginbotham Fellows Program will be hosted in New York during the week of May 4th in order to coincide with the AAA’s Annual Meeting.  

CERN Ombuds Publishes Workplace Respect Posters

Sudeshna Datta-Cockerill, the Ombudsperson for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has published a series of posters promoting a respectful workplace. The posters were inspired by contributions from CERN employees in response to the question: What does a respectful workplace mean for you? The first series of four posters are available now.  (CERN Ombuds.) 

April 27, 2015

Job Posting: Richland County School District

South Carolina’s fifth-largest school district, which serves more than 25,000 students around Columbia, is hiring an Ombudsman. Reporting directly to the District Superintendent, the position, "provides advice and assistance to parents, students, staff and the community in addressing their concerns and resolving school-

Students at University of Texas Seek Full-Time Ombuds

At its latest meeting, the Graduate Student Association at UT Austin introduced a new proposal to support funding a full-time Student Ombudsman. The UT Office of the Ombudsman, although 46 years old, has just one part-time Student Ombudsperson, Brittany Linton, and two part-time Assistant Student Ombudspersons for a student population of over 50,000.

Oslo and Akershus University Ombuds Begins Blogging

Earlier this year, Anita Tøien Johansen began blogging about her work as the first Studentombud for the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus, "HiOA"), Norway's largest public university.  She joins just a few other working Ombuds who write about the profession.

April 24, 2015

Job Posting: United Nations, Uganda

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services has opened a search for a Conflict Resolution Officer in Entebbe.  The position reports to the Regional Ombudsman and serves staff in Entebbe and with the UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, South Sudan, the border between these two countries and some other missions in the region.

University of South Florida Reopens Ombuds Office

After a two year closure, USF has repoened its Office of the Student Ombudsman with the appointment of Jennifer Schneider in February. Schneider, who had been an Adjunct Instructor in the USF in the College Student Affairs graduate program, will be the Ombuds for a student population of about 48,000.

April 22, 2015

IOA Announces Officers for 2015-16

On the last day of its tenth annual conference, the Board of the International Ombudsman Association announced the election of new officers.  The follwoing will serve terms through the next annual conference:

April 18, 2015

Job Posting: Transportation Security Administration

The TSA is seeking an Ombudsman Specialist for its Ombudsman Division in the Office of Civil Rights and Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement. The position "will apply the principles of confidentiality, neutrality, and impartiality to issues and concerns raised by internal and external customers." The full-time position is for an initial appointment of one year, but may become permanent. 

April 16, 2015

IOA 2015 Conference Recap

Here are links to prior Ombuds Blog posts about the International Ombudsman Association's tenth annual conference, which kicks off Sunday, April 19 at the Sheraton in downtown Atlanta:

April 15, 2015

International Ombudsman Association Publishes 2014 Annual Report

On the eve of its tenth annual conference, IOA has released a report on its activities in 2014.  In her forward, IOA President Anamaris Cousins Price said, the year was "filled with changes and transitions, reevaluations, commitments and, yes, progress!" The report also outlines IOA's strategic plans and the work of its several standing committees.

Duke Considers Moving Ombuds Office to IOA Standards

A task force of the Academic Council at Duke University has been evaluating the differences between its Faculty Ombuds program and those of other "top 20 universities."  The report concludes that Duke's "faculty ombudsperson program is unique," especially in light of the fact that virtually all of the comparison group adhered to IOA standards. 

ABA Announces Fellowship in Dispute Resolution

The American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution will support five young professionals as they embark on or advance a career in alternative dispute resolution. Although there is no stipend, each Fellow will receive significant benefits as part of the year-long program, including: 

April 14, 2015

Ombuds Offices Shine Near Atlanta

As Ombuds gather in Atlanta next week for the annual IOA conference, it's worth pointing out the many Ombuds offices within half a day's drive.  

April 13, 2015

George Mason University Appoints Ombuds

GMU has hired Fernando Caetano to serve as its next Ombudsman.  In this full-time postion, he works with about 37,000 faculty, staff, and student.  He started this week.

April 09, 2015

Dartmouth Appoints Ombuds

The private Ivy in New Hampshire has appointed Sean Nolon to serve as its next Ombudsperson. Nolon is a professor of law and director of the dispute resolution program at Vermont Law School.  “We are delighted to have Sean as our new ombudsman,” said Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon. Nolon will start May 4 and is expected to serve only college staff on a part-time basis.

April 08, 2015

Administrative Conference of the U.S. Issues RFP for Federal Ombuds Study

ACUS, the independent agency that promotes improvements in the efficiency, adequacy, and fairness of federal procedures, is seeking a consultant or consultants to undertake a research project that will study procedures and best practices related to the use of Ombuds. The completed study should include consideration: definitional issues; agency practices; legal parameters; and potential agency recommendations. 

University of Kentucky Reappoints Ombuds

The public university in Lexington has announced that law professor Michael P. Healy, will serve a second term as Academic Ombud. Healy's new term will begin July 1, 2015 and will continue through June 30, 2016. The Office of Academic Ombud Services at UK assisting 40,000 students and instructional staff with academic problems and conflicts. (UKLaw News.)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University Wrestles with Creation of Ombuds Program

The undergraduate school in British Columbia with about 20,000 students continues its efforts to establish an Ombuds office. Most recently, the Kwantlen Student Association put off plans to fund a position in light of budget cuts by the university. The KSA supports an Ombuds office, but not if it is the sole source for the estimated annual cost of $70,000 CDN. 

April 07, 2015

ABA Posts Video Featuring Eaton Ombuds

The American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution has posted a two-part video to YouTube of a presentation by Chuck Howard and Devyani Singh, Ombudsperson for Eaton.  Although there is no introduction or contextual notes, it appears that the video is from the ABA’s Asia Pacific International Mediation Summit held on February 12-15 in New Delhi, India.  (YouTubeABA Asia Pacific Int'l Mediation Conf Info.)

MIT Bestows Highest Staff Honor on Ombuds

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has given its 2015 Collier Medal to long-time Ombudsperson, Toni Robinson.  The medal is given in memory of MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, who was killed by the Boston Marathon bombing suspects in 2013.

April 02, 2015

Job Posting: Amherst College

The private, liberal arts college in Massachusetts is hiring an Ombudsperson. The part-time (10+ hours/week) position reports to the President and works with faculty and staff.  Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree; prior experience in academia is preferred.  No salary or deadline indicated.  (Amherst Jobs.)

Update: Additional Info Clarifies Chronicle of Philanthropy Article About Red Cross Ombuds

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has revised its report on the American Red Cross and its Corporate Ombudsman Office to clarify comments from Jennifer Moumneh.  In addition, the IOA Board of Directors submitted a lengthy comment.

University of Western Ontario Ombuds Calls for Centralized Academic Integrity Office

In her fifth annual report, UWO Ombudsperson, Jennifer Meister, says 509 individuals (466 students and 43 non-students) consulted her and Assistant Ombudsperson Anita Pouliot between August 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014 . The number of visitors represents about 2% of the student population.  

Cornell's Ombuds Office is a Confidential Resource for Sexual Assault Matters

In an interview in Cornell's campus newspaper, Judicial Administrator Mary Beth Grant explains that the Office of the University Ombudsman is a confidential resource for victims of sexual violence: