June 29, 2015

Task Force Recommends Reinstatement of Ombuds Program at Dalhousie University

A Report of the Task Force on Misogyny, Sexism and Homophobia in Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry released last Friday says the university "should consider establishing a fully funded ombudsperson office comparable to those at other Canadian universities."

June 26, 2015

University of Massachusetts Amherst Selects Ombuds

UMass Amherst has named Carol Booth as its next Campus Ombudsperson, starting July 26, 2015.  Booth has been serving as a senior staff attorney at the campus Student Legal Services Office for the past six years and taught as an adjunct instructor in the department of political science.

Job Posting: Southern New Hampshire University

The private, nonprofit, and nonsectarian university is hiring its first Ombudsman. The full-time position will work with all SNHU stakeholders, including 3,000 students on campus and 65,000 (!) online. Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree and four to seven years of experience. An advanced degree and relevant work experience are preferred. 

June 25, 2015

Job Posting: Georgia State University

The large public university in Atlanta is hiring a fill-time Associate Director for its Office of the Ombudsperson. The position will support the Director, Kelley Alexander, in providing conflict management services for GSU’s faculty, staff and students on four campuses. 

June 23, 2015

University of Toronto Appoints New Ombuds, Completes Review of Program

U of T has announced that Ellen Hodnett will serve a three-year term as the next University Ombudsperson, starting July 1, 2015. Hodnett’s appointment concluded a review of the Ombuds Office that began in October 2014. The review committee found that the U of T Ombuds Office was a responsive and effective resource for the impartial resolution of complaints and an invaluable source of highly credible advice on the improvement of the University’s policies, processes, and outcomes.

Blog Post Offers New Insights, Data on Effectiveness of Organizational Ombuds

In a guest post for the Ethical Systems Blog, John Zinsser has a fresh take on reasons why Ombuds build a more ethical culture than compliance systems alone.  The article draws on research by the Ethics Resource Center and Gallup, insights by Ben Franklin, and data from two Ombuds with multinational corporations. 

Meet the Ombuds at the University of Western Ontario

UWO has posted a video featuring Ombudsperson Jennifer Meister and Assistant Ombudsperson Anita Pouliot. They introduce themselves, explain their work with students, and and shows their office space.  The provide examples of they types of cases that come in and discuss the range of assistance.  (YouTube.)

June 22, 2015

Job Posting: Oklahoma State University

OSU has opened a search for a part-time Ombuds Officer. Reporting to the President, the Ombuds will work with nearly 30,000 faculty, staff, administrators, students and post-doctoral fellows over four campuses on an on-call basis.  It is not clear whether this search will replace or supplement the work of Ronald Beer, who was appointed the University Ombudsperson in 2013.

Maile G. Sagen: Former Ombuds at University of Iowa

Maile Sagen passed away on June 20, 2015. She served as an Ombudsperson at the University of Iowa from 1989 until her retirement in 2005. Sagen served on the University and College Ombuds Association Board of Directors for five years, and help craft UCOA's Standards of Practice and Statement of Ethics. She also served as the mentoring coordinator for UCOA, building the mentor program that continues with the International Ombudsman Association. In 2005, she was honored with the UI Distinguished Achievement Award.

Florida State University Names Ombuds

FSU has appointed Amber Wagner as its Ombuds for faculty and staff -- a population of about 12,000.  Wagner is an alumnus of the University and previously served as the State ADA Coordinator. (FSU Ombuds.)

June 19, 2015

University of Tromsø to Open Ombuds Office

The University of Tromsø (Universitetet i Tromsø), the world's northernmost university, will hire its first Student Ombuds by the fall semester. Daniel Hermansen, leader of the Student Parliament, said that his organization has been working on a plan for several years and that recent cooperation with the Norwegian Arctic student union made it possible. A search will begin soon. (UiT Khrono; UiT Studentparlamentet.)

Job Posting: University of Toronto

U of T is hiring a Manager for its Conflict Resolution Centre.  While not an Ombuds position per se (the University already has an Ombuds), the work is substantially similar. The manager will consult extensively with university stakeholders to develop and train a Graduate Peer Conflict Support Team for students with conflict concerns and to create other training/resources, all while maintaining a significant degree of confidentiality.  Job pays $66,036-$80,391 and applications are due June 18, 2015. (uToronto Careers.)

Navigating From Storm to Agreement

Check out John Zinsser's polished presentation from TEDxCharleston earlier this year.  While not explicitly about Organizational Ombuds, he provides an excellent perspective on the insight that can come from an Ombuds.  (3ptsfwd.)

June 18, 2015

University of Stavanger Opens Ombuds Office

The public university in southwestern Norway appointed its first Ombudsperson for Students (studentombud) in January 2015.  In the new position, Dennis Aske will provide independent and confidential assistance to a student body of about 10,100. This is the third University Ombuds program to be established in Norway in the past year.  

Corporate Secretary Magazine: Creating a Climate of Trust Using Ombuds

This month, the magazine for corporate secretaries, general counsel and governance professionals features an article about Organizational Ombuds.  "Ombuds programs: creating a culture of trust rather than compliance" explains why the Ombuds safe space may increase surfacing of misconduct because employees are increasingly wary of retaliation after whistleblowing.  

USOA 2015 Conference Agenda Set for Arizona

The United States Ombudsman Association's 36th annual conference will be held in Scottsdale, AZ October 14-16, preceded by two days of two days of training.  The theme is, "Ombudsmen: Confronting the Prickly Issues."

June 16, 2015

Job Posting: Algoma University

The public undergraduate university in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is hiring a part-time Ombudsperson. Funded the University and the Algoma University Student Union, the contracted position serves all members of the campus--a total population of about 1,500. The position is expected to maintain office hours of three to six hours a week. Few other details are available.

University of Arizona Appoints Experienced Ombuds

Martha McKee has been named the Ombuds Program Director at the University of Arizona. She will direct, coordinate, and train several campus volunteers (currently 17) who comprise  the UA Ombuds Program. McKee had been the Ombuds Stanford University School of Medicine from 1996 to 2007 and again from 2011 to 2014. (UA Ombuds.)

Fellowship Opportunity: D.C. Schools Ombuds

The Ombudsman for Public Education in Washington DC is accepting applications for its second 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.

June 15, 2015

Concordia Ombuds Releases 2014 Report, Announces New Associate Ombuds

Concordia's Ombudsperson Kristen Robillard reports that that her office handled 471 cases in 2013-14. As usual, students were the largest group of visitors with faculty, staff and other totaling less than 17%.  The report lists the nine outstanding recommendations made in past reports and adds three new ones.  In addition, Robillard reports that her office has moved to a new space that is much more safe, accessible, and confidential for visitors.

HiOA Ombuds Recaps ENOHE Conference

Anita Tøien Johansen, the Studentombud for the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, attended the 12th annual conference of the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education at the end of May in Innsbruck, Austria.  Her latest blog post provides an overview and several pictures.

June 09, 2015

Blog Post Explores Use of 'Ombudsman' in UK

In a blog post yesterday, researcher Margaret Doyle wrote about "the problematic matter of terminology in the use of the term ‘ombudsman’" -- an issue that came up early in her study of informal resolution approaches by Ombuds in the UK and Ireland. Her early review found both a wide range of terminology and a surprising question: "Why the ombuds community is so intent on engaging in both linguistic and conceptual acrobatics by insisting that ‘man’ does not mean ‘man’." 

June 08, 2015

Job Posting: Baylor College of Medicine

The highly ranked medical school and leading center for biomedical research center in Houston, TX has opened a search for its first director for the BCM Office of the Ombudsman. Reporting to the Provost, the position will assist staff, faculty, students, post docs and trainees at all levels.  (Previously, BCM had an Ombuds, Shelley Sazer, who reported to the Dean of the Graduate School and worked only with graduate students and postdocs.)

June 03, 2015

Job Posting: University of Calgary

UCalgary has opened a search for a Student Ombuds.  The full-time, regular position will report to a Vice-Provost and will respond to student-initiated complaints and grievances about the University.   Applicants must have at least three years of experience and a Bachelor's degree.  Applications are due June 15, 2015.  No salary indicated. (All-Acad.com.)

Columbia University Hires Second Ombuds

Columbia has named Michael Steinberg as its Associate Ombuds Officer.  Prior to his appointment, Steinberg was a mediator in private practice in New York City focusing on business and family disputes. Previous work experience included staff positions at the Harvard Mediation Program and as a Hearings Attorney for the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development Board of Review

University of North Dakota to Reopen Search

UND says that it will reopen the search for its first permanent Ombuds immediately.  Brett Harris, who was expected to start July 1, apparently "is now unable to fill this position." (UND uLetter.)

June 02, 2015

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco

KP Northern California is hiring a full-time Health Care Ombuds/Mediator for its South San Francisco Hospital. 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."