December 30, 2015

The 2015 Ombuds Blog Annual Top Ten List, Part IV

The fifth annual survey of the top Organizational Ombuds stories concludes with the final three entries.

3. University of California Shields Ombuds in Title IX Matters -- For several years, Ombuds in American higher education have wrestled with the evolving rules and regulations surrounding sexual misconduct.  Many worried that new standards would strip Ombuds of their ability to offer confidential consultations.  Although a few institutions declared all employees to be agents of notice (and thus not confidential), including Ombuds, the trend began to shift in favor of protecting Ombuds.  In July, the huge, ten-campus UC system revised its sexual misconduct policies and specifically protected the confidentiality of disclosures made to any of its Ombuds.  This may lead other universities to follow suit.

2. Canadian Academic Ombuds Publish Guide to Fairness --  The concept of fairness as central concern is one of the salient differences between most Canadian and most U.S.-based Ombuds programs. In May, the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons published a new collection of information from its members: "Fairness is Everyone’s Concern: A Sampling of Practices and Resources on Cultivating Fairness." This new guide is an important resource for any Ombuds seeking insights on this issue. It is also the latest effort by ACCUO to document and explain Ombuds practices.

1. Realtors Go All In On Ombuds Scheme -- After a few years of local success, the National Association of REALTORS® decided that all of its state and local associations must have Ombudsman programs in place by January 1, 2016.   With one fell swoop, there are now hundreds of new Ombuds practicing across the U.S. However and despite the similarities between the NAR Ombuds and IOA models (both are informal, impartial, confidential) closely tracked the IOA Code of Ethics, there has been no collaboration between the two organizations. Moreover, most Realtor Ombudsmen are not trained by, or are members of, IOA. It's almost as if the NAR and IOA are deliberately ignoring each other.

Related posts: The 2015 Ombuds Blog Annual Top Ten List, Part I;  The 2015 Ombuds Blog Annual Top Ten List, Part IIThe 2015 Ombuds Blog Annual Top Ten List, Part III.

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