February 02, 2016

Job Posting: Life University

The small private university in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta is hiring an Ombudsman/Employee Relations Officer. The position "is responsible for coordinating the investigation and resolution of internal complaints including but not limited to discrimination, sexual harassment, employee misconduct, Title IX, mediation requests, or requests for accommodations" -- so a combination of confidential-informal-neutral duties and investigatory-formal-aligned duties

Applicants must have a master's degree in Human Resources or a related field, and at least five years relevant work experience. A law degree, three years of experience as a mediator or Ombudsman, experience in higher education, and Professional Human Resource or Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification are all preferred qualifications. (HigherEdJobs.)

It appears that the university has combined two positions.  The prior Ombuds did not have the formal duties.

Related posts: Job Posting; Meet the Ombuds at Life University.

Update 3/15/16: A revised posting has dropped "Ombudsman" from the job description.  (Life U Posting.)


  1. Thanks Tom. So is it fairly clear that the position wouldn't comport with IOA standards?

    1. As written, the job seems to involve two very different roles. I don't see how stakeholders wouldn't be confused about how the person might handle certain types of information. In particular, the job would seem to violate the following IOA Standards of Practice: 1.2 ("The Ombudsman holds no other position within the organization which might compromise independence."); 2.3 ("The Ombudsman should not ... be structurally affiliated with any compliance function of the organization."); 2.4 ("The Ombudsman serves in no additional role within the organization which would compromise the Ombudsman’ neutrality. The Ombudsman should not be aligned
      with any formal or informal associations within the organization in a way that might create actual or perceived conflicts of interest for the Ombudsman."); 3.8 ("Communications made to the ombudsman are not notice to the organization."); 4.3 ("The Ombudsman does not make binding decisions, mandate policies, or formally adjudicate issues for the organization."; and 4.5 ("The Ombudsman does not participate in any formal investigative or adjudicative procedures. Formal investigations should be conducted by others.")