March 29, 2016

Job Posting: U.S. Department of State

The Office of the Ombudsman at the State Department will hire a "few" Human Resource Specialists to work on an intermittent, temporary basis for up to a year.  The jobs are only open to current federal employees ("ICTAP and CTAP Eligibles") near DC with a Top Secret clearance.  The duties are essentially those of Ombuds. Some travel may be required.

March 28, 2016

Job Posting: Montgomery College

The community college just outside Washington, D.C. has opened a search for a full-time Ombuds.  The position reports to the College President, follows IOA standards, and serves employees.  Previously, the MC Ombuds was a part-time position and was held by Sarah Miller Espinosa.

Colorado State University to Appoint First Faculty Ombuds

The public research university in Fort Collins has opened a search for its first Faculty Ombuds. The new position is a one-quarter time appointment and reports to the Director of the Office of the Ombuds and Employee Assistance Program, Lanai Greenhalgh. Applicants must be a tenured CSU faculty member (current or retired) with extensive higher education experience. 

March 25, 2016

Job Posting: University of California Berkeley

The Staff Ombuds Office at Berkeley is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson.  The search will fill a position held by Michele Bernal since about 1997.  The position reports to Director, Sara Thacker, and works with Associate Ombuds, Lauren Bloom, to provide conflict resolution and problem-solving services for all Staff, Non-Senate Academics, and Faculty.

Job Posting: Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA

The national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of people involved in the sex trade is hiring its first Ombudsman. As currently described, the part-time position will help implement and fine-tune national and chapter grievance policies, and listen to concerns from stakeholders. The position pays $20 per hour and applications are due April 10. 

Syracuse University Faculty Committee Joins Effort to Create Ombuds Office

At Syracuse, the Senate Committee on Women’s Concerns is the latest group to call for the appointment of an Ombuds.  Since 2007, similar recommendations have come from a Chancellor’s Workgroup on Diversity and Inclusion, the Graduate Student Organization, the Committee on Academic Integrity, and the Academic Strategic Plan’s Student and Faculty-Centered Operations Working Group 

University of North Carolina at Charlotte to Search for Faculty Ombuds

The University of North Carolina is seeking internal nominations for the combined Position of Faculty Ombuds and University Mediation Coordinator. The part-time, three-year renewable appointment is open only to senior and tenured members of the UNCC faculty. The current Ombuds, Bruce Auerbach, has been in the position for since the office opened four years ago. (UNCC Provost News.)

Sexual Harassment Claim Against ICANN Draws in Ombuds

After an incident at a recent public meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a complainant and respondent have both sought assistance from the organization's Ombudsman. A woman attending ICANN meeting in Morocco on March 6 has claimed that she was sexually harassed by a male participant from the private sector constituency. Since ICANN does not have a formal redressal system for sexual harassment, the woman complained to ICANN's Ombuds, Chris LeHatte.

March 23, 2016

Annual Report Recaps Year of Transitions for Ombuds at University of Calgary

The 2014-15 academic year was significant for the Ombuds program at UCalgary.  The office finally settled in a permanent location after months of temporary moving;  Kevin Wiens was named the new Ombuds; the shared funding with student groups was abandoned and the university took sole responsibility; the office was realigned with the vice-provost for student experience; the office was renamed the ‘Student Ombuds Office’; and an advisory committee was overhauled.

March 22, 2016

Journal of IOA Publishes Volume 9

The first issue of JIOA's ninth year includes a diverse collection of articles about Ombuds practice and professionalism.  Editors Howard Gadlin and Samantha Levine-Finley write: "For a long time it felt as if ombuds spent more time talking about being ombuds then they spent ombudsing. ... Now our discussions are beginning to change, expand and deepen."

Job Posting: United Nations

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is hiring a Chief of Service.  Stationed in New York City, the position will report to the UN Ombuds, John Barkat, manage the UNOMS office, and serve as an Ombuds.

Profile of Ombuds at University of Central Florida

The Orlando Sentinel has published a short profile of UCF Ombuds, Shreya Trivedi.  The article reveals that Trivedi handles nearly 700 cases a year and has "quietly influenced campus life" since she was hired five years ago.

March 21, 2016

Job Posting: Naval Medical Command

The Navy Hospital Camp Pendleton is hiring a Special Assistant for Health Care Resolutions. The position is designated "to address the most, and/or sensitive patient care issues raised by hospital staff and/or our patients/family members during the patient care experience." The job is analogous to an Organizational Ombuds for a health care system. For example, applicants must have experience: 

Ombuds at University of Oslo Posts Third Annual Report

UiO's Student Ombud, Marianne Høva Rustberggard, and her new executive officer, Mari Skogheim Møst, report that they received 272 inquiries in 2015, a 27% increase from 2014 and a 69% increase from 2013.   The report also distinguishes, for the first time, between cases in which the intervention was restricted to independent assistance and cases where direct involvement was deemed necessary.

March 18, 2016

Updated Regulations Could Boost Number of California Ombuds

Revised anti-discrimination and anti-harassment regulations issued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing will require employers to implement complaint mechanisms that could be satisfied by the appointment of an Ombuds. 

Ombudsman for Universities in England and Wales Reflects on 8 Years of Progress

As Rob Behrens prepares to step down from his post as the Chief Executive of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, he is looking back on the significant progress his agency has made since 2008. When he took office, many English and Welsh universities were skeptical about the need for an Ombudsman to hear student grievances and feared a loss of academic indepedence. Behrens tells Times Higher Education that he believes the doubters have been won over.

March 16, 2016

Job Posting: Savannah State University

The HBCU in Georgia is hiring a University Ombudsperson.  The part-time position serves faculty, staff, and students -- a total population of over 6,000.  The search will fill a position currently held by Danon Holmes.

Fundraiser Aims to Provide Care for Ailing Oberlin Ombuds

Friends of the former Oberlin College Ombuds, Yeworkwha Belachew, have launched a effort to crowdfund her home care.  YB, as she is known at the private liberal arts college in Ohio, retired in October 2015 after over a decade as the first campus Ombuds and head of a social justice center.  

March 15, 2016

Job Posting: National Institutes of Health (Limited Appointment)

The NIH Office of the Ombudsman will hire a current Federal employee for a full-time, four-month position, with a potential for renewal. The employee may then return to their prior position with a Federal agency. this may be a reimbursable opportunity at the applicant's grade (GS-12, 13 or 14 level).

Meet Up With NorthWest Ombuds Group Spring 2016

NWOG, the informal group of Ombuds in the U.S. northwest and Canada's western provinces, is planning a no-host happy hour and dinner at a Seattle restaurant. "This is an informal opportunity to meet with your NWOG colleagues during the 2016 IOA Conference in Seattle. All NWOG members (attending IOA or not) are welcome." A survey is being used to develop the date and location. (NWOG Upcoming Events.) 

March 14, 2016

IOA Webinar: the Ombuds and Corporate Social Responsibility

The International Ombudsman Association will offer a webinar on "Ombuds Office and its Impact on a Corporation's Social Responsibility Program." The session will be presented by Bonnie Bonnivier, CO-OP and Ombuds with Baker Hughes. The program takes place on Tuesday, March 31, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Central Time and also will be available as a recording. The cost is $100 for IOA members and $125 for nonmembers.

USOA Seeks Proposals for 2016 Conference

The United States Ombudsman Association is seeking session presenters interested in sharing their subject matter expertise relevant to the Public Sector Ombudsman profession at its annual conference on October 19-21, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia.  The USOA Conference and Planning Committee explains:

March 10, 2016

University of Windsor Appoints First Student Ombuds

Kris McInnis has been named as the First Student Ombudsman at the university in Ontario. A paralegal and mediator, McInnis had been a Judicial Affairs & Hearings Officer at Windsor for the past five years. As the first Ombuds, she will serve 16,000 students with academic and some non-academic issues on a part-time basis for one year.

March 09, 2016

Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Offers Training at Université de Sherbrooke

The Essentials for Ombuds program will be offered in French at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec on May 30-June 2, 2016. The intensive five-day, certificate course was developed by the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and the Law Faculty of the University of Sherbrooke in collaboration with Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. 

March 07, 2016

Job Posting: UC San Diego

The University of California's southernmost campus has finally opened a search for its next permanent Ombuds. The Campus Ombudsperson "provide[s] confidential and informal assistance to faculty, staff and students, including employees of UCSD Health Sciences" and now, "reports in to Ethics and Compliance." The search will fill a position held by John Armijo since April 2014 when the former Ombuds, Judy Bruner, became UCSD's Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer.

Why Have Hawaiian Legislators Snubbed IOA in University Ombuds Bill?

Last week, fifteen state legislators have introduced a bill urging the University of Hawai'i system to establish an Ombuds program for its faculty, staff, and 55,000 students.  Despite widespread support for an Ombuds at UH, the legislators seem to have deliberately ignored the prevailing guidance offered by the International Ombudsman Association. 

University of Western Ontario Ombuds Issues 2015 Annual Report

UWO Ombudsperson Jennifer Meister and Assistant Ombudsperson Anita Pouliot report that they received 591 student concerns during the 2014-15 academic.  This represented 1.56% of the total student base and reflected a gradual increase in usage over the past five years, from 1.2% in 2010-11.

International Ombudsman Association Seeks Volunteers

IOA is asking its members to volunteer for its Communications Committee, Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner program, Volunteer Coordination committee.  The announcement from IOA below.

March 04, 2016

Job Posting: University of Oregon

UO is seeking applications for its next University Ombudsperson. Reporting to the President’s Office, the Ombuds assists students, faculty, staff, and administrators. The search will fill the vacancy left by UO's first Ombuds, Bruce MacAllister, who founded the program in early 2014. Associate Professor Jennifer Reynolds is currently serving as Interim Ombuds and it is expected that the permanent Ombuds will be appointed in May.

Internship: U.S. Department of Agriculture

The USDA Office of the Ombudsperson is seeking a Volunteer Intern, part- or full-time for two to four months. The internship offers an excellent exposure to a growing Ombuds program and the chance to acquire significant experience working with USDA Ombuds, Joanne Dea.

Arizona Ombuds Group Sets 2016 Biannual Meeting

The Arizona Ombuds Group is pleased to announce that it will meet on Thursday, March 24th for its biannual meeting. The meeting agenda includes a presentation on “Secrets to Successful Conflict Resolution” by well renowned mediator Amy Lieberman and a foundational, interactive session introducing attendees to the powerful True Colors concepts, a model for understanding yourself and others based on your personality temperament. 

National Government Ethics Summit Will Feature Ombuds

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics will host the 2016 National Government Ethics Summit in Washington, D.C., March 8-10, 2016. One of the many panels will feature two prominent Ombuds on the topic, "Partnering with other Offices to Create an Organizational Culture of Integrity." 

March 03, 2016

U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Publishes 2015 Ombuds Report

Scott Deyo, the NGA Ombudsman, reports that his office had a substantial increase in visitors for the fourth consecutive year: from 2011 to 2015, the annual number of cases increased from 100 to 803. In addition to qualitative and quantitative summaries about his visitors and cases, the report also details organizational changes that better aligned the office with IOA Standards.

Ombuds Certification Exam to be Offered April 2016

The Board of Certification for Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioners will administer its next qualifying exam April 8-16, 2016. Passing the exam is a necessary step in obtaining certification as a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner® (CO-OP®). The registration window for candidates wishing to take the exam closes april 1.

Settlement Requires New York School District to Appoint Ombuds

The Westbury School District on Long Island has settled a lawsuit filed by the State Attorney General alleging discrimination against undocumented students.  The remedial measure imposed on the District include the appointment of an Ombudsman, "who will provide new internal oversight over enrollment and academic placement policies within the district." 

March 02, 2016

Brandeis University Names Interim Ombuds

Fulfilling her promise to student protesters, Interim University President Lisa M. Lynch has appointed three Ombuds to work with undergraduate and graduate students through the Spring semester. All three are staff members and have attended IOA training: Erika Smith, Elena Lewis, and Brian Koslowski.

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente Southern California

KP Southern California is hiring a full-time Health Care Ombuds/Mediator for its medical facilities in Fontana and Ontario.  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."

March 01, 2016

University of British Columbia Okanagan Shutters Ombuds Office

According to a student newspaper, UBCO has closed the Ombuds Office it opened three years ago.  The university recently opened a search for a new Ombuds to replace Maria Mazzotta who established the position in 2013. Although the Ombuds office had handled nearly 150 matters in the past two year and had positive feedback from students, the decision to closed the office was made for financial reasons. 

Milwaukee Bar Association Offers Seminar on Ombuds

On May 11, 2016, Natalie Fleury will give an overview of the Ombuds field as part of an ADR program offered by the Milwaukee Bar. Fleury is Program Coordinator for Dispute Resolution at Marquette University Law School and has been the Ombuds for the Medical College of Wisconsin since April 2015. Here's the blurb for her program:

Faculty Senate at University of North Carolina at Greensboro Endorses Ombuds Proposal

Earlier this month, the faculty senate at the fifth largest institution in the UNC System adopted a resolution to recommend the creation of an Ombuds office for students, staff, faculty, and administrators (a total population of about 20,000). On February 3, a working group submitted a well-researched and detailed proposal that included information obtained from Wayne Blair, the Ombuds at UNC Chapel Hill. The proposal was adopted without opposition.