May 31, 2016

Ombuds Training to be Offered in Orange County

The International Ombudsman Association will offer two training programs for Organizational Ombuds in the seaside town of Newport Beach, CA on July 11-14.  

Experienced Ombuds Moves to University of California Davis

Katherine Greenwood, CO-OP, who has been an Ombuds at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver for the past two and a half years, has been appointed the new Campus Ombuds at UC Davis.  She takes over a program that was established by Susan Park in 2013.  

May 24, 2016

Job Posting: Halliburton

The Halliburton Dispute Resolution Program in Houston is hiring an Ombudsperson.  Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in sociology, psychology, or conflict resolution; and at least two years of experience in conflict resolution programs (including mediation and Organizational Ombuds work). Some travel is required. Four or more years of conflict resolution experience and management experience are preferred.

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente Southern California

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

May 20, 2016

West Virginia University Names First Ombuds

After a regional search, WVU has appointed Tom Patrick, a long-time law professor and trained mediator, as its first Faculty Ombudsman. WVU Provost Joyce McConnell said, “Tom stood out by virtue of both his experience with the ombudsman role and his passion for the work of an ombudsman.”

Coalition of Federal Ombuds Announces Executive Officers

According to recently posted minutes from its meeting in February 2016, COFO has elected officers for 2016-18:

Robert Wellman: Former University of Massachusetts Amherst Ombuds

Bob Wellman, a professor emeritus at UMass Amherst passed away May 8 at the age of 83.  He held a range of academic and administrative positions, and was named the campus’s third Ombudsman in 1976.  (UMass News.)

May 19, 2016

ENOHE Seeks Administrative Home for 2017

The European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education is looking for an organization to take on the job of running the secretariat.  For the past three years, this have been handled by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education.  ENOHE hopes to have an new arrangement in place by the end of 2016.

May 18, 2016

Ombuds at University of Pennsylvania Now a Confidential Resource for Title IX

According to a report from a faculty senate committee at UPenn, "the Office of the Ombudsman will be a confidential resource for the reporting of sexual violence and harassment by faculty." Ombudsman Lynn Lees and Associate Ombudsman Marcia Martínez-Helfman join nine other campus resources (including student counseling, EAP, chaplains, and student health), specifically exempted from the mandatory reporting requirements of Title IX and the Clery Act. 

Jail Reformers in Santa Clara, CA Seek IOA-Compliant Ombuds

An independent commission appointed by the Board of Supervisors in Santa Clara County California has recommended systemic changes for its troubled jail system. (A separate report had traced some of the problems to a lack of staffing, training, funding and a deeply divided work culture.) In particular, the Blue Ribbon Commission recommended the appointment five Organizational Ombuds to work with inmates, families, and staff as a supplement for external oversight and accountability programs.

May 17, 2016

Job Posting: Business Development Bank of Canada

The government-run bank headquartered in Montreal is hiring a part-time Ombudsman. The position handles about 150-250 cases a year from customers, employees and suppliers, and provides upward feedback to improve the operations of the bank. The BDC Ombuds reports to the bank president, CEO, and board of directors, and followins FCO and IOA standards of practice. 

Video Interview with Ombuds at University of South Florida

University of South Florida's Student Ombudsman, Jennifer Schneider, is featured in the latest episode of the online TV show, "USF Housing LIVE!" The piece includes a profile of Schneider in her office and live interview.  (YouTube USF Housing.)

May 16, 2016

Job Re-Posting: San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The American Indian tribe in California's Inland Empire continues its search for an Ombudsman. The full-time position is located in Highland and serve the tribe's 3,500 employees, most of whom work in a casino. 

New Ombuds at University of Oregon Will Have a New Office

UO has relocated its Ombuds Office to a new location on the edge of campus.  The University Ombuds and their staff will be the only occupants of small renovated bungalow.  Previously, the office was located in a state of the art building in the school of business.  Meanwhile, the search continues for the next permanent Ombuds. 

American University in Cairo Shutters Ombuds Office

After just five year, the independent and sectarian university in Egypt has decided to close its Ombuds Office.  The program was established in late 2011 by Hana Sabea and the latest Ombuds was Lamia Eid, who began in May 2013.  

May 13, 2016

Coalition of Federal Ombuds Offers Advice to National Archives on Disposition of NSA Ombuds Materials

In April, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration sought comment on the records disposition from a variety of Federal agencies, including the National Security Administration Ombudsman. Approval of a records disposition plan by NARA essentially guides the destruction and preservation of materials and the approved schedule is published in the Federal Register. This week COFO submitted a public comment supporting NARA's proposal to allow the routine destruction of Ombuds case "immediately after a case is closed."

Job Posting: Florida Gulf Coast University

The public university in Fort Myers has opened a search for its next Ombuds and Assistant to the President.  The position will serve all FGCU stakeholders, a population of about 16,000.  In addition to Ombuds duties, the position: "Supervises the support staff and the part-time faculty ombuds [and] Coordinates the professional development Grant-in-Aid program for FGCU faculty and staff [and] Acts as advisor in the resolution of informal disputes related to collective bargaining issues."

University of Alberta Ombuds Publishes Fairness Guide

The Office of the Student Ombuds at U of A has released a "Fairness in Communication: a Relational Fairness Guide" written by a student intern, Vernoica Kube.  The booklet introduces the fairness triangle developed by the Ombudsman Saskatchewan and focuses on the relational aspect.

May 11, 2016

Concordia University Ombuds Posts 2015 Report

Julie Boncompain, the Associate Ombudsperson at Concordia has published her annual report to the university's governing board for the 2014-15 academic year.  The report contains an overview of the 35-year history of the office, selected statistics, a summary of recommendations, and a review of progress made on recommendations made in previous reports. For the year, the Concordia Ombuds handled 427 student matters, a slight decline from the prior year.       

May 10, 2016

University of Texas Student Ombuds Releases Public Report

UT Student Ombuds, Brittany Linton, who leaves her post later this year, has made public the annual report from her office.  According the the "Impact Report," the UT Office of Student Ombuds was visited by 409 student during the 2014-15 academic year.  

May 09, 2016

Job Posting: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

FINRA, the non-governmental organization that regulates member brokerage firms and exchange markets, has opened a search for a Manager/Associate Director for its Office of the Ombudsman.  The position reports to Cindy Foster, VP and Ombudsperson, and provides confidential, neutral, and informal dispute resolution services to FINRA constituents.   

Simon Fraser University Ombuds Publishes 2015 Annual Report

SFU's Ombudsperson, Jay Solman, reports that 440 students sought his services in 2015, an increase of 47 cases from 2014. Solomon believes that the growing demand (cases have nearly doubled since 2009) is linked to a greater awareness of how the office helps students and an increase in the number of referrals to the office.  Over 80% of students were referred by someone else on campus.

May 06, 2016

Ombuds to Present at Colloquium on Abrasive Conduct in Higher Ed

The fourth annual Colloquium on Abrasive Conduct in Higher Education will once again feature an Ombuds speaker. Kirsi Aulin, the new Ombuds at the University Colorado, Boulder, will present a session on, "Abrasive Conduct Dilemmas: Promising Practices related to Gender/Transgender, Race, Reverse Discrimination and Topical Issues Causing Student Unrest." The event will take place on June 14–15, 2016 at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, CA. 

May 05, 2016

ACR 2016 Conference Includes Ombuds Workshop

The Association for Conflict Resolution has posted an agenda for its 2016 Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD on September 28-October 1. Continuing a trend over the past several years, the program includes several sessions by or about Ombuds. New this year is a one-day workshop for the Ombuds Section and details are forthcoming.

May 04, 2016

Ombuds Blog Now More Secure

The settings have changed for this blog. All visitors are now able to view the Ombuds Blog over an encrypted connection by visiting Existing links and bookmarks will continue to work.  The new HTTPS setting may work for readers at organizations that have previously blocked access because it was not an encrypted website.

Federal Court for Northern California to Continue Ombuds Program

Humboldt County blogger, John Chiv reports that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California will continue its Ombuds program indefinitely after a two-year trial.  The court Ombudsperson Program was established in April 2014 with the appointment of two retired judges, Fern M. Smith and James P. Kleinberg, who will continue in their roles.

May 03, 2016

Call for Submissions: 2016 Journal of Cal Caucus

The Journal of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds is seeking scholarly articles for its 2016 edition. Articles should be focused the varied aspects of Ombuds work in academia, The Journal publishes original theoretical and empirical articles dealing with national and international issues, case studies, op-eds, conference session abstracts, and book reviews.

May 02, 2016

Job Posting: Georgia State University (Associate Director)

The large public university in Atlanta has reopened its search for an Associate Director for its Office of the Ombudsperson.  The postion will collaborate with the Director (Kelley Alexander), Coordinator, and Campus Conflict Resolution Committee to provide conflict management services for GSU’s faculty, staff and students on four campuses -- a total population of about 50,000.

Job Posting: Georgia State University (Assistant Ombuds)

The GSU Office of the Ombudsperson is hiring a full-time Assistant Ombudsperson.  The primary responsibility of the postion is providing conflict management services for over 32,0000 students on four campuses.  In addition, the Assistant Ombuds will manage Graduate Research Assistants, student assistants, and interns; assists with tasks related to the Annual Conflict Resolution Symposium; and performs other administrative duties.

Internship: United Nations, New York

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is has extended the application period for a full-time, two-month, unpaid internship in its New York offices.  The position supports UNOMS Mediation Services; helps identify systemic issues; supports outreach and advocacy efforts; and helps prepare data and reports.

Ombuds at University of North Carolina Reflects on Teaching in South Africa

UNC Ombuds Wayne Blair is profiled in the campus publication on global activities.  In addition to the history of his office, Blair talked about teaching IOA courses in South Africa last year: