June 24, 2016

Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada Seeks Input on Ombuds

The federally funded not-for-profit that provides ADR services to the Canadian sports community has launched a survey on the Ombuds concept. The study comes out of an SDRCC working committee appointed to “engage in a consultative process to clarify needs and expectations of the sport community with regards to an eventual Ombuds Program, to formulate recommendations pertaining to the scope of service of an Ombuds Program and to evaluate the resources required to establish such program.” 

June 22, 2016

Job Posting: UC Santa Barbara

The fifth largest University of California campus is hiring an Associate Ombuds.  The full-time position works with students, faculty, and staff and reports to the recently appointed Campus Ombuds and Director, Caroline Adams.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to Create Internal Ombuds Program

The USPTO has opened a search for a Senior Ombudsman--its first Organizational Ombuds.  The position will, "design, develop, and implement the USPTO-wide ombudsman program, to including conducting research; identifying issues, goals, scope, and constituencies impacted; and planning for program implementation, training, and evaluation." In addition, the new Ombuds will help redesign and expand the agency's dispute systems and processes.

Ohio University Names New Ombuds

After an internal search, OU has named Mac Strickland, an Assistant Director of Housing and Residence Life, to serve as the next Ombudsperson. has opened an internal search for a part-time Ombudsman. Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit said, “Mac’s dedication to and knowledge of OHIO will be an asset to the Office of the Ombudsperson, which serves the entire University community.”    

June 21, 2016

Job Posting: Dalhousie University

The public university in Halifax has opened a search for an Ombudsperson to serve a student population of 20,000.  The position will report to the Provost and work with a joint Ombuds Advisory Council (comprised of representatives from Dalhousie Student Union and Dalhousie University).

University of Colorado Boulder Adds an Experienced Ombuds

CU Boulder has selected Liz Hill to serve as its Associate Ombuds.  She will work with the newly hired director, Kirsi Aulin.  Hill was an Ombuds with the Apollo Group (parent corporation of the University of Phoenix) from March 2011 to January 2015.  

Updated Job Posting: National Institutes of Health

NIH has extended its search for the next Director of its Center for Cooperative Resolution / Office of the Ombudsman.  Applications are now due July 5, 2016.  (USAJobs.)

June 20, 2016

Pasadena Unified School District Names First Ombuds

The public school district in Southern California has appointed former school principal Esther C. Salinas to serve as its first Ombuds Officer. According to the District, Salinas will report directly to the Superintendent and the Board of Education and serve families, staff, and nearly 20,000 enrolled students. PUSD Superintendent Brian McDonald said, “The creation of the Ombuds Office will help foster the educational and professional environments in which students can thrive and be prepared to seize opportunities for success in college and beyond.” 

Cal State Long Beach Appoints Permanent Ombuds

After an external search, California State University Long Beach converted its Interim Ombuds Keith Freesemann to a permanent position. Freesemann has held the position since January 2016, following the retirement of the prior University Ombuds, Betsy Decyk.

Updated Job Posting: UC Davis

The University of California Davis has extended its search for an Associate Ombuds.  Applications are now due June 24, 2016.  (UC Davis Careers.)

June 17, 2016

Job Posting: Texas Department of Public Safety

The Texas state agency responsible for law enforcement and vehicle regulation is hiring a full-time Deputy Dispute Resolution Officer--a very Ombuds-like job.  Based in Austin, the position is responsible for "assisting individuals and groups in the agency to explore and determine options to help resolve conflict [and may] bring systemic concerns to the attention of executive management."

Ombuds at University of British Columbia: Continued Case Growth in 2015-16

UBC Ombudsperson for Students Shirley Nakata says that her office worked with 489 students in 2015-2016, a 4.5% increase from the prior year.  The caseload has increased steadily since she was appointed in 2009. Nakata said, "2015 was an extraordinary year, marking the evolution of a broader discourse about institutional trust and accountability within higher education not just at UBC but at universities and colleges across Canada."

June 15, 2016

Furman University Creates Ombuds Office

The small, private, coeducational liberal arts college in Greenville, South Carolina has appointed Victoria Turgeon and A. Joseph Pollard to serve as its first Faculty Ombudspersons. They practice to IOA standards and provide services to 240 faculty (the College enrolls about 2,700 undergraduates). 

June 14, 2016

Internal Report Surveys Ombuds Programs Throughout UN System

The United Nations Joint Inspection Unit, the independent external oversight body for the intergovernmental organization, has published the results of an analysis of Organizational Ombuds programs in 19 different UN-affiliates. The report calls for improved communication with stakeholders, updated terms of reference, professionalizing and standardizing operations, and easier reporting of trends. The full report, published in December 2015, is now available online.

IOA Webinar: Building Organizational Conflict Capacity

The International Ombudsman Association will offer a webinar titled, "Building Conflict Capability: Developing Organizational Representatives to Resolve Workplace Conflict" on Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Central Time.  The session will be presented by Daniel Griffith associate faculty at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in organizational leadership, negotiation and alternative dispute resolution, diversity, and human resources management.  

June 08, 2016

IOA Releases Memo Providing Legal Grounds for Ombuds Confidentiality in Title IX Matters

In April of this year, the International Ombudsman Association solicited a legal memorandum from a highly respected law firm—WilmerHale—on the issue of Ombuds confidentiality in the cases implicating Title IX and the Clery Act. The memo, which IOA has just made public, makes clear that a campus Ombuds following IOA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics may be designated as a confidential resource and not a “responsible employee,” and would normally not be considered a “campus security authority” under the Clery Act.

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente Southern California

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

June 07, 2016

Job Posting: Beacon Health Options, Massachusetts

The managed behavioral health organization is hiring an Ombudsperson to provide confidential, neutral assistance to members from an office north of Boston. "The Ombudsperson advocates for fairness, serves as a source of information and support, acts as a liaison among stakeholders, and supports risk management for Beacon." The duties are primarily those of an Organizational Ombuds, but also incorporate some duties that are similar to those of a Classical Healthcare Ombuds. 

June 06, 2016

2016 New York ACR Conference to Feature Ombuds

The 2016 ACR-GNY Annual Conference will include a session on Ombuds. The one-day conference is set for June 16 at Cardozo Law School and is expected to draw over 200 conflict resolution professionals.

Knox County Schools Consider Ombuds

Last week, a task recommended that the Knox County Tennessee Board of Education appoint an Ombuds for its 88 schools and 58,000 students. A board task force on "Disparities in Educational Outcomes" said that an Ombuds would Ombuds would be a liaison between families and the district and also report regularly to the board about the progress of the task force recommendations for a cost of about $100,000. 

June 03, 2016

UC Santa Barbara Promotes Interim Ombuds Director

UCSB has appointed Caroline Adams as its next Campus Ombuds and Director of the Office of the Ombuds. Adams has held the position since the departure of Kirsi Aulin who moved to a similar position at the University of Colorado.  

June 02, 2016

Job Posting: UC Davis

UC Davis is moving quickly to hire an Associate Ombuds.  The position will report to Katherine Greenwood, CO-OP, who was named Campus Ombuds just today.  The search will fill a position previously held by Rita Callahan, who departed at the end of 2015 and now is in a similar position at UC San Francisco.

June 01, 2016

University of Kansas to Host Summer Academic Ombuds Meeting

The 2016 Summer Academic Ombuds Meeting will be held at the University of Kansas on July 25-26. The annual conference provides an opportunity for university and college Ombuds to network, to collaborate on issues, and learn new skills and techniques.

International Ombudsman Association Launches Job Site

A new website -- the IOA Career Center -- will serve as "a job bank for employers to list their open positions and for people to find jobs of interest that fit their interests and skills. This new feature connects career opportunities with highly qualified talent."