August 01, 2016

Hamline University Shutters Ombuds Office

After five years of service to faculty, staff, and students, the Obmudsman Office at Hamline University has been closed.  The University has not make a public explanation of the decision made earlier this year.  Molly McAvoy served as the University Ombudsman from 2011 to 2016.  
She was professionally very active, speaking at conferences, serving on the IOA Board of Directors and chairing the Communications Committee.  She is now working as a Pilates instructor.  (Defining You Fitness.)


  1. When one of the most dynamic and capable people in ombudsing, and a former IOA Board Member has her office shuttered around her, you have to think long and hard.
    Reflect on what David Miller, Chuck Howard, Tom Kosakowski and Wayne Blair have said at the last few IOA conferences. Without Alignment, Embedment and Integration to the organizational system, a positive track record of meaningful and appreciated contribution, and organizational leaders who value the role personally, the ombuds is always at risk due to its reflective, rather tahn self generated, power.

    You'll be missed Molly. Already are.

    John W. Zinsser
    Co-founder & Principal - Pacifica Human Communications, LLC
    Lecturer - Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, School of Professional Studies, Columbia University

  2. It looks like the office is closed for the foreseeable future as their website has been taken down altogether. This is a quite a setback for higher-ed ombuds programs as Hamline offers one of the nationally ranked dispute resolution programs. It followed the footstep of Pepperdine which closed its ombuds office in 2009.

    Of the nationally ranked dispute resolution programs, only Harvard, Oregon, and UNLV still have ombudsman for students.