September 30, 2016

IOA Members Vote to Change Bylaws

Members of the International Ombudsman Association have, for the first time, voted to update their bylaws to revise membership categories and restructure eligibility for Board service.  The vote culminates years of work by IOA leaders to make membership more inclusive while safeguarding professional standards.  Similar proposals have twice been rejected by the membership before this first-ever revision of the association's bylaws.  Here's the full announcement from IOA Board President, Reese Ramos:

Coalition of Federal Ombudsman Sets 2016 Conference

COFO has opened announced details of its 2016 conference.  This one-day event takes place on October 7 and will focus on the themes of, "support, connect, learn, and grow." Thomas Zgambo, Ombudsman at the World Bank Group, will serve as the keynote speaker. 

Job Posting: Leadership for Educational Equity

The nonprofit organization that advocates for the educational equity and supports the work of Teach for America is hiring its first Ombudsperson. The position will work with LEE staff and have a “dotted line” reporting relationship to the LEE Vice President of Strategy and Operations. The part-time, hourly position will involve about 20 hours per month. LEE is located in Washington, DC.

September 29, 2016

IOA and Eaton Corp to Host Ombuds Conference in Puerto Rico

The International Ombudsman Association's Regional Advisory Committee for Latin America and the Eaton Corporation are sponsoring an Organizational Ombudsman Conference in Las Piedras on October 12-14, 2016. The free event will have the theme of “Building a Profession to Make a Difference.” The conference will feature several prominent Ombuds and experts.

Florida Gulf Coast University Hires Next Ombuds

FGCU has named Monique McKay as its newest Ombuds and Assistant to the President.  McKay has been the Graduate School Ombudsperson at Virginia Tech for the past year.  She takes over for Helen Mamarchev, who held the position since 2010.

September 28, 2016

Job Posting: Transportation Security Administration

The Department of Homeland Security agency is hiring two Ombudsman Specialist for its Office of the Ombudsman in Arlington, VA. • Reporting to the Director of the Ombudsman’s office, the Ombudsman Specialists function as a source of information and referral to employees within TSA programs; directing individuals appropriately; assisting with questions and helping identify options; and serving as a communications conduit for informal dispute resolution.  Significant travel is required.

ABA Ombuds Task Force Offers Unit on Ombuds for Law Schools

The ABA Dispute Resolution Law School Task Force, a group of Ombuds and legal educators, has completed its year-long project of designing a downloadable, instructor-friendly PowerPoint to educate the next generation of attorneys about the full spectrum of Ombuds practice. This ABA-approved program and accompanying guidelines can be downloaded from the ABA DRS website at no cost.  

Georgia State University Ombuds Sets 2016 ADR Symposium

The annual conflict resolution symposium hosted by the GSU Office of the Ombudsperson this year has the theme: "Managing Conflict, Mediating Difference."   The program will focus on ways to nurture a professional community of people interested in the intersection of conflict resolution, restorative justice, and contemplative practices. explore the nature, significance, and practices of forgiveness. The Symposium will take place on Friday, October 21, 2016.

September 27, 2016

Video Offers Insights on Practice of Gallaudet University's Ombuds

This month , Gallaudet University will be the local host for the national tour of "First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare." Gallaudet's University Ombuds, Liz Stone, has posted a video tied to the event that imagines how she would work with Shakespearean characters: Cesario from "Twelfth Night" and Claudio and Hero from "Much Ado About Nothing."

American Red Cross Ombuds Posts 2015 Annual Report

The Red Cross Office Corporate Ombudsman, Kevin Jessar, reports that his office, "handled 1,430 issues raised by 986 constituents, and had direct contact with another approximately 1,900 volunteers, employees and leaders," in fiscal year 2015. 

September 26, 2016

University of Iowa Ombuds Publishes 30th Annual Report

Iowa's two University Ombuds, Cynthia Joyce the staff Ombudsperson and Susan Johnson, Professor of Medicine and faculty Ombudsperson, report that their office handled 606 visitor matters last year. Although the number of cases has hovered around 600 in the past few years, the total has increased significantly since 2005-06, when there were 256 cases. 

Quest University Names First Ombuds

The private liberal arts and sciences university in Squamish, British Columbia has appointed Karen Elliott as its new Ombudsperson. Although Quest has not Elliott was made the appointment public, Elliott told a local paper that she would “assist in the informal resolution of concerns and complaints related to the application of university policies, rules and procedures,” and, through an annual report, also recommend improvements to university policies, rules and procedures. 

September 23, 2016

Job Posting:University of Colorado Denver

The Ombuds Office for the University of Colorado Denver is hiring a full-time Ombuds for its Anschutz Medical Campus.  The position will work with faculty, staff, and students at AMC's health sciences programs, including schools of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, dentistry, and public health.  

FCO and ACCUO Seek Submissions for 2017 Joint Conference

In anticipation of its next biennial joint conference, the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons have issued a call for papers.  The theme of the conference, set for May 15-17, 2017 at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa, will be, "The Work of Ombudsman: Holding Governments and Organizations to Account."

September 21, 2016

Administrative Conference of the United States Publishes First Draft of Federal Ombuds Study

ACUS has released a draft report titled: "A Reappraisal - The Nature and Value of Ombudsmen in Federal Agencies."  Produced by researchers with chiResolutions, the report seeks: 1. to identify federal Ombuds and their practices; 2. to define best practices for federal Ombuds; and 3. to recommend situations where Ombuds would benefit agencies. 

ENOHE Posts Agenda for First Webinar

The European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education has announced the details of its first virtual meeting on September 29, 2016:

September 20, 2016

Internship: United Nations, Chile

The Office of the UN Ombudsman and Mediation Services in Santiago is accepting applications for a unpaid internships for three to six months. Duties will  depend on the intern's experience and needs of the program, but may include: drafting and preparing official documents; attending and summarizing conferences and meetings; various research; compiling statistics; and media analysis.

NorthWest Ombuds Group to Meet in October 2016

NWOG, the informal group of Ombuds in the U.S. northwest and Canada's western provinces, is planning meeting on October 14, 2016 in Vancouver, BC.  Hold the date and check their website for more details.  (NWOG Upcoming Events.) 

September 16, 2016

Forbes Contributor: College Sports Needs an Ombuds Program

Writing in Forbes Magazine, David Ridpath says that recurring claims of sexual misconduct against college athletes indicates a cultural problem in intercollegiate athletics. He lays out ten recommendations that college sports associations could adopt to make address the problem. (Details are laid out in a paper that he co-authored for The Drake Group released this week.) One of the recommendations is for an Athlete Ombuds:

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente Northern California

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

September 14, 2016

Colorado State University Names First Faculty Ombuds

CSU has expanded its Office of the Ombuds and Employee Assistance Program with the appointment of Kathy Rickard.  As a part-time Ombuds, she will work with the academic staff of the land grant university in Ft. Collins.  “I am very pleased to welcome Kathy in this new, important role serving faculty at CSU,” said University Ombuds Lanai Greenhalgh. “Her knowledge of CSU and deep understanding of faculty issues is an asset to the office and the university as a whole.” 

September 13, 2016

Call for IOA 2017 Conference Speakers

The International Ombudsman Association has issued a call for abstracts for its 12th annual conference. Set for April 21-23, 2017 at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center, the event includes three days of specialty workshop and professional development courses followed by four days of conference sessions. The submission deadline is September 30, 2016.

Internship: United Nations, New York

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is accepting applications 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.

September 12, 2016

Job Posting: Columbia College Chicago

The independent, private, liberal arts college is hiring its first Academic Ombudsperson. The part-time position will be available to full-time faculty members with workplace or academic conflicts. The Ombuds will report to the Provost for administrative and budgetary purposes. 

Florida Appellate Court Denies Ombudsman's Suit Against State

A Florida State appellate court had ruled that a former Long-Term Care Ombudsman cannot sue for wrongful termination. Former Regional Director for the Florida Ombudsman Council Clare Caldwell had alleged that she was fired in 2011 after complaining publicly that the Department of Elder Affairs had interfered with the Ombuds program, which investigates complaints about assisted-living facilities and nursing homes. 

Many 2016 ABA Dispute Resolution Section Leaders Have Ombuds Ties

The American Bar Association has announced the leaders for the Section of Dispute Resolution for the upcoming year.  In addition to the Section Chair, Dickinson Law Professor Nancy Welsh who served on CO-OP Board of Directors, several others have ties to the Ombuds field:

September 09, 2016

2016 Cal Caucus Registration Opens

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has posted the details for its 43nd annual meeting at Asilomar, a calming rustic conference center on the ocean, in Pacific Grove. Taking place on November 13-16, 2016, the event draws Ombuds from beyond California and the higher education sector with its casual and intimate tradition.

September 08, 2016

Job Posting: UC Santa Barbara

UCSB is hiring an Assistant Ombuds/Office Manager.  The full-time position serves as the initial, and sometimes sole, contact for visitors and provides conflict resolution services on cases of moderate complexity. In addition, the position is responsible for all administrative and business functions for this office.

Job Re-Posting: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

The USPTO has re-opened a search for its first Senior Ombudsman.  The details of the posting are identical to those when the search was first conducted in June: Applicants must be a USPTO or Commerce Department employees, the application window is open just one week, and the GS-14 position pays $108,887 to $141,555 per year.

September 07, 2016

Job Posting: Florida Polytechnic University

Florida Poly is hiring a part-time Director of Ombuds Services.  The position will work up to 10 hours a week and serve a total of 2,000 faculty, staff, and students.  It appears that the university is hoping to hire its first dedicated Ombuds.  The position had been established in 2014 as an Ombuds for students by Velmarie L. Albertini, who was also the Academic Program Coordinator. 

Washington State University Adds an Ombuds

The public university in Pullman has named Debbie Lee as an Ombudsman, joining Max Kirk and Tena Old in an office that serves nearly 40,000 faculty, staff, and students.

September 06, 2016

Job Posting: Covenant House New York

The privately service agency for homeless and runaway youth is hiring a fill-time Ombudsperson. The position will report to the Director of Youth Development and provide impartial, informal, independent and confidential conflict resolution services for youth with concerns, "regarding staff, management, services, or program rules and the application of those rules." 

Santa Monica College Ombuds Retires, Two Hired

Tina Feiger, a long-time Ombudsperson at the public community college near Los Angeles, retired in February 2016. SMC has appointed two faculty members to replace her and join Ombuds Lucy Kluckhorn Jones. New to the SMC Ombuds office, but not the campus, are Eric Oifer and Yvonne Ortega. Both are part-time Ombuds and serve a student population of about 33,000.

September 05, 2016

Job Posting: Weatherford

The international oil and natural gas service company has opened a search for its first Ombudsperson. The position will establish and run a dispute resolution program for 30,000 employees from the company's Houston, Texas operational headquarters. In addition to Ombuds work, the position also, "Facilitates the administration of mediations and arbitrations with third-party providers." 

University of California Adopts Anti-Bullying Guidelines

Janet Napolitano, president of the sprawling UC system and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, has developed guidance on abusive behavior and bullying.  Stopping short of new policy, Napolitano seeks to define abusive conduct and fit remedies within the existing policy structures.  In addition to other campus resources, she also identified University Ombuds Offices as an appropriate place for people experiencing misconduct.

September 02, 2016

Job Posting: United Technologies Corp

The American multinational is hiring a Corporate Ombudsman.  The position will work with UTC employees throughout the Americas with business-related issues. 

September 01, 2016

Job Posting: Executive Office for Immigration Review

The U.S. Department of Justice office that oversees immigration courts is hiring its first Ombudsperson. As Program Manager, the position will head the Office of the Ombudsperson/Dispute Resolution within the EOIR Office of the Director. 

Job Posting: Professional Opportunities with United Nations

The Office of the UN Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking independent consultants for two opportunities: conflict competency skills training; and on-call Ombuds and mediators.  The deadline for the skills training is approaching quickly, but the need for on-call expert neutrals is on-going.  

Job Posting: University of Mississippi

Ole Miss is hiring a full-time University Ombuds. The position provides assistance to all constituents, including graduate assistants, staff, and faculty. The search will replace Brett Harris, who established the Ombuds Office in July 2015, who has moved to the University of Oregon.