April 28, 2017

ENOHE Announces Agenda for 2017 Annual Conference

The European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education has announced the agenda for its 13th Annual Conference in Strasbourg, France on June 28 - 30, 2017: "Higher Education Ombudsmen as Beacons: Towards a Fair and Transparent European Higher Education Area."

Job Posting: U.S. Army Medical Command

The large military hospital near Tacoma, WA is hiring an Ombudsman.  The position receives concerns about the Madigan Traumatic Brain Injury Program from patients, commanders, and senior leaders and uses "a variety of interpersonal. communication, problem solving and negotiation skills and techniques" resolve concerns.

April 27, 2017

IOA Honors Two Distinguished Emeriti

At its annual conference earlier this week, the International Ombudsman Association announced the recipients of its 2017 Distinguished Emeritus award: James Lee and Randy Williams. IOA has traditionally bestowed the award to retired Ombuds in recognition of their outstanding and dedicated service to the organization and profession.

British Lawmaker and Activist Urges Creation of National Sports Ombuds

Paralympian, parliamentarian, and BBC commentator, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson has completed a major independent report into athlete welfare in British sport. Her report lists seven priority recommendations for improving standards and the first is the creation of a Sports Ombudsman.

IOA Publishes Survey of Ombuds Practices

The International Ombudsman Association has published a report on the current practices of its members.  Here's the summary posted by IOA:

NPR Ombudsman Reports on Internal, Organizational Issue

In a break from her usual role investigating listener complaints about news stories, National Public Radio's Ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen has released a report about the diversity of the newsroom staff at the media organization.  

April 26, 2017

IOA Board Elects 2017 Officers

Today, at its 12th annual conference in Minneapolis, the International Ombudsman Association Board of the Directors selected its officers for the 2017-18 terms:

April 22, 2017

Job Posting: Iowa State University

ISU is hiring an Ombuds Officer to fill a position vacated by Elaine Newell , who opened the office in 2008. The Iowa State Ombuds reports to the University President and serves employees and graduate students -- a total population of about 12,000.  The initial appointment is for one year, beginning as soon as possible.

Job Posting: Louisiana State University

LSU has opened a search for an Ombudsperson to restart its shuttered office.  The public university in Baton Rouge had an Ombuds program from 2006 through 2011, when it was closed due to budget cuts. The LSU assists nearly 40,0000 students, faculty, staff, and administrators in dispute resolution through informal means, which includes consulting, negotiation, and mediation. 

April 19, 2017

Ombuds Head to Minneapolis for 2017 IOA Conference

The International Ombudsman Association will convene its 12th annual conference April 21-23, 2017 at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center.  For attendees' convenience, here are links to prior Ombuds Blog articles about the event:

Outreach Efforts Pay Off for University of Arizona Ombuds

Caitlan Hendrickson, who became the the Ombuds Program Director at UA in November 2015, says that the number of visitors increased 156% in 2015-16 after she focused on publicizing the service. A recent profile offers an overview of the UA Ombuds Office and Hendrickson's philosophy.

Meet the New Ombuds for Baylor College of Medicine

Last October, the medical school named Laurel Hyle as its first Ombudsperson for students, trainees, faculty and staff.  “I’m enjoying being a part of the Baylor family and excited that I have the opportunity to blend my past experience together,” she said. “My goal for the Ombuds Office is that everyone knows this resource is available and feels welcome to access it.”

April 18, 2017

IOA Surveys Higher Education Ombuds Confidentiality for Clery Act & Title IX Matters

The International Ombudsman Association's Government & Policy Committee has released survey data from over 120 academic Ombuds showing their reporting duties under the Clery Act and Title IX.  Kouang Chan, the Director of the Office of Student Ombuds at the University of Texas at Austin, lead the project and his summary, “Survey of Higher Education Ombuds Reporting Under Clery and Title IX” is available for IOA members.  

Survey Confirms Ombuds Report of Bullying at University of Wisconsin-Madison

More than a third of its faculty have been bullied in the last three years according to a new survey by the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute at Madison. The survey confirms feedback highlighted by campus Ombuds in an annual report issued in August 2016.  (Inside Higher Ed.)

NYT Article -- Ombuds May Improve Sexual Harassment Reporting

An article in last week's New York Times explored the reasons why women do not report workplace sexual harassment. "Only a quarter to a third of people who have been harassed at work report it to a supervisor or union representative, and 2 percent to 13 percent file a formal complaint," according to one analysis. The Times offers some remedies and includes an Ombuds.

Meet Smith College's New Ombuds

Michael Stephens reopened the Ombuds Office at Smith College last fall.  He was recently interviewed by the campus newsletter and described his work with faculty and staff.

April 17, 2017

IOA 2016 Annual Report: Financial Success Supports New Programs

In its latest annual report, the International Ombudsman Association says that revised financial strategies allowed its professional staff and volunteers to reach several new goals.  Executive Director Rick Koepke, highlighted the following achievements:

Call for Submissions: 2017 Journal of Cal Caucus

The Journal of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds is seeking scholarly articles for its 2017 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.

Colloquium on Abrasive Conduct in Higher Ed 2017 Set for Cleveland

The fifth annual conference focused on bullying at colleges and universities will be keynoted by Mary Gentile, author of Giving Voice to Values and professor at the University of Virginia.  Lee Potts, Faculty Ombuds at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Kirsi Aulin, Director of the Ombuds Office at UC Boulder will lead participants in two sessions of interactive case studies applying the principles and strategies gleaned from Mary Gentile’s interactive presentations. (CACHE 2017.)

April 14, 2017

Job Posting: University of Kansas

KU is accepting applications for its next University Ombuds.  The search will fill the position vacated by Kellie Harmon, who retired earlier this year.  KU's Ombuds serves faculty, staff, and 30,000 students, and manages an office comprising two part-time faculty ombuds and a graduate assistant. 

April 11, 2017

Job Posting: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

FINRA, the non-governmental organization that regulates member brokerage firms and exchange markets, is hiring an Analyst in its Office of the Ombudsman.  The position conducts analyses of case information to identify patterns, trends, and problematic issues. This is professional position, developing and refining skills and receives moderate supervision and regular direction from a manager.

April 10, 2017

Campus Ombuds Raise Profiles in Bid to Assist Stakeholders with Social Justice Issues

In addition to their work with the individual concerns of their visitors and surfacing systemic matters for administrators, many Ombuds will also help address topical issues that concern and affect their stakeholders.  Several recent news items show how Ombuds step forward to help facilitate dialog:

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente Southern California

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

April 07, 2017

University of New Mexico Ombuds Posts 2016 Annual Report

The UNM Office of Ombuds Services for Staff has published a report of its activities for 2016, which included 288 visits and 24 two-party mediations.  Case data is collected and reported according to IOA Uniform Reporting Categories.  A visitor survey showed high levels of satisfaction with the Ombuds services.

Ombuds at Gallaudet University Hires First Graduate Assistant

Liz Stone, Gallaudet's University Ombuds, has hired graduate assistant, Hanna Fermto assist with outreach, data analysis, trend identification, and office administration.  Ferm is a first-year student in the Master of Social Work program and the first assistant to work in the Ombuds Office.

April 04, 2017

Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training Publishes Article on Ombuds

A recent article in The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training Report summarizes the work of Organizational Ombuds and is based partly on recent presentations in Japan.  In November 2016, Noriko Tada, the Ombudsperson with Guidea for Eisai Co., Ltd., arranged a series of informational events in Tokyo about Ombuds.  Nicholas Diehl, the Ombudsperson for the Asian Development Bank, presented to the directors of the JILPT, and to healthcare providers and mediators at Waseda University.

April 03, 2017

Columbia College Chicago Hires and Quickly Loses First Ombuds

On February 2, the liberal arts college introduced Connie Meyeran experienced local mediator, coach, and conflict management skills trainer, as its first Academic Ombuds.  Late last week, the college announced that she had resigned for undisclosed reasons.  College officials said that the position will be refilled as quickly as possible.  (CCC News; Columbia Chronicle.)

University of North Carolina Ombuds Reports on Campus Trends

An update by the UNC University Ombuds to the Faculty Council last week highlighted several trending issues over the past two years.  Wayne Blair, the university's Ombuds, said that his office is seeing “a dramatic increase in what I’m going to [call] poorly managed conflicts and confrontations.” Other issues raised by Blair included job insecurity, race and diversity, immigration and international travel, and academic freedom.