October 31, 2017

Job Posting: Rochester Institute of Technology

The private university in Upstate New York will hire its first Associate Ombudsperson.  Reporting to the long-time University Ombuds, Lee Twyman, the position will help administer the office and provide services, including training to all members of the RIT Community. The role will practice to IOA standards.  

University of North Carolina at Ashville Appoints First Faculty Ombuds

The state's only liberal arts university has named Heidi Kelley and Ameena Batada as its first Faculty Ombuds. The team reports to the Faculty Senate and Office of the Provost and handle Ombuds cases on a part-time basis. The Ombuds will practice to IOA standards and are required to complete IOA training. Together, they serve UNC Ashville's 300 faculty members. 

California Legislature May Revise Its Ineffective Ombuds Program

In 2014, the California State Senate created a Ombuds program, “to facilitate the receipt of information about potential ethical violations.”  Since then, it has flown completely under the radar: there is no public information on the legislature's website and the toll-free telephone number is unlisted.  Moreover, the office is headed the staff director for the senate ethics committee.  

October 30, 2017

Job Posting (RFP): The Global Fund and Gavi

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance are seeking proposals for a new Ombudsman program. The position will serve staff, consultants, and interns following IOA standards. The work may be performed remotely, but quarterly travel to Geneva is required. The position reports jointly to the chiefs of both organizations. 

Swiss University Closes Institute After Ombuds Surface Concerns

ETH Zurich, a leading engineering and technology university, has entirely shut down its Institute of Astronomy after the Ombudspersons raised issues of bullying by a prominent professor.  

North Carolina State University Ombuds Shares Examples of Cases

The latest blog post by NCSU's Faculty & Staff Ombuds Roy Baroff answers the frequent question: What kinds of cases do you handle?  Baroff provides a dozen different examples of cases visitors have brought to his office. 

October 27, 2017

Job Posting: Stanford University

The private university in California has opened a search for its next Ombudsperson.  The full-time position, which has been held by David Rasch since 2004, acts as a resource for faculty, staff, students, postdoctoral scholars, fellows and other members of the Stanford community.  (Stakeholders with the School of Medicine are served by a separate Ombuds, James Laflin.) The Stanford Ombuds practices to IOA standards and reports to a Senior Associate Vice Provost.

Cal Caucus Reaches Capacity for 2017 Meeting

Organizers have closed registrations for this year's California Caucus of College and University Ombuds.  A record number of attendees has reached the maximum for the capacity of the single meeting room. (Cal Caucus Info.)

Ombuds for Montgomery College Posts Fourth Annual Report

Montgomery College's Ombuds, Julie Schwartz Weber, reports that her office continues to serve a significant portion of stakeholders (faculty and staff).  During the 2017 fiscal year, 125 individuals visited her office, reflecting a utilization rate of about four percent.  The report was published on October 19 to coincide with international Conflict Resolution Day.  (MC Ombuds Reports.)

October 24, 2017

Job Posting: Kentucky State University

The public university in Frankfort is hiring two Ombuds to revive their program.  Both positions report to the university president; the Student Ombuds serves a student population of about 2,200 and the Faculty Ombuds serves faculty and staff.

Meet the Ombuds at University of Miami

Jennifer Rau has been the Ombudsperson at UM for just over three years and also serves as the Assistant to the Vice President.  In a recent article she described working closely with a student advocate, Academic Ombuds, and other administrators to provide services for a student body of nearly 17,000. “Our team is here to listen to all students and discuss their options, next steps and get them connected with the appropriate resources,” Rau said. 

October 23, 2017

Job Posting: University of California Berkeley

The Staff Ombuds Office at Berkeley is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson for a one-year contract.  The position reports to Director, Sara Thacker, and works with Assistant Ombuds, Julia Horvath, to provide conflict resolution and problem-solving services for all non-senate employees.

Internship: United Nations Uganda

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is offering a full-time, unpaid position as a Research Assistant Intern in its Entebbe office.  The internship will last six months and may be extended.  The position offers the opportunity to support outreach and advocacy, prepare data and reports, and conduct research.

October 20, 2017

U.S. Park Service Plans to Grow Ombuds Program

Following a recent survey finding that nearly 40 of employees had suffered sexual harassment in the past year, the National Park Service will hire more Ombuds.  Acting NPS Director Mike Reynolds said the department will grow the Ombuds program as part of a range of services for employees to raise concerns.  

October 19, 2017

Tribunal Protects Confidentiality of Asian Development Bank Ombuds

The external administrative tribunal that reviews personnel decisions for the regional development bank ruled that the Ombudsperson cannot be compelled to testify.  The tribunal issued the decision in response to a grievance filed by a terminated employee who wanted to call the ADB Ombuds (at the time Nick Diehl) as a percipient witness.  The decision explicitly rejected the request because of the Ombuds' inherent confidentiality.

October 18, 2017

Job Posting: University of California Merced

The UC campus in Northern California is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson. The position "serves as the initial, and sometimes sole, contact for students [about 8,000 and growing], staff and faculty seeking assistance from the Office of Ombuds Services," and provides conflict resolution services on cases of moderate complexity. The search will fill a position held by Henok Elias.

October 17, 2017

Journal of IOA: Reimagining the Role of the Ombuds

The latest article published by the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association delves deeper into the issues raised by a keynote speaker at the April 2017 IOA annual conference.  "Reimagining the Role of the Ombuds," was written by Wayne Blair, the Ombuds at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

October 16, 2017

Job Posting: Algonquin College

The public college of applied arts and technology in Ottawa, Ontario, is hiring a part-time, Assistant Ombudsman.  Reporting to Algonquin's Ombudsman, George E. Cole, the contracted position will work up to 24 hours a week until April 30, 2018 (which may be extended based on funding). 

Fanshawe College Welcomes New Ombuds

Rose Padacz has been named the Ombuds for the college in London, Ontario, taking over for Jennifer Gillespie, who has been the Acting Ombuds.  She reports to the college president and will work with 15,000 students and 40,000 part-time students.

October 13, 2017

University of Southern California to Create Ombuds Office

In the wake of several, recent, high profile scandals (two medical school deans accused of misconduct, fundraising executive accused of sexual harassment, and arrest of an assistant basketball coach on fraud charges), USC has announced that it will establish a University Ombuds program.  In a joint announcement that included other remedial measures, Michael W. Quick, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Todd R. Dickey, Senior Vice President for Administration, said:

October 12, 2017

Job Posting: Bastyr University

The alternative medicine (naturopathic) university in Kenmore, WA is hiring its first Ombudsperson. The part-time position will serve students, faculty, and staff, and report to the university president. In addition to providing confidential, neutral, and impartial third-party assistance, the position also raises systemic concerns and provides training to various constituents on conflict resolution, negotiation, and related topics. 

October 11, 2017

Job Posting: Minnesota Department of Transportation

The state agency is hiring an Assistant Ombudsman for a temporary, unclassified position to last one to three years.  As part of the Transportation Ombudsman, the full-time position serves internal stakeholders and constituents as a neutral, informal and independent resource. 

University of North Carolina Ombuds to Headline VCU's 2017 National Conflict Resolution Day

Wayne Blair will be the featured speaker at the event hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University Ombudsman William King on October 19, 2017.  The fifth annual event is free and open to the public.  

Here is the full agenda:

October 10, 2017

University of Pennsylvania Ombuds Notes Rise of Disrespectful Treatment in 2017 Annual Report

In her latest annual report, UPenn Ombudsman Lynn Hollen Lees said that the Office of Ombuds saw a slight rise in the number of visitors in 2016-17.  Although the total visitor count was essentially flat, Lees noted that:

Ombuds for Medical College of Wisconsin Post 2016 Report

Michelle Shasha and Natalie Fleury, the MCW Ombuds, report that they assisted 177 individuals in 2016.  In addition to visitor-initiated contacts, the total includes exit interviews with 26 faculty.  In addition to visitor data, the report also summarizes systemic issues and concerns, and five-year trends. (MCW 2016 Ombuds Report.)

October 09, 2017

Job Posting: Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA

The national social justice network is hiring a part-time Ombudsperson. It appears that this will replace SWOP-USA's founding Ombuds, Smitty Buckler, who started the program last year.  The position will help implement and fine-tune national and chapter grievance policies, and listen to concerns from stakeholders. Buckler is a Seattle-based artist and health care activist or collective.

Utah Valley University Appoints Full-Time Ombuds

The public university in Orem has named Talatou Abdoulaye as its first full-time Ombudsperson, serving the entire campus. He succeeds Maren Turnidge who had been the UVU Student Ombuds on a part-time basis since 2013.  

Video Introduces RIT Ombuds

Lee Twyman has been the Ombudsperson at Rochester Institute of Technology since 2003. She is also a current Director of the International Ombudsman Association. A video posted to YouTube for a student orientation program gives her the opportunity to introduce herself to a new crop of undergrads. (YouTube.) 

October 06, 2017

CERN Names New Ombuds

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire), which operates the world's largest particle physics lab, has named Pierre Gildemyn as its next Ombuds.  Gildeman takes over from Sudeshna Datta-Cockerill, who served as CERN's Ombuds for the past four years.  

IOA Seeks Nominations for 2018 Board of Directors

The International Ombudsman Association is seeking nomination for Directors who will serve a three-year term starting in April 2018.  There will be six open seats, meaning that some of the current Board members will not seek reelection or that the Board is expanding.  Only current IOA members may nominate individuals before the October 20, 2017 deadline. 

October 05, 2017

Job Posting: National Institutes of Health

The NIH Office of the Ombudsman is hiring an Associate Ombudsman in the Center for Cooperation for a one-year contract. The position joins a well-established Ombuds program that serves 23,000 senior leadership, scientific and clinical researchers, administrative and support staff, fellows, and a wage and contract workforce, mostly in the Bethesda, Maryland area. 

October 04, 2017

Free Webinar About Global Ombuds Hosted by Columbia University Tomorrow

Columbia's School of Professional Studies (which offers a MS in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution), will sponsor a webinar: "Challenges for Global Ombuds Programs." Set for October 5, 2017, the one-hour webinar is free for those who RSVP. 

University of Kansas Names Experienced Ombuds

The Jayhawks have hired DA Graham as its University Ombuds.  Graham has previously served as Ombuds for San Diego State University, Princeton, and the University of Alabama.  He was most recently the Vice President for Global Integrity for the Nielsen Corporation.  He succeeds Kellie Harmon, who retired earlier this year.  

Montgomery College Ombuds: Top Reasons People Don't Use Ombuds

Montgomery College's Ombuds, Julie Schwartz Weber, has posted a two-part list of of the top 12 reasons people do not visit with the Ombuds.  It's a great reminder about the barriers Ombuds face when developing their program.  

Edinboro University has a New Ombuds

Late last year, the public liberal arts university in Pennsylvania appointed Beth Zewe as University Ombudsperson. She succeeds Ron Wilson, who was the Ombuds since 2015.  Zewe works with faculty, staff, students, and other campus stakeholders folliwng IOA standards. She has worked at the university since 1984 and previously was Director of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. Zewe is also an alumnus. (Edinboro Ombuds; LinkedIn.)

October 03, 2017

U.S. Department of Education Suggests Mediation an Option for Title IX Complaints

The latest guidance from the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights says that colleges can use informal resolutions such as mediation to resolve Title IX complaints -- even those involving sexual assaults. In a conference call with members of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson discussed a new seven-page Q&A document the Department issued after rescinding its 2011 and 2014 guidance that led to significant changes in how campuses handled Title IX matters.

Ombuds Blog Poll: Should Ombuds Mediate Sexual Misconduct Cases?

The Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights believes that colleges can use informal resolutions such as mediation to resolve Title IX complaints -- even those involving sexual assaults. Ombuds have emerged as an important resource for individuals participating in campus Title IX processes. What do you think?