November 30, 2017

University of Michigan School of Nursing Names Faculty Ombuds

Janis Miller will be the next Faculty Ombuds for the UM School of Nursing. Miller is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. According to a news release, the Dean of the School hopes that the appointment will boost usage of the Ombuds office and contribute to an improvement in the school's culture. 

November 29, 2017

CERN Ombuds Offers Insights on First Visitor Meeting

Pierre Gildemyn is following the tradition of other CERN Ombuds and publishing a regular articles about his office. In his latest piece, Gildeman tells potential visitors what they might expect if they make an appointment to meet with him. His reassurance for visitors is a succinct overview of the Ombuds process (regardless of industry or organization type) that aspiring Ombuds may find valuable.

November 28, 2017

Ombuds at University of Toronto Nears End of Term

Ellen Hodnett is nearing the completion of her three-year term as University Ombudsperson at U of T. A review committee has been appointed and a search for her replacement will open shortly.  Meanwhile, she is taking some time to reflect on her tenure in an interview with the student newspaper.  Among other things, Hodnett she said that she remains concerned about the low number of people seeking support from her office. (The Varsity.)

November 27, 2017

Job Posting: Sacramento State

California State University, Sacramento is hiring its first Ombuds. Reporting to the CSUS President, the University Ombudsperson, "serves as a facilitator for students, staff, faculty, and members of the campus community" (about 35,000 in total). It seems to be generally IOA compliant, but is a mandated reporter for child abuse according to the posting. In addition, it should be noted that other Cal State Ombuds have not exempted from Title IX reporting requirements. 

Ombuds at Concordia University Posts 2017 Report

Amy Fish, Concordia's Ombudsperson, recently reported annual data on the academic issues brought to her office in the past academic year.  Fish said cases decreased about 8.6% to 470 in 2016-17, not far off from the 500 cases annually that have been typical over the past five years. Fish said also that the volume was in line for a university of Concordia’s size: about one percent of the student population. 

November 22, 2017

University of California Ombuds Update Statement of Best Practices

More than 10 years, the Ombuds at each University of California campus collaborated on a Declaration of Best Practices that reflected their commitment to IOA standards and practices.  Earlier this year, the group revised and updated the statement. Revised and endorsed in April 2017, this Declaration is the result of collaboration and input from representatives from UC Berkeley; UC Davis; UC Irvine; UC Los Angeles; UC Merced; UC Riverside; UC San Diego; UC San Francisco; and UC Santa Barbara. 

November 20, 2017

Senior British MP Calls for Sports Ombuds

Damian Collins, Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the House of Commons, says that athletes urgently need an independent watchdog to protect them. The comments by the conservative MP came as UK Sport released new guidance for coaches and staff on how to treat athletes with more respect. 

IOA Loosens Restrictions on its Members-Only Blog

The International Ombudsman Association has updated the terms of access for its blog, The Independent Voice.  IOA members now need only to enter the password to read the blog; name, email address, and an agreement to indemnify are no longer required. Changes to the blog’s Guidelines and Terms of Use bring it more in-line with industry standards.

November 16, 2017

Tech Startup Aims to Outsource Ombuds Services

A startup that launched in June seeks to exploit declining trust in HR departments by offering an independent and external Ombuds service. Bravely advertises that it, "connects employees with expert conflict coaches ... for off-the-record phone conversations about all kinds of workplace stress." 

Simon Fraser University Confirms its Interim Ombuds

Laura Reid will stay on as the SFU Student Ombudsperson after serving on an interim basis for the past year. She serves a student population of about 35,000 and was selected after the university conducted a public search this summer. 

November 15, 2017

Sacred Heart Schools Creates Ombuds Program

The independent, private college preparatory school in Atherton, CA has appointed Isolina Martinez as its first Ombuds. SHS enrolls about 1,200 students K-12 and employs about 330 staff members. Martinez has been dean of the faculty and a Spanish teacher at Sacred Heart since 2006. She earned her MS in Sociology and Social Psychology from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. No other details about the new Ombuds program have been made public. (SHS Prep Faculty; LinkedIn.)

Gallifrey One to Appoint Convention Harassment Ombuds

The world’s largest and longest-running annual Doctor Who fan convention will have an Ombudsperson for the its next gathering in Los Angeles, February 16-18, 2018. The three-day conference draws about 4,000 attendees.  Joyce Lloyd, Gallifrey One's Facilities & Hospitality Director, will serve in the role.

November 14, 2017

Job Posting: National University

The large, private, non-profit university is hiring its first Ombudsman for its headquarters in La Jolla, California.  The full-time position will practice to IOA standards and report semi-annually to the provost and faculty senate.  It is not clear from the posting whether the position will serve just students (who number 24,000) or all stakeholders.

World Bank Names Insider to Serve as Ombuds

The World Bank Group has appointed Axel Peuker as its third Ombudsman. He begins a five-year term, effective December 1, 2017.  Peuker joins other WBG Ombuds Doris Campos-Infantino and David Talbot, and replaces Penelope Brook (who has become Executive Director of the Atlantic Group).  

November 13, 2017

Asian Development Bank Hires Experienced Ombuds

Wayne Blair has been named the Ombudsperson for the regional development bank based in Manila.  He will serve a three-year term starting in early 2018. For the past decade, Blair has been the Ombuds for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill -- a program that he established.  He succeeds Nick Diehl, who moved to MIT.

Internship: UNICEF

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking an intern for UNICEF (as well as UNDP, UNFPA, UNOPS, and UN Women) in New York City.  The full-time, paid internship will last six months and offers the opportunity to support the office's mediation training, outreach, and advocacy.

November 10, 2017

History of Science Society Appoints First Ombuds

The professional society for the academic study of the history of science has named Sally Gregory Kohlstedt as its first Ombudsperson. HSS adopted a Respectful Behavior Policy in June of this year to address discrimination and harassment at society meetings and events. The new Ombuds is designated by the policy as a resource for anyone with concerns and complaints. 

Ombuds to Speak at Texas Mediators Conference

Two Ombuds will be featured at the 2018 Texas Association of Mediators Professional Development Conference in San Antonio February 23-24, 2018. Anamaris Cousins Price (Organizational Ombudsman at Halliburton) and Sean Banks (Corporate Ombuds for the Shell Oil Company) will be presenting "The Role of Mediation in Organizational Ombuds" on February 23.

November 08, 2017

U.S. Geological Survey Creates Ombuds Program

The government agency that studies the country's biology, geography, geology, and hydrology has appointed J. Fernando Caetano as its first Organizational Ombuds. Caetano serves 9,000 USGS employees and is part of the agency's Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution Office. He is part of the team that provides ADR services to the Department of the Interior, of which USGS is part.

UC Davis Hires an Ombuds

The Office of the Ombuds at the University of California Davis has hired Dana Hinojosa as an Associate Ombuds 3. Hinojosa has worked in higher education for the last seven years and brings experience in training, mediation, and workplace dispute resolution to her new role.  She will work primarily with visitors from the main campus and report to the Campus Ombuds, Katherine Greenwood

November 07, 2017

German Crowdsourcing Firms Create Ombuds Program

Lead by Testbirds, eight German internet companies have signed a joint agreement to protect workers and volunteers that contribute to their products.  The "Crowdsourcing Code of Conduct" also establishes and funds an Ombuds Office for conflict resolution.  According to the document, "The Ombuds Office mediates disputes that arise between workers and platforms that are signatories to the Code of Conduct. The Ombuds Office will mediate a dispute only after the parties have attempted to resolve the situation on their own (outside of the legal system)."

November 06, 2017

Job Re-Posting: Metropolitan State University

The public university in downtown Denver has re-opened its search for an Ombuds Officer.  The description and requirements are relatively unchanged. The position reports administratively to the Associate to the President for Diversity and practices to IOA standards. The MSU Ombuds serves faculty, staff, administrators, student-employees, and external stakeholders. 

Norfolk State University Appoints First Ombuds

The public, liberal arts HBCU in Virginia has named Clementine Cone as its first University Ombudsman.  Practicing to IOA standards, Cone serves NSU's faculty, staff, and students--a population of about 7,000. For the past four years, Cone has also served as the Executive Assistant to the President for University Compliance.

University of Massachusetts Amherst Hires an Assistant Ombuds

Derek Doughty has joined the Ombuds Office at UMass Amherst as an Assistant Ombuds. He moves into the position from the dean of students office, where he was a case manager and liaison to athletics. Doughty reports to University Ombuds Carol Booth works with Associate Ombuds Martha Patrick.

University of Oregon Expands Ombuds Program

UO has increased the size of its Ombuds Program with the appointment of Jennifer Hudson as Assistant Ombuds and Director of Conflict Resolution Services. Under the direction of University Ombuds, Brett Harris, Hudson will provide Ombuds services, primarily to students, and direct the campus conflict resolution program. 

November 02, 2017

Job Posting: ICRC Kuwait

The International Committee of the Red Cross is seeking an Ombuds to be based in Kuwait.  The position would support the global work of the ICRC Ombuds (John W. Zinsser is the Chief Ombudsman for the international humanitarian organization) and especially North Africa and the Middle East.  Travel up to 50% is expected.  The job will start "asap."

Internship: United Nations Chile

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking a full-time intern for its office in Santiago.  The unpaid internship will last three to six months and offers the opportunity to support outreach and advocacy, prepare data and reports, and conduct research.

Video Introduces UC Santa Barbara Ombuds

Three of the members of the UCSB Ombuds Office (Campus Ombuds Caroline Adams, Associate Ombuds Michael Steinberg, and Assistant Ombuds Shauna Shea) left their office to ask students: "What is an Ombuds?"  The answers are sometimes amusing and give the Ombuds a chance to explain their role.

November 01, 2017

Job Posting: Georgian College

The college of applied arts and technology in Ontario is hiring a part-time Conflict Resolution Coordinator. The position is equivalent to that of other Canadian higher-ed Ombuds and serves as the first point of contact for students with conflicts and complaints. (The school enrolls about 11,0000 students.) The position is part-time and is contracted for a one-year period through November 8, 2018.