December 27, 2017

Job Posting: County of Santa Clara

The county in Silicon Valley, California is hiring a Senior Mediator with significant Ombuds duties. In addition to providing ADR services (including Ombuds work), the Senior Mediator also provides professional training and development efforts in the fields of ADR and/or Ombuds. 

Job Re-Posting: Dartmouth College

The private Ivy League college in New Hampshire is continuing to search for its next Ombudsperson. The part-time position (0.6 FTE) reports to the college president and serves non-union staff and faculty.  The search will fill a position vacated by Sean Nolon.

December 26, 2017

Ombuds Year in Review: 2017 (Part 2)

This is the second installment of the top ten most important stories from the Organizational Ombuds profession. Ranked in order of significance, the list concludes Thursday, December 28.

December 22, 2017

Ombuds Year in Review: 2017 (Part 1)

Here now is the first installment of the top ten Ombuds stories of 2017. The list will continue, Tuesday, December 26.

Job Posting: Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA's Alternative Dispute Resolution Division anticipates one or more vacancies for ADR Advisors in Puerto Rico. Incumbents in these positions will be part of FEMA’s ADR Division and provide ADR and Ombuds type services for FEMA employees. The duty station for these positions will be San Juan and other cities on Puerto Rico. 

December 21, 2017

Ombuds Year in Review: 2017 (Intro)

Since 2009, I have taken time to rank the most important stories of the year about Organizational Ombuds. The list comes in three installments and concludes on December 28.  In the first week of January, readers will have the chance to vote on what they thought. 

Before the list of top ten stories starting tomorrow, here are some other notable items from 2017:

December 20, 2017

Confederation College Ombuds Posts 2017 Annual Report

College Ombudsperson Kim Morgan reports that she worked with 133 students in 2016-17, an increase of 9% from the prior academic year, but generally in line with recent usage. Morgan noted a two of systemic issues: 1. the appropriate application of accommodation practices; and 2. the academic dispute resolution’s informal stage as an effective means to resolution. 

December 19, 2017

The Ohio State University College of Medicine Names First Ombuds

The medical school in Columbus has appointed Bob Towner-Larsen to serve as its first Graduate Medical Education Ombuds. He offers house staff (interns, residents and fellows) a neutral, independent and confidential resource designed to foster autonomous resolution of workplace issues. Towner-Larsen is also a physician coach at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s hr department. He has also counseled faculty and staff in The Ohio State University’s Office of Career Development.

Call for Proposals: ACR 2018 Conference

The Association for Conflict Resolution is seeking proposals from speakers for its next annual conference set for Pittsburgh on October 3-6, 2018. ACR has an Ombuds Section and Ombuds are frequent presenters and attendees.  The theme for the conference is "ACR, Next Gen: Boldly Leading Conflict Engagement into the Future." The deadline for proposals is February 1, 2018 at 11:00 PM (EST) and notification of selection is expected by April 30, 2018. (ACR 2018 Conf Call for Proposals.)

December 18, 2017

University of California Merced Hires Assistant Ombuds

Valara Villanueva will be the next Assistant Ombudsperson for UC Merced starting January 3, 2018. She has worked for the university since May 2016 as the Campus Advocate for the survivors of dating/domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking. She has done similar work for Merced Community College and the Valley Crisis Center. 

December 15, 2017

Job Posting: United Nations

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services has opened a search for a Chief of Service. The position reports to the Ombudsman in New York and directs the work of seven regional Ombuds offices, in addition to working as an Ombuds. Significant travel is required. Gang Li is currently the Acting Chief of Office.  

University of North Carolina to Open National Search for Next Ombuds

UNC's founding Ombuds, Wayne Blair, will leave the campus early next year to serve as the Ombuds for the Asian Development Bank. In announcing the move, the University Chancellor renewed her commitment to the Ombuds program and promised a broad search for Blair's successor.  Here is her statement to the campus yesterday: 

Ombuds at University of Wisconsin Publishes 2017 Annual Report

The UW–Madison Ombuds Office reports that it had 187 visitor contacts in the 2016-17 academic year resulting in 171 cases. Faculty and academic staff comprised nearly two-thirds of visitors. Notably, hostile and intimidating behaviors were reflected in 25% of the cases, an increase from the 16% of cases reported last year. 

December 14, 2017

Virginia Tech Ombuds Hosts an AMA

Bryan Hanson, the Graduate School Ombudsperson for Virginia Tech, recently answered questions online for UrbanAMA. (Originating on Reddit, 'Ask Me Anything' “Ask Me Anything” is a common online discussion format that encourages people to ask someone about a specific aspect of their life, often their career or unique experiences.) 

University of Toronto Ombuds Reports Steady Caseload

U of T University Ombudsperson, Ellen Hodnettreports that her office worked with 339 individuals in 2016-17, a modest increase from 316 in 2015-16 and 314 in 2014-15.  With a lack of new systemic issues, Hodnett commended the campus on consistently implementing of policies, especially for assisting stakeholders with disabilities. 

December 12, 2017

University of Cincinnati Promotes Interim Ombuds

Kim Fullbright, who has been the interim UC Ombuds since Lillian Santa Maria retired, has been confirmed for the job.  Here is today's campus announcement from Debra Merchant, Vice President of Student Affairs:

December 11, 2017

Profile of University of North Georgia's Ombuds for the Oconee Campus

For the past three years, Veronica Walker has been served as the Ombuds for the 2,500 students at the growing commuter campus in central Georgia. Walker is a biology lab coordinator and volunteers in the Ombuds role. She says that she cares about the student body and knows how confusing the bureaucracy of higher education can be. 

December 07, 2017

IOA Video Promotes Ombuds for Surfacing & Addressing Sexual Misconduct

The International Ombudsman Association has posted a YouTube video that addresses the Weinstein Effect and #MeToo Campaign.  The video, was produced by IOA's Communications Committee in just a few days and feels like a potentially valuable tool for influencing decision-makers.  IOA has posted it on all of its social media: YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.  

Ombuds at University of Arizona Implements 'Terms of Use' for Visitors

In October, the UA Ombuds Program put in place "Terms of Use" that seek to protect the ethical tenets of the office.  The terms are listed on the website along with ethics and standards, and do not require a visitor to indicate agreement specifically. 

Romanian Organization Offers Ombuds Services for International Investors

The International Union of Bilateral Chambers of Commerce and Industry touts itself as "the world’s largest business organization of the bi-national (bilateral) chambers of commerce and industry and all of their Unions, Federations or Joint Business Councils." At present, the IUBCCI is comprised of 48 chambers of commerce with ties to Romania. One of its programs is the International Ombudsman for Investors Corporation, "an organizational ombudsman established as a non-profit organization that represents the interests of the worldwide investors by investigating and addressing complaints of maladministration or violation of their economic, commercial and other similar important rights." 

December 05, 2017

IOA to Offer ADR Training in New Orleans

The International Ombudsman Association brings three training programs to New Orleans in late January 2018.  The offerings are aimed at novice and experienced Organizational Ombuds, but are open to the public.  Note that enrollment is capped at about 30 for these courses. 

University of Iowa Opens Internal Search for Faculty Ombuds

UI will appoint its next Faculty Ombudsperson in early 2018 after an internal search. The process will fill a position held by Susan Johnson since 2009.  Applicants must on a regular tenure track or emeritus status for the part-time position.  (UIowa Jobs.)

December 04, 2017

Montgomery College Again Agrees to All Ombuds Recommendations

Julie Schwartz Weber, the MC Ombuds, reports that the college has adpoted all of the recommentations made in her 2017 report. An email from the MC President DeRionne P. Pollard not only vowed support for each of the four recommendations presented in the Ombuds' Fourth Annual Report, but she also shared comments and gave direction regarding how to implement the recommendations. 

December 01, 2017

Job Posting: Vancouver Community College

The public community college in British Columbia is hiring its first Ombudsperson. The part-time position will work with a student population that totals about 26,000. VCC has had an "Arbiter of Student Issues" that was functionally similar to a University Ombuds program and which has been consulting with local Ombuds and participating in ACCUO and regional Ombuds events.