March 30, 2018

Ombuds Survey Harassment Practices in Canadian Higher Ed

The Association of Canadian College and University Ombudsperson has posted a summary of a peer-reviewed paper that soon will be published by Defensoría de los Derechos Univeristarios de la UNAM with the title “Acoso Escolar : Prevención y Sensibilización” (“Addressing Harassment in the Promotion of Equity and Fairness: A Perspective from Canadian University Ombuds”). 

Ombuds at HELENA in Munich Serve Grad Students

Four Ombudspersons serve the graduate students at HELENA--the Helmholtz Graduate School of Environmental Health. The eight year old program is collaboration of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and Technische Universität München and enrolls over 400 international students. The Ombuds, "are designated impartial individuals who mediate in cases of conflict between graduate students and their advisers. All conversations are strictly confidential. The ombudspersons are nominated by the graduate students and are elected for a term of two years."

March 29, 2018

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Appoints Experienced Ombuds

The multilateral developmental investment bank based in London has named Deniz Ogretir as its next Ombuds, succeeding Asha Singh Williams. For the past four years, Ogretir was the Ombudsman for the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific for the International Committee of the Red Cross. In his new role as EBRD Ombuds, he will serve 3,500 employees at three dozen international sites. The appointment is for an initial term of three years and may be renewed for an additional two years.

March 28, 2018

Comprehensive Pneumology Center in Munich Creates Ombuds Program

The science and medicine training program in Germany has appointed Marion Frankenberger as its first Student Ombudsperson. The very small institute is located on the campus of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and is a collaborative project of several German research programs. 

Interview with Utah Valley University Ombuds

UVU's Ombudsman and Coordinator of Conflict Resolution, Talatou Abdoulaye, was recently interviewed by the campus newspaper. He sought to reassure students who may be afraid of reaching out to his office because he works at the university and/or don’t think he can help them. He that he shreds all case materials at the end of every semester, to illustrate his confidentiality and informality.

March 27, 2018

Nord Universitet to Appoint Student Ombuds

On March 8, 2018, the board of the public university in Bodø, Norway approved a plan to name a Student Ombuds (studentombudet). The board chair said that the Ombuds would improve students' understanding of their rights within the university and as a resource for bullying and harassment concerns. The chair also acknowledged that an Ombuds would be an important feedback mechanism for the administration and board. 

Georgia State University Loses an Ombuds

Kelley Alexander, who served as the GSU Ombudsperson for the past nine years, has left the university. During her tenure at Georgia State, she established an annual Conflict Resolution Day symposium and was an active IOA volunteer.  She is continuing to offer organizational consulting and dispute resolution services through her business, InnerLight Solutions. GSU has appointed Birthe Reimers and Chris Vermillion as Interim Co-Directors of the office.  (GSU Ombuds; LinkedIn.)

March 26, 2018

IOA Selects New Executive Director

The International Ombudsman Association has announced that Marla Schrager will be its new Executive Director. She succeeds Rick Koepke, who has served in the role for the past four years. Board President Ilene Butensky explained the move in an email to IOA members: 

University of Copenhagen is Home to Country's Only Student Ombuds

In March 2017, Bo Gad Køhlert was appointed as the Student Ambassador at UCPH, Denmark's oldest university. In this role, Køhlert serves nearly 40,000 students by providing confidential and impartial legal advice about academic issues and university procedures. The student-elected member of the University’s Board of Directors offered this explanation of Student Ambassador's role:

March 22, 2018

Rice University Creates Faculty Ombuds Program

The private university in Houston, TX has appointed Anne Schnoebelen as its first Faculty Ombuds. She will serve about 1,000 instructional faculty and practice to IOA standards. Schnoebelen is an emeritus professor of music and has been a member of the Rice faculty since 1974. 

Open Letter from Michigan State University Ombuds: Trust Us During Troubled Times

The MSU community has been roiled by the Larry Nassar scandal and the administration continues to struggle with its response. In response, the campus Ombuds, Robert A. Caldwell and Shannon Lynn Burton, published a letter, reminding the community that they are a trustworthy resource for addressing concerns.

March 21, 2018

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.  Located in Rockville, MD, 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.

March 19, 2018

FCO/Osgoode Ombuds Certificate Program Returns for Sixth Year

The Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and Osgoode Professional Development at York University will offer their annual certificate program, Essentials for Ombuds, September 24-28, 2018 in downtown Toronto. 

March 16, 2018

British Ombudsman Association Annual Conference Marks 25 Years

The professional association for Classical Ombudsmen in the UK, Ireland, and British dependencies looks back on its first quarter century at its next annual meeting. TOA has announced details of the conference set for May 24-25 at the Hilton Edinburgh Carlton Hotel:

March 15, 2018

Job Posting: Stockton Unified School District

The public school system in Central California with nearly 40,000 students is hiring its first Ombudsman. The full-time position will be a "designated neutral to facilitate the informal resolution of concerns of employees, managers, students and the community; with a focus on assisting in the resolutions of parent concerns." The SUSD Ombuds will report to the Assistant Superintendent for Educational Support Services. 

March 14, 2018

Job Posting: World Bank Group

The international financial institution is hiring a full-time Program Analyst to work for its Ombudsman, Axel Peuker. The description is similar to a job that was posted earlier this year.  The job is "responsible primarily for coordinating and facilitating collective IJS initiatives and activities, and for providing technical expertise related to workplace conflict resolution systems."

Ontario's Ombudsman Touts Collaboration with University Ombuds

Paul Dubé, the Ombudsman for Canada's most populous province, reports that his office has received more than 500 complaints about universities under his purview. Dubé was appointed to the position in 2016, shortly after the office was granted oversight of public universities, 11 of which had existing Ombuds programs. At the time, there was some concern that the governmental Ombuds would impair or undermine the work of campus Ombuds. It now appears that a collaborative relationship has developed. 

March 13, 2018

Journal of IOA: Amplifying Trends with Data

The latest article published by the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association explores the use of data to support the Ombuds work of providing upward feedback to their organization.  "Amplifying Trends with Data," was written by Jennifer Schneider, who has been the Student Ombuds at the University of South Florida since 2015.

(Internal) Job Posting: MD Anderson Cancer Center

The leading cancer research and treatment center in Houston has opened an internal search for a part-time Ombudsperson.  The position will join an office that serves all members of the MD Anderson workforce, including faculty, trainees and fellows of the institution. 

March 12, 2018

Organization of American States Appoints Next Ombuds

The international organization has named Chet Neymour as its next Ombuds, succeeding Sherry Tross, who founded the office in 2015. The OAS Office of the Ombudsperson provides assistance to over 1,000 OAS personnel in 35 different countries. The work is based on the principles of impartiality, confidentiality, independence and informality.

March 09, 2018

National University Names First Ombuds

LaCrisia "Cris" Gilbert has been appointed the first Ombuds for the private, non-profit university headquartered in La Jolla, California.  As the University Ombuds, Gilbert is expected to practice to IOA standards and serve a large student body.  Gilbert comes to National University from the University of North Texas, where she was an adjunct professor and director of a conflict resolution center for the past decade.

Ombuds at Northeast Ohio Medical University Joins FEMA ADR Corps

Angela E. Dash, who established the Ombuds program at NEOMED in 2015 will become an independent contractor so that she can join the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a Reservist Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisor. She told the medical school's newsletter that she is following the example of her father--who also worked for FEMA. 

March 08, 2018

Job Posting: Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA's Alternative Dispute Resolution Division will be hiring multiple, ADR Advisors. The position provides professional conflict prevention and resolution services to FEMA employees during disaster operations. Locations for the jobs have yet to be determined and may be negotiated with the incumbents. The positions are full-time, but temporary and will not last longer than two years.  

March 07, 2018

Job Posting: Clemson University

The public university in South Carolina has opened a search for its next Ombuds for Staff. (Tom Ward has held the position since July 2006.) The Clemson Staff Ombuds serves about 4,000 employees and collaborates with the University Ombudsman for Faculty and Students, R. Gordon Halfacre and the Ombudsman Assistant, Glenda L. Dickson. It is a full-time position.

Interview of Cal State San Bernardino Ombuds

CSUSB's Ombudsperson Twillea Evans-Carthen was recently interviewed by the campus newspaper. She talked about her role on the campus and how she decided to change professions.  

March 06, 2018

Job Posting: UC Davis

The University of California Davis is hiring an Associate Ombuds.  The position will cover both the Davis and the Sacramento Health campuses, and report to the Campus Ombuds, Katherine Greenwood. The office follows IOA standards.

March 05, 2018

Job Posting: U.S. Department of State

The Office of the Ombudsman at the State Department is hiring a Program Management Specialist. The incumbent will work as an Ombuds, providing, "subject matter expertise in conflict resolution, utilizing mediation, facilitation, conflict coaching and other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques, as appropriate."Some travel is required and there is an opportunity to telecommute. The position is open only to family members of a federal employee working or who has worked overseas or internal applicants.

March 02, 2018

Call for Submissions: 2018 Journal of Cal Caucus

The Journal of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds is seeking scholarly articles for its 2018 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.

March 01, 2018

Texas A&M Names Graduate Student Ombuds

George Cunningham has been appointed the Graduate Ombuds Officer for the public university in College Station. He will practice to IOA standards in serving about 15,000 graduate students.