December 17, 2018

Ombuds Year in Review: 2018 (Intro)

This is the ninth annual summary of the most important news items about Organizational Ombuds. (The first year of this feature was a ten-year recap of 2000-2009.) The list comes in three installments and concludes on December 27.  In the first week of January, readers will have the chance to vote on what they thought of the year. 

Before the list of top ten stories starts next week, here are some other notable items from 2018:

Retirements -- Several notable Ombuds retired in 2018, including:
  • Wilfred F. Gunsteren (ETH Zurich);
  • Susan Johnson (University of Iowa);
  • Maryvonne Landolt (ETH Zurich);
  • Nikolai Pankratiev (Mars Inc.);
  • David Rasch (Stanford University) [although he later to a part-time contract position at UC Santa Barbara]; and
  • Tom Ward (Clemson University).
Passings -- The profession lost several of its leading lights:
  • Don Hartsock (UCLA); 
  • Edwin Lewis (Iowa State University); and
  • Geoffrey Wallace (UC Santa Barbara). 
New Offices -- Ombuds offices were established or significantly expanded at 37 organizations in 2018:
  • Al Akhawayn University;
  • American Statistical Association;
  • American Society for Aesthetics;
  • Bastyr University;
  • Botany 2018;
  • Brandeis University (faculty and staff);
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District
  • Comprehensive Pneumology Center (Munich);
  • Cooper Medical School;
  • Democratic Socialists of America-Los Angeles;
  • Elon University;
  • Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools;
  • Francis Marion University;
  • Ganja State University;
  • Green Climate Fund;
  • Johns Hopkins School of Medicine;
  • Karolinska Institutet;
  • Kavli IPMU;
  • Meharry Medical College;
  • National University;
  • Ogletree Deakins;
  • PIMCO;
  • Politecnico di Milano;
  • Public Service Commission of Canada;
  • Rice University;
  • Safer Care Victoria;
  • Saint Louis University School of Medicine;
  • San Francisco State University;
  • Scripps Research Institute;
  • State Bar of Texas;
  • Stockton Unified School District;
  • Stockton University;
  • Syracuse University;
  • Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción;
  • University of Michigan (staff);
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts; and
  • University of Rochester Medical Center.
Closed Offices -- It is notoriously difficult to track Ombuds offices closing, because there is usually no public announcement. In 2018, at least four closed:
  • Baker Hughes;
  • Dartmouth College;
  • Pasadena (CA) Unified School District; and
  • Sandia National Laboratories.
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