November 15, 2019

Job Posting: University of Newcastle, Australia

The public university in New South Wales is hiring its first Student Ombudsman. "Reporting to the Director Assurance Services, this newly created critical role requires comprehensive knowledge and understanding of relevant legislative educational frameworks and environments [and] expertise in supporting and working with students regarding their academic progression and assisting them dealing with their academic concerns." The University of Newcastle enrolls about 37,000 students across six campuses.

November 13, 2019

Webcast to Feature Three University Ombuds

On November 20, Higher Ed Live, a media platform for professionals in higher education, will host a webcast focusing on the work of University Ombuds. Host Heather Shea discusses the important partnerships between Ombuds Offices and Student Affairs with three panelists: Shannon Burton at Michigan State; D. A. Graham at the University of Kansas; and Jennifer Schneider at the University of South Florida.

November 12, 2019

Job Posting: Gila River Indian Community

The Indian reservation on the south side of Phoenix, Arizona is hiring a its first Ombudsman. The position will "provide services which include being a liaison between Community Members and the Tribal Government, listening to citizens’ complaints when they think the Gila River Indian Community has treated them unfairly, and coaching, assisting, and investigating the complaints received from Community Members."

Journal of IOA Call for Papers: Special Issue on Sexual Harassment

The Journal of the International Ombudsman Association is pleased to announce a call for papers for a Special Issue on Responses of the Organizational Ombuds to Sexual Harassment. How do ombuds respond to sexual harassment within their organizations? What methods and strategies do they use, why do they use them, and with what outcomes? The JIOA invites papers that will focus on organizational ombuds’ most significant and
challenging experiences in responding to and assisting with sexual harassment concerns.

Northern Illinois University Erodes Ombuds' Confidentiality

After years of pushing back against university administrators, NIU’s University Ombudsperson Sarah Klaper said that she has been designated as a Clery Reporter. In remarks for the university's Operating Staff Council, Klaper said she is concerned the change will compromise her office’s confidentiality. NIU made the change despite Klaper's explanation that Ombuds does not fit the statutory designation.

November 11, 2019

Job Posting: University of Alabama at Birmingham

The public university in Birmingham is hiring its first University Ombudsperson. The full-time position will serve neutral and impartial dispute resolution practitioner at UAB for faculty and staff, mentored graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. Currently, the university has only a part-time Faculty Ombuds—a position established by Michelle Fanucchi in 2016 and held on an interim basis by J. Michael Wyss since last year.

Job Posting: D.C. Schools Ombuds

The Ombudsman for Public Education in Washington, DC⁠—a neutral and independent office that provides conflict resolution services related to public education⁠—is hiring an Assistant Ombudsman. The position responds to complaints and concerns and assists with facilitating or mediating conflicts.

November 08, 2019

World Health Organization Adds an Ombuds in Southeast Asia

Dolores Gómez-Morán, CO-OP, has been appointed the Ombudsman for the WHO Regional Office in Southeast Asian (WHO SEAR), effective September 2, 2019. This is a new position in the WHO SEAR Region and is based in New Delhi, India. Gómez-Morán practices to IOA standards.

Job Posting: Federal Reserve System

The governing board of the U.S. central bank is hiring an Assistant Ombudsman. The Executive Ombuds position 1) acts as facilitator for the fair and timely resolution of complaints related to the System’s regulatory activities; 2) receives, reviews, and decides claims of retaliatory conduct by System staff; and 3) reports to Board members and senior Board staff on issues that may have a significant impact on the System’s mission, activities, or reputation, including patterns of issues that occur in multiple complaints. In addition, there are collateral administrative duties.

November 07, 2019

Job Posting: Transportation Security Administration

The TSA's Ombudsman Division (part of the Civil Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement Office) is hiring an Ombudsman Specialist based in Arlington, VA. The position serves internal and external stakeholders and about 25% travel is required.

Cornell Ombuds Office Marks Golden Anniversary

The Office of the University Ombudsman at Cornell University is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. The program was established in response to the Willard Straight Hall takeover by students in 1969 as a neutral outlet for Cornellians to express their concerns. It is one of the oldest university Ombuds offices.

November 06, 2019

Job Posting: University of West Georgia

The public doctoral-granting university in Carrollton, GA is hiring a Director of Ombuds Services. Reporting directly to the University President, the position will lead UWG’s Ombuds Office, practicing to IOA standards. Until earlier this year, Tahirih Varner, CO-OP, had served in the role. Currently, Julia Farmer is the only person in the office and is serving as the Interim Faculty Ombuds.

November 05, 2019

NASEM Report on Mentoring Recommends Wider Use of Ombuds

A new report (The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM) from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says that U.S. colleges and universities should take a more intentional, inclusive, and evidence-based approach to mentoring students – a shift that could engage and help retain a broader group of students. The report identifies Ombuds as a resource to address negative mentoring experiences.

Job Posting: Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN

The United Nations agency that leads international efforts to defeat hunger, is hiring an Ombudsman. The five-year position provides confidential, impartial and independent advice on conflicts and problems to FAO staff from the Rome Headquarters and in decentralized offices. In addition, the Ombuds will coordinate and manage FAO’s mediation program.

New Ombuds Serves National Research Council of Canada

In May 2019, Karine Gauvreau was named the first Ombudsman for the NRC (Conseil national de recherches Canada), the Government of Canada's largest research and technology organization. In this role, she will provide nearly 5,000 employees with a safe space to discuss concerns about the agency and scientific integrity, research ethics, and harassment.

November 04, 2019

Job Posting: Connecticut College

The private liberal arts college in New London is hiring its first Staff Ombudsperson. The part-time (10 hrs/wk) position reports to the president and will supplement the work of the existing Faculty Ombudsperson Julia Kushigian (Professor of Hispanic Studies and Social Justice Coordinator). The college's current equity and inclusion plan calls for both Ombuds positions to be strengthened.

Job Posting: UNICEF

The Office of the Ombudsman for five UN Funds and Programmes (including UNDP, UNFPA, UNOPS, and UN Women) is hiring a Senior Mediation Specialist. Based at the UN Headquarters in New York City, the position is a mediation and workplace conflict resolution expert that will oversee mediation services by a network of mediators and ensure quality standards, and conduct mediations as needed. It reports to the Ombudsman for UN Funds and Programmes, Giuseppe De Palo.

Idaho State University is Refreshing its Roster of Ombuds

ISU is seeking nominations for staff to join its group of part-time Ombuds. About seven faculty and staff make up the ISU Ombuds Program, which provides services only to university faculty and staff. The program has had a number of incarnations; In 2011, the Faculty Ombudsperson coordinated a faculty no confidence vote in the president and his office was subsequently shuttered for a short time. The current panel configuration has been in place for four years and practices to IOA standards.

November 01, 2019

Marshall University Selects First Ombuds

Lacy Ward Jr. has been hired as the first Marshall University Ombudsman. In the new full-time position, Ward will also serve as the Civic Engagement Coordinator. Ward will assist only university employees with questions or concerns with the university’s policies and procedures. The joint appointments will run for an initial one-year period.

Familiar Ombuds Returns as Interim at College of William & Mary

Tatia Granger has returned to her former post as the Interim Ombuds for the public university in Williamsburg, VA. Granger, a Clinical Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at W&M, had been the Ombuds from 2008 to 2018. Mark Patterson then served in the role for about a year and half and before moving across the country to establish a office at to moving to Cal State University Channel Islands. William & Mary is currently searching for its next permanent Ombuds. (W&M Compliance and Equity.)

October 31, 2019

Texas A&M College of Medicine Opens Ombuds Office

Earlier this year, the public medical school in Bryan, Texas appointed its first two Ombuds: Erin Herbrich is the Staff Ombudsman; and Bobbie Ann "BA" Adair White is the Faculty Ombudsman. The College of Medicine is part of the Texas A&M Health Science Center, which has its own Academic Ombuds, Robin Dickey.

Duke Medical School Appoints Faculty Ombuds

Laura Svetkey has joined the Office of the Ombudsperson at the Duke University School of Medicine. She joins Ada Gregory, Ombuds for Undergraduate, Graduate, and Non-School of Medicine Professional Students; Jean Spaulding, Ombuds for School of Medicine Students and Postdoctoral Appointees; and Thomas Metzloff, Ombuds for University Faculty Members.

October 30, 2019

West Virginia University Selects Next Ombuds

After an internal search, Jodi Goodman has been named the WVU Faculty Ombudsperson for a three-year term. She takes on the part-time Ombuds duties while continuing as Professor of Management in the College of Business and Economics. Goodman follows Tom Patrick, a law professor who has established the position in 2016.

Meet the New Ombuds at the University of Calgary

Jeff Stransky became the Student Ombuds at UCalgary just about one year ago, succeeding, Kevin Wiens, who served in the role about three years. Stransky has worked at the university nearly two decades, primarily in enrollment and student advising. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo. (LinkedIn.)

October 29, 2019

IOA Seeks Nominations for Six Empty Board of Directors Seats

The International Ombudsman Association is seeking nominations for Directors who will serve a three-year term starting on March 31, 2020. There will be six open seats. Nominations are due by November 18; and voting runs from December 27 through January 31. New board members will be introduced at the IOA conference.

Pfizer Adds an Ombuds in Colorado

Lourdes Delgado-Cheers has been appointed a Global Ombuds at Pfizer and based in Denver. She reports to Sue Diviney, Vice President and Office of the Ombuds Team Lead. Delgado-Cheers has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for two decades and at Pfizer since 2007. Most recently, she was the North America Employee Relations Lead.

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Names First Ombuds

Veronica Cano has been appointed the first Faculty Ombudsperson for the public research university at the southern tip of Texas. In the new full-time role, she will serve about 1,200 academic employees and practice to IOA standards. 

October 28, 2019

Students' Union Demands Apology from Ombuds at University of Toronto

Last week the UofT Governing Council held its first public meeting of the academic year and the agenda was dominated by student mental health issues with student groups demanding reforms. During her report, University Ombudsperson, Ellen Hodnett, voiced her support for the administration's actions. In response, the largest student union criticized the Ombuds and called for an apology.

Update: Marquette University Faculty Push Back on Closure of Ombuds Office

At the latest meeting of the Academic Senate at Marquette, the Committee on Diversity and Equity urged a reconsideration of university's closure of the Office of the Ombuds on September 6, 2019.  The office opened in 2002 to serve faculty and staff; Kerry Egdorf was the Ombuds for 12 years.  Other faculty at the senate meeting voiced support for the Ombuds program.

Call for Presenters: IOA 2020 Conference in Portland

The International Ombudsman Association seeks proposal for its annual conference taking place March 30-April 1, 202 in Portland, OR. IOA's 15th Annual Conference, "Vision 2020: Innovation, Integrity, and Importance in Ombuds Work," will draw participants and presenters represent professionals in academia, corporations, government, non-profits, healthcare, faith communities, and many other organizations. 

University of British Hires Ombuds

Michelle Quigg has been named the new Ombuds Officer for the large public university in Vancouver. She fills a position being vacated by the retirement of Joy Coben and reports to UBC's Ombudsperson for Students, Shirley Nakata

October 25, 2019

National Academies and Universities are Incorporating Ombuds in Effort to Combat Gender Discrimination

The umbrella scientific organization for the U.S. will hold a summit in November to discuss plans to change the culture of higher ed that has tolerated sexual misconduct for decades. Action plans submitted by many universities show that Ombuds will be a critical part of these efforts. perhaps because of this initiative, some institutions are considering Ombuds for the first time. In addition, IOA will have representatives to explain and advocate for the Ombuds role.

October 24, 2019

Job Posting: Archaeological Institute of America / Society for Classical Studies

AIA and SCS are seeking an Ombudsperson for their Joint Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, January 2-5, 2020. The Ombuds will be the point of contact for any complaints of harassment, including but not limited to sexual harassment, and for anyone who feels unsafe for any reason at the meeting. The Ombuds will operate pursuant to the new AIA-SCS Joint Annual Meeting Harassment Policy and serve on an as-needed basis for two months after the conference.

October 22, 2019

U.S. Olympic Committee Hires Associate Athlete Ombuds

Emily Azevedo has joined the Athlete Ombudsman Office of the National Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs. Reporting to the USOC Athlete Ombudsman, Kacie Wallace, Azevedo provides independent advice to athletes and assists in mediating disputes. 

Students Petition for Ombuds at University of Utah

Students are demanding changes to improve safety at the public research university in Salt Lake City. They are asking the President to take various accountability and transparency measures and allocate additional resources, including the appointment of the first Student Ombudsman. 

October 16, 2019

Charleston County to Hire First Ombuds

The coastal county in South Carolina has opened an internal search for its first Organizational Ombuds. The new Ombuds will subsume the existing Ombudsman program for constituent complaints and offer a new Organizational Ombuds service for county staff. The position reports to the Clerk of Council and is expected to "seek certification as a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner" or comparable certification and training. Charleston would become one of a very few counties or municipalities with an Organizational Ombuds program.

October 15, 2019

Emerging Ombuds Network Seeks Input on Internship Toolkit

EON, the group that advocates for and supports the development of emerging Ombuds and the Ombuds profession, is developing a set of resources to guide the creating of internship programs. An intership in an established Ombuds office is a significant learning experience for aspiring Ombuds. Yet many Ombuds are reluctant to take on an intern because of the time commitment and unfamiliarity with internships in general. If developed, EON's toolkit could benefit many.

October 14, 2019

Job Posting: Defense Human Resources Activity

The U.S. Department of Defense Field Activity that supports the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness is hiring a full-time Ombudsman. It is not clear whether this is a new DHRA position. Previously, the agency had hired Ombuds to mediate complaints between military service members and their employers. This posting seeks a more typical Organizational Ombuds.

NIH Ombuds Retires, Interim Appointed

J. Kathleen Moore has retired from her position as NIH Ombudsman and Director of the Center for Cooperative Resolution. Moore worked at the NIH for over three decades, as a counseling psychologist and then as NIH Senior Associate Ombudsman. In January 2016, she became Acting Director, and, following a nationwide search, was named NIH Ombudsman and Director of CCR. Julie Muroff has been appointed the Acting NIH Ombudsman and Director of CCR.

October 11, 2019

Job Posting: Lambda School

The for-profit online coding boot camp for adults based in San Francisco is hiring its first Ombudsperson. (Lambda is remarkable among unaccredited coding schools because it has no campus and it allows students to pay with an income share agreement.) The full-time position will provide dispute resolution services to about 1,000 students and "provide suggestions to the executive team in creating and/or changing policies that may surface as a result of discrepancies between the stated goals of Lambda and actual practices."

Job Posting: Emory University

The private research university in Atlanta, Georgia is hiring an Associate Ombudsperson. The full-time position will report to Lynell Cadray who was appointed the inaugural Emory University Ombudsperson last month. It also seems that the position will be working almost exclusively with students, undergraduates and graduates. "As Director of Programs, [the Associate Ombuds] will manage university outreach, strategic planning, development and implementation of programs to educate the community on conflict management and the Office of the Ombuds."

Job Posting: U.S. Department of Energy

The department responsible for U.S. energy and nuclear safety policies is hiring an Associate Ombudsman. This will fill a position recently vacated by Bill Mauer, who moved the the Census Bureau. The job is based in either Germantown, MD or Washington D.C., and serves all DOE federal employees, world-wide. Some travel is required.

Job Re-Posting: Oregon Health & Science University

The academic medical center in Portland has reopened its search for its next Ombudsman. Merle Graybill established the program in 2015 as a part-time position and the job now is full-time. Reporting to the provost, the OHSU Ombuds works with employees, students, and trainees.  

Northwestern University Promises an Ombuds Program Next Year

After at least 15 years of requests by various stakeholder groups seeking an Ombuds, Northwestern's Provost Jonathan Holloway announced that the university will appoint an Ombuds in the 2020-21 academic year. The decision follows a recommendation from an Ombuds Program Task Force that had sought “extensive stakeholder input.” The University will hire a trained Ombuds to head the office according to the Provost's email announcement. (Daily Northwestern.)

October 10, 2019

The Power of Speaking Up: Thoughts On Ombuds Day (Guest Post)

Submitted by Reese Ramos, CO-OP, Director and University Ombuds at Virginia Tech.

My heart, and spirits, sank a bit as I sat down at my typewriter laptop to draft a little something to commemorate the second ever Ombuds Day*. Why? Because, in preparing to write this article, I looked at what I wrote last year; I spoke then about how there is much in the world that divides us.  And it struck me that the events I alluded in last year’s article are still headline news – every single one. I guess that sometimes, not much changes in a span of a year. 

October 09, 2019

U.S. Census Bureau Selects First Ombuds

Bill Maurer, CO-OP, has been named the first Ombudsman for the U.S. Census, the Department of Commerce agency that produces data about American people and economy. Maurer moves to the position from the Office of the Ombudsman at the Department of Energy. He has also served as the Vice-Chair of the Coalition of Federal Ombudsman.

Mars, Inc. Highlights Work of Global Ombuds Team

Publicity for Ombuds in the private sector is often relegated to internal publications or firewalled websites available only to insiders. So it's noteworthy when a corporation touts the work of its Ombuds program. This week, Mars, Inc., the global foods conglomerate promoted the work of its Ombudsman Program on a public news site. The article highlighted five attributes of the Ombuds:

Cases Tick Up for University of Pennsylvania Ombuds in 2018-19

In their latest annual report, UPenn Ombuds Lynn Hollen Lees and Associate Ombuds Marcia Martínez-Helfman, said their Office of Ombuds handled 5.5% more cases in 2018-19 compared to the prior year. University staff accounted for the largest proportion of visitors (43%), followed by faculty (24%) and graduate and professional students (19%)—proportions have remained roughly stable for the last several years.

October 08, 2019

UConn Health Recruits Experienced Ombuds

Donna Douglass Williams has been selected as the first Ombuds for the University of Connecticut health system. She will provide services to faculty, students, trainees, and staff affiliated with a teaching hospital, the UConn School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, and Graduate School. Williams will be based in Farmington and coordinate with the UConn Ombuds in Storrs, Jim Wohl.

Internship: United Nations, Kenya

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking a full-time intern to be posted in Nairobi, the UN headquarters in Africa. The unpaid internship will last six months and offers the opportunity to support outreach and advocacy, prepare data and reports, and conduct research. The position reports to the Regional Ombudsman, Nicholas Theotocatos.