February 28, 2019

It's Time to Nominate the 2019 Distinguished Emeriti

The International Ombudsman Association is soliciting nominations for the Distinguished Emeritus Award. Each year the IOA Nominations and Governance Committee solicits nominations to recognize outstanding and dedicated service to the organization and Ombuds profession. 

Syracuse University's New Ombuds Introduces Himself

Neal Powless, named the first University Ombuds for Syracuse in late January, was recently profiled by the campus newspaper, The Daily Orange. He said that he will draw upon his experience as lacrosse coach, administrator for indigenous students, and parent of a disabled son.  

February 27, 2019

University of Colorado Ombuds Reports Surge in Caseload

CU Boulder Ombuds Director Kirsi Aulin reports that her office handled 603 cases in 2017-18, a 63% increase from the prior year (which was also up 60% from the year before). Aulin released a 42-page report detailing the work of the Ombuds Office and breaking down visitor statistics. (CU Ombuds Report.)

February 26, 2019

Harvard Medical School Adds an Ombuds

The Ombuds Office for Harvard’s Medical, Dental and Public Health Schools has hired Justin Neiman as its first Associate Ombudsperson. He will work with Melissa Brodrick to provide services to faculty, staff, students, trainees and appointees for an initial two-year appointment. 

IOA Seeks Samples of Successful Swag

At its annual conference next month, the International Ombudsman Association will showcase promotional items that Ombuds have used to to market their services. The IOA Swag Showcase will celebrate any swag items attendees care to share. Samples of any item may be dropped off at the registration desk in New Orleans. (IOA Swag Showcase.)

Save the Date for ENOHE 2019 Conference in Spain

The European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education will hold its 15th annual conference June 26-28, 2019. The University of Léon will host. (ENOHE Conf.)

February 25, 2019

Internship: United Nations, New York

The Office of the UN Ombudsman and Mediation Services is accepting applications for an unpaid internship in its New York headquarters. The temporary position is full-time and will last at least three to six months. There are now two open searches for interns at UNOMS in New York, the nation's second most expensive city. Duties will depend on the intern's experience and needs of the program, but may include: outreach and advocacy; support preparing data and reports; and conducting research.

McGill University Seeks Faculty Member to Serve as Student Ombuds

The public university in Montreal has opened an internal search for its next Ombudsperson for Students. The half-time, five-year appointment starts September 1, 2019 and serves a student population of 40,000. The position is open only to current faculty, preferably tenured. Prof. Dimitrios Berk has served in the position since 2014. Carmela Parzanese continues as the Assistant to the Ombudsperson. (McGill Careers.)

University of Tennessee Searching Internally for Next Ombuds

UT Knoxville will select a faculty member to serve as its next Campus Ombudsperson. The search will fill a position vacated by the retirement of Elaine Wynn, who served as UT Knoxville’s Staff Ombudsperson since December 2018. The new hire will serve both faculty and staff at the public university. Faculty Ombuds Bill Nugent is currently managing the office on an interim basis. (UTK Chancellor.)

Metropolitan State University Hosts Colorado Ombuds

Ten people from the Colorado Ombuds Group met for its winter conference at Metropolitan State University of Denver on February 15, 2019. Barbara Beatty, MSU Denver’s Ombuds, hosted. Highlights of the meeting included learning about the Colorado Long Term Care Ombuds program with 70 Ombuds; having a lively discussion about White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo lead by Lisa Neale; and providing some reflection and guidance on a few valuable case studies from our peers.  

February 21, 2019

Job Posting: Global Green Growth Institute

The international organization headquartered in Seoul is looking for an Ombudsperson. In addition to providing Ombuds services, the position will also support the GGGI Global Respectful Workplace Advisors program and provide internal training/coaching. Camilo Azcarate was announced as the first GGGI Ombuds in July 2018 but it is not clear whether this search will replace or supplement him.

Job Posting: Pikes Peak Community College

The community college in Colorado Springs, Colorado is hiring an Executive Assistant to the President/Ombuds. As the Ombuds, the position will provide services to over 18,000 students. It does not appear that PPCC has had an Ombuds before.

February 20, 2019

Job Posting: University of California, Davis

UC Davis has opened a search for its next Campus Ombuds Program Director.  This position will support the UC Davis campus in Davis as well as the UC Davis Health campus in Sacramento. It will lead an office that currently includes: Dana Hinojosa, Interim Director; Lindsey Dunning, Associate Ombuds; and Lauren Bloom, Associate Ombuds. A current search will add an Assistant Ombuds soon.

U.S. Air Force Academy Plans Ombuds for Athletics

In testimony before a Congressional subcommittee last week, Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria detailed several initiatives to tackle sexual assault, sexual harassment, and culture- and climate-related issues at the school in Colorado Springs. These plans include an Ombuds for the USAFA's athletics department.

February 19, 2019

Job Posting: UConn Health

The health system of the University of Connecticut, based in Farmington, is hiring its first Ombudsman. The position will coordinate with the UConn Ombuds, Jim Wohl, to 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. The full-time position will practice to IOA standards.

February 18, 2019

Job Posting: World Health Organization, India

The UN agency that focuses on international public health has opened a search for its first Regional Ombudsman for India. The full-time position is limited to an initial two-year, which may be renewed.

February 14, 2019

Job Posting: California State University Channel Islands

The public university in Ventura County has reopened the search for its first University Ombuds Officer. (A search last fall apparently was unsuccessful.) The position serves about 1,100 faculty and staff and reports to the University president. Although not mentioned in the job description, the Cal State University Ombuds cannot keep sexual misconduct allegations confidential. The position is required to receive IOA training.

February 13, 2019

Cedar Crest College Appoints First Ombuds

Kerrie Baker is the first Ombuds for the private liberal arts women's college in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The office reports to the president and practices to IOA standards. She will serve the faculty and staff of the College: about 450 people in total. Baker has been a faculty member in the Psychology Department since 2001 and is currently the department chair. 

The Other Side of the Coin: Guidance for Supporting Those on the Receiving End of Complaints

Chris Gill and Carolyn Hirst have published a guide that aims to help organisations provide better support to employees who have been subject to a complaint: Being Complained About – Good Practice Principles and Guidelines. Gill is a socio-legal academic at the University of Glasgow and Hirst is a professional mediator at Hirstworks and an independent administrative justice researcher.

February 12, 2019

Book Club Will Get You Ready for #IOA2019 Keynoter

A new book club for Ombuds will read White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Dr. Robin DiAngelo, who will keynote the International Ombudsman Annual Conference in April. Lisa Neale (Ombuds at University of Colorado Denver) and Hector Escalante (Ombuds at University of the Pacific) are coordinating the club in conjunction with Cal Caucus. An online discussion is planned for March 8 via Zoom. Click on link for more details. (LinkedIn.)

February 11, 2019

Argonne National Laboratory Selects First Ombuds

Bradley Ginn, CO-OP, will be the first Laboratory Ombuds for the U.S. Department of Energy's national science and engineering research facility in Lemont, Illinois. Ginn will report to the Lab Director and set up an Office of the Ombuds for all members of the Argonne community. For the past five and a half years, Ginn was the founding Ombuds at Northeastern Illinois University. Until very recently, he also co-chaired the Professional Development Committee for IOA. (LinkedIn.)

German Crowdsourcing Ombuds Publishes First Annual Report

The Ombuds Office of the Code of Conduct for Paid Crowdsourcing reported the results of its work from November 2017 through December 2018. Five Ombuds Office panelists heard from 31 project workers or volunteers working for one of eight different German internet companies that rely on crowdsourcing. The panelists include a judge, two representatives from signatory companies, a workers' union representative, and a crowdsource worker. In 20 of the 31 cases, the Ombuds were able to bring the matters to resolution through mediation and 3 were still pending. (Ombudsstelle für Crowdsourcing 2019 Report.)

When Douglas College Wouldn't Hire an Ombuds, the Student Union Did

In 2012, the public college in British Columbia turned down the the Douglas Students Union's request for an independent Ombuds. So the students hired their own; Tracy Ho has served in the position since then. Ho also serves as the College Relations and Membership Outreach Coordinator at the DSU, a position she works to balance appropriately. “I think something I have to be very conscious of is what hat I have on,” she said. 

February 08, 2019

LSU School of Medicine Creates Ombuds Program

The Lafayette branch of the medical school at Louisiana State University has designated Kristi Anderson as its first Student Ombudsman. This is an additional role for Anderson, who also serves as the Director of Graduate Medical Education. According to a new website, she will practice to IOA standards. (LSU School of Medicine Ombuds.)

February 07, 2019

International Ombudsman Association Comments on Proposed Title IX Changes

IOA has joined thousands of other individuals and organizations objecting to the Department of Education's proposed new regulations to Title IX. The changes would fundamentally change the processes currently in place at most schools that receive federal funding, from kindergarten through graduate schools. IOA's comment was aimed at protecting the role of Organizational Ombuds in colleges and university.

Florida International University Names Student Ombuds

Sofia Trelles has been appointed the Student Ombudsman for the public university. She succeed Tony Delgado, who created the position, and joins Rebecca Friedman, who has served as FIU's Faculty Ombudsperson for the past few years. Trelles moved into the position after working on special projects as the Senior Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Student Affairs.

February 06, 2019

Barnard College Hires Ombuds for Students

DeShaunta Johnson has been named the first Student Ombuds for Barnard. She joins Judit Revesz, who is the Ombuds for faculty and staff. It is a part-time appointment for Johnson, who also is a Staff Psychologist in Barnard's Counseling Center.

Icahn School of Medicine has Quietly Built an Impressive Ombuds Program

Over the past couple of years, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Mount Sinai Health System has named nine Ombuds to serve medical students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, residents and fellows across five different facilities.
Deborah B. Marin serves as the Director of the Ombuds Office and Lauren Urquhart is the Coordinator.

February 04, 2019

Norwegian University of Life Sciences Names First Ombuds

In December 2019, the public university in Ås, Norway (Norges miljø- og biovitenskapelige universitet), appointed Martin Gautestad Jakobsen as its first Studentombudet. He serves about 5,000 students across four different campuses and has an electric car for the commute. Jakobsen works 40% at NMBU and also serves as the Student Ombuds at Østfold University College.

Video: SAP Global Ombuds Talks About Mindfulness

In a new video posted to YouTube, SAP's Global Ombudsperson, Margret Ammann, talks about how mindfulness helps her supports her visitors difficult situations helping them to find a solution. She talks about how her mindfulness practice helps her to stay impartial and to listen openly to any client that seeks her advice. In addition, Ammann shares her own self-care hobby: book-binding. (YouTube.)

February 01, 2019

Kennesaw State University to Host Summer Ombuds Workshops in June 2019

KSU has announced the details of a three-day professional development institute for Ombuds, June 19-21, 2019. The event is hosted by Tim Hedeen, Professor of Conflict Management and University Ombudsman at KSU, and will be held at the Holiday Inn Express in Savannah, Georgia. The final day will a meeting to re-establish a Southeast regional group.