March 30, 2019

IOA 2019 Conference Nutshell

The International Ombudsman Association holds its 14th annual conference next week at the at the Sheraton Hotel New Orleans on April 1-3, 2019.

March 29, 2019

American Educational Research Association Creates Ombuds Program for Annual Conference

The professional association for academic researchers will have Ombuds for its next annual meeting, April 5-9, 2019 in Toronto. The AERA Ombuds will be "neutral, confidential, informal, and independent resource" for conference attendees’ conflicts or issues, "including harassment, discrimination, or any violation of the AERA Ethics Code or Standards of Conduct." Shannon Lynn Burton and Carol Mershon will serve as the Ombuds.

Florida Polytechnic University Appoints Ombuds

The public university in Lakeland has named Tom Dvorske as its next Ombudsperson. He moves into the position after two years as FPU's Vice Provost for Assessment and Instruction, and takes over from Lauren Willison. Dvorske serves a growing student population of about 2,000.

CU Denver|Anschutz Ombuds Posts 2018 Report

The University of Colorado Denver|Anschutz Ombuds Office recently shared Ombuds Office 2018 Review with university leadership. The one-page summary offers quick insight into the Ombuds' activities in 2018. Highlights included 690 visitors, 63 trainings and the introduction of the University-wide blog Ombuzz  which is managed by both the Denver|Anschutz and Boulder Ombuds Offices. 

March 28, 2019

Job Posting: Georgia State University

The public research university in Atlanta is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson. Reporting to Birthe Reimers, University Ombudsperson and Director, the position will work with undergraduate and Master's students on all GSU campuses (some local travel therefore will be required).  

U.S. Federal Court System Appoints Ombuds-like Judicial Integrity Officer

In December 2018, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts named Jill Langley as its first Judicial Integrity Officer. Her role is very similar to that of an Ombuds: Langley will provide confidential, neutral, and informal assistance to judiciary employees, judges, and high-level officials on workplace conduct matters throughout the federal court system. She will advise on conflict resolution and mediation services, including formal complaint processes, but not replace those options. 

March 26, 2019

Job Posting: American University in Beirut

The secular, private university in Lebanon has reopened a search for its first Ombuds.  AUB tried to hire a University Ombuds in 2014, but the effort foundered for reasons that haven't been made public. A self study last summer reaffirmed the need for an Ombuds, which was originally recommended in 2008. According to the job posting, the AUB Ombuds will practice to IOA standards and "will serve as an advocate for the equitable implementation of University policies and procedures, and as a source of information and referral for constituents; and provide upward feedback and critical analysis of any gaps between the principles of the institution and actual practices."

March 25, 2019

Job Re-Posting: University of California, Davis

UC Davis has re-opened the application window for its next Campus Ombuds Program Director.  The deadline, which had been March 19, has been extended to April 8, 2019 (after the IOA conference). In all other respects, the position description remains the same.

UC Berkeley Announces New Assistant Ombuds for Students

Zackary Hull has been selected as the new Assistant Ombudsperson for students and postdocs at the University of California Berkeley. He succeeds Amanda Dean who has been serving in this role on contract and reports to Director Marcia Gee Riley. He begins on April 8, 2019.

March 22, 2019

Job Posting: Partners HealthCare

Earlier this week, Partners HealthCare announced searched for a Director and Program Manager who will create a new Office of Mediation, Coaching and Ombuds Services. Now the integrated health care system has posted additional positions including Senior Professional Coach, Mediator, and Ombudsperson. The Ombuds position will develop and implement a plan for services following IOA standards. 

Delft University of Technology Pilots Ombuds Program for Staff

Job van Luyken will serve as the Interim Ombudsman for TU Delft staff for a two year pilot period. The largest and oldest Dutch public technical university employs 3,400 academic staff and 2,900 administrative staff. Van Luyken temporarily fulfills the position as a replacement for a previously appointed ombudsman who could not start due to circumstances. The pilot Ombuds program is an initiative of TU Delft’s Works Council.

March 21, 2019

University of Oslo Appoints First Science Ombuds

Norway's largest university, Universitetet i Oslo, has named Knut Willem Ruyter its first Vitenskapsombud. For the next three years, Ruyter will provide guidance and advice to scientific employees (PhD candidates, postdocs, librarians, and temporary faculty) who face difficult ethical situations in research. UiO established the Science Ombuds position in 2015, but it has remained vacant until Ruyter's appointment. His work will supplement that of the Studentombudet, Marianne Høva Rustberggard, who was appointed in 2013.

March 20, 2019

Job Posting: World Health Organization, Denmark

The UN agency that focuses on international public health is hiring a Regional Ombudsman. The three-quarter time position will be based in Copenhagen for a two-year contract. The Regional Ombudsman practices to IOA standards and reports to the WHO Ombuds, José Martínez-Aragón.

March 19, 2019

Job Posting: Partners HealthCare

The integrated health care system in eastern Massachusetts, which includes Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Mass General, is hiring two positions for a new Office of Mediation, Coaching and Ombuds Services: Director and Program Manager. Partners is the largest private employer in Massachusetts, with approximately 74,000 employees, including physicians, nurses, scientists, and caregivers. The new program will "provide employee support, facilitate workable solutions solutions to conflict and to support individuals building skills to address and transform conflict."

California Lutheran University Creates Ombuds Program

Cal Lutheran, a private liberal arts university in Thousand Oaks, California, has named Helena Goto and Alice Sarfati as the first Ombuds for its 400+ staff. Goto is a principal with HG Consulting and Sarfati has been an employee since last fall. 

March 18, 2019

American Economic Association Opts for Classical Ombuds

In the wake of persistent gender discrimination against female economists, the AEA will establish and fund an Ombudsperson for its members. However, despite careful consideration of an Organizational Ombuds model, the profession association instead opted for a more Classical Ombuds. (Shereen G. Bingham, Professor and Ombudsperson at the University of Nebraska, provided extensive details in her recommendation to AEA's Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession for an Organizational Ombuds last spring.) Most significantly, the AEA Ombuds will serve as an agent for notice for the association, with significant input on administrative decisions.

Job Posting: Stockton University

The public university near Atlantic City, New Jersey is hiring a half-time Ombuds Officer. The position serves faculty, staff, and students--a total population of about 11,000. The search will fill a vacancy left by Rahmaan Simpkins, who established Stockton's Ombuds Office last summer and was recently named the school's interim head of HR. 

Holyoke Community College Names First Ombuds

Lea Occhialini has been appointed the first Ombudsperson and Chief Culture Officer for the public community college in Massachusetts. Previously, she was the Ombudsperson for faculty and staff at Hampshire College. In her new role at HCC, Occhialini will work with faculty, staff, and students, and report to the college president.  “I’m excited about this,” said HCC president Christina Royal. “Although it’s very common at four-year institutions, to my understanding, this is the first time a community college in Massachusetts has had an ombudsperson.”

March 14, 2019

Job Posting: United Nations, New York

For the third time in 15 months, the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services has re-posted its search for a new Chief of Service. The position reports to the UN Ombudsman, Shireen L. Dodson, who was appointed in June 2018. The position is based in New York and directs the work of seven regional Ombuds offices, in addition to working as an Ombuds. Significant travel is required. 

Georgia State University Confirms Ombuds Director

GSU has appointed Birthe Reimers as University Ombudsperson and Director of the Office of the Ombudsperson. She had served in the role on an interim basis following the departure of Kelley Alexander. Meanwhile, Chris Vermillion , who had also served as Interim Co-Director, has moved north to the Transportation Security Administration Ombudsman Specialist in Virginia. (GSU Ombuds; LinkedIn.)

University of North Texas Ombuds Retires, Office Closes

In overdue news: Belinda Newman, the UNT Ombuds, retired on August 29, 2018 after 11 years of service to the public research university in Denton.  The university then discontinued the Ombuds program. 

March 12, 2019

Call for Papers: ENOHE 2019 Conference in Spain

The Conference Planning Committee for the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education is requesting proposals for its next annual conference, "Defending and Protecting Rights within Higher Education: Stocktaking, Looking Ahead."  ENOHE's fifteenth annual gathering  is generously hosted by the Defensoría of the University of León in Spain, June 25-28, 2019. June 25 will be a training day. 

Externship: Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA's Alternative Dispute Resolution Division is seeking applicants for an externship.  The extern will work directly with FEMA Ombuds Vik Kapoor, who also chairs the Department of Homeland Security’s Ombuds Forum.  The Ombuds team does a range of ADR work such as conflict coaching, group facilitation, conflict competency training, and commenting on policies and practices that are impacting a large number of FEMA employees.

March 08, 2019

After a Rocky Year, IOA Announces Search for Executive Director

The member-led, professional association for Organizational Ombuds is seeking applicants to be its Executive Director. The part-time, contract position will be the public champion and representative for the IOA, its members, and the organizational ombudsman profession. The Executive Director will carry out the strategic plan and policies as established by the IOA Board and managed by a staff team at an association management company, SBI Association Management. 

Job Posting: BI Norwegian Business School

Europe's second largest business school, Handelshøyskolen BI, is hiring its first Studentombud. The position will report to the university's board and provide services to a student body of 20,000 across four different campuses. The is the latest Norwegian university to appoint a Studentombud -- about 10 schools have appointed an Ombuds in the past five years and more than two dozen are considering the concept.

ACR Webinar: How Ombuds Foster Ethical Organizations

Liz Hill will present a webinar for the Association for Conflict Resolution on March 13, 2019. Hill is the Associate Director of the CU Boulder Ombuds Office and Co-chair of the ABA Dispute Resolution Section’s Ombuds Committee. Her topic will focus on how Ombuds help organizations improve their culture.

March 06, 2019

Job Posting: Northeastern Illinois University

The public state university in North Park, Chicago is seeking its second-ever Ombuds. The search will fill a vacancy left by Bradley R. Ginn who established the program in 2012 and who was recently appointed the first Ombuds for Argonne National Lab. The full-time, IOA compliant position reports to the University President and serves faculty, staff, and 8,000 students. 

Job Posting: United Nations, Democratic Republic of Congo

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is hiring a Conflict Resolution Officer to be based in Goma, DRC.  The position will provide informal conflict resolution services to UN staff in MONUSCO (the UN's Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo), as well as other peacekeeping missions in the region. The position reports to the Regional Ombudsman, Youssoupha Niang.

March 05, 2019

University of Texas at Austin's Student Ombuds Marks 50 Years

The Office of the Student Ombuds at UT-Austin will celebrate a half century of service to the state's flagship university with an open house on March 13, 2019. The office is currently staffed by: Kouang Chan, Director and Student Ombudsperson; Vivian Wilbon, Administrative Associate; Kavita Koppa, Graduate Assistant; and Megan Kruse, Graduate Assistant.

West Virginia University Opens Internal Search for Next Ombuds

The public land grant research university in Morgantown will select an its next Faculty Ombuds from the ranks of its active or retired professors. The search will replace Tom Patrick, a law professor who has established the position in 2016. The Faculty Ombuds is a part-time position that serves a three-year appointment and practices to IOA standards.  (Startwire.)

March 04, 2019

Faculty at University of Illinois Take Up Ombuds Resolution

Later today, the Senate of the UI Urbana-Champaign Campus will vote on a "Resolution on the Need for Additional Resources for Advocacy and Support for Those Harmed by Sexual Assault and Harassment." Among other things, the resolution seeks the "the appointment of a University-wide Ombudsperson as an additional resource for cases of harassment and assault."

March 01, 2019

Canadian Ombuds Associations, FCO-ACCUO, Announce Agenda for Biennial 2019 Conference

The Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons have announced details for their conference, set for April 15-17, 2019 at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto. The conference theme is "OMBUDSMAN Building Trust Promoting Fair Resolution Processes."