April 30, 2019

Job Posting: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

The large public school system in North Carolina has opened a search for an Ombudsman Resolution Specialist. The position reports to the district superintendent and works with parents, community members and employees. It is not clear from publicly-available materials whether the search will supplement the work of or replace Earnest Winston, who was named the first CMS Ombudsman in August 2018. 

Job Posting: Canadian Paralympic Committee

The private, non-profit organization representing Canadian Paralympic athletes is seeking its next Ombudsperson. The overall purpose of this position is as a first resource and mediation for team members of the Lima 2019 Parapan Am Games and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Duties continue after the games. 

ENOHE Adds Training Day to 2019 Conference Agenda

For the first time, the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education will offer a day-long training in conjunction with its annual conference. The full-day, pre-conference workshop will work through a fictional student complaint on June 25, 2019. ENOHE's fifteenth annual conference, "Defending and Protecting Rights within Higher Education: Stocktaking, Looking Ahead," will be hosted by the University of León June 26-28. 

University of California Los Angeles Hires a New Ombuds

Natalie A. Landau has been hired as an Ombudsperson for a one-year contract at UCLA. She joins Associate Ombuds Thomas Griffin and will report to the Campus Ombudsperson, Kathleen Canul. Landau comes to the position from the U.S. Department of State, where she was an intern in the Office of the Secretary, Office of the Ombudsman. 

April 29, 2019

Job Posting: Office of the Auditor General of Canada

Canada's legislative auditing agency is hiring its first Ombudsman. The position will report directly to the Auditor General and lead the development and operation of the Office of the Ombudsman of the OAG in Ottawa. The new Ombuds program will, "Provide OAG employees of all groups and levels with a safe, impartial, confidential, and independent space where they can feel free to raise various concerns." 

IOA Brings Ombuds Training to Minneapolis in July 2019

The International Ombudsman Association will offer two training program in July 2019 at the Loews Minneapolis Hotel. IOA's signature course, "Foundations," provides the primary training for new Organizational Ombuds. A two-day course offers more advanced topics.

April 26, 2019

Ombuds at Universität Münster Explains His Work with Junior Faculty

Bernd Schlipphak has been the Ombudsman for junior scientists in the Department of Education and Social Sciences at the University of Münster (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster in Northrhine-Westphalia is Germany's fifth largest university) since 2015. He was recently interviewed for the university's news site. He explained that he is the initial resource for problems between junior scientists and their supervisors. He offers informal advice and mediation for the parties. He often refer people directly to other university resources such as the staff council, the equal opportunity officer, and the counseling center.

Title IX Researchers Seek Input from Higher Ed Ombuds

Doug Yarn and Tim Hedeen have forwarded a request for assistance from college and university Ombuds regarding Title IX. Yarn is a Professor of Law and Director of the Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at Georgia State University College of Law. Hedeen, a frequent IOA speaker, is a Professor of Conflict Management and  University Ombudsman at Kenessaw State University. As laid out in their letter, they are interested to learn how the changing guidance from Dept of Education Office of Civil Rights—from the "Dear Colleague" letter to the proposed revisions—has affected Ombuds work:

Yale Faculty Continue to Press for Ombuds

At its April meeting, the undergraduate faculty at Yale College revived a discussion of an Ombuds office for all university stakeholders. Yale is the only school among its "Ivy Plus" peers without a University Ombuds, though it has been considered for many years. (For many years, Yale Medical School has had an Ombudsperson, Merle Waxman.) A draft proposal for an Ombuds was favorably received by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Senate and may put up for a formal vote later this year or next.

April 25, 2019

Chevron Promotes Ombuds to Lead Office

Sana Manjeshwar has been tapped as the Principal Ombuds Manager for the multinational energy company's Global Office of Ombuds.  She succeeds Jackie Osborne and will lead a geographically dispersed team of Ombuds Managers. Manjeshwar has been an Ombuds Manager Since August 2014, when she moved from a similar position at AllianceBernstein.

Ozarks Technical Community College Names First Ombuds

The public community college in Springfield, Missouri has appointed Gavin O'Connor as its first Academic Ombudsman. In this new role, O'Connor "assists students and staff in working through and resolving academic related questions, problems and conflicts." The school enrolls over 15,000 students. O'Connor steps into the role after teaching in the Life Science department for the past 17 years.

April 24, 2019

North American Society for Bat Research Implements Ombuds Program

The professional association dedicated to the promotion and development of the scientific study of bats has named two its first two Ombuds: Matina Kalcounis-Rüppell and Terry Zinn. The society's website recently announced: "As part of an effort to create an environment in which members feel comfortable reporting potential violations of NASBR by-laws or policies, two Ombudsperson positions were approved by the Board in Knoxville last year." The Ombuds will serve an initial three-year term.

April 23, 2019

Job Posting: U.S. Olympic Committee

The National Olympic Committee for the United States in Colorado Springs is hiring an Associate Athlete Ombudsman. The position provides independent advice to athletes and assists in mediating disputes. The full-time position reports the USOC Athlete Ombudsman, Kacie Wallace, and also assists in promoting the services of the office, implementing data tracking tools, and creating an environment welcoming and accessible to athletes. The work is confidential and independent, but often requires advocacy. Akanni Turner has held the position for almost a year.

Colorado Ombuds Gather in Boulder for Spring 2019 Meeting

On May 24, 2019, the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Laboratory headquarters in Boulder will host the Colorado Ombuds Group Meeting. There will be case consultations and a guest presentation from Mary Conger (former IOA Communications Committee Co-Chair and newly-minted PhD) on relationships between Organizational Ombuds and organizational leaders. In the afternoon, there will be a discussion regarding how Conger’s research and findings relate to Ombuds work.

Amherst College Names Ombuds

Larry Hunt has been hired as the next Ombudsperson for the private, liberal arts college. In the part-time position, he will work with faculty and staff, and report to the college's president. Hunt's career has been in human resources and, most recently, he was Executive Director of HR at Smith College, another of the Five College Consortium. (Amherst Ombuds; LinkedIn.)

April 22, 2019

Job Posting: Queen's University

The public research university in Kingston, Ontario is hiring its next Ombuds. The University Ombudsperson works with students, staff and faculty across six faculties and numerous departments—a total population of about 35,000. Heather Cole has held the position on an interim basis since September 2018.  The office was renewed after a thorough external review at the end of last year. 

Augusta University Names First Ombuds

In December 2018, the public research university and academic medical center in Georgia appointed Richard Pawl as it first Ombudsman. In this part-time role, Pawl will help resolve "serious concerns of individual faculty members." He will not address any collective faculty concerns. Meanwhile, Pawl continues as an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine with  Augusta University Health System.

April 19, 2019

UC Davis Adds an Ombuds

The Ombuds Office at the University of California Davis has expanded with the appointment of Jenny Xia in a newly created Assistant Ombuds position. Xia will step into this newly created office management and ombuds hybrid position on May 20. She joins an office that currently includes: Dana Hinojosa, Interim Director; Lindsey Dunning, Associate Ombuds; and Lauren Bloom, Associate Ombuds. There is an on-going search for a permanent director. 

Job Posting: Lesley University

The private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts is hiring an Executive Assistant to the Dean and Ombudsperson for Students. This will the school's first Ombuds. In addition to providing executive administrative support to the Dean of Student Life & Academic Development, the position this incumbent will be the Ombudsperson for over 7,000 students. Many of the duties are in direct conflict with the Ombuds role (i.e., prepare reports, maintain confidential student files, track sanctions and follow-up actions, and track Clery data).

San Diego Collaborative Arts Project Embeds Ombuds for Stakeholders

The nonprofit supporting the San Diego Burning Man community has an Organizational Ombuds program as part of a conflict resolution protocol. The SDCAP protocol incorporates Ombuds as a resource for all types of conflict:

April 18, 2019

Job Posting: United Nations, Kenya

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is hiring a temporary Conflict Resolution Officer in Nairobi.  The position will provide Ombuds and conflict resolution services to UN staff in the region. The position reports to the Regional Ombudsman, currently Youssoupha Niang. The appointment will end March 31, 2020.

Haverford College Unveils Ombuds Program

The private liberal arts college in Pennsylvania has appointed long-time insider Steve Watter as its first Ombuds for all campus constituents. Watter has worked at the college for over three decades, primarily as Dean of Student Life, but also as Title IX Coordinator. He un-retired into the new position at the request of Haverford's current president Kim Benston. 

Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis Names First Ombuds

The graduate training institute for psychoanalysis in Boston has appointed to faculty members to serve as its first Ombuds. Joan Harrison is the Candidate Ombudsperson and Linda Luz-Alterman is the Membership Ombudsperson. The Ombuds "will be available to MIP members to triage and informally consult on, and resolve whenever possible, ethical concerns and complaints that do not require a formal complaint procedure."

April 17, 2019

Job Posting: University of California Berkeley

The Staff Ombuds Office at Berkeley is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson for a "career" appointment (as opposed to a one-year contract).  Evan Lutz is completing a one-year appointment in June 2019.  The position reports to Director, Sara Thacker, and works with Associate Ombuds, Julia Horvath, to provide conflict resolution and problem-solving services for all non-senate employees.

ABA Webinar: Conflict Management and Legal Risk Mitigation in Healthcare

On May 29, 2019, a webinar by the American Bar Association will explore, "how Ombuds programs can improve compliance, reduce organizational conflict, mitigate risk and foster an ethical culture" in healthcare organizations. The speakers will be Don Greenstein, the Brandeis University Ombuds and an active reservist Ombud with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Natalie FleuryOmbuds for Medical College of Wisconsin, and Haavi Morreim, Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee and mediator.  

Midwest Political Science Association Appoints Ombuds for Annual Meeting

When the nonpartisan association of political science scholars held its annual conference earlier this month, attendees could consult with the first Meeting Ombuds: Carol Mershon. "The Ombuds plays no role in MPSA’s formal complaint procedure but can offer confidential guidance about what constitutes discrimination or harassment [and] can explain the options for reporting harassment to the MPSA [or] whether other avenues."

April 16, 2019

Digital Games Research Association Seeks First Group of Ombuds

The international association for academics and professionals who research digital games and associated phenomena has issued a call for volunteers to serve as its first Ombuds. DiGRA's Diversity Working Group needs two or three Ombudsperson and the same number as the Ombudsperson Secretary. An announcement explained:

Global Green Growth Institute Names Next Ombuds

The international development and sustainability organization has named Kathleen Canul as its next Ombudsperson. She follows Camilo Azcarate, who established the position in July 2018. Canul will provide Ombuds services, support the GGGI Global Respectful Workplace Advisors program, and provide internal training/coaching on a part-time basis. She will continue in her role as the Director and Campus Ombuds at the University of California Los Angeles. (LinkedIn.)

Cal Caucus Seeks Presenters for 2019 Gathering

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds is soliciting session proposals for its 46th annual conference set for November 10-13, 2019 at the Asolimar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove. The theme for the caucus is "Reflection: Power, Privilege and Identity in the Ombuds World."

April 15, 2019

American Anthropological Association Creates Ombuds Program for Members

The 10,000 member organization of anthropology scholars and practitioners has appointed M. Gabriela Torres and Bernard Perley as its first Ombudspersons "to receive and review AAA-related complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault." Torres is a professor at Wheaton College in Massachusetts and Perley is an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

University of Tennessee Announces Next Ombuds

UT Knoxville has appointed Lisa Yamagata-Lynch to serve as its next Campus Ombudsperson beginning May 1, 2019. “I am honored and excited to serve as ombudsperson for the UT community. It is fortunate for me to be transitioning from one role at UT that I love and go into another, because I already know how fulfilling it can be to be a part of our community,” said Yamagata-Lynch. She takes over for Elaine Wynn, who retired December 2018, and Bill Nugent, who has been managing the office on an interim basis.  

April 14, 2019

Guest Post: Bringing Clarity is Key to Advancing the Field

The following essay was submitted by Nick Diehl, a Past President of the International Ombudsman Association and currently an Ombudsperson at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It relates to several of the topics discussed at the IOA annual conference.

April 12, 2019

Meet the New Ombuds at the University of Victoria

In September 2018, Annette Fraser was named UVic's University Ombudsperson. The appointment is a homecoming for Fraser who graduated earned her masters in dispute resolution there. She succeeds Martine Conway, who served in the role for nearly two decades. Previously, Fraser was an Employment Standards Officer with the Government of British Columbia.

Registration Opens for 2019 Summer Academic Ombuds Meeting

Registration is now open for the 2019 Summer Academic Ombuds meeting at DePaul University on June 24-25.  As in years past, the "New Academic Ombuds Workshop" will be offered on the first part of the day on June 24. 

April 11, 2019

Southern Political Science Association Annual Conference Featured New Ombuds

This past January, Carol Mershon served as the first ombuds for SPSA, one of the oldest and largest political science organizations in the U.S. and publisher of Journal of Politics. At the annual conference January 17-17, 2019 in Austin, Mershon served as a confidential resource for attendees with concerns about "harassment or other unprofessional behavior during the Annual Conference." 

April 10, 2019

University of British Columbia Names Ombuds for Okanagan Campus

Cindy Leonard has been appointed the new Ombuds Officer at the UBC – Okanagan Campus in Kelowna. She follows Michael Jud, who held the position for about a year before moving to the Office of the University Counsel in January 2019. Leonard recently relocated to Kelowna and brings experience from a long-serving career in the education sector. 

April 09, 2019

Radio Ombudsman Hosts University of Denver Ombuds for Podcast

Last week, Jenna Brown, the University of Denver Ombuds, sat down for an interview with Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Rob Behrens. The interview was recorded for Behren's podcast, which has featured interviews with the South African Health Ombudsman and the South Korean Ombudsman. In addition to her Ombuds work, Brown also talks about her career path and life outside work.

April 08, 2019

Ombuds at Los Alamos National Lab Reports Record Caseload

According to an biennial summary released by the Department of Energy lab in New Mexico, the 555 visitors contact the Ombuds office in fiscal 2018. This was a 2.8% increase from the prior year (540) visitors and the highest annual numbers since 2008. In addition, the LANL Ombuds saw about 1,950 participants per year at courses, workshops, and talks in the past two years.

Texas Tech Opens Internal Search for Next Faculty Ombuds

The public research university in Lubbock is seeking internal candidates to serve as its next Faculty Ombudsperson. Jean Pearson Scott has served in the role since it was established in 2015. The Ombuds works with about 2,600 academic staff and report to the Faculty Senate and Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.  

Toshio Akamine: Former Ombuds at Washington State University

Toshio Akamine, who served as the University Ombudsman from 1977 to 1979, passed away on February 13, 2019, in Palo Alto, California at the age of 90. Akamine was a professor of education at WSU from 1967 until his retirement in 1993. Born an educator, Akamine cherished his interactions with students and the mission of education and said, “I wished I would have worked more.” (Moscow-Pullman Daily News.)

April 05, 2019

European Southern Observatory Announces First Ombuds

Camilo Azcarate will be the first Ombuds for the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere. Azcarate is an experienced Ombuds and most recently served in the role for another intergovernmental organization, the Global Green Growth Institute. He will provide services to about 800 ESO staff, and also contractors and staff from external science institutes. 

East Carolina University Creates Ombuds Program for Faculty and Staff

Mickey A. Herrin Sr., local mediator and arbitrator, has been appointed as the Interim Ombuds at the public research university in Greenville, North Carolina. As the first Ombuds, he will provide services to ECU faculty, staff, and administrators. “ECU faculty and staff have needed an impartial, confidential sounding board to air concerns, answer questions and explain how to navigate university policies and procedures when problems need to be solved,” said Chancellor Cecil P. Staton. Herrin will report to the Chancellor's chief of staff.

IOA Announces New Certification Categories

The Board of Certification of Organizational Ombudsman Practitioners has announced broader credentialing categories designed to make the program more accessible to Ombuds and aspiring Ombuds. After input from IOA's members, the CO-OP Board created two new levels: 

April 04, 2019

Continuity Marks IOA's Leadership Team for 2019

Earlier this week the International Ombudsman Association Board of Directors elected its officers for 2019-20. Over the years, the association has struggled with discontinuity in its board leadership. That may be a thing of the past as the president, vice president, and treasurer have returned for second terms. This has never happened before. 

The IOA Board expects a year of exciting and positive change with a new management company and a search for an executive director. Here are the new officers:

April 01, 2019

Seattle Names First Ombuds for City Employees

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that Amarah Y. Khan will serve as the first-ever Director of the City’s newly created Office of the Employee Ombud. “I join City of Seattle employees in welcoming Dr. Amarah Khan to our incredible workforce. Dr. Khan is an inspirational woman who is deeply dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive work environment that gives City employees the support they need,” said Mayor Durkan. According to the mayor's announcement, Khan will be holding a series of listening sessions with City employees to further shape the mission and work plan of the office.