May 31, 2019

ENOHE Releases Full Agenda for 2019 Conference in Spain

The European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education has posted the agenda for its fifteenth annual conference, "Defending and Protecting Rights within Higher Education: Stocktaking, Looking Ahead," hosted by the University of León June 26-28, 2019. 

May 30, 2019

Job Posting: Oregon Health & Science University

The academic medical center in Portland is hiring a Ombudsman, a role that was established by Merle Graybill in 2015 as a part-time position. The job now is full-time. Reporting to the provost, the OHSU Ombuds works with employees, students, and trainees.  

Job Posting: City of Seattle

Seattle's new Office of the Employee Ombud is hiring an Assistant Ombud and a Case Manager. They will report to Amarah Y. Khan, who was named as Director in April 2019. The Assistant Ombuds will serve as the lead facilitator and operations manager, ensuring the operational efficiency of the office. In conjunction with the Ombud, this person will establish standard Ombud practices, case management, reporting, and data analysis, as well as curriculum development for employee skill building and support. The Case Manager will manage the office’s workflow from intake to closure. Working closely with the Ombud and Assistant Ombud, this person will be responsible for meeting with employees, assessing their needs, and working with them toward a satisfactory resolution.

May 24, 2019

Job Posting: University of California, Santa Barbara

The fifth largest University of California campus is hiring an Associate Ombuds. The full-time position provides impartial, informal, independent and confidential conflict resolution services to the campus community; constituencies may include staff, faculty, and students. 

May 23, 2019

Job Posting: Prince William County Schools

The Virginia school district seeks its first Ombudsman.  The full-time, 250-day position reports to the school board and superintendent. The new Ombuds will create an IOA-compliant program "to facilitate positive relationships between PWCS and the school community-at-large, whose main function is to provide assistance in navigating existing PWCS complaint resolution procedures and assisting in informal resolution of concerns involving PWCS."

World Food Programme Ombuds is an Adventurous Spirit

The Professional Women's Association of Rome recently profiled Gabrielle Kluck, the Ombudsman and Mediator for the World Food Programme. From her childhood in the Netherlands, Kluck "was keen on improving the lives and living conditions of those around her." After earning a psychology degree and working in the private sector, she embraced a radical change when she accepted an HR position in the International Atomic Energy Agency. That lead to an international career with humanitarian agencies.

May 22, 2019

Northeastern University Appoints First Graduate Ombuds

In April, the private university in Boston named Kimberly C. Wong as its first Graduate Ombudsperson, a full-time position working with graduate and PhD students. She has over a decade of experience working with culturally diverse students in higher education, most recently as staff clinician and training coordinator at George Washington University’s Colonial Health Center. This newly created, full-time position supports our graduate and Ph.D. students. Diane Levin continues as Northeastern's part-time Ombuds for faculty and staff. 

Know Your Skeptic: Community College Administrator Can't Picture an Effective Ombuds

Matt Reed writes a blog for Inside Higher Education: "Confessions of a Community College Dean." His latest post poses a question to people who have seen an Ombuds work well. "How do well-functioning ones work? How do they avoid the fates of becoming either the Angel of Death or the Human Circular File?  I’m honestly struggling to picture it."

European Union of the Deaf Youth to Create Ombuds Program

EUDY, the European organization of national associations of deaf young people in Europe, has taken steps to create its first Ombuds program. According to Liisa Halonen, the Secretary General, EUDY's General Assembly agreed to establish an independent committee to act as a mediator for issues involving Full Members and internal bodies, including EUDY's board. The Ombuds committee will also forward complaints to the board.

Update: New Details Emerge About Ombuds TV Show

Several media outlets are reporting fresh details about the in-production comedy about a university Ombuds co-created and co-written by Whitney Cummings and Lee Daniels. The project now has a name, "Good People," and Lisa Kudrow has signed on to star and be a co-executive producer. There are also more details about the project from the Hollywood Reporter:

May 21, 2019

California State University Channel Islands Names First Ombuds

The growing public university in Ventura County has selected Mark Patterson as its first Ombuds Officer, starting July 15, 2019. Patterson has been the University Ombuds at the College of William & Mary in Virginia since January 2018. Here is the announcement from CSUCI President Erika D. Beck:

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Adds Third Ombuds to Team

The nonprofit university consortium in Boulder, Colorado had appointed a third Ombuds, Nan Rosenbloom, to the Ombuds Office. She joins Jeff Weber and Cindy Bruyere. All three have other staff duties and volunteer as Ombuds. who also have other staff duties. Rosenbloom has worked at UCAR's Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory since the mid-90s and is currently an associate scientist with the Climate Change Research Section. 

Podcast Interview with Ombuds at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Office of Academic Development and Enrichment at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai offers a podcast for junior faculty about how to succeed in academic medicine. A recent installment of "Success @ Sinai" features Deborah Marin (Director, Ombuds Office), George Huntley (Ombuds for Graduate Students and Post Docs), and Joel Forman (Ombuds for Residents and Fellows).

May 20, 2019

Virginia Tech Names First University Ombuds

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University has announced that Reese Ramos will be its first Director of the University Ombuds Office. Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said, “I am confident Reese’s vision and energy will support our commitment to a culture of respect for all members of the university community as he leads the development of our new ombuds office.”

Ramos is a past president of IOA and served as the Ombuds for Sandia National Laboratories from 2002 to late 2018. He will build an IOA-compliant program that serves faculty, staff, and students. In addition to his 17 years at Sandia, Ramos worked as an Ombuds at UCLA, Earthjustice in San Francisco, and National Park Services. He graduated from Pepperdine University and earned his law degree from the University of the Pacific. (VT News.)

Related posts: Sandia National Labs Shutters Ombuds ProgramGuest Post: The Thread that Unites Us All – A Celebration of Ombuds Day; Job Posting.

ABA Webinar: How the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program Assesses Ombuds Programs

On June 5, 2019, the American Bar Association will offer a webinar on "Reducing Barriers and Raising Effectiveness: Assessing ADR Programs." Rachel Viscomi, Director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program at Harvard Law School, and Nicholas Diehl, Ombudsperson for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will share how collaboration with HNMCP resulted in innovative approaches to organizational ombudsman work, especially considering cultural contexts. Diehl will offer his personal insights as a client of HNMCP.

Internship Opportunity: UNICEF, New York

The United Nations Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking an intern for UNICEF (and including UNDP, UNFPA, UNOPS, and UN Women) in New York City.  The full-time, internship will last 12weeks and offers the opportunity to support the office's mediation training, outreach, and advocacy. The position starts before the end of November.

Interview Features Both Harvard Med School Ombuds

The two Ombuds that serve Harvard University’s Medical, Dental and Public Health Schools were recently interviewed by Harvard Medicine News. Ombudsperson Melissa Brodrick and newly-hired Associate Ombudsperson Justin Neiman sat down for a conversation about the work of conflict resolution and their future plans now that they can expand the scope of their work.

May 16, 2019

Job Posting: Minneapolis Public Schools

The large Minnesota school district is hiring a Director, Staff Ombudsperson. The full-time position reports to the MPS Chief of Staff and the duties of the position are in line with those of an Organizational Ombuds.

Reforms May Lead to New Ombuds Offices at Rutgers University

A committee on sexual harassment prevention and culture change recommends sweeping policy changes at the public research university in New Jersey. Most notably (and already adopted by university administrators), is a policy prohibiting faculty from dating undergraduates. In addition, the committee's report recommends "an ombuds for faculty and staff in every chancellor unit who reports directly to the chancellor." Currently, Rutgers has only Ombuds programs for students and house staff (hospital residents). The report recommends that Ombuds policies be developed, but concludes that the new Ombuds would be mandatory reporters. 

May 15, 2019

Job Posting: Dawson College

The public college outside  Montréal, Quebec, is hiring an Ombudsperson. The full-time position works to "ensure that all Dawson students receive fair and equitable treatment within the College system [and] is empowered to investigate complaints as well as facilitate or negotiate solutions." Until recently, the position had been held by Michèle Pallett

German Higher Ed Ombuds to Meet in September 2019

BeVeOm (Netzwerk der Beschwerde- und Verbesserungsmanager innen sowie Ombudspersonen), the network of Complaint Managers and Ombudsmen at German universities, will hold its tenth annual conference at the Technical University of Darmstadt (Technischen Universität Darmstadt) on September 25-26, 2019. (BeVeOm.)

May 14, 2019

Prince William County School Board to Hire First Ombuds

The governing board of the Virginia school district has approved the hiring of its first Ombudsman and a staff member. The decision came in response to allegations of workplace bullying and intimidation by Prince William County teachers. According to a news report, the Ombuds will generally follow IOA standards. The budget for the full-time Ombuds, including support costs, was approved last summer in the amount of $201,000. A search for the first Ombuds is expected soon. (Inside NoVa; PWCS 2019 Budget.)

May 13, 2019

Save the Date: Asian Development Bank to Host Regional Meeting in October 2019

The Asian Development Bank will host the 2019 Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Committee (APRAC) at its Manila headquarters on October 16-18, 2019. The meeting will coincides with the celebration of Conflict Resolution Day on October 17 and will offer meaningful and productive discussions on the opportunities and challenges of Ombuds practices in this region.

University of Victoria Posts 2018 Ombuds Report

UVic's Ombudsperson, Annette Fraser, reports the caseload in her office leveled-off slightly in 2018. Cases totaled 382 in 2018, compared to 389 in 2017, but up from 371 in 2016. Part of the decline last year may have been due to the fact there was no Ombuds for part of the year before Fraser came in after the departure of Martine Conway.

May 10, 2019

Job Posting: Florida International University

The metropolitan public research university in Miami has opened a search for its next Student Ombudsman. (Sofia Trelles has been serving in the position on an interim basis since December 2018.) The full-time position directs an office that serves a student body of 57,000.

Registration Opens for ENOHE 2019 Conference in Spain

The European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education has posted the agenda for its fifteenth annual conference, "Defending and Protecting Rights within Higher Education: Stocktaking, Looking Ahead," hosted by the University of León June 26-28, 2019. 

Grinnell College Ombuds Engages Harvard Students for Five-Year Consultation

Last fall, Grinnell's founding Ombuds, Chinyere Ukabiala, engaged students with Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program to conduct a five-year review of her Office.  Compared to its prior Ombuds clients (which include the American Red Cross, NIH, Asian Development Bank, and DC Public Schools), this is the smallest program HNMCP has consulted. 

May 09, 2019

Adolfo Ibáñez University Appoints First Ombuds

Francisca Rengifo has been selected as first Ombuds for Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, a private university in Santiago, Chile. According to a press release from UAI, Rengifo will confidentially, independently, impartially, and informally help any member of the university with a concern about harassment or discrimination. She says that her fundamental mission is to promote a culture of respect, greater equity in university relations, contribute to solve informally conflicts between teachers, students and administrators, through mediation or conciliation. The position was created as part of a new university protocol on harassment and gender equality adopted late last year.

May 08, 2019

FCO/Osgoode Open Registration for Fall 2019 Ombuds Certificate Program

Registration for the seventh annual Ombuds certification program offered by the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman and Osgoode Professional Development is now open. The program at York University will take place September 23-27, 2019 in downtown Toronto. 

May 07, 2019

International Ombud Expo Set for October 2019 in Nigeria

Governance and Management Services International, a UK-based training and consulting firm focused on public sector governance and management in developing countries, is organizing a conference of "national and specialty ombud and grievance handling offices ... in an exhibition of the role and operations of these unique institutions in facilitating better governance and driving performance in governments and organisations across the world." The conference will take place October 28-31, 2019 at the Sheraton Hotel Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. The event is co-sponsored by the African Ombudsman Association, the Nigerian Ombudsman, and the Public Protector of South Africa.

May 06, 2019

Georgia State University Adds an Ombuds

Corey D. Givens has joined the GSU Office of the Ombudsperson as an Assistant Ombudsperson. He is expected to work with undergraduate and Master's students on all GSU campuses.  Givens has worked at GSU for over six years in a variety of positions, most recently as Coordinator of Judicial Affairs.

Hong Kong Mediator Urges Ombuds for Public Schools

In a recent post to the Mediate blog, Jody Sin urges the HK Education Bureau ("EDB") to consider an Organizational Ombuds for school administrators, staff, and teachers. She illustrates the potential role for Ombuds through a discussion of a recent incident that resulted in the death of teacher. Sin argues that the current EDB complaints system raises concerns of fairness and conflict of interest. She ways that the interventions by Ombuds following IOA standards would provide an important remedy.

May 03, 2019

Internship: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

The Internal Ombudsman for the FDIC, Robert D. Harris, will take on a graduate student trainee. (This is not in the external FDIC Ombudsman office.) The paid, part-time position will begin in the summer or fall of 2019. The trainee may assist preparing materials, including presentations and briefings, collecting and inputting data, researching information, and responding to visitor questions and request for information about the office. 

New Video Touts Asian Development Bank Ombuds Program

A slick new video raises the bar for Ombuds. The 3-minute explainer from ADB features the Ombudsperson, Wayne Blair, in a variety of settings around the organization's campus. All of the production elements, including the script, are top notch. The video also includes Programs Officer, Angelica ("Gigi") Alejandro, and Coordination Assistant, Arlene Pantua. (ADB Vimeo.)

May 02, 2019

Job Posting: Florida Revenue

The Florida Department of Revenue is hiring an Ombudsman to be based in Tallahassee. (It appears that this is a new position, there being no prior public information about an agency Ombuds.) "The Ombudsman provides neutral, independent, informal and confidential channels for employees to surface and resolve work-related issues and concerns." 

May 01, 2019

Faculty Ombuds at Pennsylvania State University Posts 2018 Report

Mohamad A. Ansari, the Faculty Ombudsperson at Penn State, gave his annual report last week summarizing the work of Academic Units Ombudspersons across the university in 2017-18. The format of the report is a collection of responses to a survey of the 65 Penn State Ombuds. According to the report, "ombudspersons who had been contacted by the faculty were able to resolve 39 cases out of 90 cases (43.33%)" during the last academic year. The total number of cases was up 2.2% from 2016-17. (Penn State 2018 Ombuds Report.)