June 28, 2019

Job Posting: University of British Columbia

The large public university in Vancouver is hiring an Ombuds Officer to start in August. The position reports to Shirley Nakata and will fill a position being vacated by Joy Coben. The position is "the first point of contact for all student inquiries and communications and is responsible for providing effective and sound advice, referrals and support to students requesting assistance." It also provides administrative and related duties. The Office of the Ombudsperson for Students serves a population of about 55,000.

June 27, 2019

Prince William County Schools Hires Experienced Ombuds to Open Office

Sarah Miller Espinosa will be the first Ombudsman for the Virginia school district starting August 3, 2019. Babur Lateef, PWCS Board Chair said “Ms. Espinosa brings to PWCS an extensive background in arbitration and mediation. She established the Montgomery College Office of the Ombuds ... responsible for providing a confidential, independent forum for the employees to explore and identify issues, interests, and possible solutions to conflict. We are very excited to have Ms. Espinosa on our team to provide an independent forum for our students, parents, and staff.”

Colorado Ombuzz Post Looks at Intent of Questions

The latest post in Ombuzz, the University of Colorado Ombuds Blog, offers some expert guidance on asking questions.  focuses on how Ombuds and employee relations can work together. CU Denver|Anschutz Ombuds Director Melissa Connell explains that there are “Judger” questions and “Learner” questions. The advice is insightful for Ombuds, who ask questions for a living, and visitors who need coaching. She offeres several examples of questions reflecting a learner mindset. (Ombuzz.)

June 26, 2019

Job Posting: United Nations, Democratic Republic of Congo

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is hiring a Regional Ombudsman to be based in Goma. The position was previously held by  Youssoupha Niang. This is a temporary appointment available as soon as possible through June 30, 2020, with a possibility of an extension. 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. 

Ryerson University Announces New Ombuds

On June 3, 2019, Kwame Addo was named the next Ombudsperson for the public research university in Toronto. He comes to the position after a decade as the Director of Investigations for the City of Toronto Ombudsman. He will now serve a student population of 24,000 students with Assistant Ombudspersons Ayesha Adam and Gemma Kerr.

June 25, 2019

Job Posting: U.S. Department of Energy

The department responsible for U.S. energy and nuclear safety policies is hiring an Associate Ombudsman. The position is based in the DOE Office of the Ombudsman in Washington, DC, and serves all DOE federal employees, world-wide. Some travel is required. 

Job Posting (RFP): UN Development Programme

The United Nations' global development network is requesting proposals for a Programme Consultant for the Respectful Workplace Facilitators Programme. The position reports to the Ombudsman for UN Funds and Programmes, Giuseppe De Palo, and will select, train, support, guide and supervise the RWFs as they provide dispute resolution services to staff members and non-staff personnel of the UN Funds and Programmes (including UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS and UN Women). The contract position is for one year, starting August 1, 2019, and may be extended to three years. 

Independent Facilitators Serve as Organizational Ombuds for Safer Care Victoria

Lisa Klug and Kim Ledger are the Independent Facilitators for the Department of Health and Human Services agency in North Eastern Victoria. In these roles, they provide "independent, neutral and confidential resource for employees of designated Victorian health services, providing informal assistance and support to employees regarding workplace issues, concerns or complaints," and practice to IOA standards. The program was established in early 2019.

Journal of IOA: Impact of Student Conflict in Higher Ed

The latest article published by the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association presents survey results from college students that has implications for Ombuds. "Interpersonal Conflict and Academic Success: A Campus Survey with Practical Applications for Academic Ombuds," was written by a research team from Northern Arizona University: Phoebe Morgan, Heather Foster, and Brian Ayres.

June 24, 2019

Austin Community College District Names First Ombuds

Amanda Dean has been selected as the first Ombudsman for Staff and Faculty by the community college system. Austin Community College District had been searching for two candidates: internally for a faculty Ombuds and externally for a staff Ombuds. Dean will fill both roles and report to the Executive Vice President, Finance & Administration. 

Cal Caucus Opens Registration for 2019 Meeting

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has opened registration 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." To accommodate the recent growth in demand, organizers have moved the event from the Kiln Room to the Fred Farr Forum, which accommodates about 25% more people.

June 17, 2019

IOA Signs on to National Academies' Initiative to Prevent Sexual Misconduct

The International Ombudsman Association has signed a "Commitment Statement" in support of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. In April of this year, NASEM, the collective scientific national academy of the United States, announced a collaboration with higher education leaders to work toward targeted, collective action on sexual harassment. Dozens of colleges, universities, and research centers have signed on, but IOA is one of a few professional associations that has joined the effort.

University of Ottawa Adds Assistant Ombuds

In August 2018, Evelyne Poisson became the Assistant Ombuds at University of Ottawa. Together with Martine Conway, she comprises the Office of the Ombudsperson which serves the large campus of 42,000 students. Before coming to the Ombuds position, Poisson worked as a teacher and researcher in a variety of community and cooperative settings across Canada and worldwide. 

June 14, 2019

Frederick County Public Schools Appoints First Ombuds

Sabrina Nail has become the first Ombuds for the public school system in Maryland. She comes to the position after a career as an insurance claims specialist. According to an announcement from the district, Nail started in April 2019 and has been busy developing a website, video, brochure, and other resources to promote the new office. 

Job Posting: Cleveland Metropolitan School District

The public school system in Ohio is hiring an Ombudsperson Manager. The position "manages the Office of the Ombudsperson and serves as an objective and neutral party tasked with listening and investigating complaints within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District." Reporting to the Chief Engagement Office, the Ombuds responds to concerns from parents/guardians and other members of the community. The district enrolls nearly 40,000 students in grades K-12.

EU Handbook On Higher Ed Values Promotes Role of Ombuds

The Academic Refugee Project, a partnership funded by the European Union, has just published a new electronic handbook that aims to improve the outcomes for refugees and threatened academics through awareness and agreement on higher education values. The guide, "Promoting Core Higher Education Values," identifies core values; suggests ways to embed value statements; offers practices to engage refugees and at-risk scholars; and identifies mechanisms for implementing values. According to the authors, Ombuds are one of the primary instruments for universities to implement values.

Kennesaw State University Names Ombuds

Hope Torkornoo has joined the KSU Office of the Ombuds. He joins Joel Fowler and succeeds Tim HedeenTorkornoo joined the faculty in 1992 and is a Professor in KSU's Department of Marketing & Professional Sales. He has served as a member of several committees, including in promotion and tenure, course review, and diversity. (KSU Ombuds.)

June 13, 2019

Ombuzz Guest Post Highlights Work With Employee Relations

The latest guest post for Ombuzz, the University of Colorado Ombuds Blog, focuses on how Ombuds and employee relations can work together. Caroline Adams, the UCSB Ombuds, interviewed Jason Shelton at UC Boulder about his experience as an employee relations consultant working with an Ombuds. Other Ombuds may find this helpful in addition to other content on on the blog. (Ombuzz.)

University of Kansas Seeking Next Faculty Ombuds

The provost at KU is soliciting applications from tenured faculty to serve in the Ombuds Office. Maria Orive is stepping down after serving in the role for over a decade now. The next Faculty Ombuds serve a three-year, renewable term at 20% time along side KU's University Ombuds DA Graham. (KU Provost Twitter.)

June 12, 2019

Job Posting: Marshall University

The public university in Huntington, West Virginia, is hiring a full-time University Ombudsman and Civic Engagement Coordinator for a one-year appointment. This will be the university's first Ombuds, although the position has been discussed for two decades, most recently as a Faculty Ombuds. The job description implies that the new Ombuds will serve only university employees:

June 11, 2019

Lehigh University Names New Ombuds

Erica Hoelscher, a Professor of Theatre, has joined the Ombuds Office at Lehigh University. She joins Elizabeth (Beth) Dolan and succeeds Robert Thornton, who served in role since 2014. Together, Hoelscher and Dolan serves about 9,000 faculty, staff, and students. 

June 10, 2019

Registration Opens for USOA Conference in Hawaii

The United States Ombudsman Association has posted details for its 40th Annual Conference, on September 18-20, 2019, with pre-conference workshops on September 16-17, 2019. The theme for the meeting is, "The Ombudsman: Making Things Pono." The kenote speaker will be Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, a Native Hawaiian teacher, cultural practitioner, community leader, and one of the first transgender candidates to run for statewide political office in the U.S.

June 06, 2019

Job Posting: Fairfax County Public Schools

The public school system in Virginia is hiring an Assistant Ombudsman for Special Education for a 10-month contract. The position will report to the Chief Equity Officer and work closely with FCPS's first Family and Student Ombudsman, Armando L. Peri, Jr., who was appointed in June 2018. The Assistant Ombuds will be primarily responsible for supporting parents with special education concerns and processes. According to FCPS, 29 percent of Peri's cases have been related to special education issues. 

June 05, 2019

Job Posting: College of William & Mary

The public university in Williamsburg, VA is hiring its next Ombudsperson. Mark Patterson has held the position for about a year and half and will be moving to CSU Channel Islands this summer. The full-time position serves all campus employees and reports to the Provost's office.

Insights on Gaslighting

William & Mary Ombuds, Mark Patterson, has published an article for the online magazine Medium: "Overcoming Gaslighting in a Higher Education Setting." Through a fictional case, Patterson examines how gaslighting leads victims to question their perceptions of reality and some remedies.

June 04, 2019

Ombuds as Part of a Social Justice Framework for Associations

A recent article published by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education highlights the role of Ombuds as part of a social justice framework being adopted by more professional academic associations. Authors Kimberly A. Mealy and Kathy L. Powers say that there are three justice mechanisms being offered to association members finally deal with various forms of harassment and other violations of professional ethics: 1. An Organizational Ombuds for annual meetings; 2. An online reporting platform; and 3. Campaigns to set a positive tone and climate for conferences.

University of South Florida Ombuds Takes New Tactic in Explainer Video

Jennifer Schneider, who has been the USF Student Ombuds since 2015, is neither seen nor heard in a new video posted to YouTube. Instead, a series of quick reaction shots reveals that many students do not knowing what an Ombuds is (perhaps a nod to Jerry Nuesell's video for Wake Tech a couple years ago).