September 30, 2020

Job Posting: University of California, Office of the President

The systemwide headquarters of the University of California is hiring its first Ombudsperson. The position reports to the UC President's Chief of Staff and will establish an Ombuds program for about 3,000 staff members in Oakland and throughout California. In addition, the UC Office of the President Ombuds "Collaborates and facilitates communication amongst Ombuds Office locations throughout the UC system to identify and report systemwide trends and issues."

September 29, 2020

Appalachian State University Taps Insider for Ombuds Role

On September 15, 2020, Tandrea Carter was appointed as the University Ombuds for public university in Boone, North Carolina. She succeeds Professor Bob Hill. Carter is a trained mediator and clinical psychologist who has worked at Appalachian State in a variety of roles for the past decade. She is the Director of Counseling for Faculty and Staff and also lectures in the Department of Psychology. As the Ombuds, she serves over 25,000 faculty, staff, and students. 

Job Posting: University of Minnesota

The U of M is hiring a part-time Ombudsperson. The position is located in the Student Conflict Resolution Center (headed by Jan Morse) and works primarily with undergraduate students. Due to training requirements, the posting seeks a one-year commitment.

September 28, 2020

Job Posting: Carnegie Mellon University

The private research university in Pittsburgh, PA is hiring a Staff Ombudsperson which will be part of HR. The position "will serve as a designated neutral or impartial dispute resolution practitioner whose major function is to provide confidential and informal assistance to CMU staff members and staff supervisors." This appears to be a new role at Carnegie Mellon (graduate students in some science departments are served by faculty, senior staff, or students volunteering as Ombuds, and there are multiple references in CMU policy to a "University Ombudsperson," but there is no dedicated person and any active links redirect to a external ethics reporting hotline.) The new Ombuds will be expected to create and manage an Ombuds Community of Practice to develop IOA-based standards for other Ombuds at the university.

September 25, 2020

Austria's NEOS Party Creates Ombuds Program for Members

In June 2020, the New Austria and Liberal Forum (Das Neue Österreich und Liberales Forum) appointed its first two Ombudspersons: Michael Schiebel and Arlette Zakarian. Together, they serve for anyone with a conflicts related to the liberal political party. The NEOS Ombuds are neutral, confidential, and voluntary. They will also serve as mediators. NEOS is thus the second political party with an Ombuds program and joins Germany's FDP, which has had an Ombuds program since 2014. (NEOS Ombuds.)

University of Beira Interior Opens Internal Search for Next Ombuds

The public university in Covilhã, Portugal is seeking its next Student Ombudsman. Internal applicants will be considered for the two-year appointment, which begins November 6, 2020. The UBI Ombuds serves a student body of nearly 7,000, "through independent, impartial and confidential action." The search will replace, Júlio Martins, Professor of the Department of Sports Sciences. (UBI NoticiaUBI Student Ombudsman.)

September 23, 2020

FDP is the First Political Party with an Ombuds

Six years ago, Christopher Gohl was chosen to serve as the first Ombudsperson for the Free Democratic Party, Germany’s liberal party. FPD (Freie Demokratische Partei) holds about about 10% of the seats in paliament. In this volunteer position, Gohl serves about 66,000 members. He also serves as FDP's Head of Political Planning, Program and Analysis, which involves implementing resolutions from party conventions. Although professional associations (especially in the U.S.) have been creating Ombuds programs for their members, this is the Ombuds serving a political party.

Negotiation Journal Opens Access for Mary Rowe's Articles

The academic journal produced by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is offering free access to its a collection of articles by Mary Rowe, former MIT Ombuds, Adjunct Professor of Negotiation and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and thought-leader in the Ombuds profession. The articles will be free through September 2021.

September 22, 2020

Digital Games Research Association Names First Three Ombuds

The international professional association for digital gaming academics and researchers has selected its first three Ombuds: Diana Mosonyi; Lauren Marx; and Chris LaHatte. Their work will be supported by two DiGRA insiders who will serve as Ombuds Secretaries, Madeleine Antonellos and Christine Tomlinson. The three Ombuds will practice to IOA standards and serve as a resource for DiGRA community members, conference attendees, and listserv participants.

September 18, 2020

Conflict Between OAS and IAHCR Involves Upward Feedback by Ombuds

Two years ago, the Organization of American States hired an outsider, Neida Perez as the Organizational Ombudsperson for all of its personnel. (Her predecessors were former ambassadors and had been political appointees.) Last month, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro decided not to renew the appointment of Paulo Abrão as head of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR is an autonomous commission of OAS and the region's most prominent human rights watchdog). Almagro rejected IACHR's unanimous support of Abrão apparently because of upward feedback by the Ombuds, Perez. Now, human rights organizations are accusing Perez of exceeding her authority to report mistreatment of OAS personnel.

Job Posting: Armed Forces Retirement Home

The facility for veterans and active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces in Washington, DC, is hiring an Ombudsman. The position has attributes of both an Organizational Ombuds and a Long-Term Care Ombuds. The congressionally mandated position will, "Conduct studies and projects that involve the collection and analysis of a wide variety of data pertaining to complaints and disciplinary hearings/actions in order to make recommendations for changes in processes, procedures and policies" and "Provide residents with confidential, informal and impartial assistance and serve as an advocate for fairness."

American Society for Aesthetics Opens Internal Search for Ombuds

Two years ago, the philosophical organization selected long-time member and Chartered Mediator, Jeanette Bicknell, to serve as its first Ombudsperson. The ASA Ombuds is the primary resource and point of contact for members with concerns about discrimination, including sexual harassment. Bicknell's first term is coming to an end and ASA has opened nominations for the position. Bicknell is, however, eligible for a second term. 

Jackson State University's New Ombuds to Lead NACADA Equity Effort

Janelle Hannah Jefferson, JSU's first Ombudsperson, was recently appointed to serve as co-chair for the the National Academic Advising Association Taskforce Training Committee on Race, Inclusion, and Ethnicity. She will work with other professionals to plan, design and facilitate training sessions for the leadership of NACADA as it relates to issues of race and inclusion. Jefferson became the Ombudsperson and Special Assistant to the Provost at Jackson State in November 2019. She earned her MA and PhD at the university and has worked there since 2014 in a variety of administrative positions. (JSUM News; LinkedIn.)

September 17, 2020

Job Posting: University of Alabama

Alabama's flagship public research university in Tuscaloosa is hiring an "Associate Director of Title IX Programs and Equal Opportunity Ombudsperson." This position is clearly outside the norm for university Ombuds and covers a range of formal and informal duties: 

University of South Carolina Aiken has a New Ombuds

Earlier this year, USCA appointed Melencia Johnson as its next Student Ombuds, refilling a position held most recently by Brittney D. Alls. Johnson serves about 3,300 students at the public university in the Central Savannah River Area of South Carolina. Johnson practices to all four tenets for Organizational Ombuds and her website has unique language about neutrality. She explains that she "is impartial, serving as neither advocate nor apologist for any members or offices of the USC Aiken community."

September 16, 2020

Universidad San Francisco de Quito Creates Ombuds Program for Students

The private liberal-arts university in Quito, Ecuador, has appointed Valentina Alejandra Lucio-Paredes Aulestia as its first-ever Ombudsperson. She assumed her duties in October 2019 and a website for her office debuted this week. The Office of the Ombudsman handles all student, parent, or members of the university community's complaints or concerns in a confidential and impartial manner. This office also provides advice on University policies, processes, and regulations. This is also the first university Ombuds in Ecuador.

University of Texas Austin Names Two New Faculty Ombuds

UT Austin has selected Caroline Bartel and Chris McCarthy to be Faculty Ombuds, filling a position held by Mary Steinhardt from 2008 until earlier this year. Historically, UT's Faculty Ombuds has operated independently from the older Student Ombuds office. But recently, the two programs have created a joint website.

September 15, 2020

Job Posting: U.S. Board of Veterans' Appeals

The administrative tribunal within the Department of Veterans Affairs is hiring a Program Specialist Ombudsman. The full-time position serves as the lead principal advisor and designated neutral party for dispute resolution and conflict management within the Board. The job is based in in Washington, DC and some travel is required, but it is also eligible for telework. The position has existed since at least 2016 (according to ACUS), but little information is publicly available.

September 14, 2020

Job Posting: Federal Bureau of Investigation

The principal federal law enforcement agency for the U.S. is accepting external applications for one or more Associate Organizational Ombudsman positions.  "As a senior staff member in the Office of the Ombudsman, [the position] serves as an expert advisor, liaison and consultant to executives, managers, operational and administrative personnel. Work is primarily in the conflict management/dispute resolution field and entails complex, in depth and independent planning, research, analysis and feedback on-a broad range of personnel, administrative, organizational and systems issues." The position reports to the FBI Ombudsman, Monique A. Bookstein, who has led the office since for the past decade.

September 11, 2020

Milwaukee Area Technical College Sets Up Ombuds Office

The public vocational-technical college in Wisconsin has named Yolanda Hodges as its first Ombudsperson. In this new role, Hodges serves as a resource for about 35,000 students across four campuses. The MATC Office of the Ombudsperson is within the Division of Completion & Retention. A charter document for the office adheres to IOA standards.

September 10, 2020

University of Rochester Names First Ombuds for Staff

Col Raimond has been appointed the first Staff Ombuds at the private research university in Upstate New York. In this new role, Raimond will serve staff affiliated with Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, Rochester's core academic units. (The university has existing Ombuds programs for ASE grad students and faculty, and School of Medicine and Dentistry graduate students, postdocs, and trainees.) John Barker, the Faculty Ombuds, said that role has helped him realize the importance of an equivalent position for staff. “I am excited that we were able to make this happen and add additional support for staff, and am happy to team with Col,” Barker said. 

September 09, 2020

Southern Methodist University Plans Ombuds Office

The new Chief Diversity Officer for the private university in Texas says that she will oversee a new Ombudsperson. Maria Dixon Hall was promoted to become SMU's Chief Diversity Officer in August and quickly announced a range of new diversity initiatives, policies and programs. These will include a new Ombuds for the campus's 15,000 faculty, staff, and students. 

September 08, 2020

Programs Mark Ombuds Day 2020, Now Just One Month Away

The ABA Ombuds Committee website is posting links to events commemorating the third annual Ombuds Day on October 8, 2020. Organizers (led by Ken Skodacek, ABA Dispute Resolution Section, Ombuds Day Subcommittee Chair) aim to survey the full range of Ombuds practices. Several are online and open to the public.

September 07, 2020

Job Posting: UN Funds and Programmes

The United Nations' global development network has opened a search for a Consultant Ombudsman. The position reports to the Deputy Ombudsman for UN Funds and Programmes and will "enhace the operation capacity ... of the Office." Some travel to UNDP field offices is required. 

Nature Article about Academic Bullying Endorses University Ombuds

A recent commentary by Morteza Mahmoudi in Nature Human Behavior offers, "A survivor’s guide to academic bullying." He learned some key lessons that targets can employ to protect themselves and fight back. These include using their institution's Ombuds Office.

September 04, 2020

Job Posting: National Institutes of Health

The NIH Center for Cooperative Resolution/Office of the Ombudsman is hiring an Associate Ombudsman. The search will fill a vacancy left by Tyler Smith, who moved to Northeastern Illinois University. The position reports to Julie Muroff, Acting NIH Ombudsman and Director, and provides assistance to individuals and groups in resolving work and lab-related conflicts through services including consultations, facilitated discussions, and coaching.

September 03, 2020

Job Posting: University of Cincinnati

The public research university in Ohio is hiring an Associate Ombuds. The position reports to Kim Fulbright, the University Ombuds, and provides services to more than 60,000 faculty, staff, and students. The search will fill a position previously held by Alicia Booker, who moved to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

September 02, 2020

Job Posting: College of William & Mary

The public university in Williamsburg, VA is searching again for an Ombudsperson. The position was established in 2008 and has been held most recently by Tatia Granger on an interim basis. The school downgraded the position from full time to part time with a stipend, and open only to current or retired William & Mary faculty and staff.