March 31, 2021

Interim Ombuds Steps in at UNC School of the Arts

Jill Crainshaw has been hired as the interim University Ombuds for the University North Carolina arts conservatory. She fills a position vacated when UNCSA's founding Ombuds, Joshua Canzona, moved to UNC Chapel Hill. Meanwhile, Crainshaw continues as the Campus Ombudsperson for nearby Wake Forest University. (UNCSA Ombuds.)

March 29, 2021

Kansas State University Selects First Student Ombuds

After an internal search, K-State has chosen Kimathi Choma as its first Student Ombudsperson. (Tara Coleman, Drew Smith, and Anne K. Phillips continue as the university's Ombuds for faculty and staff.) Choma takes on the new role in addition to his work as Assistant Dean of Diversity, Recruitment, and Retention, a position he has held for the past seven years. The appointment fulfills a promise made by K-State's president in July 2020 in response to Black Lives Matter protests on campus.

March 26, 2021

World Wildlife Fund Announces First Ombuds

After a search that opened in July 2019, Gina Barbieri has been selected as the first Ombudsperson for the global conservation network. Barbieri will start her duties in August 2021 and her first task will be defining the standards for the office. She will report directly to the President of WWF International with support from the International Board subcommittee and have complete independence from the executive both from a reporting and budgetary perspective.

March 23, 2021

Job Posting: University of Oregon

The large public university in Eugene is hiring a full-time Associate Ombudsperson. The position will report to University Ombudsperson Brett Harris and join an office that serves about 30,000 faculty, staff, and students. 

March 22, 2021

Meet the Ombuds at Stockton University

Lisa M. Lyle has been hired as the Ombuds for faculty, staff, and students at the public university near Atlantic City, New Jersey. Although she started in July 2019, the website for the office was only recently updated. Lyle follows Rahmaan Simpkins, who established Stockton's Ombuds Office in 2018.

Job Posting Indicates Sandia National Labs Will Restart Ombuds Program

According to a recent job posting, the federal nuclear lab in New Mexico is hiring a Corporate Ombudsman. Sandia had an Ombuds program from 1992 until 2018, shortly after Honeywell International took over management duties. The job posting, which was open for just seven calendar days, sought an experienced Ombuds to set up and manage a program following IOA standards and reporting to the Executive Chief of Staff. The salary range is $39,300 to $104,600. (Lensa.)

March 21, 2021

IOA Supports AAPI Stakeholders

On Friday, the International Ombudsman Association posted a statement in response to the recent surge in violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander people and communities. The IOA Board of Directors composed the following statement in collaboration with the Communications Committee and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Task Force. Here is the full IOA statement, "Standing With Our Asian Colleagues & Communities":

March 19, 2021

Job Posting: United Nations, Israel

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services (UNOMS) is hiring a Temporary Regional Ombudsman to be based in Jerusalem. This is a new posting for UNOMS and the position will primarily serve staff attached to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). 

Job Posting: Central Connecticut State University

The public university with 12,000 students in New Britain is hiring an Ombudsperson. Reporting to the University President, the Ombuds will design and implement a campus-wide program following IOA standards. Applicants must have an advanced degree, at least six years of related professional experience, and at least three years of Ombuds experience. CO-OP certification or eligibility is preferred. Applications are due by April 9, 2021. No salary indicated. (Chronicle of Higher Ed.)

Ombuds Webinar will Introduce Organizational Wellness Analysis Model

Two Ombuds from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada will offer a free two-hour workshop on March 25, 2021: "What Does a Healthy and Productive Workplace Look Like?" Mario Baril and Ève Nadeau will present a comprehensive organizational wellness analysis model that identifies the criteria for a high-performing organization and the determining factors for increasing employee motivation and engagement. The targeted audience is federal employees and the Webex event is free. 

March 18, 2021

Special Issue of JIOA Explores Gender Discrimination

The Journal of the International Ombudsman Association has released a "Special Issue on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination." Articles offer an unprecedended look at the confidential work of Ombuds on difficult cases of gender discrimination. Shereen Bingham, Professor Emeritus and former Director of Ombuds Services at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, was the the Guest Editor for this issue. 

Team Canada Announces Ombuds for 2020 Olympic Games

Dasha Peregoudova has been appointed as the Ombudsperson for Team Canada for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (which will be held later this year). Peregoudova is an associate with the law firm of Aird & Berlis. According to an announcement from the firm, she will "provide counsel to members of Team Canada during the Games to help them resolve issues and disputes so that they can focus on their sport and perform to their full ability." The team Ombuds also represents athletes at hearings at governing boards, including the Court of Arbitration for Sport, if necessary.

CPR's Young Leaders in ADR Panel to Feature Twitter's First Ombuds

Dina Eisenberg will be a speaker at an event co-sponsored by International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, Inc., and the NY City Metropolitan Black Bar Association. Eisenberg was recently appointed the first Ombuds for Twitter. "Yes, You Can! Pathways to a Career in Conflict Prevention & Resolution" aims to introduce ADR careers to young professionals. The event takes place May 6, 2021 and is free and open to the public.

March 17, 2021

College of Engineering at University of Illinois, Appoints First Ombuds

Professor Emeritus, Michael Hirschi has been selected the first Ombudsperson for the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. According to a tweet from the college, "This is a newly established role formed in light of the enthusiastic support from various college and faculty leadership committees." Despite efforts from various groups over the years, the state's flagship university has not had an Ombuds program since the early 1990's.

Howard Gadlin to Lead Off Monthly Conversation Series at

The "world's leading mediation website," has announced a monthly conversation series with top mediators and conflict resolution experts. The online conversation start later this month and draws inspiration from 2020, book co-edited by Howard Gadlin and Nancy A. Welsh, Evolution of a Field: Personal Histories in Conflict Resolution. Gadlin and other contributors will be the panelists.

March 16, 2021

Job Posting: Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA's Alternative Dispute Resolution Division in the Office of the Chief Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency is hiring an ADR-Advisor (experienced ADR professional and Ombuds). The position is assigned to the ADR Division’s Mission and Programs Branch in Washington, DC, and is funded for a two-year term. Telework is currently encouraged.

Cleveland Metropolitan School District has its First Ombuds

Tammy Toney has been selected the Ombudsperson Manager for the public school system in Ohio. In this new position, she "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." According to a new website for the office, Toney works with Carmen Colon, Bilingual Ombudsman Office Specialist, and Tommiesha Winston, Welcome Center Assistant. Together, they will serve a district that enrolls nearly 40,000 students.

Coastal Carolina University Names Next Faculty Ombuds

Renée Smith
has been appointed the Faculty Ombuds for the public university near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She is a Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, and succeeds Steven Madden as the Ombuds for about 600 academic staff. Meanwhile, CCU continues to evaluate the Student and Staff Ombuds position, which has been vacanct since Dan Lawless retired last year.

March 15, 2021

University of Nevada Las Vegas Opens Internal Search to Reopen Ombuds Office

UNLV has opened an internal search for an Employee Ombuds. According to the announcement, "This position is critical to UNLV's ongoing efforts to promote an inclusive, welcoming, and supportive campus environment where faculty and staff of all backgrounds can work together effectively." Previously, the campus had a panel of faculty and staff volunteers, but the Ombuds program ended by 2019. Last month, UNLV's new president promised to restore the Ombuds role.  (UNLV News.)

Lourdes University Names Next Ombuds

Ruthi Mitchell has been selected as the next Campus Ombuds Officer for the private Franciscan university in Sylvania, Ohio. The position serves about 200 faculty and staff. She follows Angie Gorny, who established the position in 2017. Mitchell also currently serves as the Director of Alumni Relations at Lourdes.

March 11, 2021

IOA Postpones Board Election to Conduct Independent Review of Diversity and Equity Concerns

The International Ombudsman Association's Task Force on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging has raised concerns about the process for selecting board members. The implicit question is: Why is there not more diversity among IOA's Board of Directors? In response, IOA will postpone its election and annual meeting (which has traditionally occurred during the annual conference) to allow for an independent review of the past six years of board elections. 

University of Arizona Shuts Down Ombuds Program

The impact of Covid-19 has lead the University of Arizona to defund several diversity-related programs including the Office of the Ombuds. According to the office's Twitter feed, today is the last day of operations. The program was established in 2003 and relied on faculty and staff volunteers to provide services to the large campus in and around Tucson. Caitlan Hendrickson has been the Director of the UA Office of the Ombuds since 2015. (Daily Wildcat; Twitter @UAOmbuds.)

March 10, 2021

University of West Florida Names Two Student Ombuds

The public university in Pensacola has revived its Student Ombuds Office, with the appointment of two interim Ombuds: Robin Jones and Randolph Scott. All public universities in Florida are required to have an Ombuds. At UWF, the dean of students office has also provided Ombuds services. The two interim Ombuds also have other roles on campus.

University of Iowa Seeks Next Faculty Ombuds

Iowa is looking for a faculty member to join its Office of the Ombudsperson for a four-year, part-time appointment. Reporting to University Ombudsperson, Cynthia Joyce, the position is being vacated by Rachel Williams, who will end her term as Faculty Ombudsperson at the end of the academic year. The internal search is open to associate or full professors or emeritus faculty members.

March 09, 2021

Caffera Resumes Duties at University of Mississippi

In an email last week, Ole Miss Chancellor, Glenn F. Boyce announced that the University Ombuds, Paul Caffera, will return to work. However, the message notably omitted any mention of the Ombuds' confidentiality, which continues to be a legal issue in the university's motion to dismiss Caffera's lawsuit in state chancery court. The undated email, which was provided by a university insider, says:

March 08, 2021

University of Hawai'i School of Medicine Opens Ombuds Office

Chang Kim has been named the first Ombudsman for the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu. Kim moves into the new position after two years as Contracts Officer for the UH Medical School. He will serve as a resource for all faculty and staff following IOA standards. Meanwhile, efforts to reestablish an Ombuds program for the rest of the campus have foundered since the UH Ombuds Office closed in 2009 after being open just three years. There are no other Organizational Ombuds programs in the state. 

National Institutes of Health Adds Experienced Ombuds

J. Fernando Caetano has been hired as an Associate Ombudsman with the Center for Cooperative Resolution and NIH Ombudsman. Caetano began his Ombuds career at George Mason University in 2015 and then became the first Ombuds for the U.S. Geological Survey in 2017. He joins a team that includes Director, Victor VoloshinSenior Associate Ombudsman, Linda M. BrothersLead Associate Ombudsman, Jason Byron, CO-OP; Associate Ombudsman, Judith Gail; Operations Coordinator, Samone Johnson; Associate Ombudsman, Stephen Kotev; and Associate Ombudsman, Jenn Mahony.

March 05, 2021

Job Posting: Brandeis University

The private university near Boston hiring an Associate Ombuds Officer. The part-time (up to four hours per week) contract is for one-semester initially and may be extended. The work would start in late August. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and five to eight years of experience. An advanced degree in a related field and experience in higher education are preferred. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No salary indicated. (HigherEdJobs.)

University of Cincinnati Adds an Associate Ombuds

Michael Brochu has joined the UC Ombuds Office. As the Associate Ombuds, he reports to the University Ombuds Kim Fulbright, and follows Alicia Booker. Brochu has over 14 years of experience in higher education and conflict resolution. Most recently, he was an educational consultant in the United Arab Emirates.

March 02, 2021

Former Military Ombuds Moves to Lakehead University

Canada's former military Ombuds Gary Walbourne has been hired by the public university in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He follows Interim Ombudsperson, Kim Morgan, who kept the lights on after Rob Thompson moved to Camosun College last March. In October 2018, Walbourne retired from his post as DND/CAF Ombudsman after a conflict with the Defense Minister. (Lakehead Ombuds; Walbourne Retirement Message.)

San Francisco State University Names Next Ombuds and Expands Mandate

Martha Paul has been appointed the University Ombuds for San Francisco State. She succeeds Christina Sabee, who created an program for SFSU's employees. As University Ombuds, Paul will serve "all members of the SF State community." Paul has held a variety of HR positions at the university, most recently as Leave Program Manager. (SFSU Ombuds.)

March 01, 2021

Job Posting: Central Michigan University

The public research university in Mount Pleasant is hiring its next Ombudsperson. The position serves about 27,000 students following IOA standards.  Erica Lynn Peters has held the position since 2016. 
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of professional experience in student or academic affairs. A graduate degree is preferred. The position pays $45,000-$60,000 and applications are due March 14, 2021. (CMU Posting.)