May 27, 2021

Job Posting: ETH Zurich

The world-class public research university in Switzerland is hiring an "Additional Ombudsperson" for a four-year appointment. The Ombudsstelle at ETH Zurich has four Ombuds; three are hired internally and the fourth must be an external hire. Currently, Kathrin Teuscher serves as the Additional Ombudsperson. The others are Prof. Emeritus Gerhard Tröster; Prof. Peter M. Frischknecht; and Prof. Margrit Leuthold. Together, they serve over 30,000 faculty, staff, and students, practicing to IOA standards.

May 26, 2021

Stories of Academic Bullying Reflect Ombuds' Work

Last fall, Nature Human Behavior published a commentary by Morteza Mahmoudi: "A survivor’s guide to academic bullying." He found that the vast majority of respondents who experienced bullying did not report the behavior to their institution and, of those who report, only 8% felt the process was fair and unbiased. Science has now published a collection of responses from Mahmoudi's study. In many of these stories, the target consulted with the campus Ombuds, with mixed results.

May 24, 2021

U.S. Green Building Council Selects an Experienced Ombuds

Scott Deyo, CO-OP moves from the Department of Energy to USGBC to serve as its first Ombuds. Deyo will provide the service as an external consultant through Deyo Ombuds Solutions, LLC. The part time position will allow him to develop his other interest as a photographer.

May 21, 2021

Clemson University Hires Ombuds for Staff

Tessa Byer has been selected as the new Ombuds for Staff at Clemson. She joins University Ombudsman for Faculty and Students, R. Gordon Halfacre, and the Ombudsman Assistant, Glenda L. Dickson. “With training and experience in ombudsry, mediation, and conflict resolution, Tessa Byer brings significant talent to Clemson. Coupled with her familiarity with higher education, she makes a perfect addition to our ombuds staff,” said Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Bob Jones.

Book Notes: Free Yourself From Conflict

A new book by David B. Pauker offers a three-part strategy for managing conflict informed by his work as an Ombuds, crisis manager, and mediator. He illustrates concepts through stories of conflict in a range of settings (from scripture to Hollywood) and supports his advice with psychology and science. 

May 20, 2021

Job Posting: Breakthrough Twin Cities

The education equity nonprofit which helps under-resourced students prepare for college and cultivates the future educators in St. Paul, Minnesota is hiring a Summer Ombudsperson. This new, part-time position will "provide direct services and referrals to help prevent, identify, manage and/or resolve workplace conflict." The Ombuds will also guide individuals through mediation and/or facilitation, and, if time allows during inaugural summer, develop and provide appropriate training programs. The appointment will last from June 14 through August 13, 2021.

Call for Papers: ENOHE-ACCUO 2021 Conference

The European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education and the Association of Canadian College and University Ombuds is seeking papers and presenters for its 2021 conference, "Looking Forward: The Role of the Ombuds in the Post-Covid Recovery." The conference will be online September 21-22 with a format and timing to enable participating by delegates from around the world. The deadline to submit papers is June 30, 2021.

May 19, 2021

Job Posting: University of Tennessee

The public university in Knoxville will expand its Office of Ombuds Services with the hiring of a full-time Associate Ombudsperson. The new position will report to Campus Ombudsperson, Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, and serve faculty, staff, and graduate students. The Associate Ombuds will contribute to the ongoing strategic planning as well as program evaluation for the office. The successful candidate will be assigned an office and expected to work on campus once all COVID restrictions are lifted. (Currently, staff are expected to be back on campus on June 1 and UTK plans to return to in-person instruction for the fall semester.)

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard Names First Ombuds

Richard Cohen has been appointed the first Ombuds for the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, an independent biomedical and genomic research center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Broad Institute has about 5,000 employees and Cohen takes on the role as an external consultant as the principal of Great Pond Resolutions.

Staff Council Votes for Ombuds at Texas State University

At its regular meeting last week, Texas State's Staff Council approved a motion recommending the creating of a Staff Ombuds. (The public university in San Marcos currently has only a Faculty Ombudsman and a Student Ombudsperson.) The Staff Council's recommendation envisions a staff member serving as an collateral-duty Ombuds and receiving a stipend for the position. (University Star.)

May 17, 2021

Olympian and Activist to be Next Ombuds at University of Toronto

Last week, U of T's Governing Council selected Bruce Kidd as its next University Ombudsperson. Kidd is currently a professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, but he is better known as an Olympic athlete, sports academic, athlete’s rights advocate, and sports historian. He has been inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, made an Officer of the Order of Canada, authored a dozen books, and served as the principal of the University of Toronto Scarborough. He succeeds Ellen Hodnett, who served as Ombuds since 2015, and will serve an initial three-year term.

Job Posting: Karel de Grote-Hogeschool

The Roman Catholic college in Antwerp, Belgium is hiring its first Ombuds for a one-year contract starting September 2021. The 40%-time position will serve as a resource for about 13,000 students and about 1,300 employees. The Ombuds will provide information about educational policies and processes, act as an independent mediator, and identify structural problems. 

University of the Bahamas Enacts Ombuds Charter

The public university based in Nassau has issued a charter agreement for the Ombuds Office headed by Marisa Mason-Smith. The charter ensures that UB's first Ombuds (and the only Bahamian Organizational Ombuds) will practice to IOA standards and report to the university's board of trustees. (University of the Bahamas Ombuds Charter.)

May 14, 2021

Northwestern University Lures Experienced Ombuds

Sarah Klaper will become Northwestern's first University Ombudsperson on August 1, 2021. She moves from Northern Illinois University, where she has served in the same position since 2012. Klaper will serve about 30,000 faculty, staff, and students, including those at campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Qatar. She will report to the provost and practice to IOA standards.

Job Posting: Cornell University

The Ivy League school in Upstate New York is hiring an Associate Ombudsperson, a two-year renewable term, half-time (20 hours) position reporting to the Director and University Ombudsman, Linda Falkson. "The Assistant Ombudsperson routinely handles sensitive and confidential information, emotionally charged and complex situations, and independently exercises considerable judgment."

University of Twente Wants to Raise Profile of First Ombuds

As Han Warmelink nears the end of a two-year pilot period as Universiteit Twente's first Ombuds Officer for students and employees, campus administrators endorsed his work and indicated that the position would continue. The UT University Council also encouraged the Ombuds to increase awareness among students and staff.

Job Postings: Kaiser Permanente Redwood City & Honolulu

KP is taking applications for two full-time HealthCare Ombuds/Mediators. One position (a reposting from January) is for its medical facilities in Redwood City, just south of San Francisco, and the other is on the island of O‘ahu. The Kaiser HCOM, "functions as a trained alternative dispute professional offering patients, family members, staff & providers a conflict management program to resolve patient/provider healthcare disputes early thereby improving patient safety & reducing the costs of health care dispute resolution."

Save the Date for Ombuds Day 2021

Mark your calendars! The fourth annual Ombuds Day will take place on Thursday, October 14, 2021. This year's theme is Ombuds: Exploring Options to Resolve Conflict Together. Learn more at the dedicated ABA Dispute Resolution Section Ombuds Day website and follow along on Twitter @OmbudsDay. (ABA DR Ombuds Day.)

May 13, 2021

Job Posting: Iowa City Community School District

The public school district with 2,200 employees and 14,000 students, is hiring a full-time Ombudsperson. The position reports to the ICCSD Superintendent and "is an advocate for fairness who acts as a source of information and referral, and aids in answering individual’s questions, and assists in the resolution of concerns and critical situations." 

University of Nevada Las Vegas Selects New Ombuds

After an internal search, UNLV has announced that David G. Schwartz will become the new Employee Ombuds on June 1, 2021. UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield said, “I am confident he will be an excellent resource for employees, and can help UNLV identify systemic issues that are causing or have the potential to cause conflict. His position is critical for UNLV to continue evolving and remain an excellent place to work and learn.” Schwartz will reopen an office that has been dormant since 2019.

Familiar Faces Return for 2021 Ombuds Series at Kennesaw State

Kennesaw State University's annual Summer Institute for Professional Development will be a virtual event this year. Hosted by the KSU Center for Conflict Management, the Summer Institute again includes an Ombuds workshop with experienced Ombuds professionals delivering three session, which can be purchased separately or as a package:

May 12, 2021

Job Posting: Salk Institute for Biological Studies

The scientific research institute located north of San Diego, California, is hiring its first Ombudsperson. The part-time position will work with all faculty, staff, postdoctoral trainees and students with academic and/or administrative issues and disputes. The Ombuds will report to Office of the Chief Science Officer and practice to IOA standards. 

ENOHE Webinar on Opening an Ombuds Office

The European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education will host an online conversation on June 22, 2021, on creating a new university Ombuds program. The webinar is intended to be a forum for anyone interested in or involved in the Ombuds role. Participants are invited to share and compare their experiences. The webinar will include a chance to network with practicing colleagues from countries in and beyond Europe.

May 11, 2021

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Selects First Ombuds

Kamini Bernard has been appointed the first Ombudsperson for the polytechnic institute in Calgary, Alberta. In the new role, Bernard will "provide impartial and confidential conflict and issue resolution services to all members of the SAIT campus community," a population of nearly 15,000. The position reports to SAIT's VP of External Relations with input from a Ombudsperson Leadership Committee, which includes student representatives. The SAIT's student association had advocated for the position and called it a "big win."

CCCUO Opens Registration for Summer Virtual Small Caucus

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has announced the details for its first virtual one-day meeting on June 16. Registration is now open and attendance is almost as limited as the in-person fall event.

Here's the full announcement that went out by email:

May 10, 2021

Job Posting: United Nations, Switzerland

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is hiring a Conflict Resolution Officer in Geneva. The position will provide Ombuds and conflict resolution services to UN staff in the region. The position reports to the Regional Ombudsman, Nicholas Theotocatos

May 07, 2021

Allegheny College Taps Basketball Coach as First Ombuds

After 13 years as the women’s basketball head coach at the private liberal arts college in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Kate Costanzo has been named the first Ombuds. Costanzo was also recently promoted to assistant director of athletics for the D3 school and she continues to serve as the NCAA designee on Allegheny's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. College President Hillary Link said that Costanzo’s aptitude to grow within the athletics department as well as her personality traits are what led to her selection for the Ombuds position.

May 06, 2021

IOA Releases 2020 Practice & Compensation Survey

In 2020, International Ombudsman Association surveyed practicing members for its periodic (now quinquennial) Practice & Compensation Survey. In total, 235 out of 780 eligible members participated in the study. Their responses have been aggregated into the IOA 2019 Practice & Compensation Report, which is free for members and available to non-members for $75. 

May 05, 2021

Job Postings: UN World Food Programme

The food assistance branch of the United Nations is hiring two full-time Ombuds: a Regional Ombuds Officer and a Senior Ombuds Officer & Mediator. Both are part of the UN Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services. The Regional Ombuds Officer will be located in WFP’s Regional Bureau Nairobi, Kenya, and travel extensively through East and South Africa. The Senior Ombuds Officer is based in Rome and reports to the Ombudsman and Director, Gabrielle Kluck.

May 04, 2021

Carnegie Mellon University Selects First Staff Ombuds

Jennifer Pablonis has been named the inaugural Staff Ombudsperson for private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to the job posting, her office is part of human resources and will serve CMU staff members and staff supervisors. Pablonis will create and manage an "Ombuds Community of Practice" which will develop IOA-based standards for other Ombuds to be created at the university. In addition the Ombuds website explains: "The staff ombudsperson receives and triages the ethics hotline reports received through Report It, which is a third party vendor. The ombudsperson does not handle actual investigations."

May 03, 2021

University of Kansas Adds an Associate Ombuds

Mike Rozinsky has joined the KU Ombuds Office as a Associate Ombuds. In this part-time role, he reports to Acting University Ombuds, Ada Emmett. (The shifts were precipitated by the appointment of University Ombuds, DA Graham, to the role of Interim Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.) Rozinsky, meanwhile, continues as a part-time Ombuds at Brandeis University.

James Madison University Names Next Faculty Ombuds

On July 1, 2021, David McGraw will become the next Faculty Ombudsperson for the public research university in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He follows Chris Blake in the position. The JMU Faculty Ombuds serves about 1,400 academic staff practicing to IOA standards. The university also has a Student Ombuds office.