October 29, 2021

Job Posting: Federal Deposit Insurance Corp

The federal agency that insures American depositors, is hiring Internal Ombudsman Specialist. Based in Washington, DC, the full-time position "provides support in the areas of employee engagement, organizational improvement, change management, and other programs informing or benefitting the FDIC workforce." (The FDIC also has a separate external Ombuds program.) Some travel is required and telework may be allowed. Robert D. Harris is the current Internal Ombudsman for the FDIC.

Eindhoven University of Technology Names First Ombuds

Anna Soedira will become the first Ombudsperson at Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) on December 1, 2021. She comes to the position from Maastricht University where she was a part-time Ombuds since February 2019. Soedira earned her law degree at Radboud University and has run her own consulting firm for mediation and legal advice for over 24 years. (TU/e Cursor; LinkedIn.)

Cornell University Ombuds Set to Retire

After a decade in the role, Charles Walcott will retire later this year from his post as University Ombudsman. The part-time position has capped a 40-year career at the Ivy League school in Upstate New York. Walcott is a Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology and Behavior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and previously was the director of the renowned Ornithology Lab and served as dean of the University Faculty and chair of the University Assembly. The university will conduct an internal

October 28, 2021

Job Posting: Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General

The Defense Department's OIG is hiring an Ombuds (Organizational Development Specialist). The position is located in the DoD OIG Front Office in Alexandria, Virginia and serves all department personnel seeking informal and early resolution of workplace related concerns. Up to 20% travel may be required. The current Ombudsman for the DoD OIG is Edward T. Zrubek.

Gettysburg College Appoints Next Ombuds

Last month, Craig Lair was appointed as the second Gettysburg College Ombuds. He follows Kathryn Rhett, who founded the office in 2020, and serves as a resource for the private liberal arts college's 1,000 faculty and staff on a part-time basis. Lair is also Chairperson and Associate Professor in Sociology. 

October 27, 2021

Job Posting: U.S. Census Bureau

The Census Bureau is hiring an Associate Ombuds to be based in the Louisville metro area (Jeffersonville, Indiana). The GS-14/GS-15 position reports to the Census Bureau Ombuds, Bill Maurer, CO-OP. Occasional travel may be required and telework may also be possible. Relocation expenses may be paid. 

October 26, 2021

University of California, Berkeley Restores Faculty Ombuds Role

The Faculty Senate at California's flagship public university has appointed Angelica Stacy, an emeritus professor, as Faculty Ombuds. Previously, the faculty have been served by a committee of volunteer Ombuds. " As of 2021-22, per mutual agreement between the Senate and the Administration, the OMB role is being phased out and replaced by a paid, professionally trained Faculty Ombuds role which reports to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost." Berkeley also has separate Ombuds Offices for students and postdocs, and staff. 

Anesthesia Residents at Columbia Medical School Choose Ombuds

Jennifer Danielsson has been selected to serve as the first Ombuds for the Department of Anesthesiology in the School Medicine at Columbia University. She will serve as an "impartial resource who will receive confidential feedback from trainees about our learning environment and respond to any grievances." An announcement by the department said that Dannielsson was chosen by the 100 residents. Meanwhile, Columbia has a University Ombuds who serves all stakeholders and the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian has opened a search for its first Ombuds. 

October 25, 2021

Job Posting: Coastal Carolina University

The public university near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is hiring a part-time Interim Staff Ombuds for a 12 month appointment. (Dan Lawless had been the Student and Staff Ombuds until he retired in 2020 and there is no current plan to renew the Ombuds for students.) The position reports to the President and practices to IOA standards.

Job Posting: United Nations, New York

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking a Senior Conflict Resolution Officer for a temporary assignment that will last six months (but which may be extended). The position will directly report to the Chief of Office and will be under the general authority of the United Nations Ombudsman, Shireen Dodson.

Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology to Appoint First Ombuds

The professional association also know as Division 14 of the American Psychological Association, is seeking two members to serve as its first Ombudspersons. "SIOP Ombudspersons are SIOP members who have received special training on harassment, options for informal resolution and formal complaint under the policy, and the role of an ombud. Their primary function is to offer advice that is informal, impartial, and independent." These are volunteer positions with a three-year term.

October 22, 2021

Job Posting: New York-Presbyterian Hospital

The academic medical center is hiring a Director for its Office of Professionalism in the Learning Environment. The new position serves as a designated escalation resource ("confidential, informal, and impartial") available to Residents and Fellows with professionalism concerns and feedback. NYPH is affiliated with Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medical Center, both of which have their own Ombuds programs. 

Ombuds for Asian Development Bank Posts 2020 Annual Report

ADB Ombudsperson, Wayne Blair, has released his latest annual summary for his office and said that cases rose 4% to 515 cases. Reflecting the challenges wrought by the Covid pandemic, concerns about safety, health, and physical environment rose 226% from the prior year. Blair noted that "the number of women inquirers more than doubled the number of men in 2020, reflecting detrimental, global trends in women’s experiences of working from home and the disproportionate gender gaps impacting work outcomes."

Cal Caucus Extends Registration Deadline Again

With a few seats still open, the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has extended its registration deadline again to October 26. With the cancellation of the IOA conference, this is likely the only opportunity for Ombuds to meet in person currently available. The caucus, "Towards Restoration: What We’ve Lost and What We’ve Found," will be held at the Asilomar Conference Grounds on November 10-13, 2021. Cal Caucus attendees must show proof of vaccination and a current Covid test, will be required to wear masks indoors. (Cal Caucus Registration.)

October 21, 2021

ENOHE Webinar will Explore Role of Social Media

The European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education will host an online discussion on November 19, 2021.
Four experts will consider the benefits and drawbacks of social media for Ombuds. The webinar, "Social Media, Ombuds Offices and Confidentiality: Friends or Foes?" is free for ENOHE members and reservations are required. Scheduled speakers are:

October 20, 2021

Job Posting: World Bank Group

The WBG is hiring an Internal Justice Secretariat Program Officer for a three-year contract. The full-time position is situated within the Ombuds office and manages program initiatives and activities, and provides technical expertise related to workplace conflict resolution systems. Stephanie Luckam Garner held the position for the past three years and will now be managing the World Bank's Respectful Workplace Advisors Program.

University of California System Recruits Campus Ombuds to Lead New Office

After a lengthy national search, Callale Concon, CO-OP, has been selected as the Ombudsperson for the headquarters of the massive UC system. She takes over from Bodi Regan, who served in an interim role on loan from UC Berkeley. Concon comes to UCOP from UC Merced, where she has served as the Campus Ombudsperson since 2016. In her new role as UCOP Ombuds, she will serve about 3,000 staff members in Oakland and other locations across California.

IOA Pivots to Second Virtual Conference, Seeks Speaker Proposals

Although the International Ombudsman Association had hoped to return to an in-person annual conference, it has decided to hold another virtual event after many members said they would not travel to Miami in April 2022. The IOA Board cited "safety considerations and the persistent uncertainty regarding travel and budget limitations for the next six months" in making the difficult decision. The IOA Conference is now seeking help selecting speakers for the 17th annual conference, "Belonging Together: Reimagined" on April 4-6, 2022. (IOA Conf Info.)

October 19, 2021

UC Irvine Confirms Interim Campus Ombuds

Jennifer Moumneh, who has been serving as UCI's Interim University Ombudsman and Director, has been promoted to the permanent position. She succeeds Michael Chennault and will manage an office that includes Associate Ombuds Shawn Hutchens and Interim Associate Ombuds Jared Lee.

October 18, 2021

JIOA Article Surveys Ombuds Programs in Professional Associations

Over the past few years, on of the most significant areas of growth in the Ombuds profession has been the creation of programs by professional associations in North America. The latest article in the peer-reviewed Journal of the International Ombudsman Association looks at the range of these programs and finds some patterns in the motivations for and types of Ombuds programs. "Assessing the Establishment of Ombuds Offices in Professional Academic Research Associations," was written by Shannon Lynn Burton and Carol Mershon, who have both served as Ombuds for professional associations. 

Seattle University Assigns Ombuds Duties to VP for Diversity and Inclusion

Natasha Martin, who has been the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion since 2017 and a faculty member for two decades, taken on the Faculty Ombudsperson for the Jesuit University in Washington state. C. McKenna Lang established the program as served as Ombuds on a part-time basis since 2013. An announcement by Martin said that Ombuds role "is being reimagined and expanded to a full-time position ... under my leadership and its function as a key dimension of promoting inclusive excellence at SU."

October 15, 2021

Job Posting (RFP): Milwaukee Area Technical College

The public vocational-technical college in Wisconsin is seeking an independent contractor to serve as its Employee Ombudsperson. It appears that this new position will supplement the work of the college's Ombuds for students, Yolanda Hodges. The position will serve faculty, staff, and administrators. It is flexible up to any hours up to full time as needed and may work remotely or on-site as needed. The position reports directly to the MATC Climate Committee.

Omaha Public Schools Names First Ombuds

Earlier this year, Crystal Boyd became the first Ombudsperson for the largest school district in the state of Nebraska. According to a press release from the district, Boyd "will serve as a 'trusted navigator' to support students, families and staff. Crystal Boyd stepped into the new role earlier this year and she is working to promote awareness and understanding about how she can help." Boyd explained, "A big part of my work is helping families that maybe don’t know what to do or where to turn. Sometimes a student is facing difficulties and the family doesn’t know what options or resources are available to them, so I’m here to show them what help is available and to guide them through the process."

October 14, 2021

Today is the Fourth Annual Ombuds Day

Ombuds of all types around the world are celebrating October 14, 2021, as Ombuds Day. This year’s theme is “Ombuds: exploring options to resolve conflict together” is being marked by individual Ombuds offices and their professional associations, including: the American Bar Association; the International Ombudsman Association; United States Ombudsman Association; Coalition of Federal Ombudsman; and the National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs. Over two dozen states have issued proclamations in support. It's not too late to register for many of the programs. (ABA Ombuds Day; IOA Ombuds Day Events.)

With Unexpected Vacancies, Cal Caucus Extends Registration Deadline

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has a few spots left and is extending registration to Tuesday, October 19th. (In recent years, this event has been sold out.) The caucus, "Towards Restoration: What We’ve Lost and What We’ve Found," will be held at the Asilomar Conference Grounds on November 10-13, 2021. Cal Caucus attendees must show proof of vaccination and a current Covid test, will be required to wear masks indoors. (Cal Caucus Registration.)

October 13, 2021

Johns Hopkins University Names First Ombuds for PhD Students and Postdocs

JHU has selected Annalisa Peterson as its first Ombudsperson for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. A charter agreement signed in September ensures the new program will practice to IOA standards and report to the Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education.

Liz Tomaszewski: Former Ombuds at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Elizabeth M. Tomaszewski, the former Campus Ombudsman at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, passed away on October 3, 2021 in the embrace of her family at the age of 67. She served in the role (and as Associate Director of Sustainability and Facilities Systems Manager) for nearly 16 years until she retired in July 2020. She graduated from Keene State College and earned an MBA at Bentley College. She was an active volunteer in many community organizations and with the IOA. Among other things, she served on IOA's Strategic Alliances/Partnership Task Force in 2016. (Telegram Obituary; WPI Bio; IOA 2016 Annual Report.)

October 07, 2021

Agenda Now Available for 2021 Cal Caucus

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has posted the agenda for its 2021 conference, "Towards Restoration: What We’ve Lost and What We’ve Found," to be held at the Asilomar Conference Grounds on November 10-13, 2021. (Registration opened in July.) 

This is the first in-person event for Ombuds since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. Attendees must be vaccinated and show proof of a recent negative Covid test, in addition to other health protocols.

October 06, 2021

Montgomery County Public Schools Hires Experienced Ombuds

Ryvell D. Fitzpatrick has been selected as the next Ombudsperson for Maryland's largest school district. He will report the the Montgomery County Board of Education and serve a large group of stakeholders, including 28,000 employees, and 160,000 students. Fitzpatrick comes to the position after more than three years as the Deputy Ombudsman for Public Education for the DC State Board of Education.

October 05, 2021

Job Posting: National Security Agency

The U.S. Department of Defense intelligence agency is hiring a "Senior-Expert Level" Ombudsman. The full-time position is based in NSA's Fort Meade, Maryland, Office of Dispute Resolution and Grievances. The new position will help grow the program: "The professional selected for this position will help us to expand conflict skills building delivery beyond mid- to senior-level employees to the newest members of our workforce, respond to the increased requests for team engagements, and conduct expert-level conflict-resolution interventions." 

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente Honolulu

KP Hawaii is hiring a full-time HealthCare Ombuds/Mediator for its medical facilities in Honolulu. 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."

Slides Reveal Full List of Ombuds Programs Evaluated by Harvard Law Students

Over the years, law students from the Dispute Systems Design Clinic at the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program have consulted with various Ombuds programs. Sometimes the Ombuds were open about the consulting and sometimes they preferred to keep it quiet. Now a complete list is found in a presentation by Oladeji Tiamiyu, a Clinical Fellow at the HNMCP, that recaps his paper. "From the Field: An Ombuds Guide, Learnings from the Dispute Systems Design Clinic at Harvard Law School."

October 04, 2021

IOA Board Yields to Members' Concerns with Updated Bylaws Proposal

In response to members' concerns, the International Ombudsman Association's Board of Directors announced a new process to amend the IOA Bylaws & Articles of Incorporation. At a special meeting in June, an omnibus package of updates to the bylaws failed to come to a vote in the face of procedural objections from the floor. At follow-up townhalls, members also took issue with the Board's omnibus proposal for changes to multiple bylaws. Since then, the IOA has held multiple meetings to understand the concerns and fashion a response. An email from the entire IOA Board late last week outlined a process to provide more discussion of the changes in advance of another special meeting and then  allow separate votes on individual proposals.

Job Posting: Simon Fraser University

The public university in Burnaby, Vancouver is hiring a temporary, full-time Associate Ombudsperson. The position will report to the Student Ombudsperson, Laura Reid, and join an office that provides services to over 30,000 students. The job will end October 31, 2022.

Students Selected as Peer Ombuds at Wesleyan University

Four students have been selected as the first Student Ombuds for private liberal arts college in Middletown, Connecticut. Seniors Amy Guaman and Kalyani Mohan, junior Logan Tomlinson, and sophomore Sarah Asiedu and will serve for the 2021–22 academic year and are managed by Wesleyan's Dean for Academic Equity, Inclusion, and Success, April Ruiz. According to the student newspaper, the Student Ombuds "underwent an intensive three-day training session" from September 1 through 3 (which was not a time that IOA offered Foundations). 

October 01, 2021

Ombuds at University of Kansas Releases 2021 Annual Report

According to an article in the Daily Kansan, the KU Ombuds Office handled 174 cases in the 2020-21 academic year. Acting University Ombuds Ada Emmett said that interdepartmental conflict and graduate advisor issues where the leading concerns of visitors. Unclassified staff visitors accounted for 27% of cases, followed by tenure-track faculty at 19%. The KU Ombuds serves undergraduate students, but does not promote its services to that population. Emmett also said that COVID-19 was also a factor in many cases. (Daily Kansan.)

American Academy of Religion Opens Elections for Next Ombuds

The world's largest association of religious studies scholars is holding an election to find its next Ombuds. AAR has three Ombuds who hold staggered, three-year terms. The election will fill the seat of the founding Ombuds, Laurie L. Patton, and join Barbara Patterson and Katherine Downey, whose terms end in December 2022 and December 2023. The two candidates are Joshua Canzona, the Associate Ombuds at UNC Chapel Hill, and Herbert R. Marbury, an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University. (2021 AAR Elections.)