March 31, 2022

Job Posting: World Health Organization, Switzerland

The UN agency for international public health is seeking its next Ombudsman for an initial two-year contract. The position is based at the WHO headquarters in Geneva and heads a global team of Regional Ombuds. The search will fill a position held by José Martínez-Aragón since 2015. Among other typical Ombuds duties, the position is expected to maintain active IOA membership and participation in UNARIO meetings.

Shipman & Goodwin Appoints Next Ombuds

Brenda Eckert has been named the next Ombuds for the large, regional law firm based in Connecticut. She succeeds Vaughan Finn, Shipman & Goodwin's first Ombuds, and also takes on the role of Pro Bono Coordinator. Eckert is an expert in employment-based and family-based immigration. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence and earned her JD at the University of Connecticut School of Law. (Shipman & Goodwin Bio; Twitter.)

March 30, 2022

Ombuds at North Carolina State University Posts 2021 (and Final) Report

NC State's Faculty & Staff Ombuds, Roy Baroff, CO-OP, reports that he handled 246 cases in 2021, a 21% increase from 203 cases in prior calendar year. An indicator of the complexity of these cases is reflected in the total number of case contacts, 1682, or nearly 7 contacts per case. In his report, Baroff also said that he would be retiring from the position he established seven years ago in June 2022.

March 28, 2022

Job Posting: ETH Zurich

The world-class public research university in Switzerland is hiring an Ombudsperson (also called an "External Ombudsperson") for a 20%-time, four-year appointment. The search will expand the side of Ombudsstelle at ETH Zurich, which currently has five Ombuds: Kathrin Teuscher and Martin Hohmann, the External Ombuds; and Prof. Emeritus Gerhard Tröster, Prof. Peter M. Frischknecht, and Prof. Margrit Leuthold, the Internal Ombuds. Together, they serve over 30,000 faculty, staff, and students, practicing to IOA standards. Hohmann, a Zurich-based forensic psychologist, was hired after a similar search last summer.

University of Calgary Ombuds to Discuss Academic Integrity in a Pandemic

At a free webinar next week, UCalgary Student Ombuds Jeff Stransky will speak on "The Role of an Ombuds in Academic Integrity." The session is intended to explain the role of the Ombuds with a focus on how the Ombuds supports students through the academic misconduct process.

March 24, 2022

Internship: SAP, Germany

The Global Ombuds Office for the German multinational software corporation is seeking a intern. The paid internship is focused communications projects, but the tasks will be varied and include independent and collaborative projects. After an initial six-month internship, the position may transition to a student employee. The SAP Ombuds office is based at SAP's headquarters in Walldorf, but the internship alternately could be located could somewhere else in Europe, Middle East, or Africa. Up to 10% travel may be required.

University of Western Ontario Ombuds Reports Spike in Pandemic-Related Cases

In her 2020-21 annual report, Western University Ombudsperson, Jennifer Meister, says that student cases jumped 13% from the prior academic year. The increase was due primarily to the lack of access to regular resources during COVID-19. Her office, which includes Assistant Ombuds, Whitney Barrett, handled a total of 1,008 cases, of which 920 were student cases. In addition to statistical data, the annual report also includes case examples. (Western University Ombuds Report; Western Gazette.)

March 23, 2022

Report Details Expansion of Ombuds-Like Program Within Federal Court System

Last week two federal judges testified before the House Judiciary Committee’s Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet subcommittee and provided an update on efforts to create a safe and respectful workplace for court workers. Their written testimony, the two judges⁠—both members of the Federal Judiciary Workplace Conduct Working Group⁠—detailed a range of reforms, including the implementation of a nation-wide program that is very similar to an Organizational Ombuds.

March 21, 2022

Georgetown University Medical Center Introduces First Faculty Ombuds

On January 1, 2022, Bassem Haddad started as the inaugural GUMC Faculty Ombudsperson. He will serve nearly 2,000 faculty at the School of Medicine, School of Nursing & Health Studies, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Biomedical Graduate Education program. A letter introducing Haddad said that he had joined IOA and completed Ombuds training. Meanwhile, Stacey Kaltman continues as the School of Medicine Student Ombudsperson.

Austrian Student Ombuds Reports Peak in COVID-Related Cases and Work With Ukrainian Refugees

The Austrian Student Ombudsman (Ombudsstelle für Studierende), Josef Leidenfrost, recently presented his eighth annual report to the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Science. Leidenfrost reported that the pandemic had a noticeable impact on student operations in the past two years, especially in the areas of online exams, study abroad, and student housing. In the 2020-21 academic year, the Ombuds once again recorded an increase in the number of concerns , with a total of 837.

John Keene: Former Ombuds at University of Pennsylvania

John C. Keene, who served as the University Ombudsman at the University of Pennsylvania from 1978 to 1984 and from 2006 to 2010, passed away on March 4, 2022 at the age of 90. The professor emeritus and former chairman of the Department of City and Regional Planning held a variety of administrative roles and was described as “an academic thoroughbred” and “a broad thinker” by his colleagues. (Philadelphia Inquirer.)

March 18, 2022

Job Posting: Kaiser Permanente, Oakland

KP is hiring a full-time HealthCare Ombuds/Mediator for its medical facilities on the east side of the San Francisco Bay. 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."

American Red Cross Adds Associate Ombuds

Dawn Miller Sander has joined the Red Cross as an Associate Ombudsman. She position reports to the Corporate Ombudsman, Jacqueline Villafañe, CO-OP, and serves a wide range of stakeholders, including employees and volunteers, recipients of services, donors, suppliers, partners, and the general public. Last year, the Red Cross Ombuds handled about 800 cases.

March 17, 2022

Job Posting: University of Pennsylvania

The private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia is seeking a Deputy Ombuds. The full-time position directs the Office of the Ombuds and collaborates with the University Ombuds, a part-time role held by a faculty member. The Deputy Ombuds serves faculty, staff, and students following IOA standards. The search will fill a position held by Marcia Martínez-Helfman, who is retiring this summer after more than a decade in the role.

ENOHE Webinar to Examine European Data Protection and Privacy Regulations

The European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education is offering a webinar on April 1, 2022: "Confidentiality, Anonymity and GDPR – Balancing Needs and Rights in Complaint Handling." (Implemented in 2018, GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation is an important component of EU privacy law and of human rights law.) Three experts will cover the legal context, the challenges when a complainant requests anonymity, and considerations around confidentiality in case handling.

March 16, 2022

Job Posting: City of Reno, Nevada

The Biggest Little City in the World is hiring its first Organizational Ombudsperson. The new position will "facilitate the resolution of citizen concerns related to the provision of City services." Reno has a population of just under 250,000. 

Job Posting: Concordia University

The public university in Montreal is hiring a full-time Associate Ombudsperson for a one-year maternity leave contract ending March 15, 2023. The position will report to Amy Fish and fill a position currently held by Dorothee Beaupre Bernier, Concodia's first Associate Ombudsperson. 

Milwaukee Area Technical College Selects Ombuds for Staff

The public vocational-technical college in Wisconsin has appointed four Employee Ombudspersons: Saadia Ahmad, Kerry Egdorf, Sarah Farrukh, and Sue Theiss. Together, they will provide Ombuds services to MATC's faculty, staff and administrators and report to the college's Climate Committee. The Employee Ombuds supplement the work of the Student Ombudsperson, Yolanda Hodges.

March 14, 2022

CVS Surprises with Fully Formed Ombuds Program

The retail corporation (currently the fourth largest publicly-traded company in the U.S.) has unveiled a full-staffed Ombuds program. On Friday, Karen Lynch, the CEO of CVS Health, removed several executives following an investigation into the handling of employee sexual harassment complaints. According to the Boston Globe, Lynch also told senior leaders on Friday that she she planned to give employees a “confidential channel” to navigate what she described as a “challenging situation.” Then, over the weekend, a website for the CVS Health Ombuds Team went live.

Job Posting: University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The public research university in central North Carolina has revised its search for an Ombuds. An earlier search in the fall of 2021 for an "Ombudsman" was extended and then closed without a contract being awarded. The new search for a "University Ombudsperson" seeks a full-time employee. The new UNCG Ombuds will report to the Provost and provide services to faculty and staff. (The earlier RFP said the Ombuds would also serve students.) The job posting also indicates the potential for an additional part-time Ombuds staff and/or graduate assistants to be hired as services increase.

Job Posting: Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind

The state agency that operates three center schools and five regional cooperatives has re-opened its search for its first Ombudsman. In July 2021, ASDB issued a request for proposals for an independent contractor with some concerning non-neutral and formal responsibilities. The new search seeks an employee with duties of an Organizational Ombuds. Hours are "as needed" and statewide travel may be required.

March 11, 2022

Job Posting: University of Minnesota Duluth

The public university on the western tip of Lake Superior is hiring its first Ombudsperson. The full-time position will serve only faculty and staff. The UMD Ombuds will be located within the Office of the Chancellor and practice to IOA standards.

Job Posting (RFP): International Ombuds Association

The professional association for Organizational Ombuds has issued a request for proposals for an Ombuds. The one-year contract will begin June 2022 and include services for IOA's in-person conference in April 2023. The IOA Ombuds will succeed Elaine Shaw, CO-OP, who established the role in 2020. The position is open only to IOA members in good standing and retired members with a "demonstrated history of effective ombuds practice in compliance with IOA Standards of Practice." The position is budgeted for $12,000, plus expenses. Proposals are due by April 7, 2021. (IOA RFP.)

March 10, 2022

Job Posting: Northern Illinois University

The public research university in DeKalb has opened a search for its next University Ombudsperson. The search will fill a position vacated by Sarah Klaper, who moved to Northwestern, and filled on an interim basis by Merlynette Griffin since August 2021. The NIU Ombudsperson reports to the Office of the President and provides services to over 20,000 students, faculty and staff.

Job Posting: World Health Organization, Philippines

The UN agency for international public health is hiring a Regional Ombudsman to be based in Manila for a full-time, two-year contract. Among other typical Ombuds duties, the position is expected to maintain active IOA membership and participation in UNARIO meetings.

IOA Announces Board Election Results; Current President to Leave Board

The International Ombuds Association has announced the results of its board election. Voting was delayed ten months ago while the association reviewed equity concerns, and updated its election process and other provisions of the bylaws. As a result, two cohorts were up for election: a total of ten candidates for nine open board seats. With the unexpected departure of the current board president, Melanie Jagneaux, all of the candidates will become directors.

AWI Webinar to Explore Alternatives to Workplace Investigations

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Ombuds Donna Louden will join a panel of experts for a webinar offered by the Association of Workplace Investigators. "Conflict Resolution Options to Consider Before, After, or In Place Of an Investigation" will take place on March 15, 2022, and is open to the public for $50. Louden has two decades of Ombuds experience, including stints at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and University of California, Irvine. She is a principal instructor for IOA and helped lead the creation of the virtual Foundations course.

March 09, 2022

IOA Releases Detailed Agenda for 2022 Virtual Conference

For the second year in a row, the International Ombudsman Association will hold its annual conference virtually. IOA's 17th annual meeting will take place April 4 through 6, 2022. Social events will use, a virtual world with video features. Registration has been open for a few weeks and now the detailed agenda has been posted.

March 08, 2022

Ryerson University Selects Next Ombuds

Maureen Helt is the new Ombudsperson for students at the public research university in Toronto, joining Assistant Ombudspersons Ayesha Adam and Gemma Kerr. Helt comes to the role with 25 years of legal, investigative, and dispute resolution experience, most recently as vice-chair and adjudicator at Tribunals Ontario. She moved to Ryerson in mid-January 2022.

March 07, 2022

Job Posting: Baylor College of Medicine

The private health sciences university in Houston, Texas is seeking a Principal Ombuds—a hire that will expand its Ombuds office headed by Melanie Jagneuax. Baylor ran a search last August for an Associate Ombuds, which was apparently not fruitful. There are some significant changes: current posting requires more experience and the salary range is now advertised.

ABA's 2022 Dispute Resolution Spring Conference Includes Two Ombuds Panels

The American Bar Association's Section on Dispute Resolution will hold its Virtual Joint Annual Spring Conference on April 25-29, 2022. This is the largest annual conference of ADR practitioners and the theme this year is “Where Do We Grow from Here? New Directions and Rejuvenation.” There will be just two sessions featuring Ombuds (programmed at exactly the same time):

Job Posting: University of Tennessee

The public university in Knoxville is hiring an Educational Program Coordinator for its Office of Ombuds Services. The position will join Campus Ombudsperson, Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, and Associate Ombudsperson, Brooke Wichmann, and be responsible for expanding and managing educational programming and outreach for the office.

March 04, 2022

Job Posting: United Nations, New York

The UN Funds and Programmes (which comprises UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOPS, and UN Women) is seeking its next Ombudsman. The search will fill a position held most recently by Giuseppe De Palo. The Ombuds heads a large office with about 20 staff members with several locations worldwide. Significant travel is expected.

University of Tennessee Expands Ombuds Office with New Associate

In November 2021, Brooke Wichmann became the first full-time Associate Ombudsperson at UT Knoxville. She joins Campus Ombudsperson, Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, and serves faculty, staff, and graduate students. Wichmann comes to the position after six years as the Associate Director of Conflict Resolution Services Associate Ombuds at Colorado State University.

Webinar to Explore Case Management for Ombuds

On Friday, March 11, 2022 (11-11:30 PST/2-2:30 EST), Colin Rule and Clare Fowler of will be discussing a few different case management platforms (what's available and what's coming), as well as data security for visitor information. The event is free and designed for Ombuds. (Mediate Registration.)

March 02, 2022

Job Posting: City of Seattle

Seattle's Office of the Employee Ombud is hiring an Assistant Ombud for Capacity Building. The new position will serve as the lead facilitator and trainer, and will also establish standard Ombuds practices, reporting, and data analysis, as well as curriculum development for skill building and support. The Ombud will report to Director Amarah Y. Khan and join Assistant Ombud for Case Management Emma Phan.

Society for Personality and Social Psychology Names 2022 Conference Ombuds

Kathleen Canul will serve as the Ombuds for SPSP's annual conference —the largest international gathering of social psychologists and personality psychologists. Canul is the Campus Ombuds for the University of California Los Angeles and has served as conference Ombuds for several other professional associations. She is also a licensed psychologist. (SPSP Conf Ombuds.)

March 01, 2022

Job Posting: Georgia Southern University

The public research university in Statesboro is hiring its first University Ombudsperson. The new full-time position will serve GSU's 7,100 faculty, staff, and administrators (and not the 24,000 students). The posting explicitly states that Ombuds will not practice to IOA standards as it will be a mandatory reporter "If Federal or State law requires disclosure (e.g., something falls within open records law definitions, information already considered public and discoverable, Title IX allegations, Clery, VAWA, U.S. export control, and national security concerns)." 

Ombuds Abound at Kennesaw State's 2022 Summer Institute

Kennesaw State University's annual Summer Institute for Professional Development returns as an in-person event this year. Hosted by the KSU Center for Conflict Management, the Summer Institute again includes an several workshops for Ombuds and a consortium meeting in late June 2022.