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)." 

Applicants must have a relevant Master's or other professional degree and at least three years of experience, including some time in higher education. Preferred qualifications include a PhD or JD, and five years of experience. The position is expected to pay $62,100 to $75,000 per year. Applications should be submitted by April 1, 2022 for full consideration. (GSU Job Posting.)


  1. I would strongly recommend any and all senior administrators of institutions considering an ombuds program, such as the organization mentioned here, to pick up Charles "Chuck" Howard's two books, but his most recent one in particular: "Organizational Ombuds: How They Help People and Organizations." The first part lays out the professional standards, but more importantly reinforces why they are so important. Then, in part two of the book, incredibly, you'll find 200 pages of real world, non-attributional examples of cases that ombuds deal with every day. These examples lay out the concerns, the type of assistance the ombuds provided, the steps the visitor took, and what happened. The categories of topics include, for example, policy questions, unfair treatment, fear of reporting and retaliation, sexual harassment, misconduct, and other high impact cases/potential litigation. It has context specific examples from corporations, government, and academia. The incredible value that an ombuds brings to an institution, as described by these stories, underscores why it is so important for ombuds programs to align fully with IOA standards. Doing so allowed for these stories to be written. To draw an analogy from another field, if "evidence-based medicine" is "the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients," this book is exemplifies "Evidence-Based Ombudsing" and should be used in making decisions about how to implement ombuds programs in organizations.

    - Not Chuck or Angry Ombuds

  2. The creation of offices that are intended to NOT practice to IOA standards points to the need for a trademark-able name, eg. Ombudz (there must be something better), to identify IOA standards compliant ombuds programs. It also highlights the need for IOA to create accreditation for ombuds offices and to separate ombuds knowledge from program practices in certification processes like Co-Op.