June 30, 2022

Job Posting: Food and Agriculture Organization

The United Nations agency that leads international efforts to defeat hunger, looks to continue it's expansion with the hiring of an Ombuds Specialist. The home-based position will provide Ombuds services to FAO employees, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. The position reports to the FAO Ombudsman Katya Melluish. The posting indicates that the opening is for a consultant, but there are no additional details regarding the terms of the contract.

June 29, 2022

Job Posting: University of Wyoming

The public land-grant research university in Laramie has opened a search for an Ombudsperson to serve staff and administrators. The full-time position will practice to IOA standards and will supplement but not be affiliated with the campus's first Student Ombuds, Dilnoza Khasilova, who started in November 2021.

June 28, 2022

University Ombudsmen Network in Mexico Signs León Declaration

At the European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education annual conference in 2019, representatives from five networks of Ombuds in higher education in Spain, Portugal, Canada, Latin America, and Europe signed the León Declaration. With this document, the organizations agreed to: identify areas of common interests; establish a public electronic forum; encourage each other to participate in respective network activities; and support each other in developing and safeguarding the networks. On May 27, 2022, REDDU (Red de Defensores, Procuradores y Titulares de Organismos de Defensa de los Derechos Universitarios), the University Ombudsmen Network in Mexico, became a signatory.

June 27, 2022

Job Posting: Food and Agriculture Organization

The United Nations agency that leads international efforts to defeat hunger is hiring a Mediator/Conflicts Resolution Specialist. The position primarily serves as a mediator, but also assists with the management of the Ombuds Office. The position reports to the FAO Ombudsman Katya Melluish, who was appointed in August 2020. The posting indicates that the opening is for a consultant to provide remote work, but there are no additional details.

Cal Caucus Posts 2022 Agenda, Opens Registration

Registration is now open for the 2022 California Caucus of College and University Ombuds. Set for November 6-9 at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, the theme will be “Lessons from Tidal Pools.” A defining characteristic of Asilomar is tidal pools. What can Ombuds learn from these diverse and lively communities? Recent challenges have required Ombuds to be adaptive and creative in our response. As Ombuds, how do we build strong, diverse, and resilient work environments? How do we strengthen our individual Ombuds role and create a thriving Ombuds community?

June 24, 2022

UC San Francisco Adds an Ombuds

Paula Trejo-Phillips has been selected as the newest Associate Ombuds at the University of California, San Francisco. Based on increasing numbers of visitors and institutional support, the office continues to grow. Trejo-Phillips joins Associate Ombuds Kate Flynn and Misty Loetterle, Senior Ombuds Maureen Brodie, and Director Ellen Goldstein.

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard Names Next Ombuds

Israela Adah Brill-Cass has been retained as an independent contract Ombud for the collaborative organization that brings together researchers from MIT, Harvard, and Harvard-affiliated hospitals. (Richard Cohen was announced as the inaugural Ombuds for the Broad in May 2021, but it not clear whether he served in the position.) Brill-Cass is also currently serving as the Ombuds for Wesleyan University and Clark University.

University of South Africa Selects Next Ombuds

UNISA, the largest university system in South Africa, has named Linda Mbana as its next Ombudsperson. The office of the UNISA Ombudsman was established by the University Council "to resolve matters in a reasonably expeditious, effective and inexpensive manner." Mbana succeeds Maria Peenze, who held the position for more than five years.

June 23, 2022

Wageningen University & Research Names Ombuds

Last fall, Jacqueline Schoone was appointed the first Ombudsperson for employees and PhD candidates at WUR, a public university in Wageningen, Netherlands. In this new role, Schoone will serve employees and PhD candidates and "identify and advice on overarching trends." Schoone comes to the position after two years as the Ombuds for the University of Amsterdam (Universiteit van Amsterdam). 

Ombuds as Part of Student Retention Strategy at University of South Florida

In a recent article, the Chronicle of Higher Education examines strategies that the University of South Florida has adopted to raise graduation rates. The role of USF's Student Ombuds, Jennifer Schneider, is highlighted, especially her ability to detect patterns from the many student cases she handles. Her engagement with other campus offices is typical of an effective Ombuds program:

June 22, 2022

Job Posting: State Bar of California

California's official attorney licensing agency, the largest in the U.S., is hiring a Public Trust Liaison. The job posting, for what amounts to an External Ombuds, appears to fulfill recent promise to create an Ombuds office before the end of the year. Initially, the job will serve as the primary point of contact for external stakeholders with feedback or suggestions, which includes developing public education programs and tools to assist the public with complaints. The Public Trust Liaison will not be involved in attorney disciplinary cases. The job is hybrid and will be located in either San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Job Posting: Jackson College

The community college in Jackson County, Michigan is hiring a Student Resolution Advocate. Despite the job title, the duties include: independently and impartially reviewing complaints and assisting in the resolution; providing confidential and informal assistance to individuals; serving as an advocate for fairness and act as a source of information and referral; recommending changes in college policy and procedures to prevent recurrences of similar complaints; and making informal inquiries. It is not clear how the Student Resolution Advocate relates to the existing Student Ombudsman, Jessica Houston. The position serves about 6,000 students across four campuses.

June 21, 2022

U.S. Dragon Boat Federation Names First Ombuds

Emily Heizer-Kochman has been selected as the Director of the Ombuds Office for USDBF, the national, non-profit, volunteer organization for the dragon boat sport. She reports that she will be building a program following IOA best practices to serve paddlers, members, and stakeholders nationwide, and at all competitive levels.

June 20, 2022

Job Posting: University of Minnesota

The Student Conflict Resolution Center for UM Twin Cities is hiring an Ombudsperson. The part-time (10-14 hrs/wk), hybrid job is expected to last at least one year. The position joins a program that serves 52,000 students following IOA and ACCUO standards. 

Journal of IOA Book Review: Bridges Not Blockades

Julia Farmer, the Director of Ombuds Services at the University of West Georgia, reviews Bridges not Blockades: Transcending University Politics, for the Journal of the International Ombuds Association. (Gayle Maddox and Martha Kalnin Diede edited the collection of personal essays about faculty and administrators in higher education, published by Myers Education Press in 2020.) Farmer finds insights that are very relevant for Ombuds.

June 16, 2022

Job Posting: United Nations, Geneva

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking a Conflict Resolution Officer Consultant for its offices in Switzerland. The opportunity is virtually identical to another open posting for New York. The consultant will provide on-call Ombuds services for about 33 days before the end of the calendar year. The position will report to the Regional Ombudsman, Nicholas Theotocatos.

June 15, 2022

New Book Offers Guidance for Higher Ed Ombuds

A new book, Ombuds Work in Higher Education, addresses all aspects of Ombuds work in higher education, from implementation to everyday Ombuds, with consideration of international differences of an Ombuds’ mandate and powers. The book was written by Lies Poesiat, the long-time Ombuds at Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam. This is the English version of a book she published last year in Dutch, Ombudswerk in het hoger onderwijs: een praktische wegwijzer.

June 14, 2022

Meet the First Theatre Ombuds

For the past year, Nathalie Rodrigues de Carvalho has been the Production Ombuds for Smith Street Stage in Brooklyn, New York. Although the 12 year old theatre company is a small non-profit, it has been offering an Ombuds for many of its recent productions. Currently, she is the Ombuds for The Comedy of Errors in Carroll Park. So far, she is the only Ombuds working directly and exclusively for a theatre. 

Job Posting: Pinterest

The social media company will expand its Ombuds program with the hiring of an Ombuds Analyst. The new position will report to Pinterest's Head of Ombuds, Donna Douglass Williams, CO-OP. Duties will include managing and analyzing case data, and identifying systemic issues; Developing reports on case data; Coordinating and supporting Ombuds program case management; and Providing Ombuds services to employees. Work will be performed remotely.

Job Posting: Union for Reform Judaism

The congregational arm of Reform Judaism in North America is hiring its first Ombuds. The URJ comprises 846 congregations in the United States and 27 in Canada, with a total constituency of over one million. The new Ombuds will provide "confidential support and guidance with regard to complaints or related questions arising from past and present experiences in URJ communities, including worksites, camps, and programming." Virtual and in-person work will be provided under an hourly contract starting as early as June 15, 2022. 

Fairfax County Public Schools Names Next Ombuds

Dawn Clements, currently the Assistant Ombudsman for Special Education, has been promoted and is now the FCPS's Family and Student Ombudsman. She succeeds Armando L. Peri, Jr., who retired last month after serving as the inaugural Ombuds since 2018. The school district in Virginia is now searching for an Assistant Ombuds to work with Clements.

June 13, 2022

Job Posting: United Nations, Israel

The United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services has reopened its search for a Regional Ombudsman to be based in Jerusalem. The temporary position will serve the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and report to the UN Ombudsman Shireen L. Dodson through the UNOMS Chief of Staff. The earlier posting indicated that the position would be contracted through December 31, 2022, but that has been removed from the repost.

University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine Announces First Ombuds

Joan Rentsch has been named the first Ombuds for UTGSM, which oversees graduate medical education and medical students at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Rentsch will "provide a confidential, safe space for GSM faculty, fellows and residents to discuss issues and perceived problems free from any possible retribution and to provide them an informal, independent, and impartial channel of problem resolution that is an alternative to formal processes." Her work will supplement that of the UT Campus Ombudsperson, Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, and Associate Ombudsperson, Brooke Wichmann.

June 10, 2022

Job Posting: McMaster University

The public research university in Hamilton, Ontario, is hiring an Assistant Ombuds. The full-time and interim (less than one year) position reports to University Ombuds Carolyn Brendon and serves as a resource for 43,000 students, faculty, and staff members with student-related issues. The Assistant Ombuds performs a variety of administrative, operational and communication tasks.

Job Posting: Colorado College

The private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs has opened a search for its next Ombuds. Paul Kuerbis has held the position since 2015 and expanded the role from a resource for faculty and staff to also include students. He will be retiring. The full-time (30 hrs/wk for 9 months and 20 hrs/wk for 3 months) reports to the Executive Committee of the College's Board of Trustees.

Job Posting: Food and Drug Administration

The FDA's Ombudsman and Conflict Prevention and Resolution office is hiring a Conflict Prevention and Resolution Specialist. The full-time, telework eligible job is based in the DC suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland. The position will "serve as a neutral third-party technical expert who is responsible for delivering and maintaining the integrity of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program" including mediations.

Registrar at Texas A&M Creates Ombuds Program

Last October, the Office of the Registrar at Texas A&M named Bill Taylor as its first Ombudsman. In this new role, Taylor "assists with issues, complaints and concerns from students, faculty and staff regarding registration, enrollment, and academic records." Although generally within IOA standards, the Registrar's Ombuds will not keep confidential issues of sexual misconduct.

June 09, 2022

Job Posting: United Nations, New York

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking a Conflict Resolution Officer Consultant for its New York headquarters. The consultant will provide on-call Ombuds services for about 33 days before the end of the calendar year. The position will report directly to the Senior Conflict Resolution Officer under the general supervision of the Chief of Office.

Fundraiser Marks End of Litigation for Ombuds at University of Mississippi

United Campus Workers of Mississippi, an employee union at Ole Miss, has launched a fundraiser to offset legal expenses incurred by University Ombuds, Paul Caffera, in his existential litigation with his employer. After several years, the lawsuit has now apparently concluded.

June 08, 2022

Texas State University Names Two Faculty Ombuds

Todd Jewell and Colleen Myles-Baltzly have been selected to serve as Faculty Ombuds for Texas State. Meanwhile, the university's pilot Staff Ombuds program concluded in December 2021. Jewell and Myles follow Vincent Luizzi, and take on Ombuds duties in addition to their faculty appointments. They will practice to IOA standards and serve through August 2025. This is the first time that Texas State has had two Ombuds for faculty.

Job Posting: University of Oregon

UO has opened a search for an Interim Director of Student Conflict Resolution Center. This full-time position is responsible for managing and developing a program that provides proactive and reactive resources for university students who are engaged in interpersonal or organizational conflict, or who want to learn how to more effectively manage conflict. This position works under the direction and supervision of the University Ombudsperson, Brett Harris, with dotted line reporting to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Call for Presenters: World Mediators' Conference

The World Mediators' Conference is seeking co-panelists for the event on 13 June 2022 (8pm India time/10:30am EDT/9:30am CDT/8:30amMST/7:30am PST). The theme is Mediation Vision 2026: Evolution of Mediators & Mediation. It's a free and open forum for anyone to join for a conversation. Ken Cloke is the keynote speaker for the conference. The organizer, Vikram Singh, hopes Ombuds can clarify their work for mediators (acknowledging the different types of Ombuds). 

June 07, 2022

Job Posting: Loudoun County Public Schools

The public school district in northeast Virginia with 84,000 students is hiring its first Ombudsman. The full-time position "serves as a designated neutral resource for families, employees and community members, advocating for fairness, equity and consistency to assist in the resolution of education, student and employee-related concerns, problems, complaints and issues." The LCPS will report to the Chief of Staff. The district considered an Ombuds about 14 years ago and it is not clear what lead to the renewed interest.

Job Posting: United Nations, Kenya

The United Nations is hiring a Regional Ombudsman to head its office in Nairobi, which is one of eight regional branches of the Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services (UNOMS). The Regional Ombudsman will report directly to the Chief of Office and will be under the general supervision of the United Nations Ombudsman.

Job Posting: United Nations, New York

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking a Senior Conflict Resolution Officer for its New York headquarters. The position will report directly to the Senior Conflict Resolution Officer under the general supervision of the Chief of Office.

June 06, 2022

California Bar to Implement External Ombuds Office

The State Bar of California plans to create an Office of the Ombuds to serve members of the public, applicants for admission, legal consumers, attorneys, and other constituents. According to a report in Above the Law, the Ombuds would serve as an “independent, impartial and confidential resource to ensure that complaints about State Bar staff or actions receive full and impartial review.” While initially, the Ombuds office will focus on attorney discipline complaints and admissions, another task will be to develop and oversee a public education plan designed to empower legal consumers and the public with knowledge about their legal rights. 

Ombuds at North Carolina State University Set to Retire

Roy Baroff, CO-OP, NC State's Faculty & Staff Ombuds will retire on June 30, 2022. Baroff established the Faculty Ombuds position in December 2014 and expanded his service to staff in January 2017. “Throughout his service to the university, Roy has been an invaluable resource for our faculty and staff. He has helped to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment at NC State, and we wish him the best in his retirement,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden. 

June 03, 2022

Job Posting: University of California Berkeley

The Staff Ombuds Office at Berkeley is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson for a "career" appointment (as opposed to a one-year contract). The search will fill a position recently vacated by Rachel Nicholson, who moved to a similar position at the City of Seattle. The position reports to Director, Sara Thacker, and will work with Associate Ombuds, Julia Horvath, to provide conflict resolution and problem-solving services for all non-senate university employees. The job is eligible for hybrid work arrangements.

June 02, 2022

Job Posting: Southern Methodist University

The private university in Dallas, Texas is seeking its first University Ombudsperson. The new position will serve faculty, staff, and more than 12,000 students practicing to IOA standards. The Ombuds will report to the Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Advisor to the University President for Cultural Intelligence Initiatives, Maria Dixon Hall, who championed the idea of an Ombuds when she was promoted to the position in August 2020. 

George Washington University Creates Ombuds for Health Sciences Students

The GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC, has appointed Susan Okun as its first Ombudsperson. In this new role, Okun will serve nearly 800 students following IOA standards. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Clinical Research and Leadership. It appears that Okun will supplement the ongoing work of GW's Graduate Medical Education Ombuds (who serve medical residents), Susanne Bathgate and Babak Sarani

City of Seattle Adds an Ombuds

Rachel Nicholson has joined Seattle's Office of the Employee Ombud as the Assistant Ombud for Capacity Building. She joins Director Amarah Y. Khan and Assistant Ombud for Case Management Emma Phan, and will serve as the lead facilitator and trainer, and work on establishing standard Ombuds practices, reporting, data analysis, and curriculum development for skill building and support.

June 01, 2022

Student Ombuds at VU Amsterdam Argues for Legislative Mandate

In a new journal article, Lies Poesiat, the Student Ombudsman at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam addresses the different standards for universities in the Netherlands. Currently, Dutch universities are obligated to provide an Ombuds for staff, but not for students. As a result, there are only seven universities with student Ombuds in the country (including hers, where she has served in the role for 15 years). Poesiat says that needs to change through new legislation.

Job Posting: Bravely

The online company that offers independent and external coaching (and very Ombuds-like) services has an open and on-going posting for Coaches. The position will join a network of other coaches to provide services to Bravely's client employees around the world using their proprietary virtual platform. Many of Bravely's current coaches are experienced Ombuds. A commitment of 12 hours a month is required.

University of Wisconsin–Madison Selects Ombuds

After an internal search, Gloria Hawkins has been named to the Ombuds Office at the UW-Madison for a three-year term. Hawkins worked at the university for over three decades, most recently as Assistant Vice Provost and Director of the Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program within the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement. She also held administrative and advising positions in the School of Education, School of Human Ecology, College of Letters & Science, and the School of Medicine and Public Health.