October 31, 2022

Job Posting: National Institutes of Health

The NIH is looking to fill Associate Ombuds positions in the NIH Office of the Ombuds. These positions are responsible for providing the NIH community with confidential and informal assistance in resolving scientific, clinical, and work-related conflicts; promote healthy collaboration within NIH; and enhance NIH's ability to accomplish its mission. The full-time positions are based in Montgomery County, Maryland, and are eligible for telework. Some travel may be required.

Job Posting: CUNY LaGuardia Community College

The public college in the borough of Queens, New York, is hiring a Student Life Manager - Ombudsperson. Reporting to the Vice President of Student Affairs, the full-time position works with a student body of more than 17,000. Although LCC's prior Ombuds was described as a "student advocate," the current posting says the position "serves as a designated neutral officer who is available to offer objective perspective on the issues of concern to students." Confidentiality is also a key attribute in the posting.

October 29, 2022

Job Posting: Auckland University of Technology

The large public university in New Zealand has opened a search for the Head of Employee Advisory and Resolution Service (EARS). Wayne F. Marriott established the office, essentially an Organizational Ombuds, for AUT in September 2021 for a one-year pilot period. The Head of EARS heads the office that offers "confidential, impartial and informal support for AUT staff to discuss and seek support to resolve their workplace concerns with an independent party" and supervises the EARS Coordinator. The search is the next step in making EARS a permanent program.

October 27, 2022

Job Posting: City of Philadelphia

Pennsylvania's largest city is searching for its first Ombudsperson. The position "provides confidential, independent and impartial assistance to City employees, through voluntary dispute resolution and problem-solving methods such as conflict coaching, mediation, facilitation, and shuttle diplomacy." The new senior management position will report to the City’s Office of the Chief Administrative Officer and with oversight by an Advisory Board of executive leaders and other City employees. 

October 26, 2022

Introducing the Ombuds for Dalhousie University

In November 2021, Carla Britten was appointed the Ombudsperson for the 20,000 students at the public university in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She reports to the Provost and has restarted a program that was dormant for nearly three years. Britten is familiar with the campus having earned her MSW at Dalhousie in 2020. She is a graduate of St. Thomas University. (LinkedIn.)

Ombuds Cases Rebound at University of Pennsylvania

After a decline due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Penn University Ombuds Jennifer A. Pinto-Martin and Associate Ombuds Marcia Martínez-Helfman report that their cases rose nearly 21% in 2021-22. The number of visitors to Penn's Ombuds increased to 186 last year and employment-related matters continue to represent the majority of issues brought to the office.

October 25, 2022

World Health Organization Selects Regional Ombuds for Western Pacific

Rodney McBride has been hired as the WHO Regional Ombudsman based in Manila. He will serve an initial two-year term reporting to the WHO Ombudsman, who will be appointed in the next few months. McBride comes to the position from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, where he was a Staff Counsellor for the past four years.

Growth in Cases Continues for Syracuse University Ombuds

Syracuse University Ombuds Neal Powless reports that his case load rose 38% in 2021-22. Although Powless started less than four years ago, he handled nearly 279 cases last year. In addition to case and visitor data, Powless summarized six observed trends again reported sexism, racism and fear of retaliation are serious workplace concerns for his visitors. He also offers thoughts on how the university is transitioning out of the pandemic that affected so many stakeholders. (Syracuse Ombuds 2022 Report.)

October 24, 2022

Boeing Names First Ombuds

In June 2022, Mike Fava was selected as the inaugural ODA Ombudsperson for the Boeing Company. The position was created by the settlement of a lawsuit against the American multinational corporation related to the 737 MAX aircraft. Fava practices to IOA standards and provides Ombuds services to over 1,300 employees with delegated FAA responsibilities worldwide. (In total, Boeing has over 140,000 employees.) He reports to Boeing's Chief Aerospace Safety Officer and the Aviation Safety Committee of the Board of Directors.

IOA Webinar: Working with Clients in Crisis

The International Ombuds Association is offering an interactive, online training program for Ombuds looking to improve their skills in crisis intervention. Amanda Halla, the Ombudsperson for the Jane Austen Society of North America, will be the instructor for "What Ombuds Need to Know About Clients in Crisis" on November 17, 2022. 

October 21, 2022

ENOHE Webinar to Explore Student Input and Higher Ed Governance

The European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education is offering a webinar on November 28, 2022: "The Role of Ombuds in Increasing Student Input into Higher Education Governance. What’s behind and/or beyond it?" Five panelists will discuss the current issues from a variety of national contexts and incorporate an evaluation of the Ombuds' role.

October 20, 2022

Judicial Reform Efforts in Colorado May Lead to an Ombuds Program

An ad hoc, bi-partisan committee of Colorado legislators is working on several recommendations to reform the state's judicial discipline system. The reform efforts have been prompted by conflict between the Colorado Commission on Judicial Disclosure and the Colorado Supreme Court arising out of widespread allegations of judicial misconduct. In addition to two bills heading to the Colorado General Assembly, the committee is also working on a proposal to create an Organizational Ombuds program for the judicial branch. 

Ithaca College Plans for New Ombuds

At a faculty council meeting this week, the provost for the private liberal arts college in central New York announced a plan to hire an Ombuds. Previously, Ithaca College had a Faculty Ombuds that served as an advocate for the faculty. The announcement implied that the Ombuds role be revised.

October 19, 2022

Job Re-Posting: School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The private art school associated with the Art Institute of Chicago has re-opened its search for an inaugural Ombudsperson. SAIC has retained the executive search firm Spelman Johnson this time around. The new, full-time position will provide IOA-compliant services to faculty, staff, and students. The Ombuds will report to the School's President and is expected to start January or February 2023.

Meet the Ombuds at the University of Maryland

A new website (May 2022) website introduces the Ombuds for the University of Maryland, College Park, the state's flagship public university. Four Ombuds provide services to all stakeholders on the campus just outside Washington, DC: Faculty Ombuds, Karen M. O'Brien; Staff Ombuds, Mashanda Mosley; Graduate Students Ombuds, Mark A. Shayman; and Undergraduate Students Ombuds, Lisa Kiely.

Save the Date for ENOHE 2023 Conference

The European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education will hold its first post-pandemic conference at Charles University in Prague on June 14-16, 2023. The event will be co-sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic. A central theme of the conference is examining the impacts of the pandemic on the profession.

October 18, 2022

NASEM Appoints First Conference Ombuds

Maureen Brodie, CO-OP, will serve as the Ombuds for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Public Summit that will be held for the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education on October 19 and 20, 2022, in Washington, D.C. She will practice to IOA standards, serving as a support resource for all attendees who participate either in-person or remotely. 

Job Posting: U.S. Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs is hiring an Ombudsperson. This new, full-time, fully-remote position will serve stakeholders in three of OWCP's programs: the Federal Employees' Compensation Program; the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Program; and the Coal Mine Workers' Compensation Program.

IOA Virtual Course: Mediation Principles and Practice for the Organizational Ombuds

The International Ombuds Association will offer a virtual core course on November 8, 10 and 11, 2022. The three-day course will be taught by Roy Baroff, CO-OP, the former Faculty and Staff Ombuds at North Carolina State University and member of the IOA Board of Directors. The program is intended for experienced practitioners and IOA's Foundations (or equivalent experience) is a pre-requisite.

October 17, 2022

Job Posting: UC Hastings College of Law

The University of California's law school in San Francisco (to be renamed University of California College of the Law, San Francisco in 2023) is hiring its first Ombudsperson. The new, quarter-time position will serve all campus constituents and practice to IOA standards.

National Honor Caps Career of Austria's Student Ombuds

Josef Leidenfrost
, who retied as Austria's National Student Ombudsman in April 2022, has been presented the Grand Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria in Silver. The award was given by Higher Education Minister Martin Polaschek and is one of Austria's highest national honors. Leidenfrost became the Student Ombuds in 2001, after a decade of work as an Austrian student exchange administrator. He was a founder of ENOHE, the European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education, and is serving as President through June 2023. (ENOHE News.)

October 13, 2022

Celebrate the Fifth Annual Ombuds Day

Five years ago, t
he American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution declared that the second Thursday in October to be Ombuds Day. Since then, the event to recognize the work of all Ombuds has grown as practitioners and professional associations around the world have joined. For resources and a free webinar, go to ABA DR Info and the OmbudsDay.com. For the latest updates, including how different Ombuds are celebrating, check out Twitter #OmbudsDay and LinkedIn.

October 12, 2022

West Texas A&M has a New Faculty Ombuds

David Rausch
has been named the next Faculty Ombuds for the for the public university in Canyon, Texas. He succeeds Gary L. Byrd, who served two years in the role. Rausch is a Professor of Political Science and has been a WTAMU faculty since 1998. (His name is similar to David Rasch, CO-OP, long-time former Ombuds at Stanford and currently at UC Santa Barbara.)

October 11, 2022

Common Cause Debuts Ombuds Program

Common Cause, a non-partisan watchdog group established to uphold the core values of American democracy, has hired MWI to provide outsourced Ombuds services to staff and management in their Washington, DC, office and in other locations throughout the U.S. Bathabile Mthombeni and Michael Stephens will serve as members of the Ombuds team from MWI. The confidential, independent, impartial, and informal resource will practice to IOA Standards. 

Ombuds at University of Tennessee Posts Annual Report

UTK Campus Ombudsperson, Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, and Associate Ombudsperson, Brooke Wichmann, have released their annual report for the 2022 fiscal year. In total, the UTK Office of the Ombuds handled 505 visitors, an increase of 26% over the prior year. The detailed, 26-page report also highlighted: day-to-day operations; operational growth; efforts in meeting the Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner Requirements; strategies for addressing prior year recommendations; and operational success indicators. (UTK Ombuds 2022 Report.)

October 07, 2022

Job Posting: University of California Los Angeles

UCLA is hiring an Ombudsperson for a one-year contract, with possible extensions up to four years. The position will report to Interim Campus Ombuds Thomas Griffin and join Natalie A. Landau and Brenda Woods-Patin. Meanwhile a search for a permanent Campus Ombuds is still pending.

Job Posting: International Committee of the Red Cross

The international humanitarian organization is hiring its next Chief Ombudsperson. The search will fill a position that has been held by John W. Zinsser since 2017. Based in Geneva, the full-time position directs the work of four regional Ombuds and a network of other collateral-duty Ombuds, represents the program internally and externally, and serves as the Ombuds for ICRC personnel in Europe, Central Asia and the Americas. The ICRC Ombuds is affiliated with the Executive Office of the Director-General and serves a four-year, renewable term starting about February 1, 2023.

Revealed: IOA's New Lobbyist

Last month, Ellen Miller, the Executive Director of the International Ombuds Association, announced that the organization had retained a lobbying firm. She explained that the lobbyist would focus on U.S. Department of Education (related to proposed amendments to Title IX) and more generally with federal legislators. At the time of the announcement, IOA did not name the lobbying firm. Now, the mandatory, quarterly filing pursuant to the Lobbying Disclosure Act reveals that Innovative Federal Strategies, LLC, is the K-Street firm advocating for IOA.

October 05, 2022

Pinterest Gains Second Experienced Ombuds

Teresa Ralicki has been hired as Ombuds Analyst at Pinterest, joining Head of Ombuds, Donna Douglass Williams, CO-OP. Ralicki comes to the position from the University of Colorado Denver, where she was an Ombuds for nearly six years.

Title IX Officer Also Serves as Ombuds at Florida Institute of Technology

In 2021, the private research university in Melbourne, Florida appointed Rebecca Crook as its first part-time Ombuds. Crook's other job, however, was Executive Assistant to the University President. By May 2022, that experiment was abandoned and Florida Tech opened a search for a dedicated, campus-wide Ombuds that would practice to IOA standards. Now, amid a flurry of departures from the administration, Florida Tech has hired Grace Gamage, who serves as the new, acting Title IX Coordinator and Ombudsperson.

October 04, 2022

Boston University Selects Ombuds

Riley E. Barrar has been hired as an Associate Ombuds at BU. She joins University Ombuds Francine Montemurro, and Consulting Ombuds Howard Gadlin, and fills a position vacated by Adam Barak Kleinberger. Barrar comes to the position from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where she was an an Associate Ombudsman at the CFPB Ombudsman’s Office.

WEFTEC Appoints 2022 Conference Ombuds

Caitlan Hendrickson, CO-OP, will serve as the Ombuds for the Water Environment Federation’s 95th annual Technical Exhibition and Conference set for October 8–12, 2022 in New Orleans. She will serve as a resource for all attendees (over 9,000 last year), staff, exhibitors, and anyone else participating in WEFTEC. Hendrickson will practice to IOA standards and provide all consultations virtually on the 8th-9th and in person the 10th-12th. 

Faculty Ombuds at University of South Carolina Shares 2022 Annual Report

UofSC Faculty Ombudsperson Jim Augustine reports that he handled 44 cases in the 2021-22 academic year. He also notes that, "Over the past 16 years the Faculty Ombuds has personally assisted 778 faculty members for an average of forty-nine visitors per year." Augustine uses the IOA Uniform Data Reporting Categories to classify his cases. His public report also includes comments from a visitor survey over the past two years. (USC Ombuds Annual Reports.)

October 03, 2022

Job Posting: Harvard University

The private research university in Massachusetts is hiring an Ombuds I. The position will join an office of seven headed by Ombuds and Director, Melissa Brodrick. The job is hybrid and based in Boston, one of the office's two locations. Two days in the office per week is currently required with some flexibility possible.