December 28, 2022

2022 Year in Review: Cheers & Jeers

Here's part two of the annual summary of news from the Ombuds profession. Before a final post of the most important trends from 2022, here are some short takes on the highs and lows. Most of these came in pairs.

Was it Just Window Dressing?
Cheers to CVS, which surprised everyone with a full formed Ombuds program in March, staffed by experienced Ombuds and advised by the eminent Chuck Howard.

Jeers to CVS, which abruptly terminated the program in December.

Still Too Early to Tell with Tech
Cheers to Pinterest, which expanded its Ombuds program with the addition of an experienced Ombuds Analyst in October.

Jeers to the new owner of Twitter, who laid off the company's Ombuds in October (along with most of the rest of the workforce), less than two years after she founded the program.

Litigation Didn't End the Relationship
Cheers to the Ombuds at the University of Mississippi, who settled his lawsuit against his employer, thereby protecting his visitors and achieving a new promise of confidentiality from the university.

Jeers to Ole Miss for leaving its Ombuds with a hefty legal bill for his independent counsel (fortunately, supporters rallied to raise funds).

Heading in Different Directions
Cheers to Duke University, which consolidated its existing Ombuds programs for students, faculty, and medical students/post-docs into a single office and then expanded the services to the entire campus under the leadership of a highly qualified Ombuds in September.

Jeers to Texas A&M University which, as of August, had created five separate Ombuds programs serving: graduate students; faculty; the School of Engineering; the College of Education and Human Development; and the Office of the Registrar.

Ending on a Positive Note
Cheers to Ellen Miller, who has been IOA's Executive Director for just 11 months and already making a big impact. She has lead a variety of initiatives that have been goals for the association for years, including:


  1. Thanks for the broad look as always, Tom.

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Tom. And thank you for compiling these excellent summaries. Great strides were made by so many this year - let's keep the momentum going!