Earlier this month, Nashira Abrahams was appointed the Ombud for South Africa's flagship public research university. She will continue a program established by Zetu Makamandela-Mguqulwa, CO-OP, and held on an interim basis by Ihron Rensburg for about a year. Abrahams will supervise Rashieda Khan, the Assistant Ombud. Together, they serve all members of the university community, practicing to IOA standards. Abrahams is expected to serve an initial five-year term.
May 31, 2023
Williams College Chooses its Next Ombuds
Bodi Regan has been announced as the new Ombuds for the private liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He follows Waged Jafer, who established the program and recently moved to the University of Pennsylvania. Regan brings significant ADR experience to the position, most recently as Interim Ombuds for the University of California System. In this part-time role, he will serve all of Williams' faculty and staff, and report to the college president.
San Mateo County Community College District Backtracks on Ombuds Plan
In February, the community college system in California (just south of San Francisco County) announced plans to hire its first Ombudsperson. The new position was expected to serve nearly 50,000 stakeholders across three campuses. Then, at it's April meeting, the SMCCCD Board of Trustees approved the new position of Chief Diversity Officer/Ombuds. The revised position is clearly outside the standards of practice due to the inherent conflicts of duty. Direct efforts to dissuade the Board Chair were unavailing. (SMCCCD Jobs; San Mateo Almanac.)
OVM Petrom Ombuds Posts 2022 Annual Report
In his latest annual report, Ion Anghel, Director of PetrOmbudsman Department, says that his office handled 823 cases in 2022. This number has been stable for the past five years as the program approaches its ten-year anniversary. The two top categories of concerns were: Compensation & Benefits; Organizational, Strategic & Mission Related; and Safety, Health & Physical Environment. Nearly thre quarters of the visitors sought Ombuds services directly from team members doing regular field visits. (PertrOmbudsman 2022 Report.)
One Year After Lawsuit, University of Mississippi Honors Ombuds
Ole Miss News.)
May 30, 2023
Job Posting: University of Iowa
American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Names First Ombuds
Kathleen Canul has been selected to serve as the first Ombuds for ASECS, the academic society for historical humanities research. The society opened a search for an Ombuds in August 2020. Canul is the former Campus Ombuds for UCLA and has also served as the Ombuds for several other professional associations. (ASECS Ombuds.)
Free Demo for Ombuds Case Management App
On Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at noon Pacific, Clare Fowler of Mediate.com will offer a free demonstration of Ombuds.org, a cloud-based case management platform. (Mediate Registration.)
May 26, 2023
Job Posting: Denver Public Schools
DPS, the second largest public school system in Colorado, is hiring an Associate Ombudsperson. It is not clear whether this is a search to expand the DPS Office of the Ombuds or to replace a former staff member. (Until recently, Darlene LeDoux was the Ombudsperson and Antoinette Hudson was the Associate Ombuds; the office's website now only lists Hudson.) The position will assist in providing Ombuds services for 15,000 DPS employees across more than 200 school sites.
Job Posting: Syracuse City School District
University of Missouri Names First Faculty Ombuds
Mizzou, Missouri's flagship public research university in Columbia, has appointed Pamela (Hinton) Bruzina as its first Ombudsperson, effective July 1, 2023. According to an email from the Provost, Bruzina "is a designated neutral facilitator who contributes informal assistance and impartial conflict and dispute resolution to MU faculty." She has colleagues at University of Missouri–St. Louis and University of Missouri–Kansas City. Meanwhile, the University of Missouri System is also in the midst of a search for its first Ombuds.
May 25, 2023
New Ombuds to Restore Program at University of Denver
May 24, 2023
Job Posting (RFP): State Bar of South Dakota
South Dakota's state bar association is planning to establish an Ombuds program for members and legal professionals who work with, and for, its 3,000 members. The new Ombuds would work as independent contractor from August 2023 through July 2024. "The Ombuds selected must be able to address sexual harassment complaints involving State Bar members and others involved in the legal system." The services can be performed in person or remotely.
World Food Programme's Expanded Ombuds Office Reports Case Growth in 2022
In 2022, the WFP expanded its Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services when Dolores Gómez-Morán, CO-OP, joined Ombudsman and Director, Gabrielle Kluck. According to a just-released annual report, the office was was able to meet the need of a huge increase in visitor demand. In 2022, the WFP Ombuds recorded 692 visitors, a 60 percent increase over the previous three years and more than three times the number of cases in 2016. Last year, the office made 23 field visits, which lead to a significant grown in visitors from
May 23, 2023
COFO 2023 Annual Conference: Call for Presentations
The Coalition of Federal Ombudsman has announced that it is now accepting proposals to present at its 2023 Annual Conference on October 13, 2023. The conference typically draws over 200 attendees from across the Ombuds profession and broader ADR community. The conference will be a hybrid event, returning to an in-person conference setting in Alexandria, VA this year, but continuing to also offer options for virtual attendees. Therefore, COFO is soliciting proposals for both virtual and in-person presentations and would like to have a mix of both at the event.
Call for Contributors: Ombuds in Emerging Sectors
Natalie C. Fleury, one of the Ombuds at the Medical College of Wisconsin, is working on the Emerging Sectors in Ombuds Practice Chapter for the International Ombuds Association’s first book, The Organizational Ombuds: Foundations, Fundamentals & Its Future. (See below for the description of "emerging sectors.") If you are working in a sector that you feel should be part of that chapter, please reach out by 4:00 pm Central on June 1st. (Emerging Ombuds.)
May 22, 2023
Job Posting: UN World Food Programme, Rome
The food assistance branch of the United Nations is hiring a Ombuds Officer and Data Manager. The consultant position reports to the Ombudsman and Director, Gabrielle Kluck, and provides range of conflict resolution services to WFP employees. The contract will last 11 months.
Job Posting: Space Telescope Science Institute
STScI. the organization that provides operational support for the Hubble, James Webb, and Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescopes, is seeking its first Ombuds Consultant. The full-time (that's what the post says) position will establish an IOA-compliant program to provide Ombuds services to about 700 employees primarily on the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Job Posting (RFP): Agronomy Crop and Soil Science Societies
The American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America are seeking proposals for an Ombuds for their joint annual conference in St. Louis, Missouri, October 29-November 1, 2023. The contract would require pre-conference training of leadership, the in-person services during the conference, and post-conference follow up (including a written report) through December 2023. This would be the first Ombuds for any of these professional associations. There also is related opportunity to train ASA-CSSA-SSSA volunteers on "how to appropriately assist and identify bias, harassment, and inequities for bystander intervention."
May 19, 2023
Job Posting: Raiffeisen Bank International
Raiffeisen Bankengruppe, the international financial institution and Austria's largest banking cooperative, is hiring a Corporate Ombudsperson Deputy. The new position will expand RBI's Corporate Ombuds-Office established in 2021 by Judith Klaiber. Based in Vienna, the full-time position will provide Ombuds services to RBI Group’s staff. An initial contract of one and a half to two years is expected.
Job Posting: Sandia National Labs
The federal nuclear laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is hiring a part-time Corporate Ombudsman for a one-year contract. The new position will work alongside Sandia's Ombuds Ronnie Thompson, who restarted the program in 2021. The new Ombuds will also report to the Executive Chief of Staff and practice to IOA standards.
Job Posting: Sherbrooke University
Université de Sherbrooke, the largest public university in Quebec is hiring a Deputy Ombudsman. The full-time position, previously held by Caroline Audette, reports to Marie-Claude Laquerre, who has been the Student Ombudsman since 2021. The office serves a student population of about 40,000 and report to the Secretary General for Administration under the authority of the University's board of directors.
May 18, 2023
Job Posting: World Health Organization (PAHO)
The WHO is hiring its next Regional Ombudsman for the Pan American Health Organization. The search will fill a position held by Bernardin Ndashimye since January 2020. Reporting to the Deputy Director, the PAHO Ombuds provides services to employees in 27 country office following IOA standards. The full-time position is based in Washington, DC, for a two-year, renewable contract.
Ithaca College Announces Faculty Ombuds Team
On July 1, 2023, three faculty will reestablish an Ombuds program for the private liberal arts college in central New York. Over the past few years, Ithaca had considered a couple of different models for its Ombuds program and eventually settled on a team that would provide services exclusively to faculty. The three new Ombuds will be Jack Wang from the Writing Department, Dan Breen from the English Department, and Kathleen Mulligan from the Theatre Performance Department.
May 17, 2023
Kalamazoo Public Schools Plans for First Ombuds
The public school district in West Michigan is promising to create an Ombuds program. KPS Board Vice President Jermaine Jackson said the Ombuds will assist parents “as a independent, impartial, confidential and informal resource.” The initiative came out of an ad hoc committee earlier this year as part of a broad plan to improve the climate, culture and relationship with district stakeholders. Details for the new district Ombuds have not been finalized. (MLive.)
Ombuds to Present to National Association of College and University Attorneys
NACUA, the influential professional association of attorneys working in higher education, will host a webinar in cooperation with IOA later this month. This is especially significant because membership in NACUA is strictly limited to practicing attorneys and many members have been openly critical of Ombuds in the past. The program, "What General Counsel Need to Know About Ombuds," is set for May 30, 2023 at noon Eastern. The speakers will be Jessica Kuchta-Miller (University Ombuds at Duke), Ellen Miller (IOA's Executive Director), and Steve Prevaux (Faculty and Staff Ombuds at University of South Florida). Janet P. Judge, a Partner with the Education & Sports Law Group, LLC, and NACUA Board Member, will moderate.
May 11, 2023
MWI Recruits Experienced Ombuds to Expand Operations
Dana Hinojosa, CO-OP, will join MWI as Director of Strategic Engagement in June 2023. She brings a decade of Ombuds and program management experience to MWI, a global provider of outsourced Ombuds and other ADR services. This a new leadership position for MWI, which currently has three other director-level positions (Josh Hoch, Director of Mediation Services; Megan Winkeler, Director of Training & Analytics; and Diana Chiang, Director of Commercial and Corporate Programs; all of whom have Ombuds experience). MWI's Founder and Executive Director, Chuck Doran, is also recruiting a Director of Analytics & Reporting and additional Ombuds panelists.
UC Davis Ombuds Office Announces Changes
May 10, 2023
Job Posting: Oregon State University
The public land-grant, research university in Corvallis seeks applications for its next University Ombuds. The search was prompted by the recent departure of Sue Theiss, OSU's founding Ombuds. Breanne Taylor, is currently serving as the Interim University Ombuds, assisted by a new Associate Ombuds, Robynn M. Pease. The full-time position leads an office that provides Ombuds services to over 40,000 faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders. OSU hopes to confirm the appointment by August 1, 2023.
Registration Opens for Cal Caucus 2023 Summer Virtual Small Caucus
The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has opened registration for its second annual summer meeting. The online only event on June 6, 2023, offers an opportunity to preview the topic for the traditional fall caucus in Pacific Grove.
UNC Charlotte Researchers Seek Help Distributing Academic Civility Survey
Three professors at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte are conducting a multi-institutional survey study which explores a variety of concerns regarding civility and professionalism (or lack thereof) in the college and university workplace. Becky Croxton, Richard Moniz, and Jo Henry are are seeking assistance with the distribution of a survey link to academic institutions across the country. (Study was approved by the UNC Charlotte IRB # IRB-23-0757.) Interested readers can share the invitation and survey. (Civility in the Academic Workplace Survey.)
May 08, 2023
Job Posting: Federal Emergency Management Agency
FEMA's Alternative Dispute Resolution Division in the Office of the Chief Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency is hiring three Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisors. These are temporary positions with FEMA's Cadre of On-call Response/Recovery Employee Program and usually limited to two years. In essence, the FEMA ADR Cadre serve as Organizational Ombuds for internal and external conflicts related to FEMA's disaster response. The positions are based in Washington, DC. Occasional non-emergency travel may be required and telework may be available.
May 04, 2023
IOA Seeking to Connect School Ombuds
The International Ombuds Association has launched an effort to connect the growing number of Ombuds in K-12 education. An online community hosted by IOA hopes to provide a space for this community to connect and develop. The effort is being led by Monique Bookstein, the Ombuds for Prince William County Schools in Virginia.
May 03, 2023
International Committee of the Red Cross Selects Next Chief Ombuds
After a six-month search, Camilo Azcarate has been appointed the next Chief Ombudsperson for the international humanitarian organization. He follows John W. Zinsser, who served in the role from 2017 until last month. Based in Geneva, Azcarate will direct the work of four regional ICRC Ombuds and a network of other collateral-duty Ombuds and serve an initial four-year term. Azcarate comes to the position from the European Southern Observatory, where he served as Ombuds for over four years.
Call for Interviewees: IOA Book Chapter on Ombuds Engagement
Donna Buehler, Ombuds at Stonybrook University, and Liz Hill, Associate Director at the University of Colorado Boulder, are co-authoring a chapter for the International Ombuds Association’s first book, The Organizational Ombuds: Foundations, Fundamentals & Its Future. The chapter will examine how Organizational Ombuds build relationships and engage with entities across organizations while maintaining their independence and impartiality. The authors are seeking participants to share their experiences and insights by completing an anonymous 15-20 minute survey by noon on May 12, 2023. Buehler and Hill appreciate all participants. (Survey: Exploring How Ombuds Build Relationships...)
May 02, 2023
Job Posting: European Southern Observatory
The European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere is hiring its next Ombuds, filling a position established by Camilo Azcarate in 2019. Although ESO is headquartered near Munich, the position is primarily based in Santiago, with frequent visits to various observatories in Chile and at least three months per year in Munich.
Transitions at Oregon State University Include New Associate Ombuds
Robynn M. Pease, has joined the OSU University Ombuds Office as an Associate Ombuds. She reports to Breanne Taylor, who has has been promoted to Interim University Ombuds following the departure of the founding Ombuds, Sue Theiss. Together, they provide Ombuds services to over 40,000 faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders at the public land-grant, research university in Corvallis.
May 01, 2023
Job Posting: MWI
MWI, a global provider of outsourced Ombuds and other ADR services, is accepting applications for its outsourced Ombuds panel. Under the direction of MWI's Founder and Executive Director, Chuck Doran, Ombuds panelists work as independent contractors and provide services to a range of MWI clients.
April 28, 2023
Job Posting: Grand Rapids Public Schools
The public school system in Western Michigan is hiring its first Ombudsperson. Reporting to the superintendent, the GRPS Ombuds will serve district employees, 14,500 students, and community members following IOA standards.
Job Posting: National Reconnaissance Office
The U.S. Department of Defense agency and one of the "big five" U.S. intelligence agencies is hiring an Ombuds. The NRO Office of the Ombuds reports to the Office of the Director and serves as all NRO personnel. Applications collected in this search may also be used for current and future NRO Ombuds positions. The job is based in Chantilly, VA, and some travel is required.
Call for Presenters: Cal Caucus 2023
The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds is seeking speaker proposals for its annual in-person meeting. The unique and intimate caucus is set for November 5-9, 2023, at the rustic and historic Asilomar Conference Grounds. This year's theme is "Diving Deep: 50 Years of Ombuds Exploration." The window for proposals, which has been open for several weeks, has been extended to May 8, 2022.
April 27, 2023
New Guide Offers Tools for Managing Conflict in Higher Ed
A new publication from the Constructive Dialogue Institute and the Aspen Institute's Citizenship and American Identity Program attempts to address the societal division and social conflict that being felt acutely on college campuses. The authors of "Transforming Conflict on College Campuses" identify six factors that contribute to conflict and provide guiding principles and strategies for more effective conflict management.
April 26, 2023
Job Posting: City of Atlanta
The City of Atlanta is hiring a full-time Ombudsman Specialist/Neighborhoods Relationship Manager. The position reports to Jodi Merriday, the City's new Ombudsman of Neighborhoods and provides Ombuds services to residents following IOA standards. Merriday was appointed by Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens in February as part of a team to address persistent equity gaps in the city. Merriday established the Office of the Ombudsman for the Atlanta Public Schools in 2014 and served in the role for two years.
April 24, 2023
Researchers Seek Ombuds for IOA Book Chapter on Effectiveness
Two federal Ombuds, Bina Patel and Deanna Yuille Banford, seek participants for a project that explores Ombuds effectiveness at both the individual and programmatic level. Their research will be incorporated into a chapter for the International Ombuds Association’s first book, The Organizational Ombuds: Foundations, Fundamentals & Its Future.
April 21, 2023
Job Posting: Eindhoven University of Technology / Utrecht University
Two Dutch universities have opened a search for a shared Student Ombuds. Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) and Universiteit Utrecht (UU) each have existing Ombuds for employees. Under joint agreement, TU/e and UU will share the cost of hiring a part-time Student Ombuds, a first for either university. The Ombuds will serve 12,000 students at TU/e and over 30,000 at UU. The 0.3 FTW position will last an initial term of three years. It is unclear how much of the work will be provided remotely and the campuses are nearly 100 km apart.
Job Posting (Internal): University of Tennessee
The Office of Ombuds Services at UT Knoxville is hiring a Graduate Research Assistant. The position will work with Campus Ombudsperson, Lisa Yamagata-Lynch, and Associate Ombudsperson, Brooke Wichmann, and supports educational programing and outreach initiatives. The half-time position will start in July 2023 and last 12 months.
Podcast: How an Ombuds Left the Practice of Law
Sarah Cottrell, a consultant who helps lawyers leave the practice of law, interviewed Dina Lynch Eisenberg for her latest podcast. "As a former lawyer, [Eisenberg] understands the struggles of that profession and has found a way to utilize her skills to build a business. The conversation covers the different paths she took after leaving the law. Plus, she dives into exactly what she does for work now as an organizational ombuds. It’s a great conversation for any former lawyers considering HR roles and anyone looking to learn more about what’s out there." (FormerLawyer.com.)
April 20, 2023
Georgetown University Student Ombuds Shares First Annual Report
Georgetown's Student Ombuds, Daniela Brancaforte, has published a report summarizing the work of her office from its start-up in April 2021 through the next full academic year ending in June 2022. During this period, Brancaforte worked with 278 visitors, including nine mediations. In addition, she reached out to faculty and staff for case assistance a total of 109 times.
Mary Childers: Founding Ombuds at Dartmouth College
Mary Childers, who served as the Ombuds at the private Ivy League college in New Hampshire, passed away this week. Childers was the first in her family to attend college and started at the age of 16. A multi-talented academic, Mary held teaching and administrative positions at the University of Maine-Orono, Vanderbilt, Dartmouth, Oberlin, Cincinnati, Villanova, Brown, and Brandeis. At Dartmouth, her administrative positions included serving as Director of the Women’s Resource Center, Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, and Special Assistant to the President. She became the first Ombuds in 2007 and served until her retirement in 2014. (Legacy.com Obituary.)
Student Affairs Podcast Features Four Ombuds
Four higher education Ombuds were interviewed this week for Student Affairs NOW, a podcast for student affairs professionals. Host Heather Shea spoke with Jessica Kuchta-Miller (University Ombuds at Duke University); Shannon Lynn Burton (University Ombudsperson at Michigan State University and Co-Ombuds for the American Education Research Association); Amanda Dean (Ombuds for Faculty and Staff office at Austin Community College); and Julie Boncompain (Protector of Rights/Ombudsperson at Polytechnique Montréal & Mila – Quebec Institute of Artificial Intelligence). They talked about their Ombuds work and how they found their way to the profession.
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