February 28, 2023

Job Posting (RFP): National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The independent federal agency that manages U.S. civil space programs and aeronautics and space research seeks bids for seeking a consultant to provide advisory Ombuds services at its headquarters. (Most NASA Ombuds have collateral duties.) The one-year contract will be responsible for providing Ombuds expertise in the areas of: training; developing awareness materials and reports; managing a case management system; creating and analyzing surveys; and providing support with policies and procedures. The contract anticipates 218 hours of work over 12 months.

Job Posting: San Mateo County Community College District

The community college system in California (just south of San Francisco County) seeks its first Ombudsperson. The new position will serve all constituents—including 45,000 students—across three campuses: Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College. The SMCCCD Ombuds will be expected to develop an IOA-compliant program and will report to the district's Director of Equity. The position will be based at the College of San Mateo. It is expected that the position will make recommendations to expand the office and eventually supervise staff and student assistants. 

Job Posting: University of Kansas

The University of Kansas Ombuds Office has opened a search for an Associate Ombuds. The new, full-time, hybrid position will be an expansion of the KU Ombuds Office, which serves the students, staff, and faculty. This is an opportunity to join an historic, growing, and stable program. The University Ombuds, Ada Emmett, indicates that they are looking for a candidate that has demonstrated experience in developing and delivering training sessions and who can co-facilitate group processes for people in conflict, in addition to meeting with visitors. KU’s Ombuds Office practices to IOA standards and reports to the University Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost.

February 23, 2023

Alfred State College Launches Ombuds Program

David Ray has been appointed the first Ombuds for the public college in Allegany County, New York. In this new role, Ray will provide services for about 725 faculty and staff following IOA standards. (Alfred State is part of the State University of New York system with an enrollment of about 3,500.) Ray is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and a former local police officer. (Alfred State Ombuds; LinkedIn.)

February 22, 2023

Job Posting: University of South Carolina

UofSC has opened a search for an Ombudsperson. The university has several Ombuds programs and it is not clear from the posting where this position will be located. (USC's Ombuds include: Jim Augustine, Faculty Ombuds; Dale Moore, Graduate School Ombuds; and Lisa Jerald, Director, and Melody Boland, Associate Ombuds for Undergraduate Students.)

University of Colorado Signs First Charter

CU Boulder, Colorado's flagship public university, has
adopted a charter for its Ombuds Office. CU's Ombuds has been in place for five decades and, like several other legacy programs, has never had a charter defining its roles and responsibilities. The new charter also defines a shared understanding of how the Ombuds Office functions within the university. CU's Ombuds charter was signed by the university's chancellor, provost, and chief operating officer. (CU Boulder Ombuds Charter.)

Ombuds Returns for Society for Personality and Social Psychology 2023 Conference

Kathleen Canul will reprise her role as the Ombuds for SPSP's annual conference—the largest international gathering of social psychologists and personality psychologists. Canul is the former Campus Ombuds for the University of California Los Angeles and has served as conference Ombuds for several other professional associations. She is also a licensed psychologist. (SPSP Conf Program.)

February 21, 2023

Job Posting: Kent State University

The public research university in Kent, Ohio has opened a search for a Faculty Ombuds. It appears to be a new position for the campus. Kent State has had a Student Ombuds since 2012 and Amy Quillin currently serves in the role. The full-time Faculty Ombuds will report to an associate provost and serve over 2,700 faculty members.

Job Posting: Illinois Institute of Technology

The private research university in Chicago is hiring an Assistant Director for its Office of the Ombudsperson. The full-time position seems to have a blend of administrative and Ombuds duties and reports to the University Ombudsperson, Marsha Ross-Jackson. (IIT also has a Student Ombud, Melisa Lopez.)

February 20, 2023

University of Aveiro Selects Next Student Ombuds

Universidade de Aveiro, the public university in the Centro Region of Portugal, appointed Pedro Lages as its next Student Ombudsperson. Lages follows Marília Martins, who served in the role since 2020, and will provide services to 17,000 students. 

Auburn Adventist Academy Debuts Ombuds Program

Last year, the Seventh-day Adventist boarding high school in Auburn, Washington, appointed Columbus Candies, Jr., as its first Ombuds. In the new role, he will provide Organizational Ombuds services to about 240 students and their families, and other members of the school community. The Ombuds program was created along with a range of reforms recommended by AAA's Focus Group on Racial Equity. 

Internship: Department of Energy

The DOE's Office of the Ombudsman is seeking a student intern for the spring or summer of 2023. The position will work on outreach, develop training and other materials, assist with facilitations and consultations, and analyze data for insights and trends. Candidates should have some knowledge of Ombuds or ADR practices, and have some relevant skills. The position will be remote with the option for limited in-person meetings, depending on the intern’s location and ability to travel. Hours, start date, and duration are negotiable.

February 17, 2023

Job Posting: Tarion

Tarion Warranty Corp., a not-for-profit consumer protection organization for new home warranty programs in Ontario, is hiring an Early Resolution Officer. 
The full-time remote position is located within Tarion's New Home Ombuds Office and is responsible for intake and triage of complaints, complaint review and facilitation of early resolution of complaints.

University of Wyoming Selects Next Ombuds for Staff

Nellie Haddad has been appointed UW's Ombudsperson for staff and students. The new full-time position will practice to IOA standards and reports as part of the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. Haddad follows Wyoming's first Student Ombuds, Dilnoza Khasilova, who has moved to another position at the university.

February 16, 2023

Kennesaw State's Summer Institute Marks 25 Years, Expands Ombuds Workshops

Kennesaw State University will hold its 25th annual Summer Institute for Professional Development returns as an in-person event this year. Hosted by the KSU Center for Conflict Management, the Summer Institute will include a three-day Ombuds Workshop with five different sessions—the most ever offered. Registration is now open for the event in June.

February 14, 2023

University of Missouri System Opens Internal Search for Inaugural Ombuds

The UM System, which oversees four land-grant universities and a health care system, has opened an internal search for its first Faculty Ombudsperson. Currently, there are Ombuds serving UM—St. Louis (Marlo Goldstein Hode, Staff Ombuds) and UM School of Medicine (Mark W. Drymalski, Ombudsman for House Staff); an Ombuds program for faculty and staff at UM–Kansas City is defunct. Details about the proposed UM System Ombuds have not been made public and the job posting is firewalled. (UM System Search.) 

Oklahoma State University Appoints Emeritus Faculty as Ombuds

Emeritus faculty member Carol Jones has been named the Ombuds Officer for the land-grant university in Stillwater. She follows Sue Williams, another insider who served in the role for the past five years. Jones will serve faculty, staff, and students across three OSU campuses.

Ombuds Cases Rise at University of Oregon and Reflect Campus Climate Survey

UO's University Ombudsperson, Brett Harris, posted her annual report for 2021-22 and said that cases, concerns, and visitors all were up from the prior year. Harris and Assistant Ombuds Sara Ash, handled 349 cases, an increase of 14.1% from the prior year. Harris also noted that her office confirmed concerns about workplace climate that had been identified in a university-wide climate survey conducted by Gallup in April 2022. (UO Ombuds 2022 Report.)

February 13, 2023

ABA Webinar to Spotlight Ombuds

On March 29, 2023, the American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section will offer a webinar on "Why Your Company Needs an Organizational Ombuds Program to Succeed." Moderated by Elizabeth Hill, Associate Director, Ombuds Office for the University of Colorado Boulder, the program will feature former Head of Ombuds Services at Twitter Dina Lynch Eisenberg, Organizational Ombuds Consultant Chuck Doran, and former IOA Executive Director Charles "Chuck" Howard.

JFF Interviews Chevron’s Ombuds

Jobs for the Future, a national nonprofit that drives change in the American workforce and education systems to achieve economic advancement for all, recently interviewed Chevron’s Principal Ombuds Manager, Sana Manjeshwar. In addition to exploring how Manjeshwar makes an impact on Chevron, the interview also traces her personal history and path to the Ombuds profession.

February 11, 2023

Internship: Austin Community College District

The community college system in Texas is seeking an Ombuds Assistant/Intern. Reporting to ACCD's First Ombudsman, Amanda Dean, the part-time position will observe Ombuds meetings, participate in case debrief and assist with data entry, design and implement trainings, and help develop and execute monthly outreach.

February 10, 2023

Fayetteville State University Opens Ombuds Program Within Compliance Office

FSU, the public university and part of the University of North Carolina System, has appointed Jeffery M. Womble as its first Ombudsperson. The new Ombuds Office will serve FSU's faculty, staff, and students and is located within the university's Division of Legal, Audit, Risk and Compliance. Nonetheless, an announcement states that Womble is an IOA member and will practice to IOA standards. 

Brock University Selects Interim Ombuds

Marla Terreberry-Portfilio has been appointed the Interim Ombuds for the public university in St. Catharines, Ontario, following the departure of Kelly Barker last October. Previously, Terreberry-Portfilio had been the Student Affairs Case Coordinator at Brock for the past year and from 2008-15, she was the university's Human Rights and Equity Officer. She will serve as the Interim Ombuds until at least April. (Brock News; LinkedIn.)

February 09, 2023

Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague Hosts Meeting of Regional Ombuds

On January 27, 2022, FAMU's first Ombuds Šimáčková Laurenčíková hosted a a colloquium of the School Ombuds Platform in Prague. The conference was attended by more than 80 representatives from educational, non-profit, and human rights organizations sectors. Participating Ombuds included:

February 08, 2023

IOA Opens Election for 2023 Board of Directors

Members are now voting for the next slate of IOA's Board of Directors. Ten candidates are running for five open seats with three-year terms starting in April 2023
. The nomination process was revamped last year when IOA members approved a package of bylaws revisions. Among other changes, IOA members are no longer allowed to nominate colleagues. Now, only self nominations are accepted.

Caseload Eases for Austria's Student Ombudsman

Anna-Katharina Rothwangl, the Austrian Ombudsman for Students (Ombudsstelle für Studierende), recently presented her 2021-22 annual report to the Parliamentary Minister for Education, Science and Research. Rothwangl reported that student concerns moderated after hitting a record last year due to the pandemic. Her office received 642 cases in 2021-22 compared to 837 in the prior year. Most of the visitors were women (58.7%) and study conditions remained the main reason for inquiries. In addition to visitor data, the report also makes proposals to the legislature and federal agencies, and to individual universities. (Austrian Student Ombuds 2021/22 Activity Report.)

February 07, 2023

Job Posting: Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association

NAREA, a professional association of agricultural and resource economists that is affiliated with the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, is seeking an experienced Ombudsperson. The association's first Ombuds will hear concerns that arise from members and participants around activities of the association (including a conference and journal), and may also be asked for feedback or training on DEI policies and procedures.

Job Re-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) has revised its Ombudsperson posting. The college has adjusted the role to include the possibility of a fully remote person, with the expectation that the Ombuds would come to campus one week per semester (fall, spring, and summer) to meet with key leaders, as well as offer some orientation events for the campus. The time commitment has also increased from 25% time to 37.5%.

Ombuds at University of Nevada Las Vegas Posts 2022 Report

David G. Schwartz, the founding Employee Ombuds for UNLV, reports that he and his Program Manager Tifara Rachal assisted 362 visitors in 2021-22. This was a significant increase from their first partial year, with about 40 visitors in many months. With the waning of the pandemic, the plurality of meetings (47%) were in person. The full report is available online. (UNLV Announcement.)

February 06, 2023

Ombuds for San Francisco Muni Submits First Annual Report

Toni Battle, the Ombuds for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, reports that her office has helped reduce EEO complaint filings by nearly 30 percent in the past two years. SFMTA re-established its Ombuds Office in July 2021 as a centralized point of contact to receive employee workplace complaints. In a report to the agency's board of directors, Battle said that she is leading a multi-department effort to develop a comprehensive tracking system for all workplace complaints. 

Linda Schieber: Former UNDP Ombuds

Linda Schieber, a former Ombuds with the United Nations Development Programme Office of the Ombudsman passed away on New Year's Day at her home in Berkeley, California, at the age of 80. Schieber joined the UNDP Ombuds Office as a volunteer shortly after it was established and continued until her retirement in 2002. She then became a paid, part-time consultant Ombuds for UNDP. Schieber is remembered as a vibrant, generous, and treasured colleague. A memorial concert is being planned. (SF Chronicle via Legacy.)

February 03, 2023

Job Posting: UN World Food Programme, Senegal

The food assistance branch of the United Nations is hiring a full-time Ombuds Officer based in Dakar. The position, part of the UN Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services, reports to the Ombudsman and Director, Gabrielle Kluck, and Senior Ombuds Officer, Dolores Gómez-Morán, CO-OP. The position will manage and direct a new independent regional presence for the office. Frequent travel is required.

Ombuds at University of Oslo Marks Decade of Service

This February, Universitetet i Oslo's Student Ombuds (Studentombudet) celebrates ten years of service to its student body of 26,000. Marianne Høva Rustberggard, UiO's founding Ombuds is now assisted bya second Student Ombuds, Pål Gustavsen, and a communications adviser, Ingvild Refsum. Rustberggard reports that the office has assisted over 2,000 visitors with "a wide range of cases about everything from cheating, allegations of abuse of power, discrimination and sexual harassment, to the learning environment and demands for accommodation."

February 01, 2023

U.S. Representatives Back IOA's Efforts to Designate Ombuds as "Confidential Employees" Under Title IX

A press release from the International Ombuds Association updates its efforts “advocating for modifications to Title IX’s definition of confidential employees in order to better protect students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders.” Two members of Congress, Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), supported IOA’s position in a letter to the U.S. Department of Education “IOA is proud to take a leadership role in helping to broaden the description of confidential employees to better serve Title IX’s purpose and beyond,” said Ellen Miller, IOA’s Executive Director.