August 31, 2023

North Carolina State University Selects Faculty/Staff Ombuds

Bradley Davis has been appointed the Faculty and Staff Ombuds for NC State, the public research university in Raleigh. He follows Roy Baroff, CO-OP, who established the position in 2015, and joins Student Ombuds, Michael Giancola. Davis will serve as a resource for about 8,000 employees at NC State and report to the Office of the Chancellor.

August 30, 2023

MGH Institute of Health Professions Debuts Ombuds Program

Patricia Lussier-Duynstee
has been tapped to serve as the inaugural Ombuds for the private health sciences university in Boston. As the first Ombuds for the MGH Institute, Lussier-Duynstee will provide students to about 1,600 students on a part-time basis. She will practice to IOA standards. Lussier-Duynstee retired in 2020 with emerita status after an 18-year career as an professor and administrator in the School of Nursing at IHP. 

August 29, 2023

Job Posting: University of Western Ontario

The public research university in London, Ontario has opened a search for an Ombudsperson. The temporary, full-time position is expected to serve until May 15, 2024. It appears that the search will fill a position previously held by Jennifer Meister, who recently became the Acting Associate Director for Western's University Housing.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte Expands Ombuds Service to Students

UNCC's Ombuds, Scott Deyo, CO-OP, will now serve nearly 5,000 graduate students. Deyo, who started in January 2022, already expanded his office once: The UNCC Ombuds served only faculty when it was originally founded in 2012 and it expanded to serve staff last year. (UNCC Ombuds.)

August 28, 2023

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Names First Ombuds

Alicia Booker
is the inaugural Ombuds for the independent oceanographic research institution in Massachusetts. In this new part-time role, she provides services to about 1,000 WHOI employees following IOA standards. She continues as the Principal Ombuds at Baylor College of Medicine. 

Asian Development Bank Posts 2022 Ombuds Report

ADB's Ombudsman, Wayne Blair, reports that his office handled 536 cases in 2022, essentially unchanged after a large increase last year. Like the rest of the Bank, Blair's office has returned to a hybrid workplace: coming into the office three days a week. He said, "It has also been interesting to note how some issues we have observed are not all new nor caused by the hybrid work arrangement

August 25, 2023

Job Posting (RFP): International Ombuds Association

The professional association for Organizational Ombuds has issued a request for proposals for an Ombuds. The one-year contract will begin November 2023 and include services for IOA's in-person conference in April 2024. The search will fill a position vacated by Breanne Taylor, who "decided to step down given a change in her current work responsibilities." (Taylor had been the Interim University Ombuds at Oregon State and moved to another staff position in May 2023.) The position is open only to IOA members in good standing and retired

Job Posting: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

The non-governmental organization that regulates member brokerage firms and exchange markets in the U.S., is hiring an Associate Director, Ombudsman. (This is an External Ombuds job that shares many characteristics with an Organizational Ombuds.) The full-time position reports to the FINRA Ombudsman, Sarah Gill, and can be based in one of 16 U.S. cities. In addition to managing conflicts and complaints, the position works with senior management and represents the office at industry events.

Louisiana State University Promotes Associate Ombuds

Earlier this month, LSU named Michael Brochu as its new University Ombuds. He follows Retha Niedecken, CO-OP, who served over six years in the role. LSU recently opened a search for a new Associate Ombuds, who will report to Brochu and primarily serve the Health Science Center’s in New Orleans and Shreveport.

August 23, 2023

Jared Lee: UC Irvine Ombuds

Jared James Fon Yau Ke'liikuikahi Lee passed away unexpectedly last week at the age of 25. He was an Associate Ombuds at the University of California Irvine, having joined the office in July 2021. Lee became an Ombuds after working as a mediator and mediation program manager. He earned his Bachelor's and Masters in Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University. The family is planning a celebration of his life on September 9, 2023 at the Dougherty Station Community Arts Center in San Ramon, California. (Everloved.)

August 22, 2023

Job Posting: Louisiana State University

The public university in Baton Rouge has opened a search for an Associate Ombudsperson. The position will report to the LSU Ombudsperson, Retha Niedecken, CO-OP, and provide services to faculty, staff, students, and other members of the campus community following IOA standards. Michael Brochu has been the Associate Ombudsperson, primarily for the health campuses, for just over a year. It is not clear whether this search will name a successor or an additional position.

Job Posting: University of New Mexico

The a public research university in Albuquerque is hiring an Associate Ombuds. The position will join an office that provides services to UNM staff, faculty supervising staff and their co-workers, and graduate students. The office is currently includes Staff Ombuds, JoEllen Ransom, CO-OP; Associate Ombuds, Anne Lightsey, CO-OP; and Ombuds for Graduate Students, Aasma Batool.

Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES Debuts Ombuds Program

The school district (Board of Education Cooperative Education Services) for Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties in western New York has appointed Stacey Aliasso Rowcliffe as its first Ombuds Officer. In this new, full-time role, Rowcliffe serves employees, students, and others across 1,791 square miles and 27 component school districts. She was hired in August 2022 and the website for the office went online this month.

August 21, 2023

Job Posting: Atlanta Public Schools

The Ombuds Office for the public school system in Georgia is hiring an Organizational Ombuds. The office provides services to nearly 4,000 staff members and 55,000 enrolled students, families, and other stakeholders. The position will join the APS Organizational Ombuds, Deirdre Smith; Ombuds Specialist, Shonda Liddell; and Coordinator of Multilingual Stakeholder Supports, Kyle Bolt The Organizational Ombuds team is part of the Center for Equity and Social Justice and reports directly to the Chief Equity and Social Justice Officer.

Job Posting: South Texas College

The public community college in McAllen, Texas is hiring a Coordinator for its Office of the Ombudsperson. Currently, Erica R. Hansen and Michelle A. Miller serve as Ombudspersons. It appears that this new role will supervise them and have both administrative and professional duties: "The Coordinator of the Office of the Ombuds oversees the Office of the Ombuds and assists the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities with the facilitation of informal resolutions to concerns of student related issues as assigned." Hiring for the position is contingent on the Board of Trustees approval of the FY2023-24 budget. The anticipated start date is September 4, 2023.

August 18, 2023

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Debuts Ombuds Program

The pediatric treatment and research facility in Memphis, Tennessee, has established an Ombuds Team for its 5,000 employees. St. Jude is contracting with MWI, which has three experienced Ombuds assigned to the team: Dina Eisenberg; Michael Stephens; and Ellen Reardon. They will practice to IOA standards as outlined by a charter signed by the hospital's President and CEO. 

August 17, 2023

Job Posting: Austin Independent School District

AISD, which serves the capital of of Texas, has opened a search for an Ombuds. The incumbent will reestablish a program that has been dormant since the prior Ombuds, Beverly Reeves, stepped down in 2015. The position will provide services to families of 75,000 enrolled students. The job description indicates the position will practice to IOA standards.

Tarleton State University Announces First Ombuds

Dennis Jones has been selected to serve as the first Faculty Ombuds for the Tarleton, a public research university in Stephenville, Texas, and member of the Texas A&M University System. Jones will provide services to over 600 faculty members following IOA standards. 

University of West Florida Names Interim Ombuds

Aurora Osborn
has been appointed the Interim Director for the Office of Campus Culture and Access, and Student Ombudsperson. She follows Vannee Cao-Nguyen who recently became the AVP for Culture and Community and CDO for Spring Hill College. As did her predecessor, Osborn will also oversee of the Offices of Equity and Inclusion, Title IX, Equal Opportunity, and Diversity Programs. She has also been an adjunct instructor at UWF. (UWF Student Ombuds; Sunday's Child Leadership; Spring Hill College News.)

August 16, 2023

Harris Health System Launches Ombuds Program

Jai McBride-Calloway has been named the inaugural Ombuds for the public healthcare system for Harris County, Texas. As the Managing Ombuds Director, she will serve as a resource for over 7,000 HHS employees across three hospitals and affiliated clinics. She moves into the position after serving as Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the past year. 

Curtis Grassman: Former UC Riverside Ombuds

Curtis Edwin Grassman, who served as the Ombudsman for the University of California Riverside from 1975 to 1981, passed away on August 10, 2023. Grassman joined the faculty in the History Department at UCR in 1975 and went on to hold a number of administrative positions. Before he retired, he often worked as a mediator and arbitrator for other campuses in the UC system. (Dignity Memorial; Inside UCR.)

Call for Proposals: ABA's 2024 Dispute Resolution Conference

The ABA Dispute Resolution Section is now accepting program proposals for its 2024 Spring Conference that will be held April 10-13, 2024, in San Diego, CA. This year’s conference theme is "Mastering the Future: Revolutionizing Dispute Resolution in a Dynamic World." Organizers are seeking proposals from anyone who can enlighten and connect with our anticipated attendees, who including Ombuds. The proposal deadline is September 13 at 5pm Eastern. (ABA Spring Conf Guidelines.)

August 15, 2023

IOA Launches New Virtual Symposium for Practicing Ombuds

The International Ombuds Association has announced a new annual event: the September Symposium. This year’s program, "Ombuds as Change Agents: Ombuds Intersections in the Modern World," will explore topics related to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and trauma, and how those intersect Ombuds practice. This event will take place over two half-days and include: intergenerational diversity; indigenous practices; neurodivergence; incorporating DEIB into workshop design; DEIB in the international context; trauma-informed Ombuds practice; and facilitated small group case study work. The Symposium will take place on September 20-21, 2023. 

August 14, 2023

Job Posting: Inter-American Development Bank

The Latin American development bank is hiring a Conflict Resolution (Anti-Harassment) Specialist for its headquarters in Washington, DC. The position reports to the Ellen Connors, Head of the Office of Ombuds and Mediation Services. (Connors replaced Marta I. Abello, as the Bank's Ombuds earlier this year.) The position will for provide "constructive support to employees and management in the prevention, identification, and handling of workplace conduct issues at the earliest possible stage and serve as an independent conflict resolution and anti-harassment professional." The position is contracted for three years.

Ombuds Serves Six Universities Across Norway

Marit Elizabeth Sand Solvik was recently appointed the first Studentombud for VID Specialized University (VID vitenskapelige høgskole) in Oslo. Meanwhile, she continues as the Ombuds for students at Kristiania University College (Høyskolen Kristiania) in Oslo and Bergen, NLA University College (NLA Høgskolen) in Bergen, Molde University College (Høgskolen i Molde) in Molde and Møre og Romsdal, Queen Maud University College (Dronning Mauds Minne Høgskole) in Trondheim, and Fjellhaug International University College (Fjellhaug internasjonale Høgskole) in Oslo. Together, these campuses comprise over 31,000 students. 

August 11, 2023

Mercer County Community College Debuts Ombuds Program

The public, community college in New Jersey has named Tonia Perry-Conley as its inaugural College Ombuds Officer. In this new role, Conley serves administrators, faculty, staff, and over 7,000 students. She will practice to IOA standards. She moves into the position after serving as MCCC's Campus Dean. 

August 10, 2023

Job Re-Posting: U.S. Department of Energy

The department responsible for U.S. energy and nuclear safety policies has reopened its search for an Associate Ombudsman. In July, the initial search was cut short as the number of applicants quickly reached capacity. The revised search has no cap and will be open longer. The Associate Ombudsman will report to Director Tonya Mackey and join two experienced Ombuds: Lexi Wolfe and Jeff Anderson. The job is remote and may be based anywhere in the U.S. Some travel is required.

August 09, 2023

City of Richmond to Hire First Ombuds After One-Day Search

On Monday, August 7, 2023, the capital of Virginia opened a search for its first Ombudsman. The application window closed the very next day, Tuesday, August 8. The new position will report to the city's HR Director and provide services to over 4,000 employees. According to the posting, the Ombuds will practice to IOA standards (notwithstanding the reporting structure). The position required a Bachelor's degree and at least five years of relevant experience, or an equivalent combination. The position will pay $71,727 to $128,779 per year. (ZipRecruiter.)

Why does this short application window matter? 

August 08, 2023

Job Posting: UNHCR, Panama

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Office of the Ombudsman is hiring Conflict Resolution & Mediation Officer based in Panama City.
The position provides Ombuds services for UNHRC personnel with employment-related concerns and conduct mediations, facilitated dialogues and other conflict resolution processes. The target start date is September 1, 2023.

Job Posting: SOS Children's Villages, Albania

The Austria-based international development organization for children is hiring a National Ombuds to be based in Tirana. As part of a team of Ombuds, the position joins other National and Regional Ombuds and serves as a "designated neutral professional providing additional safeguarding to the children and young people in SOS Children's Villages Albania." The position will report to the Global Ombuds (currently filled on an interim basis by Judi Fairholm and Andrew Azzopardi).

Northern Arizona University Announces New Ombuds

Laura Umphrey
has been selected as the new Director of the Office of the University Ombuds at NAU. The position is now full time. She follows Monica Brown who served as part-time Faculty Ombuds since 2020. Umphrey moved into the position after serving as Associate Dean for the public university in Flagstaff for the past year.

August 07, 2023

Federal Emergency Management Agency to Host Virtual Open House for ADR Corps

The FEMA Alternative Dispute Resolution Division Field Operations Branch invites people who are interested in learning more about becoming a part of the FEMA ADR Division to join a Virtual Open House on Wednesday, August 9th at 12:00-1:30 EST. The webinar will provide an opportunity to learn more about the Reservist ADR Advisor Role, the minimum experience criteria, the nature of the intermittent work schedule, the hiring process, and salary/benefits for the role. 

August 04, 2023

Children's Literature Association Creates Ombuds Program

Last year, ChLA, the U.S. non-profit dedicated to studying children's literature, established an Ombuds Committee as a resource for its members. The Ombuds Committee consists of three rotating elected members, from different categories of membership, serving three-year terms. The three current volunteer Ombuds are Dee Clere (University of Mount Olive, 2022-2023), Jamie Fine (Stanford University, 2020-2024) and James (Josh) Coleman (San José State University, 2020-2024). (ChLA Ombuds.)

University of West Georgia Posts 2023 Annual Report

Julia Farmer
, UWG's Director of Ombuds Services, reports that her office handled 96 cases in the 2023 fiscal year. Students comprised 20 visitors (21%) and the balance were staff and faculty. Cases related to evaluative relationships were the primary issue for all visitors. (UWG Ombuds Report.)

Ian Neale: Former Brigham Young University Ombuds

On July 25, 2023, Ian Neale passed away at his home in Arizona. Prior to a long career as a litigator, Neale served as Student Council Ombudsman from BYU from 1972 to 1973. The university ended its Ombuds program in 1987. (AZ Central; BYU Archive.)

August 03, 2023

Journal of IOA Mary Rowe Special Issue: Her Guidance on Visitor Options

The Journal of the International Ombuds Association is releasing a series of articles for a special issue highlighting the work of Mary Rowe. (She is widely credited as a pioneer in the Ombuds field after establishing the office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980. Rowe was a founding member and the first President of the Corporate Ombudsman Association, a predecessor to IOA. She coined the term “zero-barrier office” to describe the Ombuds' role and also introduced the terms “micro-inequities” and "micro-affirmations.”) Rowe contributed the first two articles, which focus on one of the defining types of Ombuds work: identifying options for visitors.

August 01, 2023

Environment Canada Posts Review of Ombuds Program

Environment and Climate Change Canada (Environnement et Changement climatique Canada), the Canadian department of environmental policies and programs, has published a comprehensive review of its Respect Bureau. Established in 2018, the Respect Bureau serves as ECCC’s Organizational Ombuds office, serving 7,000 employees. Corinne Boudreault is the founding Ombuds and Director. The department recently completed an assessment of the Respect Bureau's effectiveness over a four-year period.