March 07, 2024

New Book Captures Wisdom of Leading Dutch Ombuds

Paul Herfs has released his book, The Importance of Ombuds Work, as a paperback and ebook. Herfs was the Ombuds for Staff and Faculty at Utrecht University for 16 years. He has written for JIOA, ENOHE, and the Cal Caucus Journal. He served as a board member of ENOHE and has spoken at many Ombuds conferences. In 2021, he was appointed Knight of the Order of Oranje-Nassau for his many years of service to Dutch society.

The back cover of the book provides this introduction:
Paul Herfs was the ombudsman for faculty and staff at Utrecht University, a highly respected research university in the Netherlands from 2005 until 2021. Some of the issues he discussed with faculty and staff were: performance difficulties, supervision of PhD-students, negative conflicts with peers and supervisors, unfair dismissal and the consequences of long-term illness. Before becoming an ombudsman Paul Herfs worked as an educational researcher. He holds a MSc degree in Educational Sciences and a PhD. His doctoral thesis dealt with International Medical Graduates in the Netherlands. He is also a trained mediator. Paul's career includes the roles of a student counselor and the vice director of the International Office at Utrecht University. Together with Carla Goosen, Leo Klijn, Yvonne van der Vlugt and Alex Brenninkmeijer, Paul Herfs started the first masterclass for ombudspersons in 2018 in the Netherlands. In 2024 it will be organized for the 5th time. After his retirement in 2021 from Utrecht University he continued his work as an ombudsman at the University of the Arts in Utrecht. Paul Herfs has been a board member of the European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education. 
The book is priced at about €20. (LinkedIn.)

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