December 11, 2017

Profile of University of North Georgia's Ombuds for the Oconee Campus

For the past three years, Veronica Walker has been served as the Ombuds for the 2,500 students at the growing commuter campus in central Georgia. Walker is a biology lab coordinator and volunteers in the Ombuds role. She says that she cares about the student body and knows how confusing the bureaucracy of higher education can be. 

December 07, 2017

IOA Video Promotes Ombuds for Surfacing & Addressing Sexual Misconduct

The International Ombudsman Association has posted a YouTube video that addresses the Weinstein Effect and #MeToo Campaign.  The video, was produced by IOA's Communications Committee in just a few days and feels like a potentially valuable tool for influencing decision-makers.  IOA has posted it on all of its social media: YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.  

Ombuds at University of Arizona Implements 'Terms of Use' for Visitors

In October, the UA Ombuds Program put in place "Terms of Use" that seek to protect the ethical tenets of the office.  The terms are listed on the website along with ethics and standards, and do not require a visitor to indicate agreement specifically. 

Romanian Organization Offers Ombuds Services for International Investors

The International Union of Bilateral Chambers of Commerce and Industry touts itself as "the world’s largest business organization of the bi-national (bilateral) chambers of commerce and industry and all of their Unions, Federations or Joint Business Councils." At present, the IUBCCI is comprised of 48 chambers of commerce with ties to Romania. One of its programs is the International Ombudsman for Investors Corporation, "an organizational ombudsman established as a non-profit organization that represents the interests of the worldwide investors by investigating and addressing complaints of maladministration or violation of their economic, commercial and other similar important rights." 

December 05, 2017

IOA to Offer ADR Training in New Orleans

The International Ombudsman Association brings three training programs to New Orleans in late January 2018.  The offerings are aimed at novice and experienced Organizational Ombuds, but are open to the public.  Note that enrollment is capped at about 30 for these courses. 

University of Iowa Opens Internal Search for Faculty Ombuds

UI will appoint its next Faculty Ombudsperson in early 2018 after an internal search. The process will fill a position held by Susan Johnson since 2009.  Applicants must on a regular tenure track or emeritus status for the part-time position.  (UIowa Jobs.)

December 04, 2017

Montgomery College Again Agrees to All Ombuds Recommendations

Julie Schwartz Weber, the MC Ombuds, reports that the college has adpoted all of the recommentations made in her 2017 report. An email from the MC President DeRionne P. Pollard not only vowed support for each of the four recommendations presented in the Ombuds' Fourth Annual Report, but she also shared comments and gave direction regarding how to implement the recommendations. 

December 01, 2017

Job Posting: Vancouver Community College

The public community college in British Columbia is hiring its first Ombudsperson. The part-time position will work with a student population that totals about 26,000. VCC has had an "Arbiter of Student Issues" that was functionally similar to a University Ombuds program and which has been consulting with local Ombuds and participating in ACCUO and regional Ombuds events. 

November 30, 2017

University of Michigan School of Nursing Names Faculty Ombuds

Janis Miller will be the next Faculty Ombuds for the UM School of Nursing. Miller is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. According to a news release, the Dean of the School hopes that the appointment will boost usage of the Ombuds office and contribute to an improvement in the school's culture. 

November 29, 2017

CERN Ombuds Offers Insights on First Visitor Meeting

Pierre Gildemyn is following the tradition of other CERN Ombuds and publishing a regular articles about his office. In his latest piece, Gildeman tells potential visitors what they might expect if they make an appointment to meet with him. His reassurance for visitors is a succinct overview of the Ombuds process (regardless of industry or organization type) that aspiring Ombuds may find valuable.

November 28, 2017

Ombuds at University of Toronto Nears End of Term

Ellen Hodnett is nearing the completion of her three-year term as University Ombudsperson at U of T. A review committee has been appointed and a search for her replacement will open shortly.  Meanwhile, she is taking some time to reflect on her tenure in an interview with the student newspaper.  Among other things, Hodnett she said that she remains concerned about the low number of people seeking support from her office. (The Varsity.)

November 27, 2017

Job Posting: Sacramento State

California State University, Sacramento is hiring its first Ombuds. Reporting to the CSUS President, the University Ombudsperson, "serves as a facilitator for students, staff, faculty, and members of the campus community" (about 35,000 in total). It seems to be generally IOA compliant, but is a mandated reporter for child abuse according to the posting. In addition, it should be noted that other Cal State Ombuds have not exempted from Title IX reporting requirements. 

Ombuds at Concordia University Posts 2017 Report

Amy Fish, Concordia's Ombudsperson, recently reported annual data on the academic issues brought to her office in the past academic year.  Fish said cases decreased about 8.6% to 470 in 2016-17, not far off from the 500 cases annually that have been typical over the past five years. Fish said also that the volume was in line for a university of Concordia’s size: about one percent of the student population. 

November 22, 2017

University of California Ombuds Update Statement of Best Practices

More than 10 years, the Ombuds at each University of California campus collaborated on a Declaration of Best Practices that reflected their commitment to IOA standards and practices.  Earlier this year, the group revised and updated the statement. Revised and endorsed in April 2017, this Declaration is the result of collaboration and input from representatives from UC Berkeley; UC Davis; UC Irvine; UC Los Angeles; UC Merced; UC Riverside; UC San Diego; UC San Francisco; and UC Santa Barbara. 

November 20, 2017

Senior British MP Calls for Sports Ombuds

Damian Collins, Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the House of Commons, says that athletes urgently need an independent watchdog to protect them. The comments by the conservative MP came as UK Sport released new guidance for coaches and staff on how to treat athletes with more respect.