April 24, 2018

IOA Board Elects 2018 Officers


Today, at its 13th annual conference in Richmond, Virginia, the International Ombudsman Association Board of the Directors selected its officers for the 2018-19 term:




April 23, 2018

Scholarships Brings Two International Recipients to 2018 Conference

The International Ombudsman Association sponsored two individuals to attend its annual conference in Virginia to support their work that is advancing the Ombuds profession outside the U.S. and Canada. The recipients this year were:

IOA Honors 2017 Distinguished Emeriti

At a short ceremony on the first day of its annual conference, the International Ombudsman Association honored four former Ombuds who retired in 2017 or earlier. The award recognizes outstanding and dedicated service to the organization and Ombuds profession. This year's recipients are:

April 21, 2018

University of California Santa Barbara Onboards Two New Ombuds

David Rasch, who recently retired after 14 years as the University Ombuds at Stanford, has joined the staff at UCSB on an interim basis as an Associate Ombuds. In addition, Megan DeBrito has been hired as an Assistant Ombuds. (Shauna Shea, who joined the office in February 2017, has departed.)

April 20, 2018

Job Posting: Pfizer, Latin America

The Pfizer Office of the Ombudsman is hiring a part-time, contract Ombuds to support their office in Latin America region. The position preferably will be based in Brazil or Mexico, and works with the four Pfizer Ombuds: Sue Diviney, Elaine Shaw, Elizabeth Lopez, and Adam Learman.

April 19, 2018

IOA 2018 Conference Nutshell


The International Ombudsman Association holds its 13th annual conference next week at the Richmond Marriott in Virginia. Here are links to prior Ombuds Blog posts about the event:

April 18, 2018

Dartmouth to Leave Ombuds Position Unfilled

The private Ivy League college in New Hampshire is giving up on its effort to recruit an Ombudsperson. The part-time position, which served non-union staff and faculty, has been vacant since the departure of Sean Nolon last summer. The search committee said that the main duties of the position could be provided by a new outside EAP contractor.

April 17, 2018

Democratic Socialists of America-Los Angeles Creates Ombuds Program

DSA-LA, one of the largest chapters of the national organization, has created a conflict resolution team, "to ensure members have the support they need to constructively work through organizational conflict, and that our chapter addresses misconduct thoughtfully and consistently." The new program includes "Ombudspersons [who] are available for voluntary appointments with members to provide support, coaching, and mediation aimed at navigating conflict." 

April 16, 2018

Investment Firm PIMCO Appoints Ombuds for Staff

Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC , one of the world's largest investment management firms, has appointed its first Ombuds. The move appears to come in response a sexual discrimination lawsuit filed in state court. In an email to industry newspaper Pensions & Investments, a PIMCO spokesperson said that the company had named its first Ombuds: 

University of Nebraska Omaha Seeks Internal Ombuds

Shereen Bingham, the UNO University Ombuds, will be hiring a part-time Ombuds to join the three-person team. Only current staff members are eligible. The UNO Ombuds Services works with faculty, staff, and 15,000 students. Bingham will be leading a session at the IOA conference next week. (UNO News.)

April 12, 2018

Student Ombuds for Austria Posts 2016-17 Report

The Austrian Student Ombudsman, Josef Leidenfrost, has published his annual report for the 2016-17 academic year.  The summary--which is submitted to the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy, and to the Parliament--covers issues from about 70 public and private colleges, universities, and institutes, and 409,000 students.  The report said the Ombudsman received 487 cases and directly resolved 74% and just 13% could not be settled.

University of Iowa Selects Faculty Ombuds

UI has named Rachel Williams as its next Faculty Ombudsperson, filling a position that will be vacated by the retirement of  Susan Johnson this summer. Williams is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment the School of Art & Art History and Gender Women's & Sexuality Studies. She will serve as Ombuds part time and joins Cynthia Joyce, the University Ombudsperson, and Kristal Gibson, Associate Ombudsperson (who joined the office in July 2017).

April 11, 2018

Job Posting: Fairfax County Public Schools

The large public school system in northern Virginia is hiring its first Family & Student Ombudsman. The position, "Serves as an independent, confidential resource, assisting students, families, and community members by providing formal and informal assistance in seeking to resolve concerns, problems, complaints, and other student-related issues." The district operates nearly 200 schools, employs 24,000, and enrolls nearly 190,000 students. 

International Ombudsman Association Offers Whova App for Conference Activities

For the second year, IOA will provide the meeting app Whova to assist attendees at the 13th annual conference April 23-25, 2018 in Richmond, Virginia.  With this app, users can browse the conference schedule, create a personalized itinerary, network with other attendees, and even live tweet from their mobile device.

April 10, 2018

Louisiana State University Reopens Ombuds Office

After a lengthy search, LSU has named Retha Niedecken as its next Ombudsperson. She is restarting a program that served the public university from 2006 to 2011 with Kirsten Schwehm as the first and only Ombuds. The office has been reconfigured somewhat and Niedecken reports to LSU's general counsel.