January 19, 2018

IOA Defends United Nations Ombuds After Report of Complicity in Sexual Harassment Claims

An article in the Guardian today, "points to culture of impunity as UN employees allege offences including rape." The newspaper reports that dozens of UN employees have described a culture of silence and a flawed grievance system, including an ineffective Ombuds program, that seems biased against victims. In response, the International Ombudsman Association posted a series of tweets that defended the UN Ombuds program and explained how the program could have been misunderstood by visitors or the newspaper.

January 18, 2018

Al Akhawayn University Debuts Ombuds Program

According to a new webpage, the independent university located near Fez, Morocco established an Ombuds Office in November 2016. The mission of the Al Akhawayn University Ombuds Office is, "to promote a culture of understanding, respect, and fairness to resolve conflicts and deal with concerns that arise within the university community [and provide] a confidential, independent and impartial process to facilitate the informal resolution of differences among students, staff, and faculty." The Ombuds office reports directly to the university president.

Stanford Ombuds Retires

David Rasch, who has been the Ombuds for Stanford University faculty since 2002, has retired. Meanwhile, he continues as one of two Ombuds for a two-year pilot program at the American Political Science Association. Ellen Waxman, Director of Faculty Relations at Stanford School of Medicine and former Stanford Ombuds (1995-2002), is currently the interim Ombuds pending a permanent appointment. (Stanford Ombuds; LinkedIn.)

January 17, 2018

Drexel University Names New Ombuds

On January 1, the private university in Philadelphia appointed Kirk Heilbrun as its Ombuds. Heilbrun has been a member of the College of Arts and Sciences faculty since 2002 and he is a Professor of Psychology. He has held a variety of administrative positions, including department chair and editor in chief. He succeeds David Flood, who served in the role for six years.

January 16, 2018

Brandeis University Expands Ombuds Service

The private university near Boston has appointed two new Ombuds and expanded the service to faculty, staff, alumni, and other stakeholders. Don Greenstein and Cathy Burack are joining Elena Lewis (who has been the Student Ombuds for two years) as campus Ombuds.   In an email to the campus, Chief Diversity Officer Mark Brimhall-Vargas said that the new Ombuds “will make it possible for all members of the Brandeis community — students, faculty, staff, alumni and others — to access conflict-resolution assistance for situations they might encounter at the university.” (Brandeis Justice.)

January 15, 2018

Job Posting: University of California Santa Barbara

The fifth largest University of California campus is hiring an Assistant Ombuds/Office Manager. The full-time position provides reception and intakes, and serves as the initial, and sometimes sole, contact for visitors with cases of moderate complexity (usually students).  In addition, the position is responsible for most of the administrative and business functions of the small office. 

Internship: United Nations Santiago

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking a full-time intern to be posted with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Chile.  The unpaid internship will last three to six months and offers the opportunity to support outreach and advocacy, prepare data and reports, and conduct research.  The position reports to the Regional Ombudsman, Francisco Espejo Elgueta.

January 11, 2018

Call for Proposals for 2018 Summer Academic Ombuds Meeting

The Planning Committee for the 2018 Summer Academic Ombuds Meeting is seeking proposals. The annual meeting will be held on June 25-26, 2018 in Iowa City, Iowa. "This meeting provides an opportunity for Academic Ombuds to become better acquainted, to share concerns unique to our professional environments, and to support and learn from each other’s experiences in a relatively small and very collegial environment."

University of British Columbia Reopens Satellite Ombuds Office

Michael Jud is the new Ombuds for UBC's Okanagan. campus early in the year.  The office, part of the UBC Ombuds Office headed by Shirley Nakata, operated from 2016-2016 and was closed for financial reasons.  Jud joined the office in late 2017.

University of Mississippi Ombuds Contest Awards Parking Space

Paul Caffera, who became the Ole Miss Ombuds in February 2017, recently ran a contest to increase awareness of his office.  His normally quiet website saw a huge increase in traffic during the trivia contest which garnered 1,200 entries.  Runners-up received gift cards and the big prize was a free campus parking spot paid for by the UM Foundation.  

January 10, 2018

Article Profiles Role of Higher Ed Ombuds as Workplace Conflict Experts

An article published simultaneously by the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association and the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds examine the work of Ombuds and other conflict resolution experts. The article was written by Neil H. Katz, Katherine J. Sosa, and Linda N. Kovack at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale.

January 09, 2018

IOA Opens 2018 Board Elections with Large Slate of Candidates

The International Ombudsman Association has opened voting for its 2018 Board of Directors. Nine candidates are on the ballot, which will fill six open seats on the board. This is the greatest number of candidates since 2009. 

As it has in the past, the Ombuds Blog provides links to prior posts about the candidates to supplement the official ballot statements, but does not endorse any candidates in particular:

January 05, 2018

University of Michigan Opens Search for Faculty Ombuds

The University of Michigan is accepting applications from tenured and emeriti professors to serve as the next Faculty Ombuds.  The Ann Arbor campus has about 4,500 instructional employees. Bruno J. Giordani, Professor of Psychiatry, has served as UM Faculty Ombuds since September 2013. (UMich Careers; UMich Record.)

January 04, 2018

Job Posting: Saint Louis University School of Medicine

The private medical school in Missouri is hiring a Director of Professional Oversight, a position which is essentially that of an Ombuds. According to the job posting, the "Director of Professional Oversight is responsible for neutral and impartial gathering and distribution of information resulting from potential unprofessional behavior between colleagues and for providing confidential and informal assistance to constituents of the SLUSOM community, including students, residents, and faculty." 

Politecnico di Milano Appoints First Student Ombuds

The largest technical university in Italy has opened a Student Ombuds Office. Professor Gerardus Janszen will serve as the Ombuds for the school's 42,000 students. According to a new website for the office,