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. 

IOA Loosens Restrictions on its Members-Only Blog

The International Ombudsman Association has updated the terms of access for its blog, The Independent Voice.  IOA members now need only to enter the password to read the blog; name, email address, and an agreement to indemnify are no longer required. Changes to the blog’s Guidelines and Terms of Use bring it more in-line with industry standards.

November 16, 2017

Tech Startup Aims to Outsource Ombuds Services

A startup that launched in June seeks to exploit declining trust in HR departments by offering an independent and external Ombuds service. Bravely advertises that it, "connects employees with expert conflict coaches ... for off-the-record phone conversations about all kinds of workplace stress." 

Simon Fraser University Confirms its Interim Ombuds

Laura Reid will stay on as the SFU Student Ombudsperson after serving on an interim basis for the past year. She serves a student population of about 35,000 and was selected after the university conducted a public search this summer. 

November 15, 2017

Sacred Heart Schools Creates Ombuds Program

The independent, private college preparatory school in Atherton, CA has appointed Isolina Martinez as its first Ombuds. SHS enrolls about 1,200 students K-12 and employs about 330 staff members. Martinez has been dean of the faculty and a Spanish teacher at Sacred Heart since 2006. She earned her MS in Sociology and Social Psychology from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. No other details about the new Ombuds program have been made public. (SHS Prep Faculty; LinkedIn.)

Gallifrey One to Appoint Convention Harassment Ombuds

The world’s largest and longest-running annual Doctor Who fan convention will have an Ombudsperson for the its next gathering in Los Angeles, February 16-18, 2018. The three-day conference draws about 4,000 attendees.  Joyce Lloyd, Gallifrey One's Facilities & Hospitality Director, will serve in the role.

November 14, 2017

Job Posting: National University

The large, private, non-profit university is hiring its first Ombudsman for its headquarters in La Jolla, California.  The full-time position will practice to IOA standards and report semi-annually to the provost and faculty senate.  It is not clear from the posting whether the position will serve just students (who number 24,000) or all stakeholders.

World Bank Names Insider to Serve as Ombuds

The World Bank Group has appointed Axel Peuker as its third Ombudsman. He begins a five-year term, effective December 1, 2017.  Peuker joins other WBG Ombuds Doris Campos-Infantino and David Talbot, and replaces Penelope Brook (who has become Executive Director of the Atlantic Group).  

November 13, 2017

Asian Development Bank Hires Experienced Ombuds

Wayne Blair has been named the Ombudsperson for the regional development bank based in Manila.  He will serve a three-year term starting in early 2018. For the past decade, Blair has been the Ombuds for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill -- a program that he established.  He succeeds Nick Diehl, who moved to MIT.

Internship: UNICEF

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking an intern for UNICEF (as well as UNDP, UNFPA, UNOPS, and UN Women) in New York City.  The full-time, paid internship will last six months and offers the opportunity to support the office's mediation training, outreach, and advocacy.

November 10, 2017

History of Science Society Appoints First Ombuds

The professional society for the academic study of the history of science has named Sally Gregory Kohlstedt as its first Ombudsperson. HSS adopted a Respectful Behavior Policy in June of this year to address discrimination and harassment at society meetings and events. The new Ombuds is designated by the policy as a resource for anyone with concerns and complaints. 

Ombuds to Speak at Texas Mediators Conference

Two Ombuds will be featured at the 2018 Texas Association of Mediators Professional Development Conference in San Antonio February 23-24, 2018. Anamaris Cousins Price (Organizational Ombudsman at Halliburton) and Sean Banks (Corporate Ombuds for the Shell Oil Company) will be presenting "The Role of Mediation in Organizational Ombuds" on February 23.

November 08, 2017

U.S. Geological Survey Creates Ombuds Program

The government agency that studies the country's biology, geography, geology, and hydrology has appointed J. Fernando Caetano as its first Organizational Ombuds. Caetano serves 9,000 USGS employees and is part of the agency's Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution Office. He is part of the team that provides ADR services to the Department of the Interior, of which USGS is part.

UC Davis Hires an Ombuds

The Office of the Ombuds at the University of California Davis has hired Dana Hinojosa as an Associate Ombuds 3. Hinojosa has worked in higher education for the last seven years and brings experience in training, mediation, and workplace dispute resolution to her new role.  She will work primarily with visitors from the main campus and report to the Campus Ombuds, Katherine Greenwood

November 07, 2017

German Crowdsourcing Firms Create Ombuds Program

Lead by Testbirds, eight German internet companies have signed a joint agreement to protect workers and volunteers that contribute to their products.  The "Crowdsourcing Code of Conduct" also establishes and funds an Ombuds Office for conflict resolution.  According to the document, "The Ombuds Office mediates disputes that arise between workers and platforms that are signatories to the Code of Conduct. The Ombuds Office will mediate a dispute only after the parties have attempted to resolve the situation on their own (outside of the legal system)."

November 06, 2017

Job Re-Posting: Metropolitan State University

The public university in downtown Denver has re-opened its search for an Ombuds Officer.  The description and requirements are relatively unchanged. The position reports administratively to the Associate to the President for Diversity and practices to IOA standards. The MSU Ombuds serves faculty, staff, administrators, student-employees, and external stakeholders. 

Norfolk State University Appoints First Ombuds

The public, liberal arts HBCU in Virginia has named Clementine Cone as its first University Ombudsman.  Practicing to IOA standards, Cone serves NSU's faculty, staff, and students--a population of about 7,000. For the past four years, Cone has also served as the Executive Assistant to the President for University Compliance.

University of Massachusetts Amherst Hires an Assistant Ombuds

Derek Doughty has joined the Ombuds Office at UMass Amherst as an Assistant Ombuds. He moves into the position from the dean of students office, where he was a case manager and liaison to athletics. Doughty reports to University Ombuds Carol Booth works with Associate Ombuds Martha Patrick.

University of Oregon Expands Ombuds Program

UO has increased the size of its Ombuds Program with the appointment of Jennifer Hudson as Assistant Ombuds and Director of Conflict Resolution Services. Under the direction of University Ombuds, Brett Harris, Hudson will provide Ombuds services, primarily to students, and direct the campus conflict resolution program. 

November 02, 2017

Job Posting: ICRC Kuwait

The International Committee of the Red Cross is seeking an Ombuds to be based in Kuwait.  The position would support the global work of the ICRC Ombuds (John W. Zinsser is the Chief Ombudsman for the international humanitarian organization) and especially North Africa and the Middle East.  Travel up to 50% is expected.  The job will start "asap."

Internship: United Nations Chile

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is seeking a full-time intern for its office in Santiago.  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.

Video Introduces UC Santa Barbara Ombuds

Three of the members of the UCSB Ombuds Office (Campus Ombuds Caroline Adams, Associate Ombuds Michael Steinberg, and Assistant Ombuds Shauna Shea) left their office to ask students: "What is an Ombuds?"  The answers are sometimes amusing and give the Ombuds a chance to explain their role.

November 01, 2017

Job Posting: Georgian College

The college of applied arts and technology in Ontario is hiring a part-time Conflict Resolution Coordinator. The position is equivalent to that of other Canadian higher-ed Ombuds and serves as the first point of contact for students with conflicts and complaints. (The school enrolls about 11,0000 students.) The position is part-time and is contracted for a one-year period through November 8, 2018. 

October 31, 2017

Job Posting: Rochester Institute of Technology

The private university in Upstate New York will hire its first Associate Ombudsperson.  Reporting to the long-time University Ombuds, Lee Twyman, the position will help administer the office and provide services, including training to all members of the RIT Community. The role will practice to IOA standards.  

University of North Carolina at Ashville Appoints First Faculty Ombuds

The state's only liberal arts university has named Heidi Kelley and Ameena Batada as its first Faculty Ombuds. The team reports to the Faculty Senate and Office of the Provost and handle Ombuds cases on a part-time basis. The Ombuds will practice to IOA standards and are required to complete IOA training. Together, they serve UNC Ashville's 300 faculty members. 

California Legislature May Revise Its Ineffective Ombuds Program

In 2014, the California State Senate created a Ombuds program, “to facilitate the receipt of information about potential ethical violations.”  Since then, it has flown completely under the radar: there is no public information on the legislature's website and the toll-free telephone number is unlisted.  Moreover, the office is headed the staff director for the senate ethics committee.  

October 30, 2017

Job Posting (RFP): Global Fund and Gavi

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance are seeking proposals for a new Ombudsman program. The position will serve staff, consultants, and interns following IOA standards. The work may be performed remotely, but quarterly travel to Geneva is required. The position reports jointly to the chiefs of both organizations. 

Swiss University Closes Institute After Ombuds Surface Concerns

ETH Zurich, a leading engineering and technology university, has entirely shut down its Institute of Astronomy after the Ombudspersons raised issues of bullying by a prominent professor.  

North Carolina State University Ombuds Shares Examples of Cases

The latest blog post by NCSU's Faculty & Staff Ombuds Roy Baroff answers the frequent question: What kinds of cases do you handle?  Baroff provides a dozen different examples of cases visitors have brought to his office. 

October 27, 2017

Job Posting: Stanford University

The private university in California has opened a search for its next Ombudsperson.  The full-time position, which has been held by David Rasch since 2004, acts as a resource for faculty, staff, students, postdoctoral scholars, fellows and other members of the Stanford community.  (Stakeholders with the School of Medicine are served by a separate Ombuds, James Laflin.) The Stanford Ombuds practices to IOA standards and reports to a Senior Associate Vice Provost.

Cal Caucus Reaches Capacity for 2017 Meeting

Organizers have closed registrations for this year's California Caucus of College and University Ombuds.  A record number of attendees has reached the maximum for the capacity of the single meeting room. (Cal Caucus Info.)

Ombuds for Montgomery College Posts Fourth Annual Report

Montgomery College's Ombuds, Julie Schwartz Weber, reports that her office continues to serve a significant portion of stakeholders (faculty and staff).  During the 2017 fiscal year, 125 individuals visited her office, reflecting a utilization rate of about four percent.  The report was published on October 19 to coincide with international Conflict Resolution Day.  (MC Ombuds Reports.)

October 24, 2017

Job Posting: Kentucky State University

The public university in Frankfort is hiring two Ombuds to revive their program.  Both positions report to the university president; the Student Ombuds serves a student population of about 2,200 and the Faculty Ombuds serves faculty and staff.

Meet the Ombuds at University of Miami

Jennifer Rau has been the Ombudsperson at UM for just over three years and also serves as the Assistant to the Vice President.  In a recent article she described working closely with a student advocate, Academic Ombuds, and other administrators to provide services for a student body of nearly 17,000. “Our team is here to listen to all students and discuss their options, next steps and get them connected with the appropriate resources,” Rau said. 

October 23, 2017

Job Posting: University of California Berkeley

The Staff Ombuds Office at Berkeley is hiring an Assistant Ombudsperson for a one-year contract.  The position reports to Director, Sara Thacker, and works with Assistant Ombuds, Julia Horvath, to provide conflict resolution and problem-solving services for all non-senate employees.

Internship: United Nations Uganda

The Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services is offering a full-time, unpaid position as a Research Assistant Intern in its Entebbe office.  The internship will last six months and may be extended.  The position offers the opportunity to support outreach and advocacy, prepare data and reports, and conduct research.