November 29, 2007

IOA Training in Las Vegas

The International Ombudsman Association will offer training sessions for new and experienced ombuds at the The Imperial Palace Hotel in Las Vegas, March 3-7, 2008. This will be the closest training opportunity in the foreseeable future. "Ombudsman 101" will be offered March 3-5 and is designed for new ombuds or those seeking information about the organizational ombuds role. ("Ombudsman 101 Plus" will not be offered.) On March 6 and 7, there will be specialized courses in "Conflict Management Across Cultures" and "Coaching Strategies for Ombudsmen." (IOA Training Info.)

October 24, 2007

Fires Shutter Ombuds Offices

The fires raging across Southern California have closed ombuds offices at several institutions: UC San Diego, San Diego State University, and California State University San Bernardino, and San Diego Unified School District. Most campuses are expected to be closed through the end of the week. (Chronicle of Higher Ed.; LA Times.)

Collectively, these offices employ ten ombuds and staff. Certainly many were evacuated from their homes, and our thoughts and hopes go out to them.

October 11, 2007

New Interim Ombuds at UC Riverside

The University of California, Riverside has appointed Indu Sen as Interim Campus Ombuds. Sen graduated from UCR in 1997 and then earned a JD from the University of San Diego Law School in 2001. Sen is a LLM candidate at Pepperdine University School of Law's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Most recently, she worked in the ombuds office at UC Irvine.

October 10, 2007

New Ombuds at UCSB

The Ombuds Office at the University of California, Santa Barbara has hired Kirsi Aulin as an Associate Ombuds. Aulin earned a B.A. in French Literature from Bryn Mawr College and an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from California State University at Northridge. She is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Most recently, Aulin worked with UCSB students at Student Health Service. (Thanks, Priscilla.)

Related Job Posting: UC Santa Barbara.

Santa Rosa JC to Create Ombuds in Response to Grand Jury Report

In August, Santa Rosa Junior College's Board of Trustees agreed to "consider the grand jury report recommendation on the employment of an ombudsman." (Board Agenda, see p. 7, Agenda Item 9.) This week, the college began accepting applications for a position to support a new department, which includes an office of "Ombudsperson Services." (Santa Rosa Jobs.) Efforts to locate other information regarding the grand jury report or how the new office will be structured have been unavailing.

October 5, 2007

New Ombuds at UC Santa Barbara

The Ombuds Office at the University of California, Santa Barbara has hired Kirsi Aulin as an Associate Ombuds. Aulin earned a B.A. in French Literature from Bryn Mawr College and an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from California State University at Northridge. She is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Most recently, Aulin worked with UCSB students at Student Health Service. (Thanks, Priscilla.)

October 3, 2007

Job Posting: UC Irvine

The University of California, Irvine, is accepting applications for an associate ombudsman. The position will be part of the large UCI office providing ombuds and mediation services to the entire campus community in compliance with IOA standards. A master's degree or bachelor's with relevant experience is desired. Salary range: $58,262-76,729; no closing date. (UCI Jobs, Req No.: 2007-1285.)

October 1, 2007

Fall Caucus: Protecting the Ombudsman Confidentiality Privilege

The Fall caucus will be hosted by the Los Angeles World Airports Ombuds Office on Tuesday, October 30. Find out how your methods of communication, marketing and office procedures can make or break a challenge to your confidentiality. Lunch will feature presentations by special guests from legal departments. For more information and reservations, please contact Theresa or John at (310) 646-7621. (Thanks, John.)

New Ombuds at UCLA

The UCLA Office of Ombuds Services has announced the appointment of Tom Kosakowski as Associate Ombudsperson for the campus and Ombudsperson for the Center for Health Sciences. Previously, Tom established the ombuds office at Claremont Graduate University and was the interim director for the ombuds office at Riverside.

September 18, 2007

ICANN Ombuds Hosts Externs

Frank Fowlie, the ombuds for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is working with seven graduate students from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University. The externs will learn about the ombuds and other ICANN dispute resolution mechanisms, and assist with ICANN's Los Angeles Meeting, October 29 through November 2. (ICANN Ombudsman Blog, ICANN Los Angeles 2007.)

September 6, 2007

Pasadena Schools Considering Ombuds

Edwin Diaz, superintendent of the troubled school district in Pasadena says he will institute a number of measures to win back public trust, including the possibility of hiring of an ombudsperson to handle dispute resolutions and improve communication. (Pasadena Weekly.)

September 5, 2007

UPDATE: Fall 2007 Caucus

This message from Tina Feiger updates the status of the next meeting.

Dear Southern California Ombuds Group,

Well, John Abruscata, and Teresa Prator from LAX Ombuds office, and I and Lucy Kluckhohn Jones from the Santa Monica College Ombuds Office, had a small arm wrestle (in the best of Ombuds' traditions) and, as you may have already gathered, the LAX folks won this round to have the fall meeting! Their meeting last year was terrific and besides they provided the best Halloween candy (hint hint, not to put any pressure on them). Lucy and I would very much like to coordinate and host the Spring meeting. We'll discuss further plans at the Fall meeting. We may even contact you about dates before that meeting.

Looking forward to seeing all of you again. Hope you have had a good summer.

Tina Feiger Ed.D.
Santa Monica College Ombuds Office

July 27, 2007

UC Irvine Appoints Ombuds Office Director

The University of California, Irvine has announced the appointment of Michael Chennault as University Ombuds and Director of the Office of the Ombudsman. Chennault has been with the UCI ombuds office since 2001 and, most recently, has been serving as the interim director and coordinating the campus mediation program. Chennault will oversee an office of seven, including three associate ombuds. (Thanks, Gecole.)

July 26, 2007

Cal Caucus Annual Conference in Pacific Grove

The California Caucus of College and University Ombuds has announced the details of its 34th Annual Conference at the Asilomar Conference Center on the Monterey Penninsula, November 11-14. The theme of the conference is "Ombudsing in an Age of Anxiety: Connecting Face to Face." In addition to the popular social events, the program will include sessions on:

  • Bullying in the Workplace
  • What Would You Do?
  • How I Made a Difference in an Anxious Case
  • What Causes Anxiety?
  • Communication in an Ombuds World
  • Group Facilitation
  • Intervening with Suicidal Ideation
  • Electronic Media & the Role of the Ombuds
The cost for the event, including three nights lodging, is just $450 (double occupancy) if you register by August 31. Contact Lewis Redding, the JPL Ombuds, for more details (lewis[dot]a[dot]redding[at-sign]jpl[dot]nasa[dot]gov).

Don't let the name put you off. The conference is well attended by people who are from outside California, who do not work in higher education, and who are not ombuds.

July 17, 2007

Cal State San Bernardino Appoints Ombuds

After a six-month search, the California State University at San Bernardino has appointed Tera Bisbee as its new ombuds. Bisbee earned a bachelor's in psychology from Sonoma State University, a master's degree in education from UC Santa Barbara and another master's degree in counseling psychology from Argosy University. Previously, she was the director of human resources at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo. (CSUSB News; Press Enterprise.)

July 16, 2007

Fall 2007 Caucus at Santa Monica College

Tina Feiger and Lucy Kluckhohn Jones, the Student Ombuds at Santa Monica College will co-organize the next meeting of the Southern California Ombuds Group. The caucus will take place Friday, October 19, from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm at a location to be determined. Details are being finalized. Contact Tina Feiger (Feiger[underscore]Tina[at-sign]smc[dot]edu) if you can't wait for information.

July 10, 2007

Job Posting: UC Santa Barbara

The Office of the Ombuds at the University of California, Santa Barbara is looking for an Associate Ombuds. The position is 80 to 100% FTE, with benefits, and pays $57,700-$64,324 per year at the 100% FTE rate. Applications are due by July 25. (UCSB HR, reference job ID #20070361, or 805-893-3166.)

July 9, 2007

Bill to Regulate "Diploma Mills" Would Create Classical Ombuds

The California State Assembly considered a bill (SB 823) to re-establish regulations on private for-profit postsecondary schools including so-called “diploma mills,” that serve an estimated 400,000 students. The bill, called the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2007, was introduced because a previous regulatory act had lapsed, leaving the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education (BPPVE). Along with re-establishing the BPPVE, the bill establishes the position of ombudsperson to act as an intermediary between students and schools. In addition, the ombudsperson would review and comment on proposed legislation and bureau reports, and make recommendations for an independent monitor. (California Progress Report; Text of SB 823.)

June 14, 2007

What to Bring

Please bring materials to share with the group (about 25), such as:
  • Business Cards
  • Brochures
  • Marketing Materials
  • Visitor Handouts
  • Charters / Terms of Reference

Tentative Agenda

08:30 - Arrival and Refreshments
09:00 - Welcome and Introductions
10:00 - Roundtable Discussion
12:00 - Lunch
01:00 - Roundtable Discussion (continued)
02:00 - Legislative Update
03:00 - Planning for Future Caucus
03:30 - Conclusion

Final RSVPs

We are now expecting about 23 attendees, including ombuds from:
  • Los Angeles World Airports
  • LA County Dept of Water & Power
  • Kaiser Permanente

May 31, 2007

Map to June Caucus

The meeting will take place in the McAlister Center, adjacent to the Claremont Graduate University, at 919 N. N. Columbia Ave., Claremont, CA 91711. (Mapquest Link.)

More RSVPs

So far, 19 people have said they attend. We will be joined by ombuds from:
  • Pacific West Association of Realtors
  • Los Angeles Police Department
  • UCLA
  • UC Santa Barbara
Please let me know if you will attend no later than Monday, June 4. Also, please let me know if you have suggested topics for the agenda. Thanks.

May 21, 2007

Early RSVPs for June Caucus

With the next caucus of Southern California Ombuds just a month away, the following organizations have said they will send ombuds:
  • Cal State Long Beach
  • Santa Monica College
  • UC San Diego
  • UC Irvine
  • UC Irvine Medical Center
  • UC Riverside
  • Jet Propulsion Lab
  • Cal Tech
  • Cal Poly Pomona
Those on the fence have until June 1 to RSVP.

May 11, 2007

Caucus Set for June 21

The next meeting of Southern California Ombuds will take place on Thursday, June 21, 2006, in Claremont, CA. Regional ombuds will discuss topical issues and catch up with colleagues in the day long meeting. Parking and lunch will be provided. Please contact Tom Kosakowski by June 1 for further information.

May 4, 2007

Help Select the Meeting Date

Use the interactive poll to the right to help select the date for our summer meeting. Based on the survey results, the date will be set within the next week or so. Thanks.

May 2, 2007

CGU to Host Summer 2007 Caucus

The Ombuds Office at Claremont Graduate University will host the next meeting of Southern California ombuds in late June 2007. Practicing ombuds from all sectors are invited to attend. Dates and times are being considered. Email Tom Kosakowski (ombuds [at-sign]cgu[dot]edu) for more information.