Tom A. Kosakowski's Blog (135)

Financial Regulatory Reform Will Create New Federal ADR Programs

The sweeping reform legislation signed into law by President Obama on July 21 will establish three new federal alternative dispute resolution programs for financial issues. These new programs are designated by the legislation as Ombudsman Offices -- one for Securities and Exchange Commission concerns and two programs within the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (An early version of the legislation also included an Ombuds program for the Public Company Accounting Oversight… Continue

Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on July 26, 2010 at 5:00am — No Comments

Recap of 2010 Midwest Meeting of University & College Ombuds

Tim Griffin reports that 24 Ombuds from 18 different colleges and universities convened on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois on July 12. The annual meeting was preceded by a workshop for 13 new Ombuds -- a new attendance record for this event.

Topics for plenary discussion, established by those in attendance, included bullying, mobbing, confidentiality of third party information, neutrality, appropriate advocacy, responding to institutional…

Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on July 22, 2010 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Growing Business for Workplace Chaplains

Earlier this week, the NBC Nightly News profiled a service more employers are adopting to care for their employees: office chaplains. "Finding someone to listen – really listen – to your personal concerns is not what most offices are known for but some folks are trying to change that, with chaplains at work." (NBC Nightly News.)…


Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on July 21, 2010 at 6:03pm — No Comments

United States Ombudsman Association to Hold Annual Meeting in Ohio

The professional association for Classical Ombuds (those ADR professionals that hew closest to the Ombudsman model started 200 years ago in Sweden), will hold its annual meeting in Dayton, Ohio, October 6-8, 2010. The theme, "Soaring to New Heights: Innovations in Ombudsmanship," emphasizes recent developments in the field. …


Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on July 14, 2010 at 11:00am — No Comments

Organizational Ombuds Field Continued Signs of Growth in First Half of 2010

In the first six months of the year, 20 entities announced the creation of new ombuds programs, either by the appointment of the first ombudsperson or the opening of a search. These new programs reflect the growing acceptance of institutional ADR programs.


Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on June 29, 2010 at 6:00am — No Comments

Current Ombuds Job Postings

Several organizations are hiring ombuds. Currently open searched include:


Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on June 28, 2010 at 2:34pm — No Comments

Ombuds, Not Mediators or Arbitrators, are the Best Solution for Workplace Bullies

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education caused some consternation among Organizational Ombuds, especially those on college campuses. The piece acknowledged a problem Ombuds know well: "College faculty members who are bullied or abused by coworkers often feel they must either suffer through it or quit." Indeed, the annual conference of the American Association of University Professors featured three sessions devoted to the problem of faculty bullying. What piqued Ombuds was the… Continue

Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on June 18, 2010 at 1:25pm — 1 Comment

University of Texas Report Provides a Template for Creating an Organizational Ombuds Program

For the past couple of years, employees at UT Austin have been agitating for an ombudsperson for staff issues. The campus has long had ombuds offices for its 50,000 students and 2,900 faculty, but the workforce of 21,000 have never had a dedicated resource for confidential, neutral and informal conflict resolution.

That appears to be changing. Earlier this year, UT President Bill Powers asked the Staff Council to review the subject and make a recommendation. Last week,…

Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on May 25, 2010 at 12:30pm — No Comments

First Report About Standard & Poor's New Ombuds Program Raises Questions About Usage

In January 2009, the financial services and publishing giant, announced the creation of ombuds office to address concerns about transparency and potential conflicts of interest in the rating process as well as analytical and governance processes. The move was promised by S&P's President Deven Sharma in her testimony to Congress when the company found itself accused of ethical lapses that contributed to the current credit market crisis. The decision by S&P also reflected a trend in the… Continue

Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on April 30, 2010 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Financial Reform Legislation Presents Opportunity for Ombuds

As the U.S. Senate grapples with legislation that would overhaul financial regulation, two proposed ombuds programs could become an issue for lawmakers. The recently approved House bill would create ombuds programs for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). As currently drafted, the Senate bill does not.

In December, the House of Representatives passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (HR… Continue

Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on April 26, 2010 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Who's Hiring Ombuds? (April 2010 Edition)

There has been an uptick in openings for Organizational Ombuds. Job postings from the past 30 days include:


Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on April 20, 2010 at 5:30am — No Comments

Recent University Ombuds Hires Reflect Diversity of Experience

Over the past 30 days, North American universities have hired seven new Organizational Ombudsmen. A survey reveals a wide range of backgrounds. This richness exemplifies the field: Ombuds are expected to be conversant in a wide range of issues. Here's a summary of the appointments and the prior position of the new Ombuds.


Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on April 19, 2010 at 1:30pm — No Comments

DC Area Ombuds Group Meets April 20

Ombuds in the Washington, DC area meet monthly and will gather next at the Red Cross on April 20. The group is open to all types of Ombuds and others interested in the field. (Ombuds Blog.)

Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on April 14, 2010 at 6:29pm — No Comments

Forum of Canadian Ombuds Will Offer Training in September

The FCO Institute will offer its first course on Ombuds fundamentals on September 20 and 21, 2010, at the Macdonald Block in Toronto. The training is designed for new and intermediate-level Classical Ombuds staff and complaint-handlers. The cost for non-members is $500 CDN and includes lunches and a reception. (Ombuds Blog.)

Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on April 14, 2010 at 6:27pm — No Comments

Introduction to the Ombuds Blog

I began publishing the Ombuds Blog in November 2006, shortly after began working as an ombudsperson for UCLA. I had previously worked as an attorney, handling attorney discipline and legal malpractice cases, and I was familiar with rich array of resources for attorneys. I quickly realized, on the other hand, that the organizational ombuds field was still evolving into a profession. Although the field had developed significantly in just a… Continue

Added by Tom A. Kosakowski on April 12, 2010 at 1:30pm — 2 Comments

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