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 leadership transitions, the professionalization of the profession, working with
large groups and departments, employee evaluations, roles in non-traditional mediation, talking with parents, attending formal meetings and hearings as an observer, relationships with general counsel, and more. In addition, breakout sessions were offered on deciding whether or not to mediate, technology and confidentiality, the role of the Ombuds during an organizational crisis, and essential interviewing skills.
Griffin extended special thanks to volunteers who presented breakout sessions or lead case discussions: Judy Bruner, Dave Carver, Kerry Egdorf, Kathie Gilbert, Jean Griffin, Craig Mousin, and Sue Theiss. The meeting next year, which will once again be open to all, is tentatively scheduled for July 11, 2011.