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IOA Advocacy Update

By Ellen Miller, IOA Executive Director 

For the past several months, IOA and our Advocacy Committee have been very busy. 

Following the filing of IOA's Title IX Comments last September, Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs Sarah Klaper and Mark Patterson, and I met with 10+ Congressional offices, including staff of the US Senate's Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and the US House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce.  These meetings successfully raised awareness about the role of organizational ombuds and why ombuds should be considered confidential employees regarding Title IX and campus security.  The meetings were well-received and illuminating.    

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IOA Committee Updates November 2022

By IOA

At each IOA Board of Directors Meeting, our Committees & Task Forces submit a report about the progress they are making on their latest projects. Each group has been hard at work supporting our members and helping to advance the organizational ombuds profession. Please take a moment to read the latest updates from the last couple of Board Meetings.


Member Engagement Committee, November 2022

Our membership continues to grow and opportunities for members are growing as well. We are excited about the 2023 IOA Conference and are working to recognize our dedicated members in person at the volunteer recognition lunch as well as the Mentoring Program. We are committed to creating meaningful DEIB goals and action plans and will complete them by the end of the year. Currently, we are seeking new members to the Member Engagement Committee and if you are interested, or know someone who might be, please let us know!

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Call for Authors for IOA’s First Book

By Dr. Shannon Lynn Burton and Dr. Loraleigh Keashly

We are currently seeking authors for select chapters for the upcoming book: "The Organizational Ombuds: Foundations, Fundamentals & its Future."

Organizational ombuds first appeared in North America in the 1960s as an offshoot of classical ombuds practices rooted in Northern Europe. While there have been many publications that address organizational ombuds practice in the form of articles and journals (Journal for the International Ombudsman Association & The Journal of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds), as well as publications that serve as legal guides to practice (Howard, 2010 & 2022), there has yet to be a comprehensive handbook that addresses the interdisciplinary and nuanced history, theory and practices found within the field.

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IOA Launches Book Publishing Program

By Ellen Miller

The International Ombuds Association is pleased to announce the launch of our Book Publishing Program to support the ombuds field. Our first book, The Organizational Ombuds: Foundations, Fundamentals & its Future, is a handbook edited by Dr. Shannon Lynn Burton and Dr. Loraleigh Keashly and will be published in time for IOA’s 2024 Annual Conference. We are currently seeking authors for several chapters. 

Book Publishing Project

Are You an Outsourced Ombuds? Probably!

 

Outsourced ombuds fulfill many roles including working with organizations to help them think through the benefits and costs of establishing an ombuds office. They serve as independent, impartial, informal, and confidential resources for visitors. They also support ombuds offices to work with visitors when cases are up and staffing is down, help define the impact of an ombuds office through reimagined annual reports, and discuss difficult cases with their ombuddies.

Many ombuds serve as consultants to ombuds and ombuds offices. If this applies to you, then you’ve been an outsourced ombuds! In addition to the activities above, outsourced ombuds lend their experience and expertise in the following ways:

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Call for Papers: The Ombudsman System: New Challenges and Perspectives

 The Ombudsman Berlin University Alliance (OBUA) has published the call for papers, "The Ombudsman System: New Challenges and Perspectives." 

With this special section of Science and Public Policy, we wish to highlight the need to further engage in (meta-)research on the Ombuds system. We call for contributions on both current research and research application to the subject and aim for an international perspective.

 

Visit their website for more information.

IOA Lobbying Update

By Ellen Miller, IOA Executive Director


UPDATE: September 2022

IOA Lobbying Update - Title IX Comments and Upcoming Congressional Meetings

IOA filed comments with the US Department of Education on their proposed amendments to Title IX this week. Phase 2 of our advocacy efforts to advance Organizational Ombuds will begin next week when we start meeting with US federal lawmakers. IOA retained a D.C. lobbying firm to help inform our strategy. Our goal is to educate key members of the US House and Senate about Organizational Ombuds generally, the role you play in the campus security landscape, and why confidentiality is critical to your work.

Stay tuned for a briefing post-lobbying. Want to get involved in IOA’s Advocacy Committee? 




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5 Tips for Submitting a Successful Speaker Proposal for IOA Conference

By IOA

The Deadline to Submit for #IOA2023 Is Monday, 17 October 2022!

Female presenter speaking to a room full of conference attendees

The International Ombudsman Association warmly invites you to submit a presentation proposal or speaker suggestion for our 18th Annual Conference, Ombuds as Change Agent? ReEngaging and Transforming Conflict. Our in-person conference is scheduled for 3–5 April 2023 in Seattle, Washington, USA. 

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Join a Focus Group to Help IOA Create a Code of Conduct

By Ellen Miller, Executive Director of IOA

Updated 15 August 2022

The IOA Ombuds has provided upward feedback that our organization may benefit from the creation of a code of conduct for both members and those who participate in association activities. IOA leadership has begun the process to create such a document, but we are only in the drafting stages and need your help.

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Announcing the DEIB Framework

By the IOA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Committee 

In July 2020, in alignment with Goal 4 of IOA's Strategic Plan, "IOA has a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and engagement," the IOA Board of Directors established a DEIB Task Force. In July 2021, the Task Force broadened its focus and became IOA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Committee

The DEIB Committee has worked diligently since its inception and we are now pleased to announce a framework designed to guide the IOA toward a more inclusive organization. The framework was voted on and approved by the IOA Board of Directors on 1 June 2022.

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COFO 2022 Annual Conference: Call for Presentations

By Paul Sotoudeh, Chief Ombudsman, USPTO Office of the Ombudsman

The Coalition of Federal Ombudsman (COFO) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting proposals to present at its 2022 Annual Conference on 14 October 2022. As with the COFO Annual Conferences in 2020 and 2021, presenters may present virtually, but COFO hopes to run the conference as a hybrid, with in-person attendance in Alexandria, VA.

Therefore, we are soliciting proposals for both virtual and in-person presentations, with a possibility of a pivot to all-virtual.

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Joint IOA/CO-OP Accreditation Task Force Update - Member Input Requested

By Sue Diviney, Co-Chair, Joint IOA/CO-OP® Accreditation Task Force

In May 2022, IOA announced a Joint IOA/CO-OP® Accreditation Task Force had been formed to advance IOA’s Strategic Direction, specifically, Goal 1.4: Develop a program for accreditation of ombuds offices that are structured to comply with IOA and Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

The purpose of the Task Force is to explore the creation of an office accreditation program that will pave the way for refocusing the CO-OP® designation to certify the knowledge, skills, and experience of individuals and remove program requirements from certification. Thus, the group is charged with developing a proposal to accredit programs separately from individual certifications.

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18th Annual IOA Conference Updates

By the IOA Conference Committee & IOA Board of Directors

The IOA Conference Committee is hard at work planning the 18th Annual IOA Conference, in person in Seattle, WA, USA, 3–5 April 2023. It has been brought to our attention that the event dates run over or are adjacent to a number of major religious holidays including Ramadan, Palm Sunday, and Passover. As an organization that honors diversity and inclusivity, the Conference Committee, staff, and the Board are taking this issue seriously and considering the potential impacts on members as we begin planning the schedule for the Conference. We deeply apologize for the overlap this year and we will work to ensure that the planning allows attendees time to observe religious activities.

We have already explored whether the hotel is able to move our date; unfortunately, the hotel is unable to accommodate us. As you may know, the IOA Annual Conference has typically been held in April with the actual dates dependent upon many factors such as hotel availability and pricing. The contracts for the Annual Conference are typically signed two to three years ahead and changing those contracts is exceptionally difficult under normal circumstances. Because we had to cancel and move hotel contracts in 2020, 2021, and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had very limited options for the 2023 Conference.

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IOA Welcomes a New Ombuds

By Breanne Taylor

Breanne TaylorHello IOA! My name is Breanne Taylor and I am very excited to be serving as the next IOA Ombuds. I have been a member of IOA for almost 10 years and currently serve as the Associate Ombuds at Oregon State University. I am excited to be serving in this role for many reasons but primarily it is the opportunity to work with ombuds across many different sectors, experience levels, and locations that led me to pursue this role. To be in a position to support my fellow ombuds, as they serve their constituents and continue to grow and hone their own abilities within this field, is incredibly energizing.

I want to acknowledge Elaine Shaw, CO-OP®  for all her hard work as the inaugural IOA Ombuds and for the excellent foundation she established for the office. I am excited and eager to be part of its continued success in supporting this community as we adapt to new and perpetual changes. I also want to express my gratitude to Elaine for her warm welcome and guidance as I transition into this role.

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IOA Committee Updates July 2022

By IOA

At each IOA Board of Directors Meetings, our association's Committees submit a report about the progress they are making on their latest projects. Each Committee and Task Force has been hard at work supporting our members and helping to advance the organizational ombuds profession.  Please take a moment to read the latest updates from the last couple of Board Meetings.


Conference Committee, June 2022

Conference Committee is beginning the planning process for #IOA2023 in Seattle and would like your input. We are seeking to build upon lessons learned from our virtual experiences in 2021 and 2022 while creating a true feeling of belonging and reintegration from our long separations. If you would like to work with our team, please complete the Volunteer Interest Form with the Volunteer Coordination Committee or contact the Conference Committee co-chairs, Katie Manderson and Bina Patel.

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US Title IX June 2022 Update

By Ellen Miller, IOA Executive Director

On June 23, the US Department of Education issued proposed revisions to US Title IX. Once the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has been issued in the US Federal Register, all stakeholders will have 60 days to comment. 

Per the press release, the proposed new regulations would:

  • Clearly protect students and employees from all forms of sex discrimination.

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New IOA Standards of Practice & Code of Ethics

Updated Board-Approved Documents Now Available

By IOA

We are pleased to announce that the IOA Board of Directors approved the final, revised Standards of Practice (SOP) and Code of Ethics (COE) at its meeting on 17 March 2022. The new documents are now in effect and are available for download on the IOA website. Current SOP & COE translations include, Amharic, Chinese, French, French Canadian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Latin American Spanish, and Thai. If you would like to suggest another language to add to our translation list, please email the IOA office at [email protected].

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2022 Ombuds Day Announcement

By Ryan Smith, Ed.D., Assistant University Ombudsperson, Office of the University Ombudsperson, Michigan State University

 

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Hear From the President & Executive Director | Parts One & Two

By IOA

Watch Part One and Part Two of the 2022 Good Day IOA interview between Ronnie Thomson, IOA 2022-2023 President and Ellen M. Miller, IOA Executive Director. Learn about their roles and what's on the horizon for IOA. 



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Who Are Your Champions?

By Ellen M. Miller, IOA Executive Director

IOA Is Looking to Talk to Ombuds Allies

Many ombuds have allies who understand and promote the value and effectiveness of the ombuds office. Whether they are general counsel, Title IX or Clery coordinators, risk managers, HR or compliance professionals, CEOs, presidents, chancellors, or superintendents (just to name a few), these allies help advocate for the ombuds role within an organization.

In alignment with Goal 2 of our Strategic Plan, "Organizational leaders in key sectors understand and value the ombuds function, and IOA," we would like to gain additional insight into the perspectives of these allies and see if they can help us tell your story, especially to their peers.  Are you willing to make an introduction?  If you have a champion in your organization, please reach out to me via email at [email protected] or give me a call at +1 (619) 943-0792.

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