Filtered by tag: Higher-Education Remove Filter

Free Speech on Campus: What Colleges and Universities Can Do

By Kenneth Cloke,

As I write, it is now the year of the 60th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement (FSM) at U.C. Berkeley, in which I was an active participant (I am at the far right in the photo.)  It is also a time when free speech issues are again triggering campus conflicts, largely because of intense polarization over fighting in Gaza, and the mutually antagonistic activities of student supporters of Israel or Palestine.

Starting in the 1980’s, I began working as a mediator, conflict resolver, and dialogue facilitator, helping thousands of people and hundreds of organizations with vastly differing opinions, many mired in hatred and enmity, discover that they could somehow, unexpectedly, talk to each other, engage in open, honest, constructive dialogue, improve their understanding, and solve common problems.

Read More

50 Possible Questions to Open Israeli-Palestinian Dialogues

By Kenneth Cloke,

Many political conflicts are taking place on campuses and in communities today over the war in Gaza between Israeli and Palestinian supporters.  Here are a few possible opening questions mediators and dialogue facilitators can use to encourage colleges and universities, groups, communities, and people on both sides or in-between to engage in facilitated dialogue and mediated problem solving.  They are suggestive, are likely to work best in small groups, and are only the beginning of a longer term process of discovering how to talk and learn from each other.  For additional questions and techniques, see my chapter on “the art of asking questions” in The Magic in Mediation.  There are thousands of potentially useful questions - please add a few of your own. 

Questions about the Process

Read More
1 Comments

Fall 2023 Advocacy Update

From Ellen Miller, Executive Director, and Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs Sarah Klaper and Mark Patterson 

More good news for higher ed ombuds based in the U.S. 

IOA was proud to sponsor the Clery Center’s 2023 September Summit, where we had the opportunity to introduce Jim Moore from the U.S. Department of Education and do a speed presentation on the role of ombuds prior to his session. Sarah Klaper “pulled back the curtain” to explain how ombuds handle Title IX and Clery issues, while Ellen Miller covered the basics of what OOs do and don’t do. Here is a link to the short slide deck we prepared.  

Read More

UM Awards Ombuds Who Fought to Protect Employees’ Confidentiality After UM Emails Series

By Ashton Pittman, Mississippi Free Press (reposted with permission)

Headshot of Paul Caffera in a suit

The University of Mississippi awarded Ombudsman Paul Caffera as one of 12 “outstanding staff members” at its May 30, 2023, Staff Appreciation Week Awards Ceremony. He fought the university in a lawsuit between 2020 and 2022 as he sought to maintain the confidentiality of employees who had sought his office’s services. Photo courtesy Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Read More

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? 




Read More

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.

Read More

Department of Education Clery Act Updates

Help IOA Track Campus Security Authorities Audits

By Jessica Kuchta-Miller, IOA Government & Policy Committee Co-Chair & Ellen Miller, IOA Executive Director

Calling all Higher-Education Ombuds,

We are writing to see if you are aware of any federal Department of Education audits of your institution or other colleges or universities in which the Department or its consultants are asserting that ombuds should be considered Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) under the Clery Act and regulations.

Read More