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.  

We were thrilled to later hear Jim Moore’s thoughts about Organizational Ombuds and the importance of the functional analysis:   

Quote from Jim Moore at the 2023 Clery Summit

 In addition, IOA just released a statement in support of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education’s efforts to effect systemic culture change on campuses nationwide. The Action Collaborative is convened in the spirit of collaboration to develop new practices, share strategies and resources, advance research, and motivate real action to address and prevent sexual harassment across higher education. Thanks to Jessica Kuchta-Miller at Duke and Dawn Osborne-Adams at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for being our representatives to the Action Collaborative. IOA’s sponsorship and involvement was instrumental in Organizational Ombuds being called out as a solution in NASEM’s 2018 report and again in 2022 at a special White House Convened Summit.  

This rounds out the work IOA did earlier this year with the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), illuminating the role of ombuds and how we effectively work with former channels including general counsel. We plan to host a session with NACUA in 2024 for IOA to help Ombuds better understand the role of general counsel in higher ed settings, so you can be effective in your interactions with general counsel.  

Last but certainly not least, IOA’s Advocacy Committee continues to work on “small A” advocacy projects intended to help ombuds advocate for their role, regardless of sector. To learn more or get involved, check out this blog post.  

For more information, please contact Ellen Miller.   

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