Resources to Protect the Ombuds Profession

Guides, Tools, Articles, and More

Below are key resources to help address real or potential challenges to an organizational ombuds’ ability to work to the highest possible professional standards. 

U.S. Title IX & Clery Act Reporting

Title IX Resources
A set of resources for ombuds to address Title IX-related matters compiled by IOA's Title IX Committee.

Campus Ombuds as Confidential Resource for Purposes of Title IX and Clery Act Reporting, aka “The Wilmer Hale Memo”
Summary: The IOA Title IX Task Force sought approval from the IOA Board to identify a highly regarded, nationally renowned law firm, Wilmer Hale, with attorneys known for their deep and broad practice in higher education, to review and author a memorandum regarding the role that a confidential ombuds plays on a campus.

Know Your IX (

Ombuds Value in General

A Reappraisal - The Nature and Value of Ombudsmen in Federal Agencies
Issued by Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), 2016

Prepared to be Valuable: Positioning Ombuds Programs
Journal of the International Ombudsman Association, 2014
By Andrea Schenck & John W. Zinsser
Abstract excerpt: Organizational Ombuds and host organizations wish to account for the value Ombuds programs’ presence and activities generate. This long-standing interest promulgated qualitative (usefulness) and quantitative (return on investment) efforts. Despite this debate, few have enacted the leading practice to fully measure and properly communicate their programs’ contributions and value. The authors’ core thesis asserts an expanded paradigm will allow programs, host organizations, and the public to better understand how the contributions programs make can be acknowledged and recognized as value additions. Optimally, these new patterns will stimulate higher usage rates, promote existent programs’ sustainability, and increase the introduction of new programs.

Ombuds Value in the #MeToo Era

Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Issued by The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), 2018

To Avoid Harassment Crisis, Try an Ombudsman
Chief Executive
By Talley Parker
Summary: Pfizer ombudsman Timothy Shore is interviewed for a podcast about the ways in which ombuds can help address the prevalence of workplace harassment. This article summarizes his remarks.

Organizational Ombuds: History, Expansion and Cultural Impacts
12 October 2021
Action Collaborative’s Public Summit on Preventing Sexual Harassment

Ombuds Privilege

In Aftermath of the Carman Decision, Ombuds ‘Privilege’ Still Has Validity
ETHIKOS (May/June 1999)
By Charles L. Howard & George R. Wratney

The Ombuds Confidentiality Privilege Theory & Mechanics
The Ombudsman Association (TOA), 1996
By Charles L. Howard & Maria A. Gullumi

What to Do When the Subpoena Is Served?
The Ombudsman Association (TOA), 2000
By Charles L. Howard

The IOA is committed to providing relevant information on the organizational ombuds profession and related topics. Explore available resources in the Resources menu tab. Some resources are available to members only, as a benefit of membership. Learn more about joining IOA.

If you are aware of additional relevant resources that are available in the public domain or by permission, please contact the IOA at [email protected] about adding those resources to this collection and/or the IOA Clearinghouse.