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Call for Articles: Just Resolutions - ABA e-newsletter

By Shannon Lynn Burton, Ph.D., University Ombudsperson, Michigan State University

Dear Ombuds Colleagues,

I am writing to solicit articles for the September 2022 Just Resolutions e-newsletter.  This edition centers on the work of ombuds and it would be wonderful if we had a number of individuals interested in writing!

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Hear From the President & Executive Director

By IOA


Watch the first half of the latest 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. Stay tuned for Part Two, coming soon!

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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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All Things Internship Task Force: Call for Volunteers

By Roy Baroff, CO-OP® and Steven Goodstein

The IOA Board of Directors recently approved a plan to create an All Things Internship Task Force (ATI-TF) to explore all things related to organizational ombuds internships including, among other topics, the creation of such programs, identifying existing internship programs, and collecting and developing materials for internship programs. IOA members are invited to participate in the task force.

The ATI-TF Relates Closely to Two of IOA’s Strategic Goals:

  • Goal 4 - IOA has a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and engagement. The ATI-TF would be a member-driven project that could create significant engagement opportunities, especially for new and aspiring ombuds who now make up a significant portion of IOA’s membership. Members would be supporting the creation of new opportunities for organizational ombuds work.

Roy Baroff and Steven Goldstein on behalf of the Membership Committee have volunteered to lead the development of this task force. Participants in the Task Force will ultimately select co-chairs to lead the ATI-TF, with final approval of the IOA Board of Directors. The task force will report to the IOA Board of Directors via a Task Force Board Liaison.

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Congratulations to 2022 Distinguished Emeritus Members

By IOA Nominating Committee

Each year, members are invited to nominate retired colleagues to be honored as Distinguished Emeritus members, in recognition of their outstanding and dedicated service to the organization and profession. This year, we had several such nominations for ombuds who have gone above and beyond. These esteemed members were recognized during the 17th Annual IOA Conference. Please join us in congratulating each of them:

Jenna Brown

Retired, University of Denver, Member Since: 2000

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Members Needed for New Joint IOA & CO-OP® Taskforce

By Sue Diviney, CO-OP®, IOA Board Member and Mollie Berg, CO-OP®, CO-OP® President

We are pleased to announce the formation of a new Joint IOA & CO-OP® Task Force that will recommend a proposal to accredit organizational ombuds programs. This will clear the way to separate program accreditation from individual certification under CO-OP®.

The goal is to create a time-limited task force that brings together a variety of critical perspectives and experiences, that may ideally include (but not be limited to) many of the following:

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New IOA Standards of Practice & Code of Ethics

Updated Board-Approved Documents Now Available

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 in English. Translations to additional languages will be available later this spring.

IOA Standards of Practice
IOA Code of Ethics

The final, approved SOP and COE incorporate additional changes to the previous drafts shared with members in January 2022, based on member input provided through the recent online survey and Town Halls. A summary of the final round of changes, as well as an updated chart comparing the original SOP with the new approved SOP, is available below. 

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Introducing IOA's New Website

Begin Exploring

By the International Ombuds Association

We are delighted to announce that we have launched a new IOA website. You are invited to visit our new and improved site at www.ombudsassociation.org.

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IOA Board Elections Results 2022

Meet Our Newest Board Members

By IOA

Thank you to everyone who voted!

Thank you to the 107 IOA members who participated in this year's IOA Board Election. There were nine director positions open on the Board and a slate of ten eligible candidates was presented to members. 

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Message from the Executive Director

By Ellen Miller, IOA Executive Director

Greetings IOA Members & Supporters,

Thank you for the very warm welcome and the many kind messages I have received. I am now well into my third week at IOA, learning about the organization’s many committees, task forces, and projects, and attending the March Virtual Foundations course this week. One thing is very clear: I am so impressed with the tremendous energy and engagement of our members.  

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Volunteers Needed in Anticipation of Proposed Title IX Amendments

Call to Action

By Ellen Miller, IOA Executive Director

Calling All US Academic Ombuds

We need your help. The US Department of Education has finalized its proposed amendments to Title IX and we expect a Notice of Proposed Rule Making to be issued in the next 60–90 days. According to an abstract previewing the amendments, the following changes may be included to align Title IX with Biden-Harris Administration priorities: 

  • Designation of coordinator
  • Dissemination of policy
  • Adoption of grievance procedures
  • Definitions
  • Recipient’s response to sexual harassment
  • Grievance process for formal complaints of sexual harassment

You may recall that in March 2021, President Biden directed the Department of Education to review changes made to Title IX during the Trump administration that prompted a week of exploratory hearings last summer. IOA participated by submitting comments that encouraged the retention of two amendments to preserve the effectiveness of organizational ombuds on college campuses.

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1 Comments

Experience on Display

Submissions Are Due 14 March 2022 

By Teresa Ralicki, Ombuds, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, Founder, Ombuds Institute

Wow – I can’t believe how close we are to the next IOA Annual Conference. I also can’t believe this will be our third year being together virtually. It occurs to me just how much I rely on this conference to connect with other ombuds. To fill up my cup for the year with energy, with connection, with creativity. I am eagerly awaiting seeing you all!  

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International Association on Workplace Bullying and Harassment Conference

Call for Papers & Presentations

By Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

13th International Association on Workplace Bullying and Harassment Conference

San Diego, California, USA | 20–24 September 2022

Conference Theme: Re-imagining Ways to Research and Address Workplace Bullying and Harassment Across the Globe

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A New Name, A New Logo, A New IOA Brand

What's Changing & How Will It Affect You?

In 2018, IOA began our journey to redefine the way we communicate about our association and about the organizational ombuds profession as a whole. Today, we are proud to announce and share the results of this effort.

Along with formally changing our organization's name to the “International Ombuds Association,”  we are releasing a new logo, revised color palette, and a refined branding style guide. This new branding helps us celebrate the growth and evolution of our organization and our profession. It reflects a modern interpretation of our core values and traditions while incorporating elements of our 2021-2024 Strategic Direction.

Thank You for Your Input

During this process, member input has driven the overall direction and design of this new modern look. Your responses to the member-driven 2020 Branding Survey, your comments and input on the revisions to IOA's Bylaws & Articles of Incorporation, as well as your feedback on the 2021 logo design concepts have helped IOA leadership to better understand what you think IOA's brand should convey and what imagery resonates most with you. 

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2022 President's Message to IOA Members

President, Melanie Jagneaux

By Melanie Jagneaux, JD, MBA, CO-OP®, IOA President

IOA begins the new year strong. Steadily growing over the past two years, IOA has surpassed its 1,000 member milestone! Even as the impacts of the COVID pandemic continued, we ended 2021 in a prosperous financial position, closing the year with an approximate net surplus of more than $35,000.

We, the members of IOA, accomplished a great deal in 2021! I think it is important to pause and celebrate our successes because our efforts in 2021 will bring even more value to our membership and the ombuds profession in the years to come. If you volunteered your time and talent on an IOA Committee or Task Force, IOA has greatly benefited from your investment. If you provided valuable feedback on proposals in surveys, you helped IOA leaders make better decisions. If you shared viewpoints in town halls or member meetings you contributed to our collaborative culture. We stayed well focused on our goals, engaged openly, collaborated well, met challenges with confidence and persistence, and made important changes to ready the organization for the future.

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IOA Announces Our New Executive Director

Join Us in Welcoming Ellen Miller

By Melanie Jagneaux, JD, MBA, CO-OP®, IOA President

We are pleased to announce that after a thorough and competitive search process, the IOA Board of Directors has selected a new executive director for IOA.

Ellen MillerEllen Miller will be joining us as our next executive director in mid-February. Ellen comes to us with prior experience as an executive director (most recently serving as the Executive Director of the California Lawyers Foundation) and extensive experience in organizational management, program and service implementation, advocacy, stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, and organizational positioning. Ellen has deep roots in the dispute resolution field and is a trained mediator and facilitator herself. Her collaborative leadership style is already evident as she has begun meeting with IOA leadership to get to know the organization and hit the ground running in February. 

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2 Comments

Progress on Revising IOA's Standards of Practice & Code of Ethics Revisions

What Is Changing & Why Is It Important?

By IOA SOP & COE Working Group

In the Fall of 2020, the IOA Board of Directors presented revised drafts of the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics to the IOA membership for feedback (more information is available on The Independent Voice). We received many comments via our survey questionnaire, during listening sessions, and in individual communications. The majority of the comments supported the proposed changes, but there were a number of members who offered valuable constructive criticism and specific suggestions.

Next, the Board convened a working group to methodically review and evaluate the comments and suggestions from members. That group met weekly and conducted a section-by-section, paragraph-by-paragraph review of the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, incorporating many of the suggested edits. The working group exercised its best judgment to reconcile many conflicting member suggestions.

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2021 IOA Member Updates

By IOA

We would like to thank IOA's  1,000+ members for participating in our organization in 2021. Members' support and investment in the association help us continue striving toward our mission to advance the organizational ombuds profession worldwide.

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A Farewell Message from Chuck Howard

IOA's first Executive Director sums up his time with the organization.

Dear IOA Members & Supporters,

Soon after the first of the year, IOA will have a new Executive Director. But before I step away from this role, I want to let all of you know that I have very much appreciated the opportunity to work with IOA and IOA members for the past almost two and a half years. I also want to thank the IOA Board of Directors for their bold leadership in creating this position in the first place and for making it a full-time position going forward. Given the global challenges of the past couple of years and the need to adapt and re-envision everything, including our training programs and conferences, I believe this commitment represents the best in great organizational leadership.

As many of you know, I have long encouraged IOA to take a more active role in the world outside of IOA to support its members, to help create new programs, and to demonstrate the value of organizational ombuds programs for both people and organizations. During my tenure as the Executive Director, I have sought to prove that this mission is a worthy investment. I have endeavored to be just such a champion for IOA and the valuable role of an organizational ombuds through my speaking engagements and writings. I have been available to help IOA members with issues of concern in their own programs, and I have been willing to engage anytime and anywhere with organizations that are considering the possible creation of organizational ombuds programs and explain the key elements necessary for an effective program.

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Announcing Chuck Howard's New Book

A Practical Guide to Organizational Ombuds: How They Help People and Organizations

Chuck Howard

The wait is over! After more than a year of research and with the participation of many IOA members, Chuck Howard’s new book, A Practical Guide to Organizational Ombuds: How They Help People and Organizations, is going on sale this month.

It is the second book by IOA’s executive director and follows his seminal work, The Organizational Ombudsman: Origins, Roles and Operations - A Legal Guidepublished in 2011, which has since become an essential resource for ombuds, dispute resolution professionals, in-house counsel, corporate executives, university administrators, compliance officers, and human resources personnel.

Where his first book provided a history of the evolution of the role of an organizational ombuds and explained the function, Chuck’s new release is a practical guide for anyone with questions about what ombuds programs are and how they operate.

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