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JIOA Call for Guest Editors

By Shannon Burton, PhD

Editor of the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association (JIOA)
University Ombudsperson - Michigan State University

With the publication of Part I of the Journal for the International Ombudsman Association’s (JIOA) Special Issue on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination, the JIOA is looking at the potential for future special issues.  As part of this initiative, we are placing a call for guest editors.

Themes for which the JIOA is searching for guest editors:

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The JIOA Special Issue on Sexual Harassment & Discrimination (Part 1) Has Been Published!

By Shereen Bingham
Professor Emeritus and former Ombuds, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Have you ever observed an individual enter an Ombuds office–perhaps your own–exuding feelings such as uncertainty, anxiety, fear, or despair? And then watched them take leave of that office some 90 minutes later radiating a degree of comfort, hope, or resolve? I have. Countless Ombuds colleagues have described similar experiences with visitors. But how does it happen? What exactly does Ombuds work entail?

Contrary to what our T-shirts may claim, we all know Ombuds are not really superheroes with supernatural powers. But Ombuds do have an air of mystery about them. How could it be otherwise?  The IOA Standards of Practice guide Ombuds to operate confidentially, independently, and off-the-record. Details of Ombuds’ methods and interactions are inherently private and hidden from view. 

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Updates from the JIOA

By Shannon Burton
JIOA Editor

Dear IOA Colleagues,

The Journal of the International Ombudsman Association (JIOA) has been busy these past few months!  Please visit our website if you have not done so recently.  There are new articles and book reviews posted.  These include:

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JIOA Seeks New Peer Reviewers

By Shannon Burton
University Ombudsperson, Michigan State University
JIOA Editor

Do you have broad interest in ombuds work?

Do you want to help the profession advance intellectually and pragmatically?

If so, then please consider applying to serve as a Peer Reviewer for the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association (JIOA). The Journal of the International Ombudsman Association (JIOA) is a peer-reviewed online journal for scholarly articles and information relevant to the ombuds profession. As members of a relatively new profession, we continually strive to understand, define, and clarify the role and function of the professional organizational ombuds. Serving as a Peer Reviewer for the JIOA is a great way to learn more about academic writing and research and gain new insights into the field as well.

Position Description: 

The journal’s reviewers use their expertise to comment and provide feedback on manuscripts submitted to the JIOA. Reviewers conduct blind reviews and are expected to complete them within eight weeks. As part of the review process, reviewers will recommend the manuscripts are accepted with no revisions, accepted with revisions (minor or major), or rejected.

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An Update from JIOA

By Shannon Lynn Burton, Ph.D., University Ombudsperson, Michigan State University
Editor, Journal of the International Ombudsman Association

Dear Colleagues,

A lot has been happening with the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association (JIOA) this month! If you have not visited our page lately, please do so soon. There have been three new articles posted in the past two weeks. These are:

  1. “The Faculty Ombudsperson: Maintaining Civility and Academic Freedom in Higher Education” by Clara Wajngurt;
  2. “Abrasive Conduct in Higher Education and the Ombuds Role” by Hector Escalante; and
  3. “Ombuds Interventions in Encouraging Covenantal Research Collaborations: I am with You Always, Now and Beyond the End of Our Study” by Nancy Day, Mary Sue Love, and Gregory K. Stephens.

The JIOA also has some new books available for review.  If you are interested in reviewing one of the following books, please e-mail us at [email protected]. The current available books for review are:

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Call for Papers: JIOA Special Issue on Sexual Harassment

By Shannon Lynn Burton, Ph.D., University Ombuds, Michigan State University
Editor, Journal of the International Ombudsman Association

Dear Colleagues and Friends of the JIOA,

The Journal of the International Ombudsman Association (JIOA) is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for a special edition on Responses of the Organizational Ombuds to Sexual Harassment. The papers in this edition will focus on organizational ombuds’ most significant and challenging experiences in responding to and assisting with sexual harassment concerns. Additional details on the call for papers is attached. Dr. Shereen Bingham will be serving as Guest Editor for this issue.  Please direct questions about the special issue to Dr. Bingham whose contact information can be found in the Call for Papers.

Best Wishes,

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An Invitation from the JIOA

By Shannon Lynn Burton, Ph.D., University Ombudsperson, Michigan State University
Editor, Journal for the International Ombudsman Association

Dear Colleagues and Friends of the JIOA,

We are pleased to announce a new initiative with the Journal for the International Ombudsman Association around book and media reviews! 

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Publish in the Journal of the IOA!

by Shannon Lynn Burton, Ph.D.
University Ombudsperson, Michigan State University
Editor, Journal of the IOA

As ombuds, we all practice some level of reflection in our work, and as humans, we naturally seek to share our experiences with others. Why not join your colleagues in an exploration of ideas, practices and new theories by publishing in the Journal of the IOA? Writing about your experiences can be a way to examine your practice, deepen your philosophies, and reflect on the impact of your work on your organization - and your publication can help enhance both your own individual professional standing while it legitimizes the field as a whole. Writing is also a way to process particularly big or challenging emotions, so writing about that difficult case can also be a way for you to figure out how to move forward. The JIOA is soliciting all articles - academic as well as practiced or application oriented - and members of our Editorial Board are happy to discuss your ideas and help you along the road to publication. If you've recently given a presentation or training, you may also want to consider developing that work into an article so it can benefit not just your immediate audience, but a larger audience as well. We hope that you will consider writing an article for submission and encourage you to reach out if you are interested. You can email the Editorial Board at: [email protected].


A Meatball by Any Other Name

A Meatball by Any Other Name

After considerable debate, the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) chose to use the word ‘ombudsman’ in its name when it was formed in 2005. This word has Old Norse origins and was used by King Charles XII when he formed the first Ombudsman office for his government in Sweden in 1713. King Charles’ model for the ombudsman office was inspired by the Mohtasib, a similar position that existed in the Ottoman Empire. The organizational ombudsman profession originated in the 1960’s in America, and even though this new role departed in several significant ways from King Charles’ vision, the title ‘ombudsman’ was still widely adopted by organizational ombuds offices. There have been concerns raised along the way that the ‘man’ suffix of the word is unnecessary and gendered. Recent cultural movements, such as #MeToo, have brought increased attention to issues related to gender inequity within our culture and institutions, and many offices and organizations have already elected to use alternative titles for their offices such as ‘ombuds’ or ‘ombudsperson’, to make the title gender neutral.

In “A Meatball by Any Other Name” author David Rasch suggests that now is a good time for the IOA to drop the ‘man’ and use a non-gendered term like ‘ombuds’ in our title that better suits our current moment in history.

Read this joint publication by the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association and Journal of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds here now.

The Research Agenda for the Organizational Ombuds Profession: A Living Document

Based on a directive from the IOA Board of Directors, the IOA Research Agenda Subcommittee, Shereen G. Bingham, Tyler S. Smith, Shannon L. Burton, and Danita Elkerson, have created a research agenda for the ombuds field.JIOA Article - Research Agenda

The agenda is intended to serve as a guide for future initiatives within the IOA related to research, outline the research priorities of the IOA for outside entities, and establish research as a fundamental value to the field of ombuds work.

This article published in the JIOA establishes the importance of the research agenda for the IOA, explains the methodology used to create it, explores areas of inquiry underpinning each of the eight research goals, and discusses implications for the advancement of research on organizational ombuds.

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