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Associate Ombuds

Employer
University of Kansas
Location
Lawrence, Kansas (US)
Salary
$90,000
Date posted
May 21, 2024

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Academic Administration
Employment Level
Administrative
Employment Type
Full Time

The University of Kansas Ombuds Office seeks a full-time Associate Ombuds to join our team to promote an environment that embodies the University’s mission and values in alignment with its strategic objectives.  The ideal candidate will have at least two years full-time work as an ombuds as part of an Ombuds Office, or in an allied field, preferably in a university or college environment. Our ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of organizational, group, and individual dynamics to enhance our efforts to foster a culture of trust, respect, and belonging. This person will have demonstrated capacities to maintain confidentiality, handle sensitive information, and meaningfully contribute to the positive work relationships within the ombuds team and the people they serve.  In addition to meeting with visitors to the Ombuds office, an important aspect of this position will be designing and offering facilitations for groups in conflict. The Ombuds Office serves all students, staff, and faculty at the Lawrence and Edwards campuses.

The Associate Ombuds will contribute collaboratively to the execution of the Ombuds Office’s work based on its Charter. Alongside the University Ombuds, to whom the person in this position reports, this position acts as a neutral, independent, informal, and confidential resource for university faculty, staff, students, and administrators who are seeking assistance to resolve questions and concerns affecting their relations with peers or the institution.

The successful incumbent will serve as a co-facilitator and co-designer of informal circle or restorative practices for larger groups in various forms of conflict, or where harm has occurred within a group or community at KU. The person in this position will also contribute to the design and delivery of training sessions for KU groups on various conflict resolution and communication topics.

The KU Ombuds Office adheres to the standards of the International Ombuds Association’s four pillars of practice, confidentiality, independence, informality, and impartiality, and understand the meanings and practical applications of those. This position works as a member of the close-knit Ombuds Office team which includes the university ombuds, administrative associate, and other staff that may have a designated assignment with the Ombuds Office.

About the Ombuds Office at the University of Kansas
The Office of the University Ombuds is located organizationally in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, with the University Ombuds reporting to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor. The person in the Associate Ombuds position will report to the University Ombuds.  This position will be designated hybrid, but the person in this position is expected to be in the Lawrence office on campus a significant portion of their time each week.

The University of Kansas has had an Ombuds Office since 1977, with a full-time designated University Ombuds since 2007.

The University of Kansas’ Jayhawks Rising Strategic Plan was developed around three Institutional Priorities: creating a clear and ambitious direction to fulfill our mission to educate leaders, build healthy communities, and make discoveries that change the world. The Ombuds Office’s work supports these priorities and the individuals that make up the KU community who all contribute to these priorities.

The University of Kansas offers a competitive salary and benefits package including health insurance, a generous leave program, retirement options and tuition assistance for qualifying employees.  To review our benefit programs and perks visit KU's New Hire page.

 

Job Description 

Dispute Resolution, Consultation and Referral - 70%:

  • Provides professional ombuds support as a member of the ombuds office team and as a designated campus resource for individuals and groups engaged in addressing workplace conflict, issues or concerns informally.  Meets with members of the KU Lawrence and Edwards campus community whose issues involve their time at KU.
  • Listens to Ombuds Office visitors, assesses situations and empowers visitors to manage, engage, and resolve conflict for themselves and/or between themselves and others through impartial, informal, and confidential processes such as conflict resolution coaching, informal problem-solving, and/or facilitated dialogues or conversations.
  • Assists visitors in interpreting university policies and procedures. Provides assistance in navigating systems as well as assisting individuals to raise and consider options for self-empowered resolution.
  • Designs or co-designs and then facilitates group dialogues/circles for groups in conflict.
  • Participates in deliberations as a team on topics and issues facing the Office, its staff, and visitors. These team deliberations may also include debriefing cases, so that the Ombuds team is aware of emerging trends and can support each other in their professional development and learning. 
  • Participates in local, regional, or national trainings for continuing education and professional development and is offered professional development funds to cover a portion of those.

Training Design and Delivery - 15%:

  • Designs and conducts training sessions for the campus community (student, staff, and faculty) that may include conflict engagement, dispute resolution, negotiation skills and theory, compassionate communication, collaborative problem solving, and related topics. 
  • Makes informed recommendations regarding improving program effectiveness.

Program Management, Analysis and Reporting - 15%:

  • Regularly updates case and training tracking processes and systems.
  • Provides support for project management of a variety of data/reporting projects and data collection and management.
  • Contributes to the completion of the Ombuds Office’s annual report, through data collection and visualization and supporting the team’s effort.
  • Attends weekly and other Ombuds Office staff meetings to discuss work, ongoing training, and outreach efforts.
  • Other duties as assigned.

 

Required Qualifications

  1. Bachelor’s degree and two years of full-time work experience as an organizational ombuds or comparable/related experience commensurate with duties described in the job duties section of this announcement.
  2. One year of demonstrated experience in facilitating conflict conversations between parties/groups, or conflict coaching, or restorative practices, or conflict mediation.
  3. Experience that required excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively in a sensitive manner with individuals from varied backgrounds, as evidenced by application materials, interview, and references.
  4. Work experience demonstrating capacity to maintain confidentiality for Ombuds Office visitors, clients, colleagues, patients, or other persons with whom they have worked.

 

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Master’s degree or higher in conflict management, counseling, social work, or alternate dispute resolution, that might include certification in coaching.
  2. One year of experience serving as an ombuds in a team setting, within a university/college environment.
  3. One year of experience in designing and delivering training in the areas of dispute resolution (e.g., collaboration, communication, etc.).
  4. Two years of professional work experience in a university setting.
  5. Completion of the International Ombuds Association’s CO-OP certification, foundational ombuds training programs and/or workshops.
  6. Applied understanding of the nature of conflict and methods for resolution, as demonstrated by relevant coursework or past experience.
  7. One year of experience with one or more of the following:
    • Leveraging dispute resolution tools and techniques such as mediation, facilitation, conflict coaching and providing options of resolution to involved parties.
    • Collaborating with staff, supervisors/managers, executives, and other supporting resource programs to resolve complex and sensitive workplace conflicts.
    • Identifying and providing options to university constituents or colleagues in order to address systemic issues affecting organizations.

 

Contact Information for Candidates:

Ada Emmett
aemmett@ku.edu

 

Additional Candidate Instructions

Only complete online applications will be accepted.  An application packet will include the following items: 

  1. A cover letter describing how you meet the required and preferred qualifications;
  2. A complete resume/CV
  3. A list of 3 professional references.

If candidates do NOT have a combined two years of full-time experience serving as an ombuds, the candidate is asked to explain in their cover letter their interest in the ombuds field and how their two-year or more experience in a comparable or related field would prepare them to serve as an ombuds and meet the work responsibilities and required qualifications.

Initial review of applications will begin on June 10th and continue until a qualified pool has been identified.

 

 

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