30 Years of Solitude? University Ombudsmen`s Pioneering Past, Confident Present, Challenging Future
Innsbruck 28-30 May 2015
Dear friends and colleagues,
two more new features for our Innsbruck conference! (sorry for any cross postings):
A redesigned Thursday afternoon workshop!
Quis, quid, ubi, …?: Professional Development through Exchange
Who are we, what do we do and how? This highly participatory pre-conference workshop offers a warm and welcoming environment to meet people who do this work and who want to know more about it.
The first half of the workshop focuses on your questions. „I am here because…“ is an open space workshop which uses peer consulting to create a forum for systematic exchange between the participants: Why do you come to Innsbruck? What are your questions? What problem do you want to have solved when you leave Innsbruck at the end of the conference? Bring along your questions and find colleagues who have answers. Bring along your experience and meet colleagues who are glad to meet you.
The second half of the workshop focuses on our work. In „Professional Development through Case Consultation”, we learn from and with each other, discussing cases provided by ombudsmen in higher education. In small groups, we analyse a case and identify ombudsman actions and activities. In large groups, we share our observations, compare and contrast different approaches, and consider common principles that inform our work. Cases and responses will be collected and made available to ENOHE members.
New and experienced ombudsmen in higher education and people interested in learning about this work are most welcome!
And a newly designed Friday afternoon Roundtable Discussion!
Confidentiality vs. Transparency – is there a tension between these two values and approaches to ombudsman case-handling ?
Some ENOHE- associated institutions of higher education ombudsmen are supposed to report only to the respective authorities of their given institutions and to complainants on case outcomes. Others have the right and sometimes even the obligation to report publicly the issues and cases they are dealing with. There are risks in both scenarios. Excessive confidentiality and no public reporting by the ombudsman can encourage a university to ignore the ombudsman findings and fail to implement recommendations without the risk of public criticism. On the other hand, sensationalist press or social media reporting of published ombudsman decisions can damage a university’s reputation and lead to disproportionate criticism. This round table discussion with renowned experts from ENOHE and from its associates will help to describe existing models and advantages and disadvantages of (so-called) naming and shaming of institutions. Contributions from conference participants will be very welcome.
Hurry up and register for our 2015 conference in case you haven’t done so yet!
(And thanks to everybody who has already J)
Dr. Josef Leidenfrost, MA (Mediation)
Ombudsstelle für Studierende / Austrian Student Ombudsman
Postadresse: Minoritenplatz 5
Dienstsitz: Palais Harrach, Herrengasse 16, Stiege II, 2. Stock
A-1014 Wien / Vienna
(43-1) 53120-995533 Fax
gebührenfrei / toll free 0800-311 650
Die Ombudsstelle für Studierende ist Mitglied des / The Austrian Student Ombudsman is a member of the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education (ENOHE)