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Peer case consultation can be an essential tool in the continuing professional development of ombuds in higher education. Unlike many traditional forms of professional development, peer case consultation is a forum for exchanging feedback on case management, ombuds techniques, and reflection on the practical and personal aspects of ombuds practice that avoids identifying any participant as either an expert or subordinate. Peer case consultation is also flexible in that the participants design the format, topics, and schedules of the consultations. This article contrasts peer case consultation with case supervision and describes the authors’ experience in developing their own consultations.
What is an ombuds in a Canadian or US college or university? Do Canadian and US academic ombuds have a common understanding of the role? What are the historical roots of what we do? Why does it matter? To understand the place of ombuds in Canadian and US higher education today, the article provides an overview of nearly fifty years of ombuds practice in Canadian colleges and universities, and a brief comparison with the US. It proposes four areas for reflection as ombuds prepare to face today’s challenges and consider their role in promoting fairness and positive change.