The first historical record of an Ombuds dates to 1809, when the Swedish parliament appointed an Ombuds, or people’s representative, to resolve problems in the absence of the country's king.
Fast forward to the 1960s, Ombuds Offices proliferated on University campuses across the nation in response to student unrest. Today, there are about two-hundred educational institutions which offer the services of an Ombuds as a conflict management resource.
At William & Mary, the University Ombuds was established in January 2008 as a result of interest on the part of university staff for an alternate form of addressing workplace concerns.
The professional organization for campus Ombuds is the International Ombuds Association (IOA), which was formed in July 2005 following the merger of the University and College Ombuds Association (UCOA) and The Ombudsman Association (TOA). Source: IOA website, last visited April 22, 2008.