Paul Herfs’ new book: “The Importance of Ombuds Work”

Recently Paul Herfs published a book titled “the importance of ombuds work”.

It has been compiled from previous published articles. Two articles were only published in Dutch journals. In all articles the important role of an organizational ombuds working at a university is underlined.

Paul Herfs was the ombudsman for faculty and staff at Utrecht University, a highly respected research university in the Netherlands from 2005 until 2021.

Some of the issues he discussed with faculty and staff were: performance difficulties, supervision of PhD-students, negative conflicts with peers and supervisors, unfair dismissal and the consequences of long-term illness.

Before becoming an ombudsman Paul Herfs worked as an educational researcher. He holds a MSc degree in Educational Sciences and a PhD. His doctoral thesis dealt with International Medical Graduates in the Netherlands. He is also a trained mediator.

Paul’s career includes the roles of a student counselor and the vice director of the International Office at Utrecht University.

Together with Carla Goosen, Leo Klijn, Yvonne van der Vlugt and Alex Brenninkmeijer, Paul Herfs started the first masterclass for ombuds in 2018 in the Netherlands. In 2024 it will be organized for the 5th time.

After his retirement in 2021 from Utrecht University he continued his work as an ombuds at the University of the Arts in Utrecht.

Paul Herfs has served as board member of the European Network of Ombuds in Higher Education (ENOHE) and board member of the Dutch Association of Ombudsmen in Higher Education (VOHO).

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