Student/Scholar Reg Ombuds Person Position Description
Term: One year term with annual renewals in coordination with NAFSA Public Policy and Practice Committee appointment
Appointment: By the Chair Stream, in coordination with NAFSA’s Vice President for Public Policy and Practice.
Qualifications: NAFSA member with expertise in government regulations affecting DSO/ROs and other campus-based personnel who work with internationals; ability to effectively liaise with government personnel.
- Serve as member of NAFSA’s Regulatory Ombuds Subcommittee (a subcommittee of NAFSA’s Policy and Practice Committee); assist the subcommittee in gathering information on, as well as identify and prioritize, immigration-related regulatory issues.
- Provide case intervention/regulatory problem-solving and engage in practice advocacy to both members and government officials at the local/district/regional levels (such as the USCIS Vermont Service Center, District Offices of USCIS, Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of State, local Department of Labor offices, etc.).
- Serve a Chair of Region XI Government Regulations Advisory Committee (GRAC)
- In coordination with other GRAC members, Chair the annual Region XI Spring Immigration Workshop and other regulatory meetings/offerings.
- Plan/Coordinate GRAC Team meetings/trainings/conference calls
- In coordination with the Conference Chair, coordinate participation of government agency representatives in regulatory sessions of the Regional Conference, determine and oversee regulatory pre-conference workshops
- Attend and participate in the following events
- the Annual NAFSA National Conference,
- the Region XI Annual Conference,
- Region XI Leadership Team meetings,
- the Annual Region XI Spring Immigration Workshop
- NAFSA Regulatory Ombudsperson Subcommittee meetings/training
- Communicate with the Region XI membership regarding events, training or special sessions that may be of interest to professionals in the area of immigration/regulatory issues; utilizing the Region XI Website and Region XI listserv.
- Assist the Regional Chair Stream in identifying potential candidates for the next term.
- Resources from NAFSA National for Regional Regulatory Ombudsperson (proposed/pending):
- Free subscription to NAFSA’s Adviser’s Manual
- National Regulatory Ombudsperson training meeting expenses
- Phone allowance
- Travel costs to Service Center meetings
- NAFSA staff support for conference calls
This position is both a Team Position and a NAFSA position. The official NAFSA job description is listed below:
Position: Member, Regulatory Ombud Subcommittee
Committee: Policy and Practice Committee
The Regulatory Ombuds provide regulatory liaison assistance to members and other advisers in their NAFSA region. Appointment to the position is made by the Vice President for Public Policy and Practice in consultation with the respective Regional Chair; in some regions, service as a Regulatory Ombud may also be concurrent with service on the Regional Team. The Reg Ombud refers the individual to the NAFSA Web site, the Adviser’s Manual, and/or the KC-ISSS representative(s) for basic inquiries about immigration knowledge or when repeated errors result in the need for case intervention.
Major Functions and Responsibilities
Within the overall purview above, this position works in the following functional areas:
1. Provide case intervention/regulatory problem solving and engage in practice advocacy.
2. Provide case-based technical assistance to IE professionals and to government officials at the local/district/regional levels.
3. Report trends and disseminate information to the Region regarding the interpretation of agency practices.
4. Assist Regional Conference Planning by being the point person to invite representatives of local/district/regional government offices to present sessions at the Regional Conference.
5. Contribute to NAFSA’s data collection efforts, primarily through IssueNet’s Get Liaison Help, the interactive online tool developed for regulatory problem solving and case assistance.
Oversight of Task Forces
The chair of the subcommittee may recommend task forces by completing task force charges and submitting to the Vice President for Public Policy and Practice. If the task forces are approved, the chair of the subcommittee will appoint chairs for those task forces and have direct oversight of the task forces.
Relationships with other committees
A member of the Policy and Practice Committee will be assigned as liaison to the Regulatory Ombud Subcommittee and will coordinate with the chair of the subcommittee regarding planning meetings and events, and with members of the subcommittee regarding questions/problems identified by IssueNet’s “Report an Issue” and questions for liaison calls with agencies. Regulatory Ombuds will collaborate with the KC-ISSS Regional Representatives in their regions.
Relationships with the staff
The Chair of the Subcommittee will consult and coordinate with Regulatory Practice staff. The staff liaison is the main contact between the subcommittee chair and other departments within the NAFSA office, and helps bring their resources and expertise to bear on specific projects. Chairs of Task Forces, those who volunteer to manage subcommittee responsibilities in NAFSA Commons, Regulatory Ombuds with Regional Conference responsibilities, those involved in training or development for IssueNet, etc. may also work with Regulatory Practice staff.
The term of appointment is one year with expected renewal for at least a second full year.
On average, 4-5 hours per week per month will be needed to complete the ongoing work. The heaviest periods of work will occur in:
- March--Regulatory Ombud Subcommittee Training
- April/May--preparing for and attending the leadership meetings right before the Annual Conference
- Late summer-Fall—Preparing for Regional Conferences (depending on regional structure)
Travel, per diem, and lodging expenses are reimbursed for national meetings, where attendance is required, except for those surrounding the national conference. The travel to/from the national conference, along with any meals and lodging for meetings before/during the conference, is not covered. Lodging for large meetings (Regulatory Ombud Subcommittee Training for example) is provided in double rooms; members may pay the difference between a double and a single if they wish to room alone, assuming space is available.
Other operating expenses members incur in their offices/at home, such as photocopying, are not reimbursed. Large copying jobs should be referred to staff. Conference calls are set up by staff and covered by the association as necessary. A phone allowance is available for Regulatory Ombuds if their institutions prefer not to support office phone calls for NAFSA volunteer activities. A travel allowance is available to cover some expenses related to the Service Center meetings.
- NAFSA member
- Minimum two years DSO/ARO experience and demonstrated expertise with current US immigration policy & practice within an educational setting
- Ability to communicate with colleagues and government officials in a collegial and diplomatic fashion
- Institutional support for this volunteer commitment
- Availability to attend Regulatory Ombud training, national conference, and Service Center meetings as necessary
- Experience working with SEVIS
- Strong organizational skills