The Ombudsman Office at Concordia University, Montreal organized a conference for ombudsmen in November 1979. At a later conference, in 1983, participants voted to form an association. In its initial years, the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudsmen existed primarily for the purpose of putting on a conference each year. In 1989, the membership voted to change the name, substituting Ombudspersons for Ombudsmen. In 1990, the membership adopted a constitution and created officer positions.

For more historical information about ombuds in higher education in Canada and worldwide, see: - ACCUO 30

March 1, 2010 - Two hundred years ago today, Lars Augustin Mannerheim, October 14, 1749 to March 18, 1835, became the first Parliamentary Ombudsman appointed in Sweden. Since 2000, ACCUO has on four occasions awarded its Distinguished Service Award with a pin featuring a portrait of Lars Mannerheim. The award recognizes "an individual who has, or a group of individuals who have made, an extraordinary contribution to the development, support and/or furtherance of Ombudsmanship in higher education".

For more historical information about the Swedish ombudsman, please see: http://www.jo.se/en/