California Legislature Hears Testimony on Role of Ombuds in Sexual Misconduct Matters
by Tom Kosakowski
Reposted from Tom Kosawkowski's Ombuds Blog
This week, as part of its on-going effort to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct in the state capital, a joint subcommittee of the California legislature heard about how the Ombuds programs work at the University of California.
Kathleen Salvaty, the UC Systemwide Title IX Coordinator, testified before the Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response. She said that campus Ombuds offices are an important supplement to the formal resources available to parties involved in Title IX proceedings and distinguished the work from that of confidential advocates for student survivors of assault. Salvaty explained that campus Ombuds are not a "responsible employee" and thus not required to report. Unfortunately, she also said asserted that Ombuds "certainly do not have a legal privilege." (CalChannel starting at 1:48:33.)
Tom Kosakowski currently serves as the Associate Director of the Office of Ombuds Services at UCLA and as the Ombudsperson for the Center for Health Sciences. Tom works with faculty, staff and students from UCLA’s hospitals and clinics, professional schools, laboratories, and related institutes on a wide range of matters such as academic and workplace issues, research and authorship conflicts, and fair treatment concerns.
Tom has spent the last 12 years working with individuals involved in conflicts. Prior to joining the UCLA Office of Ombuds Services, Tom established the Ombuds Office at Claremont Graduate University and served as the Interim Director of the Ombuds Office at UC Riverside. Before becoming an ombuds, Tom was an attorney, representing and counseling clients in matters before state, federal and State Bar courts.* Tom trained as a mediator with the L.A. County Bar and served as a court-appointed mediator for the L.A. Superior Court.
Tom graduated with a Bachelor’s in economics from Occidental College and earned a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School.* Tom is on the Board of Directors of the International Ombudsman Association and the Editorial Board of the Journal of IOA. In addition, he serves as a Trustee and President of the Board of Governors of Occidental College.
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