Chapter 09: On the Long-Term Relevance of the Ombudsman's Office and Retirement

Title

Chapter 09: On the Long-Term Relevance of the Ombudsman's Office and Retirement

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Dr. Brock begins this chapter by explaining that the Ombudsman's Office will always be relevant because institutions always confront conflict. The Office has a lot to offer because so much can be done to teach people how to manage conflict. He gives some examples. Next, he talks about his current work on the Office's database. He then gives his view of the Ombudsman's Office in the future. Next, Dr. Brock talks about his retirement and his travels to see the United States. Finally, Dr. Brock talks about his proudest accomplishments: his focus on science and his role in establishing the Ombudsman's Office.

Identifier

BrockW_02_20190122_C09

Publication Date

1-22-2019

Publisher

The Making Cancer History® Voices Oral History Collection, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

City

Houston, Texas

Topics Covered

The Interview Subject's Story - Overview; Post Retirement Activities; Contributions; Working Environment; Leadership; On Leadership; MD Anderson Culture; Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Religion

Transcript

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Now, as you look at the Ombuds Office’s continued role as the institution evolves, what do you think is the impact that it can have? And are there additional things that the Ombuds Office can begin to do to have more of an impact as the institution goes on and continues to change? Bill Brock, PhD Well, I’ve always been in favor of limiting what the Ombuds Office does. I think we should deal with conflict, and I don’t think we ought to go very far beyond that, because [of the need for confidentiality.] [ ][However the office should continue to do as much training as possible].

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Well, tell me about the—because you’re implying that there are maybe some advantages of conflict, if it’s managed well. What about those strategic advantages? Bill Brock, PhD Well, the idea of a win-win situation. And so you get people that are—let’s say two researchers are conflicting over a research project. They may be competing with each other, trying to outdo each other, and the may be hiding information from each other. [ ] [This can lead to conflict and have a negative impact on both of them. This type of conflict, properly managed, can lead to a collaborative outcome and benefit both of them.] [Redacted]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

So what have you been doing since your retirement? Bill Brock, PhD Well, we’ve been doing a lot—quite a bit of traveling. My last day was the last day at MD Anderson was August 31, 2018. We bought a motor home, and we immediately left on a two-month trip out West. [We went through Colorado, Utah and Nevada to Oregon, down the west coast and came back through Arazona and New Mexico as the weather started to get cool.] We decided to enjoy seeing the things in the United States we’ve never seen before, and we have covered most of it already. And so we’re going to do that for another year or two, sell the motor home and then do something else.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Oh, cool. Bill Brock, PhD Then we’re going to sell it and do something else.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

That’s really cool. Do you have a special attachment to the West, or is that where you just went right after? Bill Brock, PhD There was a lot out West we hadn’t seen, especially in places like Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming. [The national parks in Utah are amazing.] [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

I’m glad. So now that you’ve had— Bill Brock, PhD The trip before took us up the East Coast and through Eastern Canada. Another great trip. We’re starting to repeat ourselves a little bit. [laughter]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Well, that’s good. You don’t want to—you always go back to a slightly different place, because you see it with—the revisiting, you see it with new eyes. Bill Brock, PhD Yeah, and you miss it. [Redacted]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Is there anything else you’d like to add? Bill Brock, PhD I can’t think of it. If you think of something, we can have another meeting. [laughs]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Okay, that sounds like a plan. Bill Brock, PhD Yeah. What time is it now?

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

It’s just noon, so you’ve got plenty of time to get to your next meeting. Well, I want to say it’s been a real pleasure talking to you, and... Bill Brock, PhD Thank you, and same here. I’m glad you’re doing this program. I don’t know exactly how it’s going to be used. Is it being used now by anyone?

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

People do access the collection pretty regularly. It’s—the interviews are available in transcript and audio form online, and people search through it. Bill Brock, PhD They want to hear what their buddies have said, right?

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

I don’t know. Well, we don’t track who uses it. We can’t—don’t have access to that. And then there are a number of uses—I’ve put material, too, and take excerpts, and it’s used for training, all that kind of thing, so... Hopefully— Bill Brock, PhD I assume you talked to Mendelsohn before he got sick.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

I did, yeah, have... Bill Brock, PhD Yeah, that’s good.

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

[ ] Bill Brock, PhD [ ]

Tacey Ann Rosolowski, PhD:

Well, let me just say for the record, again, thank you, and I am turning off the recorder at about one minute after noon. Bill Brock, PhD Okay, thank you.

Conditions Governing Access

Redacted

Chapter 09: On the Long-Term Relevance of the Ombudsman's Office and Retirement

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