Foundations of Operational Risk
Instructor: Annie Searle
Voice: 206.465.7849 (mobile) 206.453-4386 (office)
Class meets in location Johnson Hall, room 22
Mondays, 3:30 - 6:20pm
Office Hours: Mondays 2-3:15 PM.
Office Location: MGH330B
Practical application of an operational risk framework using real world examples where the intersection of people, process, systems, and external events can lead to unexpected financial loss -- easiest to identify in major disasters such as Japan’s Sendai earthquake, the BP Gulf Oil Spill, Iceland’s volcanic ash spill, Toyota’s product recalls or even Hurricane Katrina. Topics covered include the parameters of operational risk; integrating operational risk and business process frameworks; the role of corporate governance, the role of technology and business process decisions; and the role of information in operational risk management.
Instructor Course Description
Operational risk is present in every organization, and arises from the intersection of people, systems, external events and failed internal controls. A resilient organization intertwines operational risk management and business process management to minimize the risk of loss from failures in one or more of these elements.
Information analysis and reporting – or the lack of it – is a critical element in operational risk management, to ensure that important business processes and behaviors stay within the tolerances that have been established in an organization. This course examines commonest types of operational risk – internal and external fraud; legal and liability loss; noncompliance with regulations; processing errors; physical security breaches; information security breaches, technology failures, disaster recovery and business continuity/resilience; and inappropriate business processes -- against the actual business process decisions and practices of organizations.
Through readings, lectures and class discussion, students will learn to assess the strength of operational risk controls in various organizations as they apply concepts and processes included in a risk framework using examples from both the public sector (government) and the private sector (business and industry). Students will write two 3-5 page papers and make one presentation to the class.
You will receive a decimal grade for this class.
General grading information for the University of Washington is available here. The iSchool has adopted its own criteria for grading graduate courses. The grading criteria used by the iSchool for graduate courses are available here.
Your written work will be graded based on its clarity, organization, balance, amount of pertinent detail included, depth and clarity of evaluative and analytical comments, and preparation. It will also be graded on the extent to which a good understanding of the material presented in the course is shown and on the extent to which directions are followed. If evaluative or analytical comments are required, they should be supported by factual evidence, either from readings or other documents. Other aspects of individual assignments may also be included in the grading.
Written work that shows a lack of understanding of subject matter, is unclear or poorly organized, contains few or irrelevant details, does not follow directions, contains little or unsubstantiated evaluative commentary, or is poorly written, prepared (e.g. typos, grammatical errors), or documented will receive low grades.
Late assignments are not accepted unless there are extenuating circumstances, and prior arrangements have been made in advance with the professor.
Students are encouraged to take
drafts of their writing assignments to the Odegaard Writing and Research
Center for assistance.
Information on scheduling an appointment can be found here.
Evaluation of Student Work:
You may expect to receive comments on and evaluations of assignments and submitted work in a timely fashion. All work from the course will be returned, with comments, within two weeks of the last class of the quarter.
The end-of-quarter course evaluations will be handed out to you in class. You will have opportunity to evaluate the course and your work in the course.
The following paragraphs discussing academic integrity, copyright and privacy outline matters governing student conduct in the iSchool and the University of Washington. They apply to all assignments and communications in this course.
The essence of academic life revolves around respect not only for the ideas of others, but also their rights to those ideas and their promulgation. It is therefore essential that all of us engaged in the life of the mind take the utmost care that the ideas and expressions of ideas of other people always be appropriately handled, and, where necessary, cited. For writing assignments, when ideas or materials of others are used, they must be cited. The format is not that important as long as it is consistent, the source material can be located and the citation can be verified. In any situation, if you have a question, please feel free to ask the instructor or teaching assistant. Such attention to ideas and acknowledgment of their sources is central not only to academic life, but life in general.
Please acquaint yourself with the University of Washington's resources on academic honesty.
It is recommended that students carefully check all written work before they turn it in to ensure that they have properly acknowledged the sources of their work and properly cited them. I will be using a written web tool such as Grammarly to check for plagiarism.
All of the expressions of ideas in this class that are fixed in any tangible medium such as digital and physical documents are protected by copyright law as embodied in title 17 of the United States Code. These expressions include the work product of both: (1) your student colleagues (e.g., any assignments published here in the course environment or statements committed to text in a discussion forum); and, (2) your instructors (e.g., the syllabus, assignments, reading lists, and lectures). Within the constraints of "fair use," you may download or copy slides, recordings or notes for your personal intellectual use in support of your education here in the iSchool. All of these examples are copyrighted expressions, and fair use by you does not include further distribution by any means of copying, performance or presentation beyond the circle of your student colleagues in this class. If you have any questions regarding whether a use to which you wish to put one of these expressions violates the creator's copyright interests, please feel free to ask the instructor for guidance.
To support an academic environment of rigorous discussion and open expression of personal thoughts and feelings, we, as members of the academic community, must be committed to the inviolate right of privacy of our student and instructor colleagues. As a result, we must forego sharing personally identifiable information about any member of our community including information about the ideas they express, their families, life styles and their political and social affiliations. If you have any questions regarding whether a disclosure you wish to make regarding anyone in this course or in the iSchool community violates that person's privacy interests, please feel free to ask the instructor for guidance.
Knowing violations of these principles of academic conduct, privacy or copyright may result in University disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.
Students with Disabilities
To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services: 448 Schmitz, 206-543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from DSS indicating that you have a disability which requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to the instructor so you can discuss the accommodations you might need in the class.
Academic accommodations due to disability will not be made unless the student has a letter from DSS specifying the type and nature of accommodations needed.
Student Code of Conduct
Good student conduct is important for maintaining a healthy course environment. Please familiarize yourself with the University of Washington's Student Code of Conduct.
Critical Thinking and Respect for Others
We expect students to maintain a high level of professionalism in dealing with one another. Taking class members seriously means listening carefully to what they say, recognizing good ideas and effective contributions. It also means questioning ideas you do not understand or do not agree with. Such comments should be presented in a considerate manner, even if disagreement is warranted. It is important to treat others with the respect that we would like for ourselves.
Last updated: Tuesday, 27-Mar-2012 15:09:06 PDT
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