The last few years apparently have been mentally grueling ones for the regulators as well.
After months of trying to fill the position, the SEC has hired a psychologist to work on the commission's flagging morale, says Jeff Risinger, head of human resources at the SEC.
According to a report filed by the Government Accountability Office last August, 20 percent of SEC employees are either very or generally dissatisfied with the quality of supervision provided by their immediate bosses, up from 14 percent in 2001. Meanwhile, 37 percent said morale within their division or office was low, compared with 32 percent who said morale was high. It probably doesn't help that the SEC has undergone two abrupt leadership changes — first Harvey Pitt and now William Donaldson — in about four years.
Risinger said the psychologist isn't exactly going to offer visiting hours. “He's really in an organizational development role; he's not a traditional psychologist,” he says.