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University Risk Management Initiative

Practicing the state of the art in risk management necessitates an emphasis on facilitating and supporting the strategic objectives of the University. The University Risk Management Initiative (URMI) builds upon the benefits of traditional risk management, with its focus upon conserving the resources of the organization, in order to support the University's strategic objectives. With implementation, all types of risk will be addressed and not just those which are insurable. Compliance, operational, reputational and economic threats, or core risks, would be identified, assessed and either mitigated or negated before they disrupt our strategic objectives.

At times, risk identification, the starting point of any risk management program, is not sufficiently emphasized. Focusing upon the four previously mentioned core risks will alert the University to imminent and potentially catastrophic threats. The URMI will also be geared to detect potentially debilitating losses that may result from these strategic risks. University leadership will be significantly involved by advising the President regarding major risks and utilizing the line authority possessed by each in order to negate risks that may pose a threat to the institution. Bringing a diverse and knowledgeable group of executives together will result in a synergistic discussion in which all participants will be allowed to comment on all issues, thus providing a fresh look at possible solutions. The URMI will include a formal risk assessment. Data will be collected from individual interviews and surveys which will ultimately produce a heat map. The URMI will then focus upon the most potentially severe and the most likely to occur of these risks for immediate remediation.

The membership of the URMI University Risk Council (URC) will include officials from the major functional areas within the University. This will ensure that all four categories of strategic risk are addressed and will also provide the team with the benefit of appropriate expertise to counter our risks and the authority to remediate them. From this perspective of diversity, viewing the University as a system in which change occurring in one part of the institution will lead to new developments elsewhere in the organization, is a key consideration which will be monitored by the URC. This holistic approach is far superior to the more traditional process which focuses upon divisions in isolation.

Implementation of the URMI will greatly benefit the University. Interaction and discussion within the URMI Group of the most dangerous threats appearing on the heat map will add significant value to the effort. In this fashion, identified risks will be more effectively mitigated or eliminated.

Additional Files

Implementation Plan

The following is an outline of the 12 step implementation process:

  1. Make a deliberate decision to pursue an URMI.
    • Completed…January 2011
  2. Appoint project leaders to coordinate the URMI initiative.
    • Completed…March 2011…Joe Adams & George Wendt
  3. Establishment of the University Risk Council (URC).
    • Council membership identified July 2011…Completed
    • President letter September 2011…Completed
    • Initial meeting October 2011…Completed
    • Meeting with consultant January 2012…Completed
  4. Select an agency to assist with the risk assessment and implementation.
    • Initial contacts July 2011
    • Selection November 2011...Bickmore Risk Services (BRS)…Completed
  5. In person 1 on 1 interviews with approximately 20 key personnel to identify system risks. To include Board of Trustees members…January 2012…Completed
  6. Complete a draft risk assessment and preliminary Heat Map.
  7. URC and consultant develop the risk register and the Heat Map.
  8. URC coordinates remediation of risks that can be immediately negated.
  9. URC assigns a project manager to selected risks to ensure their proper handling.
  10. Project managers develop a remediation plan for their assigned risks.
  11. Project managers periodically report to the URC their progress on each risk.
  12. Remediated items are monitored and new items are placed on the risk register and the heat map.