Colleges & Universities Lack ERM Guidance

Steven Minsky | May 22, 2014

Colleges and Universities are some of the most at risk institutions when it comes to high profiles failures in risk management. Reputational risk – and remaining off the homepage of CNN – requires an active approach to managing enterprise governance, and most universities are unsure where to start. An Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) report finds:

“After five years of change and upheaval, why is it that governing boards of colleges and universities continue to consider risk on a largely ad hoc basis? The findings from a recent survey… indicate a modest increase in the use of risk assessment in high-level decision making over the past five years, but they also show that boards and administrators are not yet substantially committed to this process.”

The AGB report, entitled “A Wake-up Call: Enterprise Risk Management at Colleges and Universities Today,” explores this disconnect more fully while making the following recommendations:

  1. Make Risk Management a Priority
  2. Implement a sustained ERM effort by Senior Administration
  3. Engage the Governing Board in Risk Monitoring
  4. Discuss institutional Risks Frequently and Regularly
  5. Share Information to Meet Obligations
  6. Evaluate the Institutions Work on an Institutional Basis

LogicManager applauds the AGB’s commitment to informing Colleges and Universities about risk management. In order to evaluate the current state of ERM within your institution of higher learning, colleges should have a board or senior administrative member complete the RIMS Risk Maturity Model (RMM) with their dedicated risk management team. The RMM will evaluate the current state of your ERM program, while providing a roadmap for improvement and grading your program according to the best practices of COSO & ISO frameworks.

Finally, risk management software provides a backbone for risk monitoring by ensuring accountability through risk ownership, transparency by aggregating and sharing risk intelligence, and the ability to manage and elevate concerns before they manifest themselves in negative media attention and loss events.

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