More ERM at colleges and universities

On September 8, 2009, I published some thought leadership from PwC about ERM in colleges and universities. Today I came across a 2009 survey conducted by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges and United Educators about the attitudes, practices, and policies regarding ERM among American colleges and universities.

If you are in the academic business, this is a  pretty good document, not only because it contains a template of common risks which can help with your identify step, but embedded in the document are links to documents like risk registers and heat maps at some colleges and universities.

Here is a link to this document:

State of ERM at Colleges and Universities (Riskczar).pdf

One thought on “More ERM at colleges and universities

  1. Thanks for sharing this white paper on ERM at colleges and universities. These institutions of higher learning have just lived through emerging risks they thought would never happen, leading to required downsizing of some degree programs and reducing job security to tenured professors for the first time in decades. ERM clearly requires someone to oversee the endowment managers, setting the appropriate risk appetite. This is a great time for these schools to reconsider where their best opportunities lie in the future. This will be hard to implement without a risk culture that encourages skeptical thought and open discussion, something often lacking at universities. When the Society of Actuaries developed an ERM strategy in 2004, leading ultimately to the Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) designation, we were one of the first professions to move beyond the downside of risk to recognize that an optimized strategy must consider both risk and return at the same time. Universities that embrace such a discussion will enjoy a clear competitive advantage over their bureaucratic peers going forward.

    The AGB/United Educators report provides useful action steps, including a desire to evolve the process each year. ERM is a process, not a project, and emerging risks along with the risk culture will force regular reviews of a new world. This process should be both top-down and bottom-up for success. A committee or chief risk officer should look at these risks holistically across the enterprise, while each department identifies and prioritizes risks they deal with. Based on this survey educators have a long way to go to implement ERM successfully, but the paper will help someone get started who wants to take this path.

    Max J. Rudolph, FSA CERA CFA

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