A report found that most higher education institutions in the US could improve their risk management practices
There is considerable room for improvement in the risk management practices of colleges and universities in the US, according to a new survey.
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, which promotes good governance in US educational institutions, found that sixty percent of the institutions it surveyed did not use strategic risk assessments to identify major risks.
The findings suggest that higher education in the US is lagging behind the private sector in considering risk at a strategic level.
Fewer than half of the senior managers at colleges and universities in the US surveyed thought that board members actively engaged in discussions regarding ‘institutional risks’.
Only five percent of the respondents said their institutions have exemplary practices for managing major risks.
“Only five percent of the respondents said their institutions have exemplary practices for managing major risks.
Fewer than half of respondents (41.7 %) reported frequent or routine monitoring of ‘political or reputational’ risks which pose serious threats for colleges and universities.
Despite the findings, only 11.4 % of respondents rated their own institution’s risk-management performance as lower than average.
Over 600 presidents, CFOs, trustees, chief academic officer, risk manager and general counsels at higher education institutions in the US responded to the survey.
The report also noted a number of best practice guidelines which it recommended universities implement, including: defining risk more broadly; recognising the opportunities as well as the downside of risk; developing a culture of risk awareness; investigating the total cost of risk; improving collaboration between boards and presidents.