What’s in the Higher Education Risk Manager Toolkit? Hint: it’s spelled URMIA: Risk & Insurance



Courtney Davis Curtis, CPCU, ARM-E is an assistant vice president for risk management and resilience planning at the University of Chicago. She is the President-elect of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA), a member of the Underwriters Advisory Council of United Educators Insurance and a member of the board of directors of the captive Trulen Insurance SPC Limited.

When risk managers take jobs in the higher education sector, their new offices don’t have a toolbox on top with their names etched on it.

But many of these offices do come with a membership in the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA) and in many ways it is one and the same – the OURMY The toolbox just opens a little differently and still has room for more tools, including its community.

More than 2,700 campus risk managers around the world regularly consult their URMIA toolkit for education, collaboration and inspiration to help them manage the endless number of risks found and emerging on campuses. higher education today.

URMIA combines the experiences and examples of higher education institutional members in a variety of risk contexts with what professionals in the risk and insurance industry (e.g. insurers, brokers, TPAs, catering companies, etc.) see from their customers and their own research.

The organization then provides a number of opportunities for everyone in the risk and insurance industry to learn and thrive.

The organization’s risk inventory is a good example of how information from all sides of the industry is taken and assembled into a tool that URMIA members can access at least once a year.

The URMIA Risk Inventory helps members identify risks common to colleges and universities.

The living document breaks down 23 risk categories into different risk areas divided into five common risk classifications: strategic, operational, reporting, compliance and reputation.

Members can easily create individual risk registers at any level and then share these registers with other members of their institution, from institutional leadership to departments to different functional areas, whether or not they have implemented a formal enterprise risk management (ERM) program.

The URMIA Risk Inventory can be used to:

  • Create attractive institution or department specific risk registers.
  • Review an institution’s enterprise-wide risks to assess which risks have been identified, documented, mitigated, or are not currently addressed.
  • Highlight the risks facing different departments or sectors of the institution (such as research, student affairs, human resources, crisis management, etc.) in order to better assess, manage and mitigate these risks.
  • Clarify risk ownership by giving non-risk employees a tool to help them assess risk mitigation progress and communicate needs to management and corporate risk management.
  • Appreciate the various risks that may impact the industry or are inherent in particular types of institutions.

How does information from the risk management and insurance industry complement this tool?

The Risk Inventory is reviewed regularly to determine whether emerging risks on campuses, including those identified by URMIA affiliates or member companies, should be added to the classifications. These industry professionals lead conversations and educational sessions on trends that have already found their way onto campus or are expected to do so in the near future.

URMIA’s toolbox also includes a “water cooler zone”, where members communicate with each other through chat rooms and virtual meetings. These mechanisms provide opportunities for risk managers to collaborate outside of some of their traditional relationships to reach out to other colleagues and learn how their institutions approach and manage a particular risk or insurance topic.

The URMIA community also includes hundreds of specialists who are featured in our affiliate services directory so that members can find each other. These industry specialists help higher education stay one step ahead of the risks that may find their way onto campus.

Additionally, the URMIA toolkit includes a blueprint – our core competency model that defines a framework of individual characteristics, including knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors, that identify competence and excellence at different career levels and within the profession in general.

By defining the core competencies of the profession, URMIA hopes to further codify the set of skills required within the profession of risk management and insurance in higher education, thereby creating a positive impact on results and performance of higher education institutions.

The Core Competency Model is just one of thousands of documents in the URMIA Library that help risk managers protect their schools.

For most URMIA members, knowing that they are not alone in facing risks and finding colleagues willing, willing and able to share their experiences and suggestions and be part of another’s professional network colleague are reason enough to keep the URMIA toolbox handy. reach. &

Martin E. Berry