Historically, when people on campus heard the words “risk management,” their thoughts would immediately go to that small and dreaded office in Job Hall where the college’s insurance program was administered. However, over the past four years the college has adopted an enterprise risk management program that touches every area of the campus and has heightened the understanding that managing risk is more than just the job of one person.
Through a collaborative working group comprising 20 individuals from all sectors of the campus, the Enterprise Risk Management Committee has assessed over 60 institutional risks. Members of the committee have then engaged with other staff and administrators in their respective divisions to work on strategies for reducing the risk for what would be deemed high-risk exposures. These efforts have resulted in new approaches and changes that have served to create a safer living and learning environment for our students while minimizing the liability exposure for our faculty, staff, and the college as a whole.
What the campus community may not realize is that in addition to the above there also has been a direct, immediate financial benefit to our collaborative risk management practices. Under the guidance and capable hands of Kris Slaght and Diane Rogers in the Office of Risk Management, now located in the Peggy Ryan Williams Center, and with the support of many individuals throughout the campus—including but not limited to facilities, information technology, public safety, human resources, equal opportunity compliance, international programs, athletics, OSEMA, and individual faculty who work with our students on co-curricular experiences—the college was incredibly well positioned in the insurance marketplace going into our insurance renewal for 2013-2014.
The end result of all of the good work over the last four years and through the efforts of Kris and Diane working with many of you during the 2013-2014 renewal process was that the college was able to realize a savings of approximately $300,000 in the cost of our comprehensive insurance program. At a time when the insurance marketplace was predicting increases, we were able to reduce our insurance budget by approximately 20 percent because carriers liked what they saw in the work we are doing to manage risks. These savings can now be re-directed to other institutional priorities.
Our risk management efforts are truly remarkable and a testament to the outcomes we can realize when we work together to manage risk at the college. It is also another great example of how each and every one of us can contribute to reducing expenses toward the end of making Ithaca College affordable.