The risks our campus faces constantly change so our strategies must remain fluid. By the nature of our large organization, each campus unit has unique risks. We work with units in a proactive fashion, helping to identify and assess the risks that are specific to them. Once identified, we determine the most responsible and cost-effective solutions to manage these risks. The risk management techniques we use include any combination of risk prevention, risk acceptance, risk avoidance or risk transfer strategies. And while campus units each have unique risks, we attempt to avoid a silo approach to risk management where each department remains isolated to what the rest of the campus is doing. Rather, we institutionalize our risk management programs so the entire campus takes ownership and shares a consistent risk profile. This ownership and consistency brings greater transparency to our stakeholders.
As part of this campus wide ownership and consistency, Risk Management Services chairs the Enterprise Risk Management and Mission Continuity Committee. The committee collaborates on a holistic approach to identifying and managing our full spectrum of risks while also centrally coordinating the University’s mission continuity planning.
Our risk management strategies involve a number of techniques, one of which is the purchase of insurance. Risk Management Services is responsible for overseeing the majority of the University’s insurance programs, from purchasing the appropriate coverage to adjusting insurance claims. Many of these programs are self insured or have large deductibles; and we assure the necessary internal funding requirements are in place for the University’s portion of a loss. Some of these programs are state-administered, requiring us to serve as the liaison between the University and the State of North Carolina.
Risk Management Services is here to serve the University’s full spectrum of risk management needs, including individualized risk assessments, risk reporting tools to measure performance, procuring proper insurance coverages, adjusting insurance claims, reviewing contracts and agreements to address contractual liabilities, and sharing the latest industry information and best practices with you. These services not only extend to the entire campus, but we are here to also serve our associated entities.
The office uses a two-tiered methodology to achieve its goals. First, we ensure that individual departments have continuity plans in place, and second, we ensure that University-wide critical functions, such as Energy Services and Finance, are adequately prepared to successfully weather any disaster. We have developed templates, based on industry standard best practices, to identify essential functions and resources needed to meet these goals.
Upon adequate development of plans, the Mission Continuity Office also regularly updates and tests University mission continuity and disaster recovery plans to ensure on-going efficacy. Plan elements may include crisis management, recovery management, employee communications, alternate site requirements, site-specific checklists and more.
The office also maintains a database of the documents and procedures the University and its employees will follow to respond to any type of mission disruption. Disruptions may be a power outage or an event that affects a single floor in a building, an entire building, a city-wide disruption, or even a regional disruption. Items affecting mission continuity range from loss of power, to floods, terrorist attacks, or anything that causes loss or interruption of business functions.