Collaborative Leadership for Higher Education Business Model Vitality

Bricks being laid, symbolizing a foundation

Foundational Information
Risk Management: An Accountability Guide for University and College Boards, Second Edition

In Risk Management: An Accountability Guide for University and College Boards, Second Edition (AGB, 2020), lead author Janice Abraham offers an extensive list of all the challenges higher education is facing and then concludes, “the reality is stark, and higher education must adapt to survive.”4 To do so, Abraham proposes as a starting point that institutional leadership should consider their approach to risk management as a business process based on four principal tenets:

Magnifying glass looking at a warning signIdentifying risks across the entire enterprise

Gear with arrows pointing out to dots representing impactsAssessing the impact of risks to the operations and mission

One large umbrella protecting several smaller umbrellasDeveloping and practicing responses or mitigation plans

Computer monitor with an eye image on the screenMonitoring and identifying risks, holding the risk owner accountable, and consistently scanning for emerging risks

Small private colleges and universities with fewer financial resources are especially vulnerable and face greater challenges (as well as intriguing opportunities), but these challenges often afford leaders little time to act.

Abraham calls on boards and senior leadership to consider categorizing institutional risks in four buckets: strategic, operations, finance, and compliance risk. By defining risks in this way, she believes leadership can break down the organizational silos that have historically plagued the effectiveness of higher education’s approach to risk management by encouraging administrative leadership to look across the entire enterprise for new and/or emerging risks while paying particular attention to those risks that occur in-between the silos’ gaps.6

A joint project of

Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) logo
Bakertilly logo
The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) logo
The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) logo

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT→

Cover of report entitled Collaborative Leadership for Higher Education Business Model Vitality