According to recent research, many higher education institutions do not have plans in place to identify and resolve risks that may negatively affect the school’s reputation or interfere with its mission. This is particularly true of small liberal arts colleges.
That’s why Grinnell College (IA) launched the Purposeful Risk Engagement Project, or PREP, an online guide to purposeful risk management specifically tailored to this type of institution.
PREP director and Grinnell professor Paula Vene Smith supervised the creation of concepts and content to help other institutions establish plans for potential risks that could arise on a campus at any given time.
The site charts a one-year path to establishing a risk management plan that helped Grinnell leaders to:
- Identify and rank key risks across the areas of a liberal arts college;
- Develop an action plan with college leaders to monitor and address the key risks;
- Raise campus awareness and find the most successful ways to communicate about risk, both internally and externally; and
- Integrate the new protocols for risk identification, monitoring, management and communication as an essential part of ongoing college governance.
This project is also the subject of a book recently authored by Smith, Engaging Risk: A Guide for College Leaders.