I recently attended my first University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA) conference and spoke on a panel about “Managing Risk Intelligently: The New Normal.” I’ve helped develop a new service for boards for AGB members on enterprise risk management (ERM) with United Educators, so I was at home with the conversation.
Conference attendees (mainly chief risk officers and insurance providers) were in agreement that compliance is a growing priority, and several sessions addressed or touched on the importance of board engagement in ERM. In my work at AGB, I generally take a protective position regarding our members when it comes to government regulation. Colleges and universities are indeed burdened by federal regulation and spend an increasing amount of time and money on compliance, while trying to control and reduce costs.
That said, the opening plenary speaker, Peter Lake, caught my attention with his “quit whining and do the right thing” attitude about Title IX and federal regulation.
His position was that he would do whatever it takes to remove barriers women face to achievement in higher education, to have opportunities equal to men, or to reduce incidents of sexual violence on campus. He’s animated and persuasive, and it was refreshing to hear someone speak passionately about the good intent of these regulations. There are many problems with the pending legislation related to Title IX and McCaskill’s Campus Safety and Accountability Act. However, the goals are worthy. We need to seize the opportunity to educate the campus community, change the culture, and prevent and eliminate sexual violence. As the body of another college woman was recently exhumed and identified in Virginia, it is a sad reminder that we need to do more.