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Enterprise Risk Management

Creating and maintaining a framework to identify, assess, and manage risk within the university.

Purpose and Goals

The ERM program strengthens the university’s ability to achieve its mission and strategic objectives by effectively managing key risks and seizing opportunities to achieve strategic objectives. In this context, risk encompasses both negative events (“downside risk”) and opportunities (“upside risk”). 

  • Constructing a holistic view of the most critical risks to the achievement of Virginia Tech’s mission and objectives
  • Fostering a risk-aware culture, including managing risks to an appropriate level of risk tolerance
  • Improving focus and perspective on both internal and external risks and opportunities, including emerging risks and value drivers
  • Enhancing decision making in alignment with strategic goals
  • Improving efficiency and optimizing allocation of resources through risk prioritization

Program Structure

The ERM program is a collaboration bringing together representatives from across the campus community, including the President’s Executive Staff, the President’s Leadership Team, and the members of the Compliance, Audit, and Risk Committee of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.  Through discussions facilitated by OARC, these leaders review and prioritize the risks identified by individuals to identify the university’s top strategic risks, ensuring appropriate ownership and accountability for risks, including development of risk mitigation plans.

ERM at Virginia Tech is a cyclical process, combining a structured evaluation of the risk landscape every 18 to 24 months with ongoing reassessment of individual risk areas as circumstances warrant.  Throughout the cycle, OARC partners with risk owners to raise awareness and highlight opportunities to minimize downside risk while, if possible, maximizing upside risk, through facilitated discussions, tabletop exercises, and education of the university community.

Enterpise Risks

The university’s Enterprise Risk Landscape, comprised of over 20 risk areas divided across these six themes:

  • Academic
  • Campus Culture and Climate
  • External Environment
  • Financial
  • Research
  • University Operations
  1. Socio-Political Environment
  2. Leadership & Government
  3. Resource Management
  4. Infrastructure & Facilities
  5. Tuition & Fees Dependency
  6. Faculty & Staff Recruitment & Retention
  7. Research: Competitive Growth
  8. Enrollment Management
  9. Athletics
  10. Expanding Geographic Footprint

Additional Resources