Risk Management

What is the Risk Management Committee?

The Harvard Risk Management Committee (RMC) provides a forum for identification, discussion and resolution of major risks facing the University. The RMC is charged by the President and Provost to provide advice on:

  • How the University may assure that faculty and staff are aware of their legal and ethical responsibilities as members of the Harvard community
  • What steps should be taken to establish and codify University-wide standards of conduct
  • Coordinating and disseminating information regarding training, oversight functions, and internal controls, especially in Read more about What is the Risk Management Committee?

What is my role in managing risk

You have two roles in managing risk. The first role is to be aware of and understand what areas of risk are present in your current position. For example, if you manage people you need to consider employment laws, discrimination laws and union contracts. You also need to consider the University's policies and practices around hiring, firing and creating a safe work environment.

Once you know your risk areas, you need to consider the implications of these risks on yourself, your department and the University. This second role in managing risk requires that you to assess each situation Read more about What is my role in managing risk

Who manages risk at the University?

Some departments are responsible for managing specific risk areas. For example, the Office of Human Resources manages employment risks. Similarly, Environmental, Health & Safety consults on environmental risks.

However, as employees or agents of the University, we are all risk managers. What does that mean? Whether "risk manager" is in our job title or job description is irrelevant. We all are presented with risk in the workplace. For example, we all have resources at our discretion, such as staff, finances, property and information. What we do or do not do with those resources Read more about Who manages risk at the University?

What types of risk is the University concerned about?

While we often associate risk with financial matters, e.g. investments, insurance, loss prevention, there are many types of risk. The University broadly defines risk as any issue that could impact the University's ability to meet its business objectives. In other words, risk applies to many different aspects of our work.

Specifically, the University is concerned with five risk areas.

What is risk management?

Risk management is a process of proactively identifying issues and assessing their potential impact on the University. Taking a proactive approach allows the University to anticipate risk and make informed business decisions. Depending on the circumstances, the University may choose to either avoid risk or assume it.