Frequently Asked Questions

What is the University Risk Management Council?

The University Risk Management Council (URMC) administers a structured approach to risk management that identifies and manages, to an acceptable level, the key risks that may adversely affect the University’s ability to achieve its goals and objectives. The Council reports to the President and the Harvard Corporation's Joint Committee on Inspection regarding the effectiveness of the University’s risk management program. The URMC works with Harvard's schools and central administration units on continuous improvement of the University’s capabilities around managing...

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What is my role in managing risk?

Harvard staff and faculty 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...

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Who manages risk at the University?

 

As employees or agents of the University, we are all risk managers. Whether "risk manager" is in our job title or job description is irrelevant. We all are presented with risk in the workplace and must act to address risk in an informed manner. 

A list of risk management leads at Harvard's schools and central administration units can be accessed below. These individuals can help you think about how best to address your risks and/or connect you with other risk management leaders at the University.

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What types of risk is the University concerned about?

The University broadly defines risk as any issue that could impact Harvard's ability to meet its objectives. We categorize risks under the following areas:

  • Academic risks
  • Compliance risks
  • Financial risks
  • Operational risks
  • Reputational risks
  • Strategic risks

 

What is risk management?

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

What should a driver do if an accident occurs while driving a University vehicle?

In the event an accident occurs the driver should do the following:

  1. DO NOT ADMIT LIABILITY TO ANYONE.
  2. Exchange vehicle information with the other driver - name, address, license number, plate number, year, make, model of car, name of Insurance Company.
  3. f necessary, contact HUPD or the local police.
  4. Report all accidents immediately to Insurance Department, 617-495-8668, FAX 617-496-0505.
  5. Submit Auto Accident Report Form...
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What if a department wants to buy, sell or lease a vehicle?

Contact the Insurance Department for instructions prior to buying, selling or leasing a vehicle. The Insurance Department will process the registration, insure the vehicle on the University's Automobile Insurance Policy and provide guidelines on the use of vehicles, driver training and authorizing drivers.

Does Harvard carry insurance for the (personal) property of students, faculty or staff?

No. The property insurance maintained by the University does not cover the property of students, faculty or staff against theft, loss or damage.  Additionally, the University does not reimburse for damage to/loss of such property even when the loss occurs inside a Harvard University building.  Students, faculty and staff are therefore encouraged to procure their own insurance coverage for any valuables especially computers, electronics, televisions, bicycles, clothing, jewelry, books, and general apartment/dorm furnishings.  Depending on the circumstances, personal property...

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What if someone is injured on our premises?

Harvard employees are instructed to ask the injured person if he/she needs assistance. If possible let the injured person tell you what he/she wants to do. If medical attention is required call 9-911. Offer to call a family member or a friend and contact HUPD for assistance. Employees should never make a statement regarding liability or payment of bills. The Insurance Department should be notified of all incidents involving bodily injury to a third party (student, visitor or guest) as soon as possible by telephone (617-495-8668) and an...

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