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Emerging Trends in the Management of Risks Associated with Student Life . Kimberly Novak NovakTalks, LLC Twitter: @NovakTalks. Legal Issues in Higher Education 2011. Student –Focused Risk Management.

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Emerging Trends in the Management of Risks Associated with Student Life


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    1. Emerging Trends in the Management of Risks Associated with Student Life Kimberly Novak NovakTalks, LLC Twitter: @NovakTalks Legal Issues in Higher Education 2011

    2. Student –Focused Risk Management “While legal liability considerations are of course secondary to safety concerns legal issues are important …” – Nolan VT 2011

    3. Redefined Relationship “The most universal source of (duties) is the legal principles that are developed & expressed over time by state court judges in the form of case law…” – Nolan VT 2011

    4. Bonfire Commission Investigation Results • Design problems • Personnel problems (students) • No proactive risk management plan for student organizations • Cultural bias leading to organizational “tunnel vision”

    5. Next Steps - Critical and Strategic • TAMU accepts full responsibility for Bonfire - past, present and future. • Report = “Judicial decree” • Risk management initiatives. • Plan for future of Bonfire.

    6. Review & Report on Resources • It became very apparent while there is plenty of material available on risk management, the vast majority of it deals with insurance. • University Risk Management & Insurance Association (URMIA) – Short survey with regards to proactive risk management resulted in seven responses of more than 500 members. • “I really do not know of anyone who has a really proactive risk management program in student affairs. I always cite TAMU for a crisis response team. As far as books and articles I have not seen any on this topic.There is a lot of ‘risk management’ stuff out there, but not what I think you are looking for.” From Donald D. Gehring – Bowling Green State University

    7. Lessons Learned • Large organizations tend to replicate performance – regular review and appropriate management are necessary • If you think you cannot change the performance – you should • Responsible people will make responsible decisions – we cannot tolerate those who are irresponsible

    8. Developing a common language… A proactive system of identifying potential risks or hazards associated with organizational events and activities; assessing the impact they may have on the organization and university community; deciding whether to accept the risks, modify the activities, or eliminate the risks altogether, to ensure successful accomplishment of student organizations and universities missions and goals.

    9. Facilitator UniversityStudent/Institutional Relationship A Facilitator University balances rights and responsibilities—it is neither extremely authoritarian nor overly solicitous of student freedom. Importantly, a facilitator college seeks shared responsibility rather than allocating it unilaterally or not at all. Facilitation implies an appropriate and reasonable degree of risk.

    10. Student Organization Pyramid Sponsored SharedResponsibilities Association with University Affiliated Registered

    11. Criteria For Student Organization Determination Responsibilities of the Organization • Sponsored • Organization routinely represents the university. • Organization is responsible for an event/activity that is considered a program of the university. • Organization officially represents the university. • Affiliated • Organization is only responsible for activities within the purpose of the organization. • Activities are normally limited to its membership. • Registered • Organization is only responsible for activities within the purpose of the organization. • Activities are normally limited to its membership.

    12. Sponsored Organizations • Organization is critical to the mission and culture of the university. • Advisor is a full-time employee designated by job description who must attend 15-20 hrs of training. • High amount of risk for the university due to the activity of the organization. • Mandatory training for student officers – 10-15 hours each year. • Organization must appoint a risk management officer who develops an operations manual. • Organization must carry additional liability insurance to cover membership and events.

    13. Focus of Risk Management Shifts • Develop and implement proactive risk mgmt manual • Provide training for RM Coordinators • Provide opportunity for RM to use each other as resources FOCUS ONDepartment OperationsNOTStudent Activities

    14. Many professionals are still transitioning out of the Bystander Era “A legal paradigm that prevents the educator or education administrator from performing (in their) role for fear of being sued, or which encourages a ‘look the other way’ attitude in situations where guidance or intervention is necessary to the student’s well-being, is seriously flawed” (Bickel and Lake, p. 168).

    15. Hot Issues • Minors on Campus • Student Travel • Study Abroad • Major Campus Events • Service Learning Experiences • Alcohol on campus • Student Employees • Violence on campus Key: Issues were not knew to RM conversations ~ rather a shift to considering the students involved in the events

    16. Crisis Intervention & Prevention • US Department of Education shifting work contracts • Threat Assessment Team Development • Single –Actor incidents Shifting Focus: Education and skill development for students that will engage with these processes ~

    17. Many still discuss risk management concepts in legal terms and in the legal paradigm – and NOT in a language more familiar to themselves or their students. We have not yet shifted away from the language of policies, laws, and compliance that originally shaped the risk management discussion… As a result, students perceive risk management as policies/guidelines only and this has shifted their focus of risk analysis.

    18. Shifting Focus Student education and resources shifting from pure policy to safety education

    19. Actions Issues • Alcohol • Other Drugs • Sexual Assault • Red Zone Safety • Student Employee • Minors on Campus • Large Campus Events • Student Travel • Data driven design • Prevention Education • Skill development resources • Student participation in safety efforts • Shifting response systems • Responsibility themes

    20. Responsibility Themes Bystander Education • Notice the Event • See the Event as problem • Feel responsible to act • Have skills necessary to act Amnesty Efforts “get out of jail free” -Vs.- social responsibility intervention

    21. Trends on Your Campus?

    22. “College administrators and campus law enforcement officers became motivated by fear of triggering legal liability and were encouraged to pursue strategies in their jobs that would minimize the risk of lawsuits but not necessarily reduce risk or injury. In short, the law encouraged the destruction of much of the student/university relationship outside the classroom.” ~ Bickel and Lake 1999

    23. Large organizations tend to replicate performance – regular review and appropriate management are necessary If you think you cannot change the performance – you should Responsible people will make responsible decisions – we cannot tolerate those who are irresponsible