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Engaging Risk

A Guide for College Leaders

Paula Vene Smith

Engaging Risk: A Guide for College Leaders offers presidents, provosts, deans, senior administrators, and faculty leaders a road map for establishing a first-rate program of risk management at their institution. Presenting risk governance as an important component of leadership, Engaging Risk adapts the central concepts of Enterprise Risk Management to a new world very different from the corporations for which ERM was designed. Of special interest to the leaders of small to mid-size liberal arts colleges, this guide takes its readers on a lively campus tour of risk, and provides them with step-by-step plans to identify, evaluate, and manage the most important risks faced by their college. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 176Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/2
978-1-4758-1844-4 • Hardback • September 2015 • $60.00 • (£39.95)
978-1-4758-1845-1 • Paperback • September 2015 • $30.00 • (£19.95)
978-1-4758-1846-8 • eBook • September 2015 • $28.00 • (£18.95)
Paula Vene Smith is professor of English and director of the Purposeful Risk Engagement Project. She previously served as vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Grinnell College.

Chapter One: Start the Ball Rolling
Chapter Two: Take a Campus Tour
Chapter Three: Create Plans for Risk Action
Chapter Four: Hold Governance Accountable

Chapter Five: Engage the Faculty
Chapter Six: Uncover the Blind Spots of Leadership
Chapter Seven: Tackle Interdisciplinary Risks
Chapter Eight: Prepare Your Campus for Crisis

Chapter Nine: Establish Ethical and Law-Abiding Practices
Chapter Ten: Build Risk Communication
Chapter Eleven: Scan for Emerging Risks and Moving Targets
Chapter Twelve: Embed Risk Practices into Governance
Epilogue: The Risk Community
Appendix: Sample College Area Risk Registers
Selected Resources
About the Author

Smith has managed to present a sensible, easy-to-follow schematic that can take academia from functioning to thriving. While the book is written to the academic audience, one could adopt the principles easily into nearly any business operation.
Risk Notes

Engaging Risk: A Guide for College Leaders is a relatively short and easy read that provides information on the fundamentals of ERM and the role they play in the process…. [T]he text delivers on its promise to guide the reader through ERM with a focus on campus involvement, knowledge building, and sustainability. This guide will influence the way campus leaders, including department chairs, view their engagement with risk.
The Department Chair

In these days when so many valued and valuable colleges and universities are facing what seem to be growing and unprecedented threats to their well-being and even sometimes to their very existence, Paula Vene Smith has written a truly important book about risk. But what makes this book an imperative read for trustees, administrators and faculty is that she defines risk as including but going beyond financial risk to include risk to mission and to the values that are at the heart of our institutions and then gives her readers thoughtful and insightful ways to address such risks.
Dr. Susan Resneck Pierce, President Emerita, University of Puget Sound, and author of On Being Presidential and Governance Reconsidered

Engaging Risk is an invaluable guide for leaders in liberal arts colleges. A comprehensive guide, it provides a primer, a thorough grounding and then is also designed to provide a quick reference when needed. Anyone who faces—or worries about facing-- the wide range of risks involved in today’s complex world of small campuses needs this book.
C. K. Gunsalus, author of The College Administrator’s Survival Guide and The Young Professional’s Survival Guide

Engaging Risk is a timely and extremely important contribution to contemporary scholarship in higher education. It should be a must-read for every college, university and system-wide administrator down to the program and department level. At a time when faculty decry top-down, corporate decision-making and trustees and regents grow frustrated with the slow deliberative pace of academic consultation, Paula Smith reminds us that risk management is everyone’s responsibility and one of the key elements in achieving “shared governance.”
Eugene M. Tobin, Senior Program Officer for Higher Education at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and co-author of Locus of Authority: The Evolution of Faculty Roles in the Governance of Higher Education