Administration and Finance
 
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Administration and Operations Manual

2.24 Risk Management

Last Revised: 11 May 2006
Refer Questions To: Manager, Risk Management & Insurance

Scope

This policy applies to all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University.

Policy

The uncertainty of life necessitates risk management on campus, and the Office of Risk Management and Insurance coordinates the campus risk management efforts. Through this department, Gallaudet University ensures that the human, property, and financial assets of the University are adequately protected through a program designed to: (1) identify potential exposures; (2) measure the impact on the institution should a loss occur; and (3) apply appropriate risk handling techniques to minimize the effect of a loss on the University.

The Office of Risk Management and Insurance is responsible for educating the campus community about risk management; identifying exposures, measuring and evaluating exposures, and implementing appropriate strategies to reduce or transfer the risk; purchasing appropriate insurance; and processing of claims.

Only the Office of Risk Management and Insurance is authorized to negotiate or secure insurance coverage on behalf of Gallaudet University. For each purchase, this office considers the feasibility of other risk management strategies, the scope of available coverage against its cost, the value of any services offered by the insurer, and the reliability and financial stability of each company. Insurance products are competitively bid, assisted by an insurance broker or agent selected by the Office of Risk Management and Insurance.

Employees of Gallaudet are responsible for risk management too. This includes, but is not limited to: (a) developing appropriate operational policies and procedures; (b) ensuring compliance with the law; (c) providing appropriate education and training to reduce misunderstandings and mistakes, and to improve morale; (d) promptly reporting any claims or concerns about potential hazards to the Office of Risk Management and Insurance or to the Department of Public Safety for investigation and further action and reporting.

The Vice President for Administration and Finance is advised of major claims against the University and is authorized to negotiate a settlement. Gallaudet reserves the right to shift the cost of any deductibles and uninsured losses to the department at fault. If an investigation determines that an injury or damage to property was intentionally inflicted, Gallaudet reserves the right to discipline responsible employees, students, or other culpable individuals.

Risk management is necessitated by the uncertainty of loss and liability relative to the University's property and the actions of those individuals representing the institution. Accordingly, Gallaudet ensures that the human, property, and financial assets of the University are adequately protected through a program designed to: (1) identify potential losses; (2) measure the impact on the resources of the institution should a loss occur; and (3) apply appropriate risk handling techniques to minimize the effect of a loss on the University.

The Insurance and Risk Management Office is responsible for the University's risk management program including the identification, measurement, evaluation, reduction, and monitoring of risks; the purchasing of insurance when deemed appropriate; and the processing of claims, including those related to workers' compensation.

Gallaudet is able to predict certain risks and thereby budget for related losses which are financially limited. Therefore, it is not the institution's practice to insure against all foreseeable and bearable expenses when acceptable alternatives can be achieved. Only when it is deemed that the University cannot eliminate or economically accept a potential loss will it be transferred by purchase of insurance.

When purchasing insurance, the University fully considers the scope of coverage, the services offered by the insurer, the reliability and financial stability of the company, and the price of the coverage as competitively determined. No faculty member, teacher, or staff employee is authorized to negotiate or secure insurance coverage independently regardless of the funding source.

Every employee of Gallaudet is responsible for promptly reporting any property loss or potential liability claim to the Insurance and Risk Management Office or to the Department of Public Safety. All losses and claims are investigated by the Insurance and Risk Management Office and reported to the University's insurance broker and/or legal counsel when deemed appropriate. Depending on the situation, a department or employee may be held accountable for any damage done to University property if it can be reasonably determined that the employee was at fault. Repeated incidents, neglect, or abuse of University property may be grounds for disciplinary action.

The Vice President for Administration and Finance is advised of all claims against the University and is authorized to negotiate a settlement in consultation with the insurance carrier and/or legal counsel.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Administration
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