We at Virginia Commonwealth University are committed to operating ethically and efficiently in every way. That includes doing everything we can to foresee, manage and mitigate potential risks before they occur.

As such, we are launching an enterprise risk management (ERM) program, a comprehensive approach to identifying risks that could severely impact the university and prevent us from meeting our goals. Such risks may come from operations, finance, regulations or strategic decisions related to Quest for Distinction, and they ultimately impact our most precious asset — our reputation. We are committed to doing everything possible to prevent potentially significant “surprises” before they happen.

The Board of Visitors, the university leadership team and I have initiated and fully support an ERM program at VCU. We have convened an implementation committee that is charged with oversight of the ERM program. In the coming months, committee members will begin interviewing administrators on both campuses to help identify potential risks that will be consolidated, analyzed and prioritized by the vice presidents. Based on this work, management plans will be created and monitored to mitigate these enterprise level risks. Most of this work will be completed this fiscal year.

This will be a dynamic process. We need to continually assess and mitigate the risks we face. If you become aware of any risk to the university, please communicate it to your administrator or members of the ERM Implementation Committee.

Thank you for your support. We also appreciate your feedback, particularly if you are asked to participate in this initiative. Issues around risk affect us all, and we must all be vigilant.


Michael Rao, Ph.D.