The Prepared College

Purposeful risk engagement
at liberal arts colleges

Campus building, lighted up at night, with stormy sky aboveWelcome to PREP

“What are best practices to identify, organize, and address the many risks faced by my college?”

Special Alert: There is now a book available for pre-order, Engaging Risk: A Guide for College Leaders. This guide will ship in September. Reserve your copy today!

Meanwhile, if you seek to understand campus risks in a new comprehensive and purposeful way, the resources of PREP can get you started.  PREP is designed for a particular type of institution that has been slow to think about risk: the small to mid-sized liberal arts college. This site explains basic principles of risk engagement for the faculty members and executive administrators who lead private undergraduate colleges with a national reputation.

PREP stands for the Purposeful Risk Engagement Project. For an interview last summer with the director, see the United Educators EduRisk site.

What’s new?

See Paula Smith’s article, “Creating a Risk-Aware Campus” in the March 2015 issue of University Business Magazine For more updates, scroll down to the end of this page.

Concepts and content on this site were created by a team at Grinnell College. Sixty posts take you aboard the voyage for one academic year as we work to:

  • ♦   identify and rank key risks across the areas of a liberal arts college;
  • ♦   develop an action plan with college leaders to monitor and address the key risks;
  • ♦   raise campus awareness and find the most successful ways to communicate about risk, both internally and externally; and
  • ♦   integrate the new protocols for risk identification, monitoring, management, and communication as an essential part of ongoing college governance (planning, budgeting, policy formation, everyday decision-making, and evaluation of outcomes).

While several national organizations provide training and legal updates on specific risks, these rarely discuss risk as intrinsic to the liberal-arts enterprise. Please use the Site Index to find your way to material that interests you, and make sure to contribute your own insights!

Resources: Paula’s LinkedIn Post offers “12 Best Resources on Risk in Higher Education.”

Risk & Insurance magazine column: As one of the site’s Risk Insiders, Paula writes about why leaders shouldn’t focus too much on reputation risk (November 3, 2014) and the role of redundancy in risk management (January 19, 2015)

October 2014 article in University Business Magazine focuses on the top seven lessons of PREP.


Disclaimer:  The information on this website is presented for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute professional advice or recommendations. Users should consult their institution’s own legal counsel or other appropriate institutional officials for advice.