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Risk Assessment Project Overview


As an initiative of PASSHE’s Board of Governors, the State System established an ongoing, collaborative risk assessment process managed by the Office of Internal Audit and Risk Assessment (OIARA) to include operations of the 14 System Universities and the Office of the Chancellor. To identify potential risks, the OIARA facilitates conversations and exercises in a multi-layered risk assessment approach with a university’s president, senior management, line management and staff personnel.

A goal of the risk assessment exercise is to evaluate the adequacy of internal controls which support high and moderate risk activities. University risk assessment outcomes are utilized in developing a prioritized annual internal audit plan for the respective institution based upon recognized levels of risk exposure, probability, impact, and known or past histories.


Risk Assessment Objectives:

  • Facilitate group leadership of a university-wide risk assessment of various operational processes supporting University operations
  • Assess risks and provide a baseline performance analysis of risk events impacting the university, originating at the departmental level
  • Present an automated/anonymous process for the university community to rank risk events based on defined levels of impact and an event’s probability of occurring
  • Provide outcomes identifying high and moderate risk events supporting university operations for potential future evaluation of adequate internal controls (internal audit planning)

Risk Assessment Project Scope:

  • Includes participation from all major operating divisions of the university, exclusive of academic instruction
  • Functional responsibilities are analyzed for the president’s office and all university divisions
  • Core university-wide risks are evaluated at the institutional level

Project Steps:

  • Introductory project presentation to president and vice presidents
  • Individual meetings with vice presidents
  • Personal interviews with department leadership and additional staff presentations
  • Develop departmental risk assessment survey questionnaires
  • Provide draft surveys to university leadership for review and approval
  • Electronically distribute surveys for completion
  • Presentation of project outcomes to president and vice presidents