University of Illinois System

Risk Centers

Where do our risks stem from?

The risk assessment process incorporates a framework that clusters significant/ critical risks by risk center. This grouping is designed to promote a sense of risk ownership and accountability. Each risk center has one or more senior leaders that oversee the risks within that center. The 13 risk centers are described here.

A graduation cap.

Academic Affairs

Goal: The University System aims to set academic policy that results in a superior learning environment

Threats to: Academic excellence due to ineffective academic strategies, inappropriate standards or poor fiscal management

Consequences: a loss of reputation, reduced academic rankings among peers, an inability to compete for quality faculty or students, and reduced research support, among others


Goal: Maintain a high-quality, successful, and compliant athletic program that attracts high caliber student-athletes and ensures their safety and academic success

Threats to: Integrity and quality of the athletic program due to substance abuse or other inappropriate/criminal conduct of student-athlete or coaches; Student-athlete injury or safety due to lack of safety education, oversight; Student-athlete academic success

Consequences: Loss of reputation, ability to attract successful athletes, loss of revenue stream, loss of fan support

A football, bat, and tennis ball.
A dollar sign.

Business and Finance

Goal: Ensure the processes required to carry out goals are appropriate and cost-effective

Threats to: Attainment of mission due to ineffective organizational processes resulting from, among other things, lack of accountability, poor change management, dysfunctional departments or business units

Consequences: Loss of reputation; weakened financial position and flexibility; inability to attract / retain high-quality faculty and staff

External Relations

Goal: Maintain strong, beneficial relationships with governmental bodies, alumni and business partners

Threats to: Relationships with governmental bodies, alumni and business partners arising from, among other things, poor communications, ineffective strategies or lack of coordination

Consequences: Reduced state budget appropriations and other detrimental financial impacts; strained relationships with state and local governments; reduced philanthropy; soured business partner relationships

Two shaking hands.
A group of buildings with a street in front.

Facilities & Utilities

Goal: Ensure all university infrastructure is conducive to a safe, productive work and learning environment

Threats to: Infrastructure integrity due to decay and deterioriation through use and aging, student and faculty safety due to improper maintenance

Consequences: Significant financial costs for the university, loss of reputation, bodily harm to all users of university facilities, decreased productivity

Governance & Organizational

Goal: Ensure appropriate governance and a capable, nimble organization

Threats to: Achievement of educational, research and public service goals resulting from, among other things, ineffective leadership, deficient organizational effectiveness, lack of cohesiveness

Consequences: Loss of reputation; inability to compete for / retain quality faculty and staff; unacceptable financial position

A Grecian building with columns.
A cross indicating health, connected by lines to a group of stick figures.

Health System

Goal: Provide high-quality medical education to students and excellent services to patients

Threats to: Quality of patient care and medical education resulting from, among other things, ineffective processes, obsolete facilities, organizational issues, increased provider competition

Consequences: Litigation; inability to hire/retain high-quality faculty and staff; reduced financial viability; increasingly unattractive payer mix

Human Resources

Goal: Attract and retain a highly capable workforce

Threats to: Recruitment and retention of high-quality employees resulting from, among other things, poor working conditions, inappropriate procedures, cultural issues

Consequences: Inability to hire/retain a quality work-force; poor workplace culture; ineffective labor relations

Stick figures connected together.
A laptop.

Information Technology

Goal: Provide cost-effective technology services and up to date, reliable systems and hardware to support all stakeholders

Threats to: University processes dependent on technology systems resulting from, among other things, system security issues, hardware/software capabilities, lack of network integrity

Consequences: Inability to perform vital teaching and research activities; reduced ability to hire/retain high-quality faculty/staff; loss of information; privacy violations; breach of network security


Goal: Maintain a high-quality program resulting in new ideas that benefit society and translate promising research into viable commercial ventures

Threats to: Research mission and activities resulting from, among other things, inability to attract sufficient grants and other funding, inability to attract highly-qualified faculty/researchers, inability to provide quality facilities

Consequences: Loss of reputation; loss of grant monies and gifts; weakened financial condition; negative impact on educational mission

An erlenmayer flask full of bubbling liquid.
A life preserver ring.


Goal: Ensure a safe environment for all students, faculty, and staff

Threats to: Campus community and property; faculty and students studying, working, and volunteering abroad; crisis mitigation plans and disaster recovery; energy processes and infrastructure, laboratory and research safety

Consequences: Harmful actions against campus community and/or property; unsafe environment for students, faculty, and staff

Student Affairs

Goal: Ensure all students have opportunities for personal and professional growth

Threats to: Student well-being, cultural satisfaction, educational excellence as a result of, among other things, student inability to acclimate to campus, student substance abuse, poor facilities

Consequences: Poor potential for meaningful student educational experience

A student with a backpack on.
A vault.


Goal: Maintain sound fiscal position and strong financial flexibility

Threats to: Financial goals arising from, among other things, state or national economy, poor fiscal planning / management, hazards

Consequences: Lack of financial flexibility, insufficient liquidity, inability to raise capital at reasonable prices

Last Updated: March 6, 2020