AUC Conducts Assessment of Operations, Establishes Risk Register

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recently conducted an assessment of the possible risks that might affect AUC’s operations and activities, including compliance, financial, operational, reputational and strategic risks.

In order to evaluate these risks, the PwC team spent five weeks conducting more than 50 interviews with leaders across the University to identify the types of incidents that could affect a particular operation. “The product at the end of this assignment is the production of a risk register, which shows the probability of some event happening and its impact,” explained Brian MacDougall, executive vice president for planning and administration. The risk register, which includes a color-coded map that shows how urgent each risk is, allows the University administration to make key management decisions.

“The use of a risk register will help us identify what policies and processes we may need to change and what organizational and structural changes we may need to contemplate to better manage risks,” MacDougall said. “From the perspective of insurance, when you understand all the risks and need to quantify the potential impact of those risks, that allows us to look and say: Do we have as comprehensive an insurance program as we need at the University?”

MacDougall noted that the production of a risk register is particularly important given the events that AUC has faced during the past few years, including revolution, water shortages and student protests. “If we look at what the University has had to manage since the opening of our new campus, our Emergency Management Team has had to manage risks that have ranged from the quarantine of the Zamalek dorms to water and power interruptions to revolution, plus disruptions associated with labor strikes and student protests,” MacDougall said. “We are a large, complicated organization, and it’s important for us to think about the changes and investments we need to make going forward.”

The risk register, MacDougall added, will help the University administration become more cognizant of the risks it faces and how to deal with them. “We hope to use this information to continue to build a culture of understanding of why it’s important to be aware of risks and how effective our responses can be to manage those risks,” he affirmed.