Five College Risk Management

Five College Risk Management is a shared administrative program providing risk management, enterprise risk management, and insurance solutions to the four private colleges in our Five College Consortium: Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges.

Five College Risk Management is a shared administrative program providing risk management, enterprise risk management, and insurance solutions to the four private colleges in our Five College Consortium: Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges. Through interaction with the Colleges and their faculty, staff and students, Risk Management provides administrative support and guidance to safeguard the Colleges’ assets and minimize risks, thereby ensuring the preservation of their academic programs. Risk Management mitigates the risks associated with the operations of our member institutions through a combination of risk financing, risk transfer, and risk mitigation strategies.

Mission Statement

The Five College Risk Management Program (FCRM) assists our member institutions in carrying out their academic missions through the use of innovative risk control, claims management, risk financing techniques, enterprise risk management facilitation, and a variety of strategic programs designed to provide safe and healthy campuses.

Vision Statement

FCRM aspires to be a cost-effective, efficient, impactful, and transparent operation.  We will serve our member institutions and the consortium as a highly valued strategic partner and resource; providing innovation, high quality service, and cost efficient tools for appropriately balancing risk and opportunity.

Risk Management Services

  1. Property, Liability, and other insurance policies and programs.
  2. Investigate and handle self-insured claims in an expeditious manner. Support filing and processing of insured claims with insurance carriers. Coordinate with third-party administrators of claims programs as applicable.
  3. Perform risk assessments and analysis in cooperation with other departments or programs.
  4. Establish levels of self-insurance and administer all self insurance programs.
  5. Manage the Collegiate Catalyst Fund, a captive domiciled in Vermont.
  6. Collaborate with College administrators to develop policies and procedures to prevent or minimize losses. Risk mitigation programs managed by our office include Driver Credentialing and Minor Safety. 
  7. Review contracts and agreements to ensure that the College bears only its proportionate share of any liability or claims that may arise from the agreement, and to ensure that appropriate insurance and other protective clauses are in the agreement.
  8. Provide training, written procedures and guidelines to the Colleges within the scope of the risk management and insurance programs. 
  9. Provide Enterprise Risk Management guidance and direct support to member institutions.

Risk Management must be notified immediately if one of the following occurs, regardless of whether a claim is expected to arise:

  • Fatality (e.g., student, faculty, staff, visitor, independent contractor, community member)
  • Major paralytic conditions such as paraplegia and quadriplegia
  • Second- or third-degree burns to 25 percent or more of the body
  • Amputation or permanent loss of use or sensation of a major extremity
  • Head or brain injuries resulting in coma, behavioral disorders, personality changes, seizures, aphasia, permanent disorientation
  • Loss of sight or hearing
  • Injury resulting in incontinence of bowel or bladder
  • Sexual molestation, sexual assault, or rape
  • Bodily injury resulting from medical services or from health care services provided in a clinic, infirmary, student health center, treatment room, or other facility that provides medical or health services to students or at other locations in the event of a medical emergency
  • Suspected or actual cyber security incident arising from or due to cyber security threats including but not limited to social engineering, ransomware, phishing, or malware. 

Risk Management should be notified as soon as reasonably possible in the following instances:

  • Damage to a college-owned vehicle or rental vehicle used for college business
  • Threat of litigation or request for payment for bodily injury sustained by a 3rd party as a result of our negligence
  • Request for payment or threats of litigation against the college including but not limited to discrimination, wrongful termination, breach of contract, accreditation, or tenure denial
  • Title IX Investigation
  • Damage to college-owned property totaling more than $5,000
  • If assistance is needed to manage a reputational risk
  • If a threat assessment is needed to evaluate a campus community member

Risk Management can be contacted for assistance with locating external compliance resources. Risk Management will also notify member institutions of any new emerging compliance obligations or revisions to existing obligations if Risk Management becomes aware of the same. However, Risk Management cannot advise on the suitability or legality of policies, processes, or documents designed to obtain compliance with federal, state, or local regulations. Consistent with best practices, legal review of policies prior to implementation is strongly recommended.

Federal Regulations for Higher Education

The Higher Education Compliance Alliance 

The National Association for College and University Attorneys (NACUA), in partnership with thirty other higher education associations, to provide the higher education community with a centralized repository of information and resources for compliance with federal laws and regulations.

This resource can serve as an institutional compliance matrix detailing the current Federal mandates. The matrix can also be organized by regulation, applicable department, and reporting deadline.  

If you have any questions on how to use the matrix, please contact the Director of Risk Management. 

The Risk Management office will assist with review of third-party agreements and with the formation of new agreements. Please request assistance at least ten business days in advance of when an initial agreement draft is required. Please note that Risk Management is not authorized to sign agreements. Questions regarding signatory authority should be directed to the requester’s immediate supervisor or department lead.

Risk Management will provide assistance with member institutions’ ERM programs, regardless of program maturity level. This assistance will include guidance on risk identification, assessment, and mitigation as well as participating in applicable board meetings. Risk Management will also assist with expanding the ERM program, integration with internal audit, and integration with the strategic planning process. Risk Management will also schedule ERM software demonstrations and assist institutions with evaluating software platforms.

Risk Management conducts annual audits of our insurance needs and existing insurance programs to assure that the Colleges’ maintains optimum, cost-effective protection from responsible, well-capitalized insurers.

The Colleges’ have business relationships with a wide range of organizations throughout the state and region. Risk Management coordinates the procurement and acceptance of Certificates of Insurance from authorized insurers as needed to support these business relationships.

**The information below is applicable to all the Colleges. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact the Insurance & Claims Specialist.

Risk Management will assist member institutions with policy development. This assistance includes obtaining sample policies (where available), locating applicable resources, and draft policy review with at least ten business days advance written request.

Risk Management cannot advise on the suitability or legality of policies, processes, or documents designed to obtain compliance with federal, state, or local regulations. It is highly recommended that certain policies be reviewed by legal counsel prior to implementation.

Risk Management will provide risk management guidance and advice regarding any aspect of college operations, including athletics, student activities, international travel, safety, executive travel, and new initiatives. 

Your Property on Campus

The Colleges encourage all students and employees to obtain personal property insurance as the Colleges assume NO responsibility for losses to personal belongings.

URMIA offers a comprehensive and competitive plan for students, faculty and staff. The Colleges do not receive any compensation or consideration for making this plan available to students.

Contact Us

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Ruth Rauluk

Director of Risk Management

Ruth joined Five Colleges in 2020. The Risk Management Office directly supports the four private member colleges of the consortium:  Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith. In this role, Ruth has responsibility for enterprise risk management, traditional risk management, and insurance operations. She also serves as the Vice President and Chief Operating Office of the Collegiate Catalyst Fund LLC, an insurance captive operated by consortium members.

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K. Dymek

Insurance & Claims Manager

K. Dymek's current responsibilities include: managing and administering the Five College Risk Management program’s insurance policies and claims, including the record keeping associated with these policies or programs; supporting all campus collaborative insurance buying or claims management committees, including those for student health and workers’ compensation; working with insurance service providers to ensure full utilization of loss prevention services; providing assistance to management and administration in planning department goals/objectives; and supporting the Director of Risk Management in developing reports, and responding to campus requests.

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Anna Domings

Risk & Compliance Coordinator

Anna manages Risk Management's various compliance programs for minor safety, driver credentialing, and online waiver requests. She also provides broad administrative support to the Risk Management staff, and handles general inquiries from faculty, staff, and students at the four private member colleges.