Five College Consortium

Five College Risk Management

History of the Five College Compliance and Risk Management Program

The Five College Compliance and Risk Management Program (CRMP) is a shared administrative program among the four private college members of Five Colleges Incorporated, including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College and Smith College. Compliance and Risk Management services are also provided for the consortium entity, Five Colleges Incorporated. The remaining member of Five Colleges Incorporated, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, does not participate in the program because the University does not have sufficient commonality of insurable interests, exposures and management structure with the other members that would make it possible to address their needs within the structure and resources of the program.

The program was created by and for the participating colleges with the support and cooperation of the Five Colleges Incorporated entity.  A Mellon Grant was awarded to Five Colleges in 1993 for the development and support of shared administrative programs. Risk Management was the second program to be developed and is the oldest continually operating shared administrative program for the four colleges.  Its first year of operations was funded by the grant, formally commencing on April 1, 1994 with the arrival of the Risk Manager, Elizabeth Carmichael. The program is managed jointly by the Risk Manager and the participating colleges using a committee structure.

The CRM Program has evolved significantly over its nineteen-year history. Originally we focused on insurance placement and claims, loss prevention, and general risk management services.  In July 2004, we began operation of our own captive insurance company, Collegiate Catalyst Fund, LLC, in support of the member’s desire to take advantage of significant financial savings that could be achieved with increased self-insurance. The CRM Program rounded out its risk management portfolio when it added the compliance function to our operations effective 7/1/2011. 

Since its inception, the Risk Management Program has focused on savings that could be achieved through share purchases of insurance coverage, claims management and administrative efficiencies. In its first five complete fiscal years, the Risk Management Program reduced combined annual premium costs by nearly $450,000, a cumulative savings of more than $2,000,000.

With the success of the insurance consolidation, the colleges began to look to the Risk Manager for broader risk analysis and compliance support. 

The Compliance and Risk Management Program touches upon virtually every aspect of the colleges’ operations, including administrative and academic matters, alumni operations, student events, summer programs, athletics, student health, and community outreach. 

The most significant factor in the success of the CRM Program is the staff. In order to meaningfully contribute to the colleges’ compliance programs, it was clear that additional staff would be needed to support the insurance and claims function as well as web and database programming. In 2011 we added the position of insurance and claims specialist to the team, and increased the administrative assistant to full time for FY14. The program uses consultants and institutional resources for web and database programming.