University Business February 2018 - 45

with the hundreds of federal obligations is
no easy feat. And it's not a job for a single
individual.
"Compliance has to be a collaboration," says attorney Claire Hall, owner
of the higher ed consulting firm University Education & Compliance Training,
known as UECAT. "Once you know what
the obligations are, achieving them is not
as difficult."
The work does, however, require creative problem-solving. Identifying necessary resources, engaging subject matter
experts and strategizing how best to close
any potential gaps have become priorities
in higher ed, says Stacie Kroll, director of
compliance and risk management at Five
Colleges Incorporated, which represents
Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke
and Smith colleges as well as UMass Amherst in Massachusetts.
When a question about a particular

8 elements of an effective
compliance program
✔ Oversight
policies
✔ Written
and procedures

✔ Training
✔ Communication
enforced
✔ Standards
through well-publicized
disciplinary guidelines

✔ Internal monitoring
to
✔ Response
detected offenses

✔

Periodic risk
assessments

www.universitybusiness.com

mandate comes up at Smith, the internal
subject matter expert will guide compliance committee members in strengthening efforts to support the compliance
initiative.
Silos within higher ed can make it
more difficult to get a handle on who's
doing what with compliance efforts. Raising awareness of the importance of adhering to mandates is essential to getting
whole-campus collaboration, says Jennifer
Kirkland, acting general counsel at Washington and Lee University in Virginia.
Success relies on establishing accountability. Institutions lacking a framework
for reporting-making it unclear who,
exactly, is responsible-have bigger challenges in managing compliance.
Establish a management model
The most common organizational structures associated with tracking and reporting compliance, explains Kirkland,
include:
* Centralized compliance officer. A
single point-of-contact is responsible for
training, tracking progress and reporting
results to the government.
* Compliance committee. A committee is accountable for the institution's
compliance program. The committee develops a program, collects data from departments and reports results to necessary
stakeholders.
* Internal office in charge. Some colleges rely on the Office of Internal Audit
or Risk Management to spearhead compliance efforts and ongoing monitoring.
* Compliance matrix. Spreading
compliance responsibility across multiple departments creates a communitywide effort that can help facilitate culture
change. (Washington and Lee's compliance matrix is available at www.wlu
.edu/document/compliancematrix.)
* Stealth mode. A few schools have
no formal structure. "It's not that institutions are not doing anything to comply,"
Kirkland says. "It's that they don't have a

framework for documenting and tracking." So they may not really know if they
are in compliance.
There are pros and cons to centralized
and decentralized approaches, says Scott
Wightman, executive vice president at insurance, risk management and consulting
firm Gallagher.
In a presentation given on "Enterprise
Risk and Compliance Management" for
a Community College Risk Management
Consortium event, he explained it this
way: "While a centralized effort-designating a single individual or office as the
key contact-can be effective, it requires
significant resources. Organizations that
are completely decentralized often have
trouble with execution-incentivizing
individuals to perform-while a mix
of centralized oversight and decentralized implementation by subject matter
experts seems to provide the best chance
for success."
The safety of students, faculty and
staff has moved to the top of the compliance list, says Hoffman. However, many
colleges express the sense that they are
still building a foundation of best practices around compliance, rather than
being able to simply maintain existing
efforts.
At the University of North Dakota,
training about safety and compliance has
led to a changed culture, says Wynne, with
everyone more aware of the need to report
concerns. "We didn't get safety calls before
because no one thought anyone was listening." Today, with more reports coming
in, incidents, accidents and problems have
all declined.
Marcia Layton Turner is a Rochester, New
York-based writer.
MORE ONLINE

Higher ed compliance management
education programs
UBmag.me/complianceed

February 2018 | 45


http://www.wlu.edu/document/compliancematrix http://www.wlu.edu/document/compliancematrix http://www.UBmag.me/complianceed http://www.universitybusiness.com

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