Risk Assessment

Risk and Continuity Planning

RiskDiceA key element of continuity planning is the completion of a campus-level risk assessment and vulnerability analysis to identify risks and threats to ongoing UIC operations on the West Side and East Side of campus.  The objective is to identify and rank threat events in an effort to minimize the likelihood of disruption to the organization’s critical functions. This includes:

  • Assessing operational, utility and physical risks;
  • Analyzing risks by unit, department, and location;
  • Reviewing risk mitigation strategies for those risks that can be mitigated; and
  • Developing risk reduction strategies for those risks that cannot be fully mitigated.

The campus risk assessment details the calculated overall risk rankings for a broad spectrum of threat events. Natural hazards, along with operational risks, threats and vulnerabilities have been identified and include items such as labor disputes, deferred maintenance, loss of steam, and other factors that can affect a portion or all of the campus.  These operational items are related to the risks and operational procedures the campus has chosen to accept as part of its normal operating environment.  

As part of the Campus COOP plan, it is essential to assess the vulnerability, assign a degree of risk, and identify the key points of failure as defined by the UIC senior leadership and select mangers during a biennial risk assessment. In August 2010,  specific action strategies were established and facilitated by Marsh Risk Consulting and the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Continuity Management team.  Total risk ratings were offered on a relative scale, using a qualitative formula incorporating probability, impacts and resources.  It is important to understand that even though an event may have a low probability rating, the potential impact of that event could be very large and thus the event needed to be included in the evaluation of the overall continuity program.

A Likert scale rating was used to assess the risk potential incidents that could conceivably occur at the campus.  For each type of risk, we estimated the probability of the incident occurring, assessed the potential human (i.e. death, injury), property (i.e. loss, damage) and business (i.e. loss of market share, business interruption) impact, and estimate the strength of internal (UIC) and external (public emergency responders) resources likely to be available to respond to an incident.

The campus medical center had a threat assessment completed by Kaiser Permanente and its report was reviewed as a comparison for analysis.  Also utilized were the sources and information from the Risk Meter Online – Natural Hazard Risk Report provided to the campus.  Risk Meter Online is a proprietary database that compiles the risk ratings provided by the insurance industry claims and severity data.  The information is compiled from public sources (federal, state, and local police agencies, licensing agencies, etc.), natural hazard information from federal sources such as the United States Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency, and insurance industry statistics.  This objective data, combined with the subjective data provided by focus group participants (which included a cross-section of Vice Chancellors, Directors, Unit Heads, Business Managers, and Liaisons from the key administrative and academic units, and the University of Illinois Medical Center’s Emergency Response Team), gave a detailed look at the risks and threats that face the campus and provided a glimpse of potential vulnerabilities that should be examined in the overall campus risk management program.

This information does not cover all exact details for risks at the UIC campus.  It does, however, provide recommendations with respect to the recovery strategies based on our existing environment, as well as, our risk tolerance levels.