Enterprise Risk Management

Everyone is a Risk Manager

ODU seeks to establish a risk-aware institutional culture where consideration of both upside and downside risk is integrated into decision-making at all levels of the organization. The purpose of these guiding principles is to support that culture and set expectations for the behavior of College employees and administrators regarding risks and opportunities.

  1. All individuals, regardless of their role at the University, are empowered and expected to report early on to senior management any perceived risks or opportunities and any near misses or failures of existing control measures, without fear of retribution.
  2. Risk management is integral to the management and future direction of the University and is a shared responsibility at all levels of the University.
  3. Ownership and management of risk will be retained within the University function, department, or unit that creates the risk or is best capable of responding to it.
  4. The University's risk philosophy will guide strategic and operational decisions at all levels.
  5. ODU encourages an open and honest discussion of the institution's environment, strategy, risks, opportunities, and actions taken in pursuit of its objectives.
  6. All credible reports of risks or opportunities are responded to promptly, incomplete reports are investigated with integrity by the responsible University official, and information about risks or opportunities is shared promptly with senior management and other key stakeholders.

Downloadable Resources

ODU’s Institutional Risk Philosophy


The University takes a broad view of risk as any event—positive or negative—that could affect the University's competitive position or ability to achieve its mission, vision, and strategic objectives.

The University acknowledges that risk, in one form or another, is present in virtually all its endeavors, and that successful risk-taking will often be necessary to achieve its aims.

We therefore do not seek to eliminate all risk; rather, we seek to be risk-aware but not risk- averse, and to effectively manage the uncertainty inherent in our environment.

To this end, we seek to identify, understand, assess, and respond to the risks and opportunities we face, taking into account their impact on ODU's people, standing, reputation, financial position, and performance. We further seek to pursue prudent risks or opportunities that we believe will generate sufficient and sustainable performance and value, avoid intolerable risks, manage residual risk within defined levels, and be prepared to respond to risks or appropriate opportunities when necessary.