This past Tuesday, April 14, the Center for Risk Management Education and Research (CRMER) Student Fellows had the distinct privilege to spend part of the evening with influential guest, Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz. President Schulz has now been at the helm for six years and his efforts can easily be recognized for K-State’s success and growing vision. Today, he is a major reason the CRMER was launched and became a reality as well as an opportunity for Kansas State students.
The CRMER students, were also accompanied by the Center’s Advisory Council members. Who also, listened and engaged with President Schulz about the kinds of risk K-State and other Universities may encounter.
Apart from President Schulz’s good humor he brought to the table different perspectives on dynamic risks most of us have not considered. For K-State, and all universities, there is a huge responsibility to preserve and build a credible reputation that is perceived from the student body, faculty, as well as the general public. The reputation of a University is something that takes hard work and many years to build, while on the contrary, a reputation can be compromised by a single negative event—ultimately redefining a University.
President Schulz considered the reputation of a University to be the hinging point that could potentially birth more risk. Today, a broken reputation could lead to a decrease in incoming students, financial funding for the University or discomfort from people involved. For example, President Schulz shared how influential social media can be towards the well-being of a University and the vital role proper procedures play in resolving an unclear situation that could be circulating. This reputational risk as a whole can be prevented and regulated through proper courses of action instilled before a matter actually occurs.
From there, President Schulz wrapped up his time with the CRMER students by elaborating further on the importance of preparation and the ability to reevaluate current risk procedures in place for risk that K-State might encounter. No matter what facet of industry someone is involved with there is always going to be risk that was not accounted for. To President Schulz’s advice, preparing procedures that are upheld with integrity and are able to handle situations unaccounted for is pivotal for the success of any business. For K-State, this means being proactive and on their toes for any form of risk that may jeopardize the universities reputation.
After President Schulz’s departure, the CRMER students as well as the Advisory Council, participated in constructive dialogue concerning what we learned from President Schulz along with ways the Center could improve and the success we have earned to recognize.
Many of the students who were present that evening had a unanimous consensus that President Schulz spoke on forms of risk we were not expecting. He helped us to understand the gamut of risk present in our world today—such as reputational, social media risk, and unaccounted risk. Risk for President Schulz is much more than the tangibles and is nothing to be taken lightly.
Overall, this was an educational evening bringing to light more areas of risk we may have not considered. As a group of CRMER student fellows, we thank President Schulz for his valuable time on Tuesday and we owe him our gratitude for his support of the Center. Our appreciation also goes out to the Advisory Council and their genuine efforts to see students grow in knowledge and understanding for the rising importance of risk management.