Title

A descriptive analysis of risk management policy governing public access to facilities in selected public institutions of higher education in the state of Connecticut

Date of Completion

January 1991

Abstract

Risk and safety issues have moved to the forefront of public discussion. The problems of risk and loss in modern society appear daily in the media and affect public discussion at many levels.^ The purpose of this study was to examine and describe risk management policy governing public access to university facilities in selected public institutions of higher education in the State of Connecticut.^ This study was designed to identify and determine the following objectives within the limits of the sample and the information provided by state policymakers and university administrators: (1) The university and state policy governing public access to university facilities; (2) The degree of familiarity with policies and procedures with regard to non-university access to campus facilities; (3) The degree of familiarity and compliance with the present Connecticut State University Board of Trustees policies governing public access to state university facilities; (4) The adequacy and quality of legal delivery to the Connecticut State University system and the sample institutions; (5) The degree of familiarity with higher education case law, risk management, and legal liabilities of administrators as they relate to non-university access to state facilities; (6) The risk management policies and procedures currently implemented and/or suggestions for future implementation; and (7) The need for a risk management model.^ Specific criteria were used to identify institutions to participate in this study, and as a result of the sampling parameters, four public universities were identified that met all the criteria. All of the institutions were part of the Connecticut State University system. The institutions selected were Central Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Southern Connecticut State University, and Western Connecticut State University.^ At each of the institutions, six different levels of administrators were interviewed. Additionally, six state policymakers whose offices either control or formulate policy pertinent to the scope of this study were interviewed.^ Results of this study, which focused on public access to the university facilities in selected state institutions of higher education indicate that the Connecticut State University should develop and endorse standardized guidelines and procedures to address non-university access to state university facilities.^ The findings of this study, however, have far greater implications for risk management and legal liability for the State of Connecticut and public education. The most compelling finding suggested by this study is that public institutions of higher education in the State of Connecticut should focus greater attention on the development of comprehensive risk management models that would minimize exposure to loss for the state and the university. ^