Strategic Planning

Part of the UMB 2021-2026 Strategic Planning process is a brief assessment to consider the biggest barriers that could interfere with the achievement of strategic goals — in other words, an assessment of risk. For each strategic goal, each school or unit have assessed each goal and completed a short qualitative and quantitative evaluation regarding the primary and secondary risks facing that goal. In addition, each school or unit will have the opportunity to identify an emerging risk that would prevent achievement of that goal. 

The ERM team have analyzed the data to learn more about which risk categories, and which specific risks within categories, may be most problematic across schools and units. This analysis has guided in action steps on how to better understand and address those risks and potentially seize opportunities. More information about that process is below.

Risk Assessment Details

The risk assessment will be completed via a form in the Strategic Plan Implementation Management System (SPIMS) portal. The deadline for updating the risk assessment for each school and unit’s risk submissions will be in FY 2023, FY 2024, and FY2025. These risks will be updated annually.

The strategic plan emerging risk assessment process for each school and unit is as follows:
  1. Identify a potential emerging risk that within the past year would prevent the school or unit in achieving the strategic goal?
    • Given the choice of selecting Yes or No
  2. State the emerging risk, if the choice of yes is selected.
  3. Assign a risk category out of the 12 identified risk categories below.
    • Given the choice to choose the risk category of "other" to state a new potential risk category that the emerging risk should represent if the current 12 identified risk categories does not represent the emerging risk. 
  4. Assign an audience to the emerging risk.
    • Internal to UMB
    • External to UMB
    • Both Internal and External to UMB
The strategic plan risk assessment process for each school and unit is as follows:
  1. Identify the primary risk, which is the top barrier that could prevent the achievement of the identified strategic goal.
  2. Add a description of the risk that provide details of the risk, people affected, actions/tasks that will be affected. 
  3. Assign a risk category out of the 12 identified risk categories below.
  4. Assign an audience to the emerging risk.
    • Internal to UMB
    • External to UMB
    • Both Internal and External to UMB
  5. Assign a rating along with providing details as to why that rating was chosen for each category based on risk likelihood, risk impact and risk speed of onset.
  6. Stating the mitigations already in place or need to be implemented will be highly encouraged.
  7. Steps 1 through 6 can be repeated for a secondary risk, if applicable.

Explanations for relevant terms can be found at Definitions and Common Terms.

Please email if you have questions about the process.

Major Risk Categories

Compliance with Laws, Regulations, and Policies 

UMB must comply with a broad range of state, federal, and international requirements as well as terms and conditions required by funding agencies and accrediting bodies. Failure to meet these obligations may negatively affect UMB's ability to attract funding and can lead to financial losses, increased administrative burdens, ineligibility for funding awards, and adverse impacts to the University’s reputation.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion 

UMB is committed to the core values of Equity and Justice by embracing diversity and valuing inclusive and just communities. Prioritizing and implementing these values will position UMB as a leader, both internally and externally, and result in stronger outcomes in improving education, research, and service.

External Competition or Market Conditions 

UMB must recognize and respond to external market conditions and competition from the private sector, nonprofits, and other universities in various areas. UMB’s response to such external forces will impact its ability to successfully compete for limited resources, seize new opportunities, and adapt current activities to the changing external situation.

Funding and Budget 

UMB’s capacity to undertake mission-oriented and strategic activities is dependent on securing adequate funding from sources including state support, tuition revenue, awards, philanthropy, and others. Securing such funding, in addition to controlling costs and spending wisely, will allow funds to be maximally applied to achieve strategic goals.

Health and Safety 

Addressing health and safety concerns is vital to achieving UMB’s mission. Physical, mental, social, and environmental health, plus other health- and safety-related factors, may impact mission activities and may require additional capabilities, such as security or emergency management, or new approaches.

Human Capital 

A talented, highly skilled, and motivated workforce is critical to achieving UMB’s strategic goals. Many factors affect UMB’s ability to recruit faculty and staff, ensure they are meeting their full potential, and promote a work environment where faculty and staff are happy, high-achieving, and feel valued.

Infrastructure, Technology, and Facilities 

Contemporary education, research, and community buildings and spaces are important to implementing UMB’s strategic goals and supporting infrastructure — including information technology and data management — are often critical to those aims. Sustaining and upgrading building infrastructure, information technology systems, and knowledge management systems may be needed to keep pace with contemporary needs, which include a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Operational and Administrative Processes 

UMB support functions often occurring outside of public or broad view that can involve (but are not limited to) financial management, communications, facilities, award administration, information technology, procurement, insurance, and student-facing services. These functions can be critical to the ultimate success of mission-related activities,

Organizational Culture and Structure 

Organizational culture and structure are often key drivers in establishing UMB’s policies and practices. The culture and structure of a school, unit, or program may lead to different approaches to strategy, management, risk taking, stability, and adaptation that foster or impede outcomes.


Formal and informal partnerships occur regularly outside of UMB, across schools and units, and in different functional areas within a school or unit. These joint efforts can often be a critical element in the success or failure of achieving strategic goals.

Reputation of UMB, School, or Program 

The public reputation of UMB — as a university, of its schools and units, and of individual programs — may carry great weight in education, research, and other mission activities. An increase or decrease in the influence of that reputation may have a significant impact on those activities.

Student Enrollment and Engagement 

Student enrollment is a critical component to the University’s education and research missions, and it can be affected by the cost of tuition and fees, demand for graduates in a specific professional discipline, general economic conditions, changing student demographics, and other factors. Once students are enrolled, their level of engagement in a range of activities can impact their trajectory in preparing to be exemplary professionals and leaders in society, fulfilling UMB’s community and social justice mission, and supporting the institution beyond graduation.


The risk category of "other" can be used when an identified emerging risk does not fall into the twelve existing risk categories. When chosen, the UMB community member can give an example of a risk category the emerging risk would represent.