UW's ERM implementation process and lessons learned are consistent with the guidance offered by the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA). In a 2010 conference presentation, NACUA identified the following eight critical success factors:
1. Establish the right vision and realistic plan.
2. Obtain senior leadership buy-in and direction.
3. Align with mission and strategic objectives.
4. Attack silos at the outset.
5. Set objectives and performance indicators.
6. Stay focused on results.
7. Communicate vision and key outcomes.
8. Develop a sustainable process versus a one-time project.
While complex and time-consuming, effective development of a culture- specific ERM program can have positive outcomes for colleges and universities. Institutions such as UW that view ERM as a long-term investment in institutional health, rather than a fad or simply a set of tools (such as spreadsheets and heat maps), position themselves well not only to respond to the external demands from credit ratings agencies, accreditors, and federal regulators, but to situate themselves to make key strategic decisions, informed by both quantitative and qualitative data, to enhance their organization, leading to increased enrollment and graduation and strategic disbursement of resources for teaching and research, as well as increasing the likelihood that, due to their integrated, proactive approach, they will avoid future compliance scandals. Perhaps the two most important deliverables on UW's 2013-2014 agenda are those that demonstrate its awareness of the importance of the human resources component in its collegial environment: outreach to faculty and other administrators to obtain broader validation of risks and to identify additional mitigation activities, and an iterative process to involve senior leaders, the Provost, the President, and the Regents in monitoring the top risks. Through this process, UW is building a culture not only of compliance, but of shared responsibility for the future health of the university.