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Definition of Risk

Risk:  The possibility that the occurrence of an event will  adversely affect the achievement of the organization's objectives.  At Stanford University, risks are categorized as follows:

risk categories
  • Strategic – an event that affects the high-level goals and vision of the University 
  • Healthcare – an event that could impact the delivery of healthcare activities
  • Students – an event that could negatively impact current or potential students
  • Research – an event that could encumber the University’s research mission
  • Operational/Campus - an event that affects ongoing management processes 
  • Financial - an event that affects the financial well-being of the institution

We believe that every risk has a potential compliance or reputational aspect to it:

  • Compliance - an event that affects the institution’s adherence to applicable laws and regulations or University policies and guidelines
  • Reputational - an event that affects the image, standing or character of the organization