Two-thirds of college and university risk managers responding to a recent survey said they consider the risks associated with fraternities to be among the most significant risks facing higher education. When asked to describe how significant a liability risk fraternities are to an institution, half of the respondents said "medium risk" -- defined in the survey as posing "significant liability risk" -- and 14.3 percent said "high risk." About 7 percent of the managers said fraternities present "no unusual risk."
The survey, conducted by the University Risk Management and Insurance Association, also found that most risk managers are not convinced that their institution's current strategies for addressing fraternity risks are sufficient. Forty percent of the respondents said they are uncertain whether their strategies are effective, and a quarter said they feel that their strategies are not effective.
There was a sharp divide between risk managers at public and private institutions in how they view the advantages that fraternities provide to their campuses. More than one-third of respondents at private colleges said "there are no advantages" to having fraternities at their institutions. Only 10 percent of public institutions reported no advantages, with 70 percent of them saying that fraternities are important to alumni relations and philanthropic activities. The University Risk Management and Insurance Association said it conducted the survey to see if a recent "rash of negative news stories about alleged misconduct in certain fraternities" has affected how colleges view the risks associated with them.