As public and private academic research institutions recover from the economic calamities of the Great Recession, institutional strategic goals are more deeply integrated within comprehensive annual budget planning and performance monitoring. To sustain excellence in the research enterprise and to foster discovery and innovation, institutional financial health is a prerequisite.
Financial sustainability action plans and capital investment master plans are now regularly adopted by institutional boards as a component of their fiduciary responsibility. Integrating the facilities and space needs of many individual colleges, schools, and departments into one comprehensive institutional plan creates a transparent, collaborative, and rigorous prioritization process for the allocation of capital and operating resources within the research enterprise (Motley, 2012).
Under these increasingly results-oriented financial plans, universities are also evaluating a variety of research-related factors: the role of the academic research institution in sustaining and generating new revenues through commercialization initiatives, contributions to administrative cost efficiencies through the use of core and other shared research facilities, sponsored research growth, and enhanced partnerships with philanthropic organizations and individuals. With continued recognition of the critical role filled by academic research institutions, each institution should carefully consider the cost-benefit relationship of investing in increasing the resiliency of both the physical and human capacity of the research enterprise—and particularly where, when, and how to best invest its financial resources to sustain the institution’s strategic objectives for its research enterprise pre- and post-disaster.
To support disaster resilience and protect the research enterprise, key operational activities must be planned, managed, and, perhaps most challengingly, funded. Following a disaster, cash and other immediate funding sources must be made available for equipment, supplies, and the building contractors, consulting engineers and other design professionals, vendors, and institutional staff who need to be paid. The participation of institutional finance leaders and finance specialists in pre-disaster resilience planning and in post-disaster recovery actions is important. Senior financial officers must provide leadership and ensure excellent performance in their critically important role developing, implementing, and maintaining stable financial procedures, which will include the assessment and recommendations for disaster-related insurance coverage, associated fieldwork and all required financial recordkeeping, to support compliance with funders’ complex post-disaster reimbursement regulations following a disaster (Kinney, 2007).
As the lead academic representative identified as a grant recipient and charged with maintaining the scientific integrity and management of the research project as well as the financial management of the project funds, the principal investigator (PI) can be tasked with active participation in pre-disaster business continuity planning and post-disaster award management (University of Miami, 2017). Examples of business continuity planning activities with financial consequences and involving the PI include assisting key administrative departments to identify and contract with the appropriate vendors for laboratory records preservation in a protected and fully recoverable location, arranging for specialized equipment repair for post-disaster services, and developing a photographic and detailed written inventory of research materials and equipment. As part of this process, the PI may also need to confirm that the research grant will allow data protection and preservation costs to be considered as a normal business expenditure funded from grant direct costs.
In addition to the PI’s substantive engagement and leadership with business continuity planning for the individual laboratory, there may be significant value for the individual PI to made personal preparations pre-disaster. Individual PIs must adequately protect their personal assets, or they may be unable to effectively contribute to the response and recovery efforts undertaken by the institution. Examples of personal financial resilience pre-disaster may include making sure that one has adequate property insurance coverage for home and possessions, including acquiring personal flood, earthquake, and umbrella liability insurance, and also making sure to have adequate cash on hand to meet personal expenses for food and essential services. In the immediate post-disaster recovery period, cash is necessary to make things happen quickly. It is important for PIs to consider acquiring all essential supplies to support home disaster recovery plans for at least 72 hours, including the basic tools (e.g., flashlight, battery-operated cell phone charger, etc.) that allow them to safely travel to research laboratories from home. Having these supplies on hand at home as well as in the workplace will allow the PI to arrive with the supplies necessary to enter the building and expedite damage assessments. Finally, being fully compliant with existing institutional policies and procedures before a disaster, including maintaining a real-time inventory of a laboratory’s physical assets, will expedite an institution’s ability to provide financial resources for replacements or matches for the PI’s physical assets and research-related assets.
Post-disaster award management by the PI may include active participation in creating detailed assessments of the condition of laboratory space, materials, and equipment. The condition assessment by the PI will usually involve facilities management professionals and will include a visual recording of physical damage of facilities and equipment. It is critical to conduct comprehensive documentation (including, but not limited to, video, photography, written notes, and verbal recording data capture) of the existing condition of facilities and equipment prior to proceeding with any recovery activities. The physical condition assessment of building systems serving the laboratory, laboratory equipment, and other infrastructure will be used by the appropriate institutional administrators to prepare insurance and other reimbursement claims for the damage associated with the PI’s grant activities and will serve as a baseline for participation by the PI in subsequent planning for capital improvements. In addition, a condition assessment of the laboratory damage will provide information critical for assessing the need for and term of interim laboratory space and equipment as well as for assisting in institutional assessment of the financial impacts of the PI’s individual program and how the impacts may affect institution research revenue.
A comprehensive condition assessment will support the PI in communications with the institution’s grants management office and with research sponsors regarding the availability of funds for resumption and other activities; will provide required clarification regarding allowable reimbursement expenses; and will serve as a baseline for communications with research sponsors if an amendment to or extension of an award schedule must be requested. Finally, PIs can use the assessment to notify their department chairs, deans, and other administrators of their ability to continue their research program and to submit specific requests for space, equipment, and funds or to request relocation to alternative laboratory space in order to mitigate the financial impacts to the PI’s grant program (UC Berkeley, 2004).
Due to the general administrative support structure that a department may be able to provide to a PI, a research core, or a research center, the research department may be most effective in facilitating the integration of departmental business continuity and institutional disaster resilience planning with institutional operating and capital budget planning processes.
Young-Jai Lee and John R. Harrald’s review of business crisis management notes that while business continuity assessments, particularly those
focused on the financial impacts on business functions and processes, may be critical, there may be a deficit in the analytical capability within institutions and businesses needed to adequately provide effective assessments (Lee and Harrald, 1999). This may be particularly challenging in the research enterprise because of the varied and complex research undertaken and the highly specialized equipment, facilities, and processes required.
To highlight the value of business continuity planning to the PI, it will be important to shift the current perception from business continuity planning as a cost or burden to the idea of business continuity planning as the price for a sponsors’ and institutions’ support for the research enterprise. Academic research institutions and research sponsors, together, may need to develop and fund consortia of highly specialized business continuity planners to assist in developing business continuity plans specifically for an institution’s research enterprise.
The integration of departmental business continuity with institutional disaster resilience planning has the potential to aggregate and organize the needs of the individual research program—which may have research staff with limited expertise in identifying complex infrastructure needs—by identifying critical physical and human assets, prioritizing infrastructure and research process risks, and building a financially oriented impact assessment. The aggregated business continuity assessments of individual programs, when successfully integrated with an institutional disaster resilience plan, can provide an objective framework of departmental capital needs and priorities for review not only within the department, but also by institutional leaders (including, for example, the provost, the vice president for research, and the chief financial officer) for regular inclusion in annual institutional operating and capital budget plans.
Integrated disaster resilience planning and business continuity planning have the opportunity to make the financial case for specific departmental capital improvements that will mitigate or eliminate negative impacts, including recovery time frames, following disasters within individual (and often unique) departmental research laboratory environments. In an institutional environment of constrained financial resources, the competition can be particularly high for capital resources. The academic research department possesses the opportunity to successfully complete and regularly update the comprehensive assessment of department-wide risks and mitigation plans. Chapter 5 addresses hazard mitigation and business continuity planning principles for the research enterprise in detail.
With the assistance of financial, facilities, and other administrative staff, those departmental plans become funding requests based on clear and objective financial considerations. The approved best practice in the Government Finance Officers Association Business Preparedness and Con-
tinuity Guidelines identified the process simply: “By distinguishing critical systems and recognizing vulnerabilities, resiliency-enhancing projects can be planned and budgeted for” (GFOA, 2008a).
Finally, the University of Utah’s disaster-resistant university mission statement provides broad guidance regarding the practical financial considerations within the university’s current long-range planning paradigm. The Salt Lake City campus integrates traditional institution master planning with “disaster-resistant university” mitigation planning guided by the following mission statement: “To identify, define, and implement those pre-disaster mitigation actions that provide ‘maximum bang for the buck’ and will insure the greatest benefit to stakeholders of the University of Utah” (University of Utah, 2008, p. 50).
While there has been much research on how to create effective decision structures to improve disaster response management performance, post-disaster financial considerations have focused, at least initially, on how best to match financial resources with the specific activities and time lines for recovery either already identified within the departmental plans developed pre-disaster or in response to a more ad hoc institutional financial resource needs assessment and allocation process (Rolland et al., 2010). There has been much less focus on the financial transactional processes and institutional business impacts of long-term recovery (Abramson et al., 2011). Disaster response has captured our attention; disaster recovery, seemingly less so. Chapter 6 of the report addresses in detail disaster response and recovery planning for the research enterprise.
As the key administrative organization supporting the individual researcher and research facilities and operations, the department has the responsibility to minimize disruptions in the services it supports and to facilitate the coordination of recovery activities following disasters. Depending on the academic research institution, the research department may have administrative services supported by dedicated departmental financial resources; nevertheless, the department will be required to coordinate with other institutional units, provide administrative support to assist in post-disaster recovery activities, and potentially serve as a central bridge function from PI to senior leadership.
The department may need to implement a wide range of pre-disaster documented procedures for resuming business and research operations following a disaster. The implementation of financial recovery procedures, conditional upon the specific institutional implementation protocols adopted and the magnitude of the disaster, will include departmental coordination with many institution administrative units. The following are key financial
considerations for the research enterprise’s recovery and will require consistent departmental engagement:
- Coordination with institutional human resources and business affairs to implement alternative staffing, including instructional teaching plans (virtual instruction or other teaching delivery methods) that will allow for operations when staff availability is limited and to ensure payroll continuity for all full-time and part-time student workers and research laboratory and other university staff; procurement/management/payment for regular services (e.g., hazardous waste disposal services); and outsourced recovery services (e.g., dry ice vendors, tradespeople, cleaning materials, supplies, food supplies, potable water, engineering, and industrial hygiene assessment services).
- Management of previously agreed-upon mutual aid agreements with other universities and public agencies.
- Implementation of arrangements for alternative space and access to offsite backup data sources.
Post-disaster, the key financial considerations for a department include providing assurances to research faculty and staff that they will continue to be compensated during the recovery effort and providing institutional financial officers the specific documentation that may be required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), commercial insurers who may be participating in a risk pool with the institution, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Flood Insurance Program, and other federal, state, or local funding agencies. The financial cost recovery aspects of post-disaster activities include comprehensive documentation of the physical damage caused by the disaster. Detailed photographic and video-graphic documentation as well as current written inventories of laboratory equipment and materials—both pre- and post-disaster—provide critical information that will expedite reimbursement to the department and the institution for replacement costs for what was damaged.
Establishing detailed emergency accounting code structures will allow a department to capture all the time and materials costs (e.g., by individual laboratory and location) expended during post-disaster recovery operations. Expenditures to track include “force account” vendors and materials, building contractors, engineers, and other noninstitutional staff labor. This coded information will help form the basis for an ongoing institutional assessment of financial impacts by tracking all incurred costs, and it will support FEMA reimbursement approvals that historically have limited reimbursement to reasonable or additional disaster-related costs. In practice this has meant that FEMA will not reimburse the institution for revenue
losses; for damages incurred by space or facilities that are vacant at the time of the disaster; for highly unreasonable contractor expenses; or for labor costs incurred by institutional faculty, staff, or students (regular or overtime costs) associated with recovery operations (Harrington, 2007). All funders of reimbursement requests—whether federal, state, local, or commercial insurers—will require inspections or proof of loss.
The experience of New York University’s Langone Medical Center (NYU Langone) following major devastation to its academic biomedical research enterprise caused by Hurricane Sandy suggests the need for immediate and frequent engagement with peer academic research institutions, senior FEMA officials, and other senior federal, state, and local government officials in developing reimbursement protocols—including early and expedited audits of early submitted reimbursement requests—as a means of testing the efficiency of the institution’s proposed reimbursement process (Martin, 2016). This form of outreach and engagement has resulted in a reportedly more successful financial recovery—specifically, more successful financial reimbursement from funders for the work planned and in progress for facilities, information technology, and other infrastructure permanent repair. The participation of PIs and research departmental leaders has been instrumental in the $1.6 billion federal recovery funding received by NYU Langone in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
NYU Langone established a financial recovery plan after Hurricane Sandy. The plan included a short-term component that funded immediate needs and created “disaster accounts” for each department to financially track what was required for recovery. The NYU Langone financial recovery plan also included a long-term component that was integrated within the institution’s multiyear budget plans and identified all potential recovery funding sources and individual fund source requirements. The restoration of and capital reinvestment in damaged facilities and infrastructure will be integrated within the long-range component of the financial recovery plan. Department-level participation in the development and implementation of the financial recovery plan remains critical to the successful outcome of the plan (Martin, 2016).
Finally, the recovery funding cycles related to FEMA public assistance programs, federal government supplemental funding packages, and commercial insurance organizations occur over a period of years, not months. Although time lines for funding remain critically important to the financial viability of academic research institutions, there do not appear to be guidelines or requirements that would clarify the process and flow of information and documentation required to receive funding. Each event may have its own time line based on the specifics of the impacts. In addition, funding from commercial insurers may be subject to litigation among the affected parties before the anticipated financial support is available (Greenwald,
2015). In the interim period, which can be very long, academic institutions and their boards have been required to identify and allocate the significant financial resources necessary to bridge the expenditures in rebuilding their academic research enterprises pending reimbursement in the post-disaster environment. The impacts of the interim funding mechanisms on individual institutions may be very challenging, including placing the financial viability of their research enterprise at risk in the short, middle, or long term.
Box 9-1 highlights key financial considerations for academic research institutions regarding disaster resilience. More detail on each of these key considerations is included in the following sections.
Academic research institutions can and should protect their research enterprise against the effects of disasters with robust insurance policies. Institutions that have experienced disasters may find insurance useful in the recovery period. In addition to carrying commercial disaster insurance, some institutions may consider purchasing supplemental, business interruption, or cyber insurance. Supplemental insurance for specific equipment should be considered (as recommended in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Guide to Business Continuity and Recovery Planning on Campus), and business interruption insurance can protect against potential lost earnings (UNC, 2009). Although the market for cyber insurance is relatively new, this type of insurance may be useful in covering costs associated with data security breaches (Passannante and Théano, 2012). Traditional insurance protection for data security breaches is very expensive because of the significant remediation costs involved (e.g., consultant services, repairs, preventative actions, and system fixes) and the “potentially destructive impact on ongoing business operations” (White, 2015). Cyber attacks, as one example of a potential disaster, will continue to pose significant business operational risks for every academic institution, and institutional leaders should inquire “whether the cost of insurance coverage (which may finally be coming down in some geographic markets) is affordable and whether reasonably priced insurance provides adequate levels of coverage” (White, 2015).
Defining affordable insurance coverage remains a challenging and often unresolved issue for most academic research institutions as they assess the specific vulnerabilities of their research enterprise to potential disasters. In this challenging contemporary context of rapid change and innovation, a more litigious climate, and enhanced compliance requirements, where the
margin of error is significantly narrower due to reduced financial reserves, enterprise risk management (ERM) has emerged as an increasingly important tool for use in both private and public academic research institutions (Abraham, 2013).
There is recognition that academic research institutions have a strong track record of resilience in successfully navigating catastrophic events; nevertheless, there remains a strong likelihood that insufficient preparation—or worse, benign neglect in identifying and mitigating institutional vulnerabilities—can irreparably weaken and undermine an academic
research institution and its research enterprise (Abraham, 2013). ERM, as a business process led by senior leadership, reflects the integration of institutional strategic planning, risk management, and financial controls; it has become an increasingly high priority for institutions’ presidents and board members, who have fiduciary responsibility for the current and future viability of their institutions (Abraham, 2013). The development of Emory University’s ERM involved an institutional top-down and bottom-up 2-year planning process that primarily focused on operational risks and on those unanticipated events that could damage the university’s effectiveness. “Emory’s leaders wanted to set principles and practices in place to ensure adequate financial controls and to guide the university’s response to adverse events” (Klein et al., 2008). With the evolution of traditional risk management’s focus from controlling and mitigating financial exposure and actual losses to a business process integrating strategic institutional objectives and creating a more holistic approach to risk, it has become increasingly imperative that academic research institutions mitigate the impacts of disasters.
Specific to insurance for disasters, institutions should consider the following operational suggestions regarding insurance: Institutions should retain copies of insurance contracts and store these copies away from the workplace (Passannante and Théano, 2012). Harrington (2007) recommends documenting all costs, and Wilson (2007) warns that “claims are denied or maximum reimbursement levels are not obtained due to inappropriate documentation, missed deadlines, or not staying abreast of the regulatory requirements” (p. 25).
Prior to a disaster, documentation could be kept regarding research facilities and equipment, and institutional leaders should be aware of institutional vulnerabilities (UC San Diego, 2017). Photos of equipment, photos of facilities, serial numbers, and original invoices, receipts, and replacement costs may be needed to support insurance claims. If possible, photos of facilities and equipment can be taken before and after a disaster. After a disaster, it is important for institutions not to begin repair or cleanup efforts until the damage has been documented and photos of facilities and equipment have been taken (Florida Department of Education, 2007). Hard-copy documents could be stored at locations away from the primary workspace, in areas where they may be retrieved in the event of a disaster. Copies of all documentation could also be maintained electronically, perhaps in a cloud-based system accessible to all appropriate personnel.
Some institutions may additionally consider self-insuring, as insurance premiums typically increase following a disaster; Foster and Smith (2015) note that the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, began self-insuring after a 2010 earthquake.
Institutional leaders should consider being well versed in the terms of and coverage provided by insurance policies. For state institutions, insur-
ance programs and coverages will be set by statute, and the state agency providing the insurance will have jurisdiction over the coverage. It is important for institutional leaders to understand the terms and coverage of insurance policies, particularly because insurance, while useful, is ultimately a limited safeguard in protecting academic research communities against disaster. Mortell and Nicholls (2013) note that insurance is “a reactive strategy rather than a proactive one aimed at prevention or mitigation” (p. F19).
In many instances, insurance—even when it covers the cost of lost research samples or lost equipment—may not compensate for some research animals and cannot replace the months and years researchers spend cultivating research samples, animals, or data. FEMA’s Building a Disaster-Resistant University notes that disaster can trigger “immeasurable losses to research and the generation of knowledge” (FEMA, 2003, p. 1). The following examples involving the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC), NYU Langone, Tulane University, and McLean Hospital demonstrate the limitations of insurance in protecting against disaster and should serve as cautionary tales to the leaders of academic research institutions.
While New Orleans’ academic institutions had insurance policies against hurricanes and floods, the impact of Hurricane Katrina on LSUHSC ultimately was much greater than just the physical damage at some of the institution’s facilities. Because the institution’s clinical facilities were damaged, clinical instruction and clinical practice were curtailed, and clinical revenue was lost (Savoie et al., 2007). Tulane University was involved in disputes with insurers regarding coverage for flood damages following Hurricane Katrina (Lipman, 2009; Mcleod, 2006). Similarly, NYU Langone was involved in litigation following Hurricane Sandy (Greenwald, 2015).
As reported by the Boston Globe in 2012, a freezer malfunction at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, resulted in the loss of 147 tissue samples from brains of people with autism (Weintraub, 2012). While insurance policies may have provided coverage for the malfunctioning freezer, the insurance could not account for the value of the samples lost or the time spent studying them; Weintraub reported that the loss of the tissue samples “could set autism research back perhaps as long as a decade.”
Insurance policies may exclude coverage for replacement value or mandated upgrades to meet building codes. After Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, damage to the roofing at Florida International University (FIU) was not covered for the full replacement cost.1 In these cases, institutions can encounter financial shortfalls caused by not having sufficient insurance
1 Personal communication, July 21, 2016, with Jose A. Rodriguez, director of facilities operations at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.
coverage to properly address and repair sustained damages. Additionally, claims may be disallowed for some research samples. After Hurricane Wilma in 2005, FEMA disallowed claims for replacement fish species at FIU and only covered damaged equipment. Fish that died as a result of loss of power (and a consequent loss of oxygen to fish tanks) could not be claimed as a loss.
Because insurance alone will not provide sufficient financial capacity to fund prevention, protection, and mitigation or to pay for all potential disaster response and recovery costs incurred by an institution following a disaster, the committee wishes to emphasize the importance of thorough disaster resilience planning that includes the development of business continuity plans, campus planning focused on disaster mitigation, and risk reduction strategies that prioritize resilience. Foster and Smith (2015) note that “universities that have invested the most in resilience planning and risk management may financially outperform their peers” (p. 100). Disaster prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery planning must be strategically prioritized by academic research institutions, not only to reduce their reliance on insurance, but also to establish a future-oriented and resilient vision for the long-term financial viability of the institutions.
As part of business continuity planning, institutions could consider the financial implications that disaster may have on payroll. Ensuring that payroll is met for all full-time and part-time university employees, including compensation for all student workers, fellowship students, and postdoctoral visitors will be a key function of the institution. Institutions could keep detailed employee records in a secure location and ensure that provision is made to process payroll in a remote location, should an institution’s infrastructure or facilities be damaged (Perry, 2013). Steinmeyer writes that in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, some employers paid employees in fixed, one-time payments (Steinmeyer, 2005). Whether institutions choose to continue to process payroll throughout the recovery period or to pay employees in one-time payments, they must be aware of laws (e.g., the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family Medical Leave Act) regarding the payment of wages. Finally, the institution will likely need to consider potential additional financial assistance to university employees following a disaster. Employees may require financial assistance for child care, elder care, extended absence allowances, or even personal emergency assistance loans from the university.
After a disaster, some employees deemed essential to the function of the institution may have to work overtime or may be transferred to work in a different area (University of Iowa, 2016). It is important that poli-
cies regarding overtime pay are communicated clearly to employees and consider collective bargaining agreement restrictions regarding transfer of employees (Bloom, 2016). Bloom (2016) urges institutions to prioritize faculty and staff, noting: “without your people, there will not be a business to rebuild.” However, institutions should be prepared for the reality that a disaster may necessitate furloughs or the termination of some employees, and they should consider seeking legal counsel prior to initiating terminations (Steinmeyer, 2005).
Furthermore, relief efforts immediately following a catastrophe may require goods or services to be paid for in cash. Thus, institutional leadership could consider prioritizing the development of sufficient cash reserves to serve immediate institutional needs for use in case of disaster. This requires long-term planning on the part of institutional leadership—which will be required to implement policies and procedures to ensure that these case reserves are substantial, are appropriately managed through university policy, and immediately available for use as necessary. As an example of post-disaster use of cash reserves by an institution of higher education, Foster and Smith (2015) wrote of the University of Canterbury:
At the time of the first earthquake [in 2010], the university had a $100 million cash reserve. The burn rate after the earthquake was $100,000 per day . . . . A small surplus very quickly transitioned into years of continuing deficit. (p. 6)
Strengthening the disaster resilience of the academic biomedical research community may require many of the nation’s academic research institutions to depart from the current capital planning processes and resource allocation decisions that are now in place. Improving disaster resilience is only one of many strategic objectives competing for financial support at the academic research institution. Financial resources are always in high demand to support, for example, enrollment growth or to accommodate changing instructional pedagogies and associated faculty support or to respond to space needs as program missions shift in response to new academic initiatives, often including the objective of increasing research productivity—productivity measured by PI research grant dollars, space, research staff density, and other metrics.
A more rigorous and integrated capital planning process—with clear criteria for resource allocation priorities—will be required to support capital and operational improvements over the long time period required to implement effective disaster resilience. The more integrated capital planning process approach has been embraced by many institutions, particularly
those whose governing boards have requested that institutional leaders provide detailed business plans focused on short-, mid-, and long-term financial sustainability or viability. For many academic research institutions, business continuity planning—some of which may include ongoing capital investments for resiliency enhancements in the built environment—has been recognized as a cornerstone of financial sustainability.
Identifying and assessing the current condition of the typically diverse and complex research built environment—space, infrastructure, and equipment—continues to be a critical first step toward understanding pre-disaster vulnerabilities and resulting risk. Shayne Kavanagh of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) summarized the new capital planning process focused on resilience in this way: “By distinguishing critical assets and recognizing and addressing vulnerabilities, resiliency efforts can be planned” (GFOA, 2008a). Although Kavanagh’s resiliency capital planning process, exhibited below in Figure 9-2, is directed toward local public-sector government response, it identifies the most challenging components of any institutional or corporate capital planning process: identifying priorities for investment and the funding sources that will implement the plan (Kavanagh, 2007).
The first step in the ongoing planning process will include the use of simple institution-approved vulnerability assessment worksheets embedded with objective scoring criteria to assist in determining the disaster resilience of the research built environment and the external infrastructure support systems that bring services to the research enterprise. Identifying design solutions and potential capital costs with subject matter experts (including emergency management, research departments, and facilities staff) constitutes the next step: the capital planning prioritization process. The scale and range of the projects proposed to enhance disaster resilience could be represented on one end by a one-time minor capital improvement project in an individual laboratory and on the other end by a proposed campuswide, 10-year disaster resilience mitigation investment program which would receive annual funding until the scope of the program is completed in the 10th year or later. Regardless, to best understand potential capital needs, academic research institutions are proactively initiating strategic, long-term planning initiatives to identify current and future needs at the departmental and institutional levels, anticipating future growth scenarios, and targeting the capital investments that may be required (UW, 2015).
Institutional capital prioritization methods are diverse and can be significantly influenced by the funding source. For example, proposed capital investment projects that are funded with philanthropic gifts or grants that fully fund or significantly leverage institutional reserves or debt often receive the highest priority, followed by projects that typically have strong attributes in support of more general strategic priorities or research initia-
tives, that result in a reduction of operating expenditures, that result in an increase of total sponsored research grant dollars, or that result in a discrete percentage increase in academic citations, among many other criteria. To enhance the disaster resilience of the research enterprise built environment, establishing prioritization criteria for capital investment to (1) contribute to the reduction of vulnerabilities, (2) improve disaster resilience, and (3) support business continuity objectives would serve as an objective capital planning prioritization approach in competition with other, equally important capital needs identified in an institution’s comprehensive annual or biennial needs assessment.
Capital resources in higher education are typically constrained. Specific funding application scenarios for maximizing the limited availability of funds require a synergistic collaboration among institutional financial
planning officers, senior facilities planning and management staff, and (at times) private-sector financial advisors. Given the diversity and complexity of potential capital sources or private-development financing strategies available, dedicated capital funding (whether operating funds; federal, state, or local appropriated funds; grant funds; institutional-issued debt; endowment income; or revenue from real estate investments) is the engine that drives the specific capital investments for the academic research institution and its research enterprise (Kaiser and Klein, 2010).
Academic research institutions that have identified increasing research productivity as a strategic objective must actively participate in annual and long-range capital planning processes to best answer the question, “How can I find appropriate facilities to support new research initiatives?” (EAB, 2010, p. 3). To achieve increased redundancy and robustness in the research built environment, major capital investments in new or renovated research buildings may be well served by policies for research facility design guidelines that require local and site-specific vulnerability assessments whose mitigation measures—which may exceed the minimum requirements included with a local jurisdiction’s building code—serve as institutional design criteria. These mitigation measures could be incorporated in the project’s initial and ongoing capital cost models and, ultimately, the institution’s capital plan. This approach would serve as a critical instrument in establishing disaster resilience as a high priority and would result in seamless integration within the institution’s approved capital plan—a capital plan that would support institutional business continuity objectives and therefore long-term financial sustainability for the institution’s research enterprise.
Current trends in research facility planning and design include the continued explosion of public- and private-sector capital investment in developing new academic research buildings. Due to the great capital costs associated with developing major new research buildings, efforts to avoid significant new capital and operating costs are active; they are described in an Education Advisory Board study as “breaking the cost-to-grow curve” (Tradeline, 2016). Two recurring capital cost reduction strategies in the academic research enterprise have been increased research space utilization or the redesign of existing research space to improve productivity outcomes. There is also a renewed focus on the adaptive reuse of existing research or nontraditional research facilities, particularly for those research programs with a demand for more computational space and less wet laboratory space, programs desiring more open office space, or programs shifting from the bench to shared core research facilities (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2017). In both of these cases, disaster resilience planning and mitigation solutions could be implemented on a small scale.
Achieving enhanced disaster resilience for a research enterprise’s existing capital assets will require long-term integration within the institu-
tion’s minor capital renewal portion of its annual and long-range capital plans. Few universities have sufficient annual operating budget funding to provide comprehensive preventive and building systems maintenance for their academic research facilities. When maintenance activities are deferred due to insufficient funding, this creates what is commonly referred to as a “deferred maintenance backlog.” The University of Illinois Facilities and Services Administration characterizes the condition:
Lack of funding for routine maintenance can cause neglect, allowing minor repair work to evolve into more serious conditions. The problem is further compounded by choices made during austere financial times when routine maintenance is often deferred in order to meet other fiscal requirements. The failure to take care of major repairs and/or restore building components that have reached the end of their useful lives results in a deferred maintenance backlog. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2017)
Decades of deferred maintenance for higher education in general and for the academic biomedical research community in particular have had a profound effect on most institutions’ financial capacity to prioritize and allocate capital and operating funds in support of disaster resilience at any scale. This is particularly true if those investments are viewed as less critical than life safety or repairs to the roofs, elevators, or emergency generators outside laboratories. The short-term needs are great, and research faculty, staff, and student concerns about daily maintenance and operations quality often require immediate response, and the funds available are (more often than not) insufficient.
In the current era of declining federal, state, and local support for capital and operating support for our public academic research institutions, there have been successful efforts in securing state and federal funding due to detailed and robust long-range institutional minor capital repair and renewal plans that will reduce an institution’s deferred maintenance backlog over the long term (GFOA, 2008b). Developing a capital plan that supports regular and long-term resource allocation for the research enterprise may be more cost-effective than reacting to post-disaster conditions. Reactive policies are usually insufficient and more costly than proactive policies (Kavanagh, 2007). A comprehensive and integrated capital planning process must address investment in the deferred maintenance backlog reduction plan in order to sustain the institution’s existing assets, while at the same time meeting disaster resilience plan needs. Resiliency can be greatly enhanced by placing a high priority on the maintenance of existing assets (Stancel, 2016).
Integrating detailed needs assessment and prioritization processes within an existing institution-wide minor capital plan provides a budget tactic to begin successfully achieving recognition and perhaps regular funding for en-
hancing disaster resilience over the long term. If the plan is compelling both to those within and to those beyond the academic research institution, the opportunity for resource allocation that will make a research scientist’s life work safer will also make an academic research institution more financially sustainable (due the value of the research revenue and other benefits). Each time that structures or building systems are subject to minor improvements, the research enterprise will become slightly more disaster resilient, financial risk for the capacity and performance of the research enterprise will be reduced, and support from multiple funders will likely be enhanced due to the commitment to building systems preservation and enhanced disaster resilience. Anticipating and building for disaster resilience requires that academic research institutions not only provide consistent incremental improvements for each minor capital improvement planned, but also that they recognize that reductions in the deferred maintenance backlog are critical in ensuring improved building system performance if and when disaster strikes. Through a reduction of the research enterprise’s deferred maintenance backlog, any institution can provide immediate improvements in disaster resilience and ensure investment in the most cost-effective disaster mitigation strategy.
Finally, in the post-disaster environment, there is clear evidence that research institutions have taken the financial opportunities made available through federal disaster relief funding to consider improved capital project strategies. These strategies have leveraged pre-disaster approved capital plans for new equipment or building or infrastructure improvements with post-disaster funds. Although institutions have been required to use post-disaster funds to restore damaged facilities to general functionality and the funds have been capped at the cost to replace or restore damaged facilities, the research enterprise should assess the value of adding institutional capital resources to the post-disaster federal funding to improve, not simply repair, previously identified capital project improvements. This approach will enhance the capacity and performance of research facilities and infrastructure through the leverage of multiple funding sources (Johnson et al., 2015).
Academic research institutions can consider expanding their philanthropic efforts to pursue donations specifically targeted for research building components that highlight and demonstrate effective examples of disaster resilience. Disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy captured national attention and generated awareness of the consequences of failing to effectively plan for disaster; because the consequences of such disasters are so extensive and so severe, donors may be willing to give gifts restricted for institutional disaster planning and mitigation efforts.
Institutions should also work with local and state partners includ-
ing Campus Community Emergency Response Teams (C-CERT), national organizations including the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), and individual community members to improve disaster resilience, particularly during mitigation planning, response, and recovery activities. Additional partnerships are listed in Appendix B. The leaders of academic research institutions may be successful in soliciting donations from community partners to fund the purchase of supplies or capital improvements for disaster mitigation. After a disaster, people are eager to help in a variety of ways, and these individuals should be mobilized for volunteer teams. For example, after Hurricane Andrew teams of volunteers who provided food and water to South Florida first responders, civilians, and essential personnel at academic institutions were critical to recovery efforts.
Local, state, and federal support is an important part of developing operational and endowment funds. Funds raised prior to a disaster can support mitigation and planning efforts by addressing a number of concerns (i.e., transfer of data and storage of specimens). Revenue generated from endowment can sometimes be redirected to fund research or post-disaster recovery efforts. Although most endowment funds are restricted, institutions may consider pursuing endowment agreements that allow for the redirection of funds to disaster mitigation or response (Johnson et al., 2015).
There are a number of programs at the federal, state, and local levels that can provide support and funding for academic research institutions engaged in disaster planning. The following section outlines several of these programs.
Table 9-1 provides detailed descriptions of a number of federal programs that provide funding for disaster resilience.
Academic research institutions should develop relationships with organizations and agencies at the state and local levels to engage in collaborative disaster planning. Wilson (2007) recommends establishing partnerships with industry-segment consortium groups, health care organizations, hotels, and other academic institutions. Academic research institutions can also partner with emergency management agencies, local law enforcement, fire departments, public works management, and state departments of transportation. As previously discussed in Chapters 4, 5, and 6, academic research
|Department of Homeland Security Campus Resilience Program||The Department of Homeland Security currently is developing a Campus Resilience Program; this program comprises seminars and other resources that can help build resilience in academic institutions (DHS, 2016a). An Academic Resource Catalog, published by the Department of Homeland Security in 2015, contains listings of trainings for and information about campus resilience and emergency management (DHS, 2015). Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security launched the National Seminar and Tabletop Exercise for Institutions of Higher Education, which is designed to inform leaders of academic institutions about disaster resilience, and to train them in responding to specific emergencies (DHS, 2016b).|
|FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program||Authorized under the 1968 National Flood Insurance Act, the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program provides funding to reduce the risk of flood damage to properties covered by the National Flood Insurance Program. Funding through FMA grants can be used to cover management costs. States and tribal governments are eligible to apply; state universities (and other state agencies) are considered subapplicants. Depending on the type of properties included in applications for funding (i.e., severe repetitive loss properties, repetitive loss properties), the federal government may cover up to 100 percent of eligible costs (FEMA, 2015).|
|FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program||Authorized under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides funding to applicants seeking to mitigate losses after a disaster. HMGP grants fund a variety of mitigation projects, including infrastructure retrofitting, structure elevation, mitigation reconstruction, and dry floodproofing. States and tribal governments are eligible to apply; state universities are considered subapplicants. Funding becomes available after the President declares a major disaster. Through this program, the federal government covers 75 percent of the cost of approved mitigation projects (FEMA, 2013).|
|FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program||Authorized under the Stafford Act, the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program provides funding to applicants seeking to reduce risk due to future disasters; the program funds projects designed to mitigate a variety of hazards. States and tribal governments are eligible to apply; state universities are considered subapplicants. Through this program, the federal government covers 75 percent of the cost of approved projects (FEMA, 2013).|
|FEMA Public Assistance Program||Authorized under the Stafford Act, the FEMA Public Assistance Program allows assistance to be provided by the federal government to aid in incidents that exceed a state or local government’s ability to respond. Funding becomes available once the President has declared an emergency or major disaster. Through this program, the federal government covers between 75 percent and 90 percent of eligible costs (FEMA, 2016b).|
|NIH Research Facilities Restoration Program||Under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, NIH provided opportunities for funding to restore research facilities damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy (NIH, 2016).|
|NIH supplements to grants||NIH institutes and centers may provide, in response to a disaster, supplemental funding for research projects already in progress. Under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, NIH provided opportunities for administrative support for researchers seeking to recover losses incurred due to Hurricane Sandy (NIH, 2013).|
|NOAA Regional Coastal Resilience Grants Program||In 2015 and 2016 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provided $9 million to fund resilience projects in coastal communities around the country. Nonprofit organizations, private entities, colleges and universities, and state, local, and tribal governments were eligible to apply (Office for Coastal Management, 2017).|
institutions working collaboratively with other organizations and agencies may find that sharing resources, expertise, equipment, and even philanthropic networks may result in the creation of more thorough disaster response plans; developing and maintaining relationships with the external community can facilitate disaster response.
Post-disaster, institutions seeking to provide volunteer medical relief efforts could partner with their respective state health departments, which can offer sovereign immunity to licensed practitioners providing care to injured people in the community. State health departments may also coordinate with law enforcement agencies to offer police protection to volunteer teams providing care to individuals in the community. In 2016, FIU engaged in a partnership with the Florida Advanced Surgical Transport (FAST) team (FIU, 2017). FAST is supported by the Florida Department of Health, provides emergency and critical care to individuals injured in a disaster, and can transport patients by ground or air from the site of a disaster to medical facilities. The FIU–FAST team is equipped to deploy within 6 hours of an
emergency and is an example of how an academic institution has successfully partnered with the state to plan and prepare for disasters.
Even before receiving funding for pre- or post-disaster efforts, academic institutions face the challenge of how to continue research operations until recovery is complete. For this reason, the creation of business continuity plans and the development of cash reserves are of utmost importance to the stability of the institution. After receiving funding for pre- or post-disaster efforts, institutions must decide how that funding will be disbursed. In the absence of a capital plan that has already prioritized required facilities improvements to enhance disaster resilience, it can be especially difficult for institutional leaders to prioritize which facilities should be repaired or retrofitted. If research is destroyed, institutions must determine which projects should be replaced or restored first and perhaps must determine which projects should be restored at all.
A key financial consideration in overcoming barriers to disaster resilience funding for the research enterprise is obtaining a clear identification of who will have the final decision-making authority about what to fund and what not to fund. Institutional financial officers and advisory groups can often provide technical guidance regarding annual operating and capital budget requests, but the final decision is usually made by the president, provost, and institutional board members, who often are focused on financial resilience. Effective communications and transparent decision making rely upon an understanding by the leaders of the research enterprise and an institution’s final decision makers of the synergy among business continuity, disaster resilience, and financial resilience planning activities. Regular shared communications, training, and the creation of other structured opportunities to exercise are important in filling business continuity knowledge gaps from top to bottom among financial officers, emergency management, and key leaders of the research enterprise. These diverse groups have the opportunity to overcome barriers to funding by breaking down jurisdictional boundaries through frequent communications while participating in regular updates to disaster plans. Through the use of the resulting informal human networks, all participants are able to serve as informed and persuasive advocates of disaster resilience.
Additional pre-disaster financial considerations in overcoming the
barriers to funding include identifying and, if possible, securing multiple potential funding instruments (e.g., dedicated cash reserves, lines of credit, and commercial insurance) available to the research enterprise before a disaster occurs. Following Hurricane Sandy, NYU Langone reported the critical importance of having readily available institutional cash reserves and lines of credit in expediting the recovery of its major research and clinical enterprise (Martin, 2016). Identifying financial resources before a disaster can remove post-disaster funding barriers by supporting a more expedited disbursement of resources in the post-disaster environment and may provide, over the short and long term, a cost-effective early response (Clarke and Dercon, 2016).
Academic institutions can also avail themselves of proactive funding approaches being reviewed by Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) in the developing world to overcome barriers to funding in post-disaster environments. DFID assists with the implementation of risk financing through the use of risk-layering strategies worldwide (DFID, 2016a). The World Bank risk-layering diagram (see Figure 9-3) is a visualization of the following narrative:
Effective planning for disasters requires governments to build strategies to meet the costs of humanitarian relief, recovery support, and reconstruction following a disaster. Building a strategy involves defining and quantifying costs to be financed under particular circumstances. . . . Financing instruments that can be used as part of a diversified finance strategy include insurance, government reserves, and contingency measures. . . . For high-frequency, low-severity risks, budget contingencies, reserves, and borrowing are more cost-effective financing instruments. (DFID, 2016b, p. 36)
The academic research institution could consider developing similar proactive risk-layering financial strategies for its research enterprise—including the use of federal and state grants or other catastrophic bond funding opportunities—to support a more stable, expedited, and perhaps more cost-effective recovery. The risk-layering diagram in Figure 9-3 represents the general understanding that not every disaster is major, or frequent, but it may be an institutional vulnerability nevertheless. It also demonstrates that the range of potential disasters and resulting vulnerabilities may be evaluated and implemented by each institution relative to the specific financing options available: from the highest vulnerability and risk for which an academic institution may wish to consider purchasing either typical or catastrophic commercial insurance coverage, if available, the establishment of contingent borrowing or credit instruments with the private banking industry or other funders, to the use of dedicated institutional cash reserves contingent for use in funding disaster recovery. The failure to evaluate disaster risks and related disaster risk financing instruments would
represent a serious deficiency by an institution committed to enhancing disaster resilience for its research enterprise.
The following generalized risk-layering diagram in Figure 9-3 identifies the relationship among the low- to high-risk range and the diverse financing instruments applicable—suggesting that a one-size financial risk management approach to funding risk does not fit. Not every disaster is a major event, but in response to the acceleration of catastrophic natural disasters and huge payouts, the insurance industry has created market-based approaches with the CAT bond (catastrophe bond) and parametric insurance. The catastrophe bond securitizes catastrophic risk by transferring the insurance risk to investor pools (providing a payout to the insurance company if a certain magnitude hurricane or total insurance loss is greater than a particular amount). Parametric insurance instruments are not based on individual loss adjustments but rather are determined in a predetermined measurement of damage costs. To achieve a more disaster resilient institution, each disaster risk financing tool available must be carefully considered.
The commitment by the research enterprise to a proactive engagement in business continuity planning and regular training to remain current with changing funder requirements for pre- and post-disaster grants and reimbursement can, in addition to reducing the knowledge gap among institutional financial officers by integrating business continuity and disaster resilience planning, serve as critical actions in overcoming the obstacles to the allocation and use of financial resources.
Finally, if an institution does not work to create and sustain effective partnerships with private-sector businesses and the larger municipality surrounding it, it may find the obstacles in overcoming funding barriers to be insurmountable. Such partnerships with the larger community and private sector are critical collaborations that can help leverage, reduce duplication of, and overcome barriers to the identification and allocation of philanthropic, local, state, and federal financial resources for disaster resilience activities.
Responding to concerns about how to manage the increase in federal expenditures for disaster recovery, in early 2016, FEMA issued the following announcement:
In response to calls from Members of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General over the last several years for FEMA to reform how the federal government supports states following disasters, FEMA is exploring the concept of a disaster deductible. The Agency believes that such an approach has the potential to incentivize mitigation strategies and promote risk-informed decision making to build resilience, including to catastrophic events; reduce the costs of future events for both states and the federal government; and facilitate state and local government planning and budgeting for enhanced disaster response and recovery capability through greater transparency. (FEMA, 2016a)
In 2014, the Department of Housing and Urban Development made $1 billion available to communities that have been struck by natural disasters in recent years. The competition promoted risk assessment and the planning and implementation of innovative resilience projects to better prepare communities for extreme events (Rockefeller Foundation, 2014). In 2014, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded $15.9 million “to support over 300 projects around the nation that help build resilient coastal communities and economies. Through institution, state, and other partnerships, Sea Grant Programs will supplement the federal funding with an additional $7.9 million in non-federal matching funds, bringing the total investment to more than $23.8 million” (NOAA, 2014). Determining how best to provide access to pre- and post-disaster funding at the federal level remains a work in progress, from potential leverage of federal matching fund programs to federal grant incentives rewarding innovation. These three examples may be indicators that for the largest insurers of disaster damage, there is a shift to significantly increased funding or the provision of financial incentives for funding a system that rewards resiliency invest-
ments and one that is focused on funding recovery as a complementary, not primary, activity.
Overcoming barriers through the identification of financial incentives and benefits based on integrated institutional business continuity, resilience, and capital plans may result in a reduction of institutional risk management expenditures. These reductions can come through improved pool insurance rates, financial rebates or cost reductions offered by serving utility companies, and high value for low investment by the institution for cost sharing with towns on emergency management and public safety services, space sharing and information technology agreements among peer research institutions, and creation of formal cooperative mutual aid, procurement, and supply agreements with public and private-sector partners and vendors who are needed to help respond to or recover from disasters (Wilson, 2007).
Although it is often challenging for the academic biomedical research community to focus on work outside the lab, specific institutional or federal grant and matching funds may be made available to incentivize or leverage departmental and individual laboratory participation in reducing identified vulnerabilities within the laboratory or throughout a department. For example, the University of California, Berkeley, provides detailed design guidelines in its “Q-Brace Program” for nonstructural hazard seismic mitigation to assist researchers in mitigating the impact of earthquakes by improving the seismic resilience of laboratory scientific equipment and materials (UC Berkeley, 2007). These small programs created with small financial incentives and implemented incrementally are nevertheless very useful and cost-effective in mitigating identified pre-disaster vulnerabilities in the research built environment.
This chapter’s introduction noted that there is continued local, state, federal, and global recognition of the important strategic role filled by the academic biomedical research community and of the benefit of investing in creating a more resilient physical and human capacity. In the context of the current acceleration of disasters, each academic research institution needs to ask how to best invest its constrained financial resources in the pre- and post-disaster environments in order to sustain and grow its research enterprise. The Academic Institution Considerations section of this chapter noted that disaster prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery planning must be strategically prioritized by each academic research institution, not only to reduce reliance on insurance, but also to establish a future-oriented and resilient vision for the long-term viability of an institution.
Conclusion: A key barrier to the integration of business continuity and capital plans within academic research institutions is the current deficit of financial data that would provide comparative post-disaster cost-benefit analysis of actual disaster recovery costs among those institutions with robust pre-disaster planning activities and financial investments versus those institutions with more limited commitments to pre-disaster planning activities. Additional reviews of institutional business continuity policies that specifically address how financial officers are identifying and securing multiple potential funding instruments available to academic research institutions and their research enterprise before a disaster (including dedicated cash reserves, lines of credit, and insurance) may provide guidance in developing systemic best practices for financial management of post-disaster resource availability and allocation.
Identification of new sources or reallocation of traditional sources of capital funds to enhance the disaster resilience of the academic biomedical research community should be undertaken. For example, the University of Washington (UW) committed the use of an annual allocation of sponsored-research finance and administration (F&A) resources among other resources to fund long-term debt service within the UW’s internal lending program to design and construct a major new core research facility on the UW Seattle campus: the Animal Research and Care Facility (UW, 2016, 2017).
Conclusion: In the committee’s judgment, identifying and dedicating institutional use of local or state funds (including consideration of an ongoing allocation of institutional F&A funds) may support the implementation of institution-specific disaster resilience design guidelines for new buildings and renovations in the research enterprise built environment.
Reducing risk will be a long-term commitment. As challenging as it is for institutions to develop funding priorities for annual capital plans, the magnitude of the financial resources required for the implementation of improved disaster resilience capital improvements over 10 to 20 years can be breathtaking. The University of California, Berkeley, which began implementing its Seismic Action Plan for Facilities Enhancement and Renewal in 1997, has invested approximately $1.2 billion in state funds over nearly 20 years and anticipates completing the program, if state funding continues, in perhaps another 10 years (Kapucu and Khosa, 2012).
Pre-disaster financial planning offers the research enterprise and the financial leaders of the academic research institution the opportunity to
develop a strong working partnership. For the institution’s leadership, the partnership can be structured to ensure that the research enterprise commits to long-term and robust engagement in business continuity and disaster resilience planning. For the research enterprise leaders, the partnership can provide a level of certainty that the institution “will be there for us” with more than words in a post-disaster environment. Access to post-disaster financial resources could be reliant upon an institution’s business continuity plan, particularly the recovery time-line criteria embedded within the plan. Decisions regarding which financial resources are deployed and in which order could be determined by financial officers who participate in ongoing disaster risk management professional training and who practice disaster response scenarios with multidisciplinary disaster recovery teams. The available funding sources for mitigation investments, institutional or commercial insurance products, and all other potential post-disaster recovery management expenditures are variable by year and may include public or private competitive solicitations. Identification of these funding needs and sources must be considered in the development of each institution’s annual capital and operating budgets.
In support of an institution’s annual budget development, the chief financial officer must require a rigorous risk assessment in consultation with expert-level risk management professionals and guided by institutional life safety protection and business continuity plans that support institutional risk reduction and enhance disaster resilience. With the challenging vulnerability facing our academic research institutions, the institutional empowerment of an executive-level financial institutional officer with these responsibilities may be a critical step forward in creating a results-oriented and effective disaster resilience culture.
Conclusion: The committee concludes that a regular financial vulnerability and risk mitigation prioritization assessment led by an executive-level institutional financial officer, who would be charged with and accountable for managing these activities, is a best practice for enhancing institutional disaster resilience.
Develop an Institutional Financial Investment Strategy for Disaster Resilience Efforts for the Research Enterprise
RECOMMENDATION 8: Academic research institutions should develop an institutional financial investment strategy based upon comprehensive and integrated resilience planning activities for their research enterprise.
Possible actions could include, but are not limited to
- Conducting business continuity analytics, disaster resilience vulnerability assessments, short- and long-range mitigation plans to resolve identified vulnerabilities, and, most importantly, developing a financial plan to implement the mitigation measures proposed in an institution’s approved short- and long-range capital plans.
- Carrying commercial disaster insurance, as well as purchasing supplemental, business interruption, or cyber insurance.
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