Managing Risks with Student Groups

 Managing Risks with Student Groups

About the Webinar

Institutions of higher education generally have a wide variety or student organizations conducting meetings and holding events at any given time. What are the unique risks that are particularly important to consider for student organizations? This webinar will highlight some of the risks for student organizations that warrant your institution's attention. The session will review legal precedents, as well as risks involving Greek organizations, club sports, and other undergraduate and graduate student groups. Key risks include funding considerations, travel, events, involvement of faculty advisors, third party contracts, and insurance, as well as enforcement of campus policies on alcohol, hazing, and non-discrimination.

About the Presenters

Craig McAllister, CPCU, ARM
Director of Risk Management and Insurance
Cornell University

Craig McAllister is director of the Department of Risk Management and Insurance at Cornell University and has been in this position since 2011, previously serving as the assistant director beginning in 2001. His current duties include providing strategic risk management advice, training, and consultation to the academic and operating units of Cornell. In addition, he is a member of the international crisis team, chair of the Student Health Insurance Advisory Committee, and is responsible for the purchase of insurance and management of claims for the university. Mr. McAllister has presented at several national conferences and teaches classes on risk management. Mr. McAllister is a past president of the Upstate New York Chapter of the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS). He holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation, along with the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) and the Associate in Claims (AIC).


Joseph Scaffido
Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Campus Activities
Cornell University

Joe Scaffido is an assistant dean of students at Cornell University.  He has been working in student affairs for 25 year, and has been in student activities at Cornell for the past 18 years. Joe currently advises the largest programming boards on campus, including the Cornell Concert Commission, Cornell University Program Board, and Slope Day Programming Board. His main responsibility is to work with the student leaders of these groups, negotiate contracts with agents and other third party vendors, and ensure a safe event for attendees ranging from 250-18,000 people. He oversees the student organization registration process, as well as the event registration process at Cornell, and often consults with student organizations and university departments on issues related to event planning, contract negotiation and event management. He is a member of various university-wide committees, including Cornell’s Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, Council on Hazing Prevention, and the Events Management Planning Team. Joe received his Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY, Potsdam, and Master’s Degree in higher education in student affairs from Indiana State University. He has presented at regional and national conferences, and has received several awards, including Cornell’s Outstanding Advisor Award and the Edgar A. Whiting Award.


Resources to Share

Here are just a few resources for higher education administrators, students, faculty, and staff:

Risk Management and Liability in Higher Education Service-Learning Fact Sheet. National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. 

Off-Campus Harassment: Identifying the Geographical Reach of Title IX Compliance. Paula A. Barran & Jeffrey D. Jones.

If I Ran the Circus: The Three Ring World of Student Organization Risk Management. Rebecca Adair.

Student Organizations: Tips for Managing Risks in an Arm's Length Relationship. Candace Collins, Aaron Lundberg & Nidavone Niravanh.

Everyone Wants to Be a Peter Pan: Risk Management in the Performing Arts. Jim Bernhardt.

Student Activities Event Planning Website. Texas A&M University.

Hazing Education Initiative Website. Florida State University.

Hazing Education and Reporting Website. Cornell University.