Risk Management

The Office of Risk Management uses various risk management tools (see section below) to assist all of campus in identifying, assessing, and mitigating threats or uncertainties that can affect the university goals and objectives. UW-Madison Schools, Colleges and Divisions are responsible for management and control of the risks within their areas and can contact Risk Management for help with available risk management services. All campus groups take part in the critical role of eliminating, controlling, and minimizing the adverse effects of identified threats or uncertainties through proper risk management.

Visit the Managing Risk webpage for information and resources related to driver authorization, worker’s compensation, insurance and certificates of insurance, facility use, liability information, and other important risk management topics.

Risk Management information – Managing Risk webpage

Information about the Office of Risk Management can be found below, including tools, services, areas of service, and staff members.

Tools of Risk Management


Many times it is not possible to completely avoid risk, but the possibility should not be overlooked. For example, at the height of a blizzard, UW’s Car Fleet may not release vehicles for travel until the weather begins to clear, thus avoiding the risk of auto accidents during severe weather. Some buildings on campus have had repeated water problems in some areas – by not allowing storage of supplies in those areas, some water damage claims may be avoided.


It may be determined it is more practical to retain a risk even though other methods of handling the risk are available. For example, the University retains the risk of loss to fences, signs, parking meters, gates, and light poles because of the difficulty of enumerating and evaluating all of these types of structures. When losses occur, the cost of repairs is absorbed by the campus maintenance budget, except for those situations when we can collect from a negligent third party.

Loss prevention and reduction

When risk cannot be avoided, the effect of loss can often be minimized in terms of frequency and severity. For example, our office encourages the use of security devices on all computers to reduce the risk of theft. We require the purchase of health insurance by students who are studying abroad, so that they might avoid the risk of financial difficulty, should they incur medical expenses in another country.


In some cases risk can be transferred to others, usually by contract. When outside organizations use University facilities for public events, we require they provide evidence of insurance and name the University as an additional insured under their policy, thereby transferring the risk from the University to the user. The purchase of insurance is also referred to as a risk transfer since the policy actually shifts the financial risk of loss, contractually, from the insured entity to the insurance company.


Insurance administration

UW–Madison is protected for liability, property and worker’s compensation primarily through the State of Wisconsin’s self-funded programs. These programs are authorized and guided via State of Wisconsin statutes and then funded by premium allocations to agencies. In addition, the State of Wisconsin obtains excess commercial coverage in the areas of property and liability. Further, UWSA and UW–Madison procure insurance coverages in other areas where gaps have been identified or as additional service for campus community. Premiums for these programs average approximately $9 million annually for UW–Madison. Risk management works with State Risk Management and UW System Risk Management to see that adequate protection exists for the various exposures at UW–Madison. All campus related insurance purchases must be administered through UW–Madison Risk Management.

Claims administration

Risk Management administers all insurance claims for the UW–Madison including property, general liability, automobile, employee dishonesty, and boiler & machinery losses. This administration includes the various activities involved in investigation and negotiation (including settlement recommendations), with claimants, insurance companies and their representatives, UW System Administration and State Risk Management. A new database, shared with State and System, allows us to manage claims data more efficiently.

Loss control

Risk Management conducts a variety of activities to reduce our risk of loss. We interact with departments and campus personnel in a variety of ways to reduce the potential for loss and the impact that losses might have on day to day operations. Our goal is to be proactive in mitigating exposures before they occur. To that end, we review contracts and projects and analyze loss data from a variety of sources. We work closely with the UW–Madison Environment, Health & Safety (EHS), University Health Services (UHS), and Police Department (UWPD).  

Specific areas of services

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Automobile insurance

Automobile insurance is actually a combination of the state’s self-funded property program for the collision and comprehensive damage, and the state’s self-funded liability program for injury or property damage to a third party or entity.

Camps and clinics

Special accident insurance is a program providing accidental injury protection for youth programs administered by campus departments.

Campus facilities use policies and guidelines

Campus facilities use policies and guidelines are a resource for users of campus facilities and cite not only the rules and regulations regarding such usage, but also provide helpful information for those of you planning events. Included in all of this are the various insurance guidelines for events.

Driver authorization

Driver authorization is the process of reviewing driver qualifications and driver records. When approved, the driver’s names will appear in the Approved Driver Database. Learn more about becoming an authorized driver

Drone use on campus

The UW–Madison drone use policy will help researchers and instructors on campus meet the Federal Aviation Association’s rules for flying unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – better known as aerial drones – while also helping to protect privacy.

Liability program

The liability program provides protection for the negligence of our officers, employees and agents, while in the course and scope of their duties.

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Program property

Property program provides physical damage insurance for campus buildings, contents, and moveable property including items in transit, art exhibits, borrowed and newly acquired property. We also administer all property claims

Risk management while traveling

International medical insurance is required for all students involved in academic pursuits while out of the country. This program is also required for all University of Wisconsin Madison faculty, staff employees and agents traveling abroad for the purpose of University-related business and/or educational programs.

Special events liability insurance

Special events liability insurance is a UW System-wide insurance program allowing event sponsors to purchase insurance on an event basis.

Student risk management information

Student risk management information is specifically targeted at students (and student organizations) and answers questions relating to health insurance, accidents on campus, liability, and use of automobiles for University business.

Vendor certificates of insurance

The Office of Risk Management no longer accepts or maintains vendor/supplier (Supplier) certificates of insurance.

Supplier certificates of insurance are now managed through ShopUW+ via the Jaggaer Supplier Portal, which allows Suppliers to upload their own certificates of insurance and other information in a secured environment to expedite transaction and payment processing.

Shoppers are no longer required to inquire with Risk Management on the status of a Supplier’s insurance certificate information. When shopping in ShopUW+ for a Supplier product or to make a purchase, if a Supplier is “Active” for purchasing in ShopUW+, they are considered an approved Supplier.

Learn more   about vendor certificates of insurance

Worker's compensation

Worker’s compensation provides benefits under the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act for employees who suffer an accidental injury or occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment by the University.


Jeff Karcher

Position title: Director of Risk Management

Email: jeff.karcher@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 262-8925

Gwendolyn Ezell

Position title: Assistant Director - Risk Management

Email: gwendolyn.ezell@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 890-1071

Michelle Discher

Position title: Worker's Compensation Manager

Email: michelle.discher@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 265-9475

Megge Fleming

Position title: Liability Risk Manager

Email: megge.fleming@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 262-8926

Daniel Karamanski

Position title: Risk Management Specialist II

Email: karamanski@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 890-3223

Joshua Pulver

Position title: Property Risk Manager

Email: joshua.pulver@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 262-0379

Nikki Ross

Position title: Worker's Compensation Specialist

Email: naross3@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 265-9475

Sue Statz

Position title: Risk Management Specialist I

Email: sue.statz@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 263-4928


Find Risk Management

Risk Management
21 N. Park Street
Madison, WI 53715

Note – Please contact the appropriate topic area’s email address with questions and/or to schedule an in-person meeting. Advanced meeting scheduling is necessary in order to meet with Risk Management staff; drop-in appointments are not available.

Email Risk Management

General Risk Management

Driver Authorization and Auto

Worker’s Compensation