It’s All in a
BEING BORED at work is never an issue for Michael Liebowitz. As the head of the risk-management department at New York University, one of
the country’s largest private institutions
of higher learning, Liebowitz faces an incredible array of risks every day—many of
which never crop up in Corporate America.
In addition to such standard-issue perils
as Workers’ Compensation, Employment
Practices Liability and the Commercial
Property exposures that come with being
one of New York City’s largest landlords,
Liebowitz also has to think like the risk
manager at a major hotel chain—with more
than a dozen high-rise dormitories scattered
around Manhattan. And with one of the
nation’s most celebrated film schools, he
needs to deal with the same production risks
faced by Hollywood studios.
And then there are science research
labs. Museums. A major research hospital.
And while most American businesses
are dealing with an aging workforce,
Liebowitz’s core constituency is an
ever-replenishing fountain of
youth: students aged 17-25—not a
demographic known for being very
NU’s editor-in-chief, Bryant
Rousseau, sat down with Liebowitz,
a former president of the Risk and
Insurance Management Society
and a member of the NU’s Risk
Managers Advisory Board, in his
office overlooking Broadway for an
in-depth discussion about the unique
professional challenges—and rewards—
that come with a collegiate portfolio.
Bryant Rousseau: Michael, one of the great
challenges of being a risk manager at a major
university is that you have such a diversity of
coverages under one roof. Let’s just start with
the dormitories—an exposure that few corporate
risk managers ever have to worry about.