Risk Management minimizes the risk exposures of Southern Oregon University by providing risk consulting and risk services to the SOU community. Only the Vice President for Finance and Administration, through PURMIT, has the legal authority to direct, manage, and arrange for or purchase insurance for SOU, except for employee benefit insurance programs, which are directed and managed by the Public Employees Benefit Board (PEBB).

If you have any insurance needs, please contact Patricia Syquia McCarthy, at syquiam@sou.edu (or by phone 541-552-7014).

For questions or information regarding Contracts, Insurance issues or Risk Management, please contact the SOU Contracts Administrative Officer / Risk Manager Patricia Syquia McCarthy at 541.552.7014 or syquiam@sou.edu.  Patricia's office is located in the Service Center, 506 Susanne Homes Hall, just south of Hannon Library between the Library and Indiana Street. 



SOU owned property covered by RMD includes automobiles, real property (buildings and equipment), and personal property (building contents and supplies). The personal property of others can be covered if a Personal Property Loan Agreement is signed by the university Risk Manager.

University property that may be taken off campus must be recorded on an Agreement to Allow Off-Campus Use of University Property  form. This includes all laptops, tablets, cameras, drones, etc.

Departments will be responsible for the $5000 deductible for any covered property loss. All claims for property loss must be reported to the university Risk Manager immediately upon loss.


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SOU will defend and pay damages, if necessary, for all liability claims for alleged wrongdoing by their officers, employees, and agents, when the law says they are legally bound to make good on any loss or damage.

Liability coverage applies as long as SOU employees are acting within the scope of their duties for the state. State employees are not covered for criminal acts, violation of the state's code of ethics, or other types of wrongdoing.

Specific areas covered include


  • auto liability—SOU pays for medical expenses, wage replacement, property damage, pain and suffering, and attorney expense.

  • tort liability—SOU pays for bodily injury, property damage, pain and suffering, and attorney expense.

A tort is a wrongful act other than a breach of contract that injures another and for which civil action can be brought and subsequent judgment for damages can be paid to the wronged party. It is a reckless or negligent violation of another person's rights that results in some sort of injury, including bodily injury, property damage, loss of reputation, emotional distress, or loss/impairment of a constitutional right or freedom.

Tort liability coverage includes exposures arising from our usage of airplanes, vehicles, and watercraft. The state's tort liability coverage also includes those areas of liability usually covered by professional liability. This means that our student health center medical providers and others on the campus whose jobs require a license will be covered in the event they are accused of wrongful acts. Again, in order to be covered, a wrongful act must occur while they are acting in the scope of their employment for the state.

If you become aware that someone feels they have been wronged by the actions of an employee, officer, or agent of the university, you must notify the university Risk Manager within 24 hours.



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Foreign Liability

SOU purchases a policy for foreign liability. Foreign liability covers any liability the university incurs when its officers, employees, or agents travel to foreign countries. The insurance provides broad coverage for bodily injury and property damage, foreign automobile liability for bodily injury and property damage, medical payments for accidents, fire legal liability coverage for real property, and employee benefits liability. Foreign liability does not cover professional liability or contractual liability. Repatriation coverage includes medical evacuation of employees to the nearest good medical facility and, in the event of death, return of the employee's body to the United States. Some foreign countries are excluded by the policy; in those cases, the state is self-insured for this exposure.


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Workers' Compensation

Provided by SAIF Corporation as mandated by statute, workers' compensation covers the occupational injuries or diseases of state employees. Workers who are injured in the course and scope of their duties must complete a form 801 to apply for this coverage. These forms can be obtained from the HR Coordinator in the Human Resource Office. Claims must be filed within 72 hours of the injury. Claims resulting in immediate hospitalization or death must be reported to Oregon OSHA within 24 hours of the accident.


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Employee Dishonesty

The university is covered for the loss of state money or property directly caused by an employee's dishonest or fraudulent act. You must report every loss or situation to the Risk Manager that may result in loss immediately after discovery. The Risk Manager must notify RMD and the Secretary of State.


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Aviation Insurance

Aviation insurance is liability insurance that covers liability claims and damage to the aircraft for employees and agents operating aircraft on official business.


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Volunteer Service

Southern Oregon University is pleased to have the assistance of the many individuals who volunteer their services to help the institution accomplish its mission.  Volunteer participation benefits the University and can also be very rewarding to the individual volunteering.  Campus Departments/Divisions are responsible for the oversight of all volunteer services and activities; and for assessing the risks associated with volunteer services.

The volunteer is required to register as a University Volunteer each year.  All volunteers must have a completed job description and a signed "Conditions of Volunteer Service" Form  as part of the requirements of volunteer services.  These two items are required prior to beginning voluntary service for the university.  


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The Risk Manager purchases intercollegiate Athletics Insurance, Catastrophic Athletic coverage, and Special Risks Accident insurances (day care insurance, special events insurance, and alumni sports events insurance) for the system.


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Athletic Insurance

Basic and catastrophic athletic insurances cover student athletes, cheerleaders, and student trainers for bodily injury and/or death while participating in regularly scheduled intercollegiate sports events, including supervised practices and tryouts during the regular season and group travel to and from practices and events. The coverage consists of accidental death and dismemberment insurance, disability insurance, and medical insurance for accidental injuries. Athletic insurance does not cover alumni sports events (see below) or club sports.


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Alumni Sports Events

This Special Risks Accident insurance for bodily injury and/or death covers persons participating in or supervising alumni sports events sponsored by the university, on the premises designated by the university, and while traveling to and from activities or to and from home and the event. Contact the Risk Manager well in advance of the event (one month is preferable) for coverage.


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Day Care

Special Risks Accident insurance for day care facilities provides accidental death, dismemberment, and accident medical expense coverage for nonemployee persons participating in day care center activities on the premises designated and supervised by university day care personnel or while traveling with a group in connection with activities under the direct supervision of day care center personnel, or while traveling directly to or from activities and their home or lodging place. The policy also includes a catastrophe benefit if the person's injury results in coma, quadriplegia, paraplegia, hemiplegia, or loss of movement of one upper or one lower limb. Notice of a claim must be given to the Risk Manager within (20) days after covered loss begins.


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Special Events (Optional)

Special events insurance (accident medical coverage) is blanket coverage for registered attendees at a camp or event sponsored by a university department, covering injuries or sickness while attendees are at a regularly scheduled camp activity under the supervision of university personnel and while traveling to and from camp activities and to and from home (before and after camp). Departments should contact the university Risk Manager for coverage and cost.


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Patricia Syquia McCarthy, Contracts Administrative Officer/Risk Manager (541-552-7014) is the Risk Manager for Southern Oregon University. Please contact her with any insurance questions or information on filing a claim.


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Contracts Office: 506 Susanne Homes Hall, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd. Ashland, Oregon 97520 (541)551-7014

                                                           Operating Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday