Jump start your risk management career 

Risk is an essential part of the business world. Every investment can lead to high returns or substantial losses. Finding a cost-efficient solution for potential losses—that's risk management. When many firms or individuals face similar risk exposures, it's efficient to pool the risks together. Insurance companies provide a pooling mechanism. While large firms have their own risk management department, smaller firms hire risk management consultants, brokers, or insurance agents to give them advice. Insurance companies need actuaries for price calculations, underwriters to analyze clients’ risks and to negotiate deals, claims adjusters to manage loss events, asset managers, marketing experts, accountants, and general managers to run the company.  

The U.S. insurance industry’s revenue totaled $1.1 trillion in 2014. Nearly 140 insurance companies are located in Iowa, and less than 60 universities in the country offer a risk management and insurance program. Regardless of your chosen major, with the Vaughan Institute’s Certificate in Risk Management and Insurance you will be far ahead of your competition and ready for a rewarding career in the risk management and insurance (RMI) industry or wherever else you choose. Risk management provides tools for better decisions.

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    Speakers and mentors

    Speaker series and the mentor program are critical parts of the learning experience for Vaughan students. Industry mentors are matched with students for an academic year based on their career aspirations. Mentors are expected to spend 2–3 hours a month interacting with their student and attend three on-campus events. Speakers are invited to present at Gamma Iota Sigma events, in classes, and at other program functions. If you'd like to be a speaker or mentor, please email us.

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    Boards & networking           

    The Vaughan Institute has an Advisory Board consisting of senior industry leaders and a Young Alumni Board that provide valuable guidance and support the institute’s program. There is a LinkedIn group to stay connected, and our alumni regularly organize networking receptions in Des Moines. If you are an alum and would like to get involved, contact us.



    The operating budget of the Vaughan Institute is funded solely by endowed or unrestricted gifts and annual donations. In order for the program to progress and continue to provide a nurturing learning environment and enrichment activities, your support is needed and appreciated. To find ways in which you can contribute to the Vaughan Institute, please reach out.

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    The University of Iowa has been known for producing leaders in the world of risk management and insurance for decades. Emmett J. Vaughan (1934–2004) began his University of Iowa career in 1963 as an assistant professor, directing the college's efforts in insurance education. He was essential in helping the university earn a distinguished reputation in the field of insurance education in the 1970s and 1980s while mentoring many of the industry's top leaders. Dr. Vaughan served as dean of the Division of Continuing Education from 1986 until 2001 while continuing to teach insurance courses. The undergraduate business major in insurance, however, was discontinued in 1985. Under Dr. Vaughan’s guidance, the Tippie College of Business partnered with industry leaders to launch the institute to help with the industry's expanding employment needs. After Dr. Vaughan's passing in 2004, the institute was renamed in his honor.

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    Global Center of Insurance Excellence

    The Vaughan Institute is proud to have been designated a Global Center of Insurance Excellence (GCIE). This distinction recognizes the quality of education students in our program receive, the dedication of our faculty, and the power of a curriculum built on fundamentals and experiential learning. Learn more about this designation.

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    An A.M. Best College Standout

    At the Vaughan Institute we feel that being identified by Best's Review as one of the 20 leading risk management and insurance programs itself comes with positive externalities that influence University of Iowa student’s education while indirectly controlling their experience finding a career after college. Because the Vaughan Institute has been bestowed this incredible award, it influences young freshmen and sophomores to think of the collegiate excellence that this type of education does for their resume. Faculty dedication to course objectives, and using experiential learning as a catalyst for knowledge retention are the key to build a high class education from the fundamentals. These faculty leverage the thirst of knowledge that started with Dr. Emmett Vaughan to make the University of Iowa a prestigious university for insurance education. This state will benefit from this program, and with 29 headquartered insurance companies in the State of Iowa, this program is the future of insurance in this state. The Vaughan Institute builds on past excellence to become Top 20 candidate, to give a top tier education at a top tier institution.



    Emmett J. Vaughan Institute of Risk Management and Insurance
    108 John Pappajohn Business Building, S230
    Iowa City, IA 52242-1994

    Meet the Vaughan team