Compelling Questions Raised by Fiduciary Lawsuits
(August 22, 2017)


The wave of lawsuits alleging violations of fiduciary duty that are sweeping across the university and college community was discussed and examined. The goal of the presenters was to identify the issues that triggered the lawsuits and identify practical strategies to avoid them. Discussion was be led by…

  • Eric Paley, who is a nationally recognized Partner and Practice Group Leader, Labor & Employment with Nixon Peabody LLP; and
  • Ronald E. Hagan, who is Chairman of the Fiduciary Standards Committee of Roland|Criss, which is a leader in the governance, risk management, and compliance sector for ERISA qualified plans.

Issues discussed by our experts included:

  • Overview of the fiduciary risk environment;
  • Factors that fostered the current state of affairs;
  • Common allegations made in fiduciary lawsuits;
  • Ramifications on plan fiduciaries when such allegations are upheld by the courts;
  • Updated best practices for 403(b) plan sponsors;
  • Structure of a fiduciary internal controls framework;
  • Antidotes for fiduciary risk; and
  • Importance of an investment risk assessment.

The Forum addresses compliance systems, regulatory risk, and cyber security
(May 23, 2017)


This session in the Forum’s higher education sector covered three key topics that Forum members have said are of priority concern to them. The topics include the impact of computer technology on compliance, vendors’ fees for employee benefit plan services, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s focus on cyber security as a fiduciary risk matter.

Ron Hagan, who is CEO of Roland|Criss that developed a governance, risk management, and compliance (“GRC”) framework for the higher education community, and Nick Bednorz, who is CEO of Commensure a provider of a technology platform for hosting GRC systems, are the presenters.

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Key Trends Facing ERISA Plan Executives in Higher Education Institutions
(April 25, 2017)


The executive class in the college and university community is on the precipice of change, especially for executives that oversee their institutions’ retirement plans.

Information technology and regulatory developments continue to up the ante for chief financial officers and human resource executives

While there are multiple methods of managing complex fiduciary principles found in federal regulations, three key trends are shaping how fiduciaries in the near term will approach their decision making role.