Mark Beasley

Title: Professor of ERM and Director, ERM Initiative

MBA Elective: MBA 518 – Overview of Enterprise Risk Management
MBA Elective:  MBA 519 – ERM Practicum

My Areas of Focus

I serve as a Professor of Enterprise Risk Management and Director of the Enterprise Risk Management Initiative in the Poole College of Management.  The Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative (www.erm.ncsu.edu) provides thought leadership about ERM practices and their integration with strategy and corporate governance. In that role, I help lead the ERM Initiative’s efforts to pioneer the development of this emergent discipline through outreach to business professionals, through the Initiative’s ongoing ERM Roundtable Series and our ERM Executive Education Workshops we host for boards and senior executives.  I also conduct research to help advance knowledge and understanding of ERM issues.

Research Interests

My research primarily examines issues related to corporate governance and enterprise risk management. I am currently involved in several research projects that are exploring factors that affect the level of an organization’s maturity of its enterprise risk management process and the extent to which ERM is integrated with the organization’s strategy. One of these projects is based on in-depth interviews with ERM leaders within organizations about detailed aspects of their organization’s ERM processes. In a separate project with colleagues at NC State, I am examining whether investors place greater value on organizations that are engaged in both enterprise risk management and sustainability programs.

Separately, as part of the ERM Initiative at NC State, I work with our faculty to conduct annual surveys in partnership with the AICPA on the state of enterprise risk management in organizations to identify trends and other benchmarking information about the current state of ERM.  We also partner with Protiviti to conduct our annual survey highlighting top risks on the minds of executives and we issue a number of thought papers on emerging ERM topics.  

Opportunities to Work with MAC Students

My current teaching responsibilities relate to courses that expose MAC and MBA students to the growing discipline of enterprise risk management (ERM). Each fall semester, I teach MBA 518, Overview of Enterprise Risk Management, which exposes students to techniques all types of organizations are implementing to manage the ever-increasing portfolio of risks threatening the organization’s business model and strategic plan.  We begin the course with obtaining an understanding of the growing expectations being placed on boards of directors for more effective oversight of risks management is taking on behalf of shareholders and then we walk through the core elements of an ERM process entities use to identify, assess, manage, and monitor its most important risks to their business model.

For students who complete MBA 518 in the fall semester, they are eligible to participate in the ERM Practicum course (MBA 519) I teach each spring to provide those students hands-on learning as they work with real organizations to implement ERM. Teams of three-to-four students are paired with a real-world organization to help its management team and board of directors advance the entity’s approach to ERM. The practicum begins with students reviewing the entity’s business model, strategic plan, and a host of other highly-sensitive, confidential documents that help us understand what drives the entity’s strategic success.  With that as a background understanding, students typically conduct face-to-face interviews with the organization’s senior management to obtain their views about the most important risks on the horizon. Following that, the risk information is compiled into a risk inventory database, which the students use to create a risk-ranking survey for management to prioritize the entity’s most important strategic risks.  The final deliverable involves generation of a detailed report outlining the entity’s top tier risks to their business, which the students present to executive management (and sometimes the board). I serve as the coach for several student teams, which allows me to work side-by-side with them throughout the practicum experience.  It is a great example of NC State’s “Think and Do” model.

Why I Think Students May Want to Concentrate in ERM

Of course, I’m biased – but I am convinced that students will benefit greatly from gaining knowledge and skill related to ERM.  As the world becomes increasing more complex, the speed of change creates greater amounts of uncertainty that can impact (both positively and negatively) organizations overnight.  Boards and senior management teams are realizing the need to more proactively (versus reactively) manage risks to their business models and strategic plans.  As part of that risk oversight, they are assigning the “ownership” of certain risks to business unit leaders throughout the organization, holding them accountable for the management of those risks within their areas of responsibility.  Thus, risk management is becoming an expected core competency of all individuals who seek to be in executive leadership positions.

NC State has developed an international reputation as an important thought leader on the topic of enterprise risk management. Thus, Poole College of Management students have a unique opportunity to take advantage of these courses from an institution branded as having expertise in this field.  That, in turn, should help distinguish Poole College graduate students in the employment marketplace.  

My Work with Real-World Organizations Informs What I Teach in the Classroom

In addition to the ERM practicums that I help lead, my work with the ERM Initiative provides me tremendous interactions with business professionals from a wide-range of industries and geographies. The ERM Initiative has an Advisory Board that consists of over 40 individuals who lead the ERM efforts within their organization or who provide risk management advisory services.  Most of the organizations represented on the Advisory Board are in the Fortune 250, including very well-known brands.  They meet with our ERM Initiative faculty twice a year in Raleigh and they attend our ERM Roundtable Summits (along with our ERM practicum students!).  Additionally, I help teach Executive Education Workshops hosted by the ERM Initiative for business leaders interested in advancing the maturity of the ERM programs.  Finally, I provide training and consulting services on an ongoing basis for organizations of all types.  Collectively, these interactions expose me to real-time, real-world challenges organizations face in managing the rapidly changing portfolio of risks.  I am able to share my experiences with students in the classroom.

Work with Other ERM Thought Leaders

From 2004-2011, I served on the board for the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (widely known at COSO – see www.coso.org) and I have participated in a number of other national level risk management initiatives.  For example, I served on the Advisory Council that helped develop COSO’s 2004 Enterprise Risk Management – Integrated Framework and I am now serving on the COSO Advisory Council that is working on an update revision to that framework, which was released as an Exposure Draft in June 2016. I also served on the AICPA Auditing Standards Board Task Force that developed Statement on Auditing Standards No. 99, Consideration of Fraud in a Financial Statement Audit.

Why Choose NC State for Your MAC Degree?

The description of my work and involvement with ERM is just one example of the unique opportunities our MAC students have at NC State that is unparalleled.  As the above information highlights the real-world, tactical, “hands-on” learning that we provide in our ERM coursework, that same kind of emphasis is integrated throughout all our MAC curriculum.  A number of the professors who teach our MAC courses are engaged in highly visible, internationally recognized leadership positions, including national leadership roles such as the PCAOB Standing Advisory Group, the Federal Financial Accounting Standards Board, COSO, the AICPA, in addition to service on boards of directors and audit committees, including the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight. Most of the faculty have corporate or public accounting prior work experience, including some faculty who have served in senior executive positions in large publicly traded corporations.  Some on our faculty have conducted research that has been presented to regulators and standards-setters, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.  The network of our faculty has with major leaders of the accounting profession and business world is extensive, and often our faculty invites a number of these leaders to speak in our MAC classes.  In summary, I think it will be hard to find a MAC program that can provide a more enriching, well-rounded experience than the MAC program at NC State. Come be a part of this exciting experience!