University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee



Randy Dumm takes helm at USF’s expanding Baldwin Risk Partners School of Risk Management and Insurance

By Marc R. Masferrer, University Communications and Marketing

The risk management and insurance industry is a “graying” line of work. In Florida and across the nation, as the industry has been buffeted by myriad challenges, i.e., more intense hurricanes and fewer companies willing to take on the risk, more baby boomers are at or nearing retirement than there are college graduates starting RMI careers. It’s a critical gap considering all the old and new ways — from preparing for weather disasters to mitigating cybersecurity risks — the industry touches the economy.

In other words, it’s a perfect opportunity for the University of South Florida’s Baldwin Risk Partners School of Risk Management and Insurance and its new director, Randy Dumm.

Dumm joined the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, where the program is based, in July, after more than six years as a professor and deputy chair of the Department of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management at Temple University in Philadelphia, the largest RMI program in the country. Earlier in his career, he spent almost 20 years on the faculty at Florida State University, home to the only other RMI program in the state. 

Randy Dumm

Randy Dumm, director of the Baldwin Risk Partners School of Risk Management on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus.

"We are excited to have Randy Dumm join us as leader of the Baldwin Risk Partners School of Risk Management and Insurance,” said Sarasota-Manatee campus Regional Chancellor Karen Holbrook. “I am confident that his wealth of experience in the industry and in building respected RMI programs at Temple and Florida State will pay off for USF as we work to grow our program to meet the needs of both our students and the insurance and risk management industry.”

Dumm said the Baldwin Risk Partners School of Risk Management and Insurance is well positioned to become the next powerhouse RMI program in the country and to meet the needs of industry in Florida and elsewhere, as it continues an expansion that started last year when Baldwin Risk Partners donated $5.26 million to turbocharge the growth of the program and USF renamed the school after the benefactor.

Dumm said the gift from the Tampa-based insurance services firm laid a “strong foundation” that will help the program grow by supporting scholarships, research and events where students can interact with industry leaders. It also will provide USF with access to insights from industry professionals on how to best prepare students for careers, Dumm said.

The donation, the largest in the history of the Sarasota-Manatee campus, already has elevated the program’s profile and encouraged others in the industry, which has a particularly strong presence in the Tampa Bay region, to lend their support with internships and other assistance.

The USF chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma, the collegiate fraternity that promotes interest in the profession, is also fostering connections between students and the industry.

What he adds, Dumm said, are his experiences with accomplished RMI programs at Florida State, Temple and the University of Georgia, where he earned his doctorate, that will help him build both the USF program and relationships with industry players.

USF has “built the framework, the structure, it’s all here,” Dumm said. “We just need to continue to build that out and to bring students into the mix and then engage the stakeholders in this particular program, and that’s industry. Additionally, we have a strong research faculty in the Baldwin Risk Partners School of Risk Management and Insurance and our plan is to expand on that as well, as we move forward.”

Building student interest is critical for the industry as it works to replace a retiring workforce with college graduates ready to address traditional topics like health and property insurance but also new and evolving risks related to pandemics, climate change, cybersecurity, supply chains and other areas.

The industry offers opportunities for well-paying jobs but there are also chances, Dumm said, for professionals to pursue an interest in public service by, for example, helping communities and customers in Florida address risks related to hurricanes. Dumm is a former chair of the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology and served on the State of Florida’s Task Force on Long-Term Solutions for Florida’s Hurricane Insurance Market.

“Our industry is focused on helping people and solving problems,” said Dumm, currently president of the American Risk and Insurance Association. “The idea of being there for someone in a time of need is a fundamental part of the industry.”

A Fulbright Scholar in Austria in 2004, Dumm also has served as a visiting professor at universities in Austria and Germany. His research interests include catastrophic risk, insurer capital structure, insurer distribution channels, demand for insurance and insurance product performance. 

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