Author Date


Degree Name





Marriott School of Management

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Paul Godfrey

First Faculty Reader

David Bryce

Honors Coordinator

Mark Hansen


Strategic risk management, student housing, college housing, pandemic, real estate, higher education


This thesis is a study of business risk management for collegiate real estate firms in cataclysmic events, such as but not limited to the COVID-19 pandemic. The study applies principles and frameworks for Strategic Risk Management (SRM) from Dr. Paul Godfrey’s book, “Strategic Risk Management: New Tools for Competitive Advantage in an Uncertain Age.” Included is an analysis of original survey data collected from Provo college students, how students responded to business decisions by local real estate management firms, and university policies. The data from Provo is heavily influenced by unique circumstances for that particular market, such as BYU housing policies, social media impact, and the behavior of local firms. Also included are case studies from interviews conducted in the thesis research process learning more about the decisions of firms in the market to understand consumer’s responses to different types of risk management. The essence of the solution for businesses is to define, plan for and execute SRM before, during and after any cataclysmic event. The decisions by executives on how to strategically manage risk will determine short-term and long-term financial success. The research process involved interviewing various industry experts from a variety of companies to better understand what methods are effective for establishing success in the collegiate real estate market specifically. By using strategic models, this thesis aims to establish a roadmap for businesses in the college housing market to position themselves for success.