University and Non-Academic Research Institutions

We’ve Been Where You Are.  Understanding the underlying challenges which colleges, universities and non-academic research institutions encounter is integral to building an effective compliance program.

Fischer & Associates consultants have worked for some of the countries’ largest research organizations, and we understand the unique culture and challenges of higher education

These challenges can be multi-dimensional, including inadequate resources (human and electronic), lack of in-depth knowledge about how regulatory requirements impact academic, research and/or business operations, and/or insufficient policy and governance structure. Often, the sheer volume of situations and transactions may overwhelm even the most robust compliance organizations. 

  • For colleges, universities and non-academic institutions who are just in the process of establishing their compliance programs, we support these efforts through a risk-proportionate approach that effectively leverages existing resources and processes.
  • For institutions who already have established compliance programs, we can provide a “health-check” on how well the program is faring across academic, research and/or business functions. Likewise, where the institution is expanding its reach to include defense or Classified work, we work with you to lay the compliance foundation critical for expansion.

Regardless of where your institution is on the ‘compliance continuum’, we will leverage our extensive experience to help you and your institution build a dynamic export control, research security, and/or Classified program.

Fischer & Associates partners closely with our client institutions, contributing many years of perspective and pragmatic experience toward comprehensively understanding our clients’ challenges and providing expedient solutions.

Hearing The Challenge

Our expert support begins with informed listening, taking the time to understand your institution’s culture and challenges. Where indicated, we may help map out where and why issues occur. Sometimes the issues are obvious, and it only takes a few conversations to develop a game plan for building or improving your program.

Sometimes though, pinpointing your greatest pressure points is challenging. This could be due to program complexity, leadership turnover, or simply lack of time and bandwidth to effectively evaluate the program.

We offer several types of program assessments, from high-level review for of basic export processes, to more comprehensive assessments that examine all functions, faculty and staff requirements, and current capabilities to drive a successful program. Regardless of the scope, each assessment includes extensive listening: to faculty, to senior administration, to compliance personnel, and to other staff. We believe that active listening is one of the most important steps that we can take to gain critical constituent perspective. 

Implementation Support

We partner with our clients to implement export policy and processes that address key requirements, including:

  • Export compliance management policy
  • Restricted party screening
  • Item and technology classification
  • Export shipping and licensing
  • Technology sharing in research (deemed exports)
  • Visa candidate reviews
  • Procurement reviews
  • International travel reviews
  • Sponsored research reviews
  • Technology control plan development & implementation
  • OFAC transaction review
  • Development of export control and CUI data security processes.

Training and Awareness

We get it: you strive to provide effective training to faculty, staff, and administration, but training programs can be labor intensive to create and present. We have extensive experience in designing and delivering effective, right-sized training for audiences of all sizes. We partner with our client institutions to provide customized, turn-key training that flexibly addresses all aspects of Higher Ed as well as non-academic research issues. Modules can be presented in-person and/or on-line, and once created can be posted to an institution’s internal webpage for ongoing utilization.

Website Development

As export compliance and research security programs expand, it is now more important than ever to have an informative, easy-to-navigate website that reflects both regulatory information and institutional processes. We take a comprehensive approach to web design, ensuring that each type of potential user can quickly and easily find information, processes, forms, and contacts related to their activity or question. We work with both compliance professionals, as well as other stakeholders and institutional web designers to build out an effective website tailored to your institutional culture and program needs.