Crisis Management Demystified: Here's How to Prevent a Crisis from Ruining Your Institution's Reputation. (People & Politics)

By Murphy, Sean K. | University Business, February 2003 | Go to article overview

Crisis Management Demystified: Here's How to Prevent a Crisis from Ruining Your Institution's Reputation. (People & Politics)


Murphy, Sean K., University Business


For many Americans, the name "Kent State" evokes images of a nation in conflict. A single crisis decades ago forever defined that institution as a symbol of civil outrage and government run amok. The crises that occur on campuses today are less about changing the world and more about holding our institutions to ever-higher standards of conduct. Yet the stakes remain the same: the reputation of your college or university.

Stakes this high demand the attention of campus leaders, in much the same way investors, employees, and government regulators now demand accountability from corporate CEOs. After all, while good deeds often go unnoticed, crises never do. This is because your stakeholders (tuition-paying parents and major donors, students and faculty, and accrediting bodies and government regulators) are measuring your conduct during the crisis. They know that a crisis does not make character--it reveals character.

The scope of potential crises facing colleges and universities has never been greater, and stakeholders are asking tough questions and demanding accountability as never before. Hot-button issues include but are not limited to:

* Racial, gender, and economic diversity and discrimination (e.g., affirmative action, the impact of Title IX, etc.)

* Ethics and academic integrity

* Academic freedom and expression of controversial opinions

* Budgets and funding crises (e.g., tuition increases, acceptance of gifts from corporations guilty of fiscal malfeasance, etc.)

* Student behavior (e.g., hazing, binge drinking, etc.)

* On-campus safety and security

With so many issues to manage, it is critical that your institution be prepared to prevent crises and mitigate those that do occur. The process involves two primary steps: conducting a crisis vulnerability assessment and developing an actionable crisis response plan.

CRISIS VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT

The crisis vulnerability assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of your institution's operations and policies in areas that directly affect its reputation and should include:

* Institutional policy evaluation, to determine if policies on ethics, admissions, campus life, and similar issues reflect contemporary standards and responsible behavior.

* Government and regulatory compliance, to determine if your institution is operating within the confines of the law and if there are any vulnerabilities.

* Marketing analysis, to determine if claims made in the recruitment process are accurate and if communications are consistent with your institution's reputation.

* Work environment review, to determine if employment practices are in line with the law and societal expectations.

* Citizenship audit, to determine if your institution is fulfilling its obligation to its communities.

* Stakeholder assessment, to determine the perceptions and priorities of key stakeholder groups.

* Allies and adversaries assessment, to determine which credible third parties would stand with or against you, or remain neutral, in a crisis situation.

* Governance review, to underscore the credibility and integrity of leadership and its decision-making process.

* Leadership skills assessment, to determine if your management team has the proper training--including conflict management and media spokesmanship skills--to effectively manage a crisis situation.

The results of this evaluation should point to the strengths and positive image attributes your institution can muster in a crisis situation--as well as clearly identify the weak areas that must be addressed to prevent a crisis from occurring.

Still, leaders often resist crisis planning, for varying reasons. Some fear confronting the reality that something can go wrong. Then there are those who arrogantly believe they can "wing it" and handle the crisis with their natural charm. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Crisis Management Demystified: Here's How to Prevent a Crisis from Ruining Your Institution's Reputation. (People & Politics)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.