Higher Education Crisis Communication Resources

Crisis CommsCrisis communications situations can come at any time. For individuals in higher education, these crises can vary from everything ranging to violence on campus, professors’ conflict of interest and students’ misbehavior. Just in the last couple of weeks, university communicators at the University California Santa Barbara and Seattle Pacific University have been forced to communicate tragedies to their respective communities following inexplicable violence.

In episode 12 of FIR on Higher Education, I discuss this topic with Michael Schoenfeld, VP of Communications at Duke University. In addition to this show, I wanted to provide some resources for how to handle those unexpected crises.

University Crisis Communications Plans

Many schools post their crisis communication plans for the benefit of their respective communities. Here are the plans of a few schools.

Recent Lessons – University Level

Recent Lessons – Individual Professors

  • Rachel Slocum, assistant professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, sent an assignment email to students. In the process, she took a few shots against Republicans. She was shocked when this assignment email went viral and became national news. Read more.
  • University professors who didn’t disclose conflicts of interest in public statements came under scrutiny in a New York Times piece.

General Resources on Crisis Communications

While not specifically focused on higher education, the below links are useful for anyone thinking through a crisis communications strategy.

Do you know of other interesting resources on crisis communications for? Feel free to add your links to the comments section.