Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Communicating Through a Crisis

Insider Higher Ed – “Most research in crisis communications and management is retrospective, looking at how things unfolded, said Brooke Fisher Liu, a professor of communications and associate dean of the graduate school at the University of Maryland at College Park. Most research in the field also focuses on corporations and governments, rather than other institutions. The COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on higher education offered a team of researchers an opportunity to further explore crisis communications practices in real time and study colleges and universities as they were responding to a crisis.​ Liu, Matthew Seeger, a professor of communications at Wayne State University, Timothy Sellnow, a professor of communications at the University of Central Florida, and their team of graduate students went about doing just that by looking at how college presidents and other higher ed administrators across the country communicated with students, parents, faculty and staff, and even residents living near their campuses, as the public health crisis unfolded. Initial conclusions from their interviews with 37 college presidents, provosts and other leaders suggest that how crises are planned for may need to be reconsidered. Leaders could expand both collaboration with people inside their institution and communication with their students, while focusing on mental and community health. The study confirmed what many observers in higher education have suggested — that university leadership was not prepared for a situation like COVID-19, despite the fact that they had crisis plans for infectious disease outbreaks…”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.