International Educator - January/February 2012 - 58

nia Education Abroad Systemwide Office, reports that 60 UC students and two UC employees were impacted by the Chilean earthquake in 2010. She explained that damage to their facilities on site prevented the faculty director from contacting the California office, so the onsite program assistant established a satellite office in her home to centralize communications. “And then we used everything—landlines, cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, etc., in order to obtain and disseminate information.”

Managing disgruntled constituents
A crisis management plan must also include communication tips for managing disgruntled constituents. Barbara Lindeman, director of study abroad and assistant director of the international center at the University of Missouri, reflects that MU’s protocols for evacuating students in cases of epidemics or political unrest have worked well. “However, not all of the students who we evacuate are grateful and some are angry—even if they were terrified beforehand. It’s important to know that you and your institution are doing the right thing for students because sometimes crisis management can be a thankless job.” The Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) experienced both ends of this spectrum following its decision to end the semester early after the reported malfunctions at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Even though the program’s location was far from the nuclear reactors damaged in the earthquake and tsunami, making it unlikely that the students were in danger of exposure to nuclear radiation, many parents expressed appreciation to the university for taking this precaution. Despite this, some parents expressed anger and confusion over the decision given that their students were in no apparent danger. So as to maintain a level of operational efficiency in the office, JCMU staff had to prepare responses to complaints as well as compliments. To streamline communications, Kate Simon, program coordinator with JCMU, reported that it was helpful to have morning and afternoon briefings with the staff, and to provide regu-

lar, written summaries of the situation that are also shared with staff unable to attend the meeting—especially those on site. Another lesson shared by Simon was that once an organization makes a decision, less information is more. “If you start to give out a lot of information justifying the decision, then you give people more to argue with or to pick apart. You don’t need people questioning the decision and trying to find fault with it. If you are not firm, you can give the impression that the decision is reversible, and a lot of time is wasted hearing appeals.” In other words, once a decision is made, be clear and concise, but also unwavering.

What the U.S. Department of State CAN and CAN’T DO in a Crisis:
http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/ emergencies/emergencies_1212.html

Insurance coverage
A comprehensive crisis management plan ought to mirror or at least complement your insurance coverage. While providing education abroad participants with a comprehensive medical treatment and medical evacuation plan is fairly common, plans that offer broader evacuation benefits like political/security evacuation may exclude coverage for natural disasters. Furthermore, even if your coverage provides political/security evacuation coverage, it may do so only if triggered by a U.S. State Department (DOS) Travel Warning. Yet waiting for DOS to issue a warning before your institution recommends leaving a country will likely make your departure problematic. If your institution is risk-averse, you should tend toward leaving

a potentially volatile location before transportation options become limited. Insurance carriers that offer evacuation services may be able to respond quicker than the DOS with regard to organizing departures. “Because we are a private company we can be more proactive. We don’t have the political pressures to stand down,” states CISI’s Langin, adding, “In my opinion, [the] State [Department] was 24 hours too late in issuing the Travel Warning to Egypt.” Langin further described how CISI personnel went into Cairo’s neighborhoods and located every one of their clients’ students, then arranged their transportation to the airport, and shepherded them through security and eventually onto a flight to Europe. Once there, they worked with the students and the institutions to fly them home or to another university abroad where they had arranged to transfer. No crisis management plan should rely solely on the U.S government for evacuation as there is no guarantee of service. U.S. government-sponsored flights out of a foreign country are arranged at the discretion of the DOS, and usually only when capacity is lacking in the private sector or commercial carriers have ceased operations in the affected locations. It’s also important to remember that the DOS has specific departure classifications pertaining only to its employees. An ordered departure, which requires nonemergency personnel and eligible family members, coincides with the issuance of a Travel Warning, which for many U.S. colleges and universities triggers evacuation proceedings. Complicating matters, U.S. citizens using DOS services are responsible for getting themselves to the airport. Tickets are also issued based on priority according to the following criteria: U.S. citizenship, tour/ study groups, and permanent residents with clear ties to the United States. Efforts are made to keep non-U.S. citizens traveling with a group together, but no guarantees can be made. Third-country nationals will be offered seats on a space-available basis, and dual passport holders are subject to the directives of their own governments. Travelers will also be required to sign a promissory note for an undisclosed amount of money

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InternatIonal educator J A N + F E B . 12


http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1212.html http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1212.html

International Educator - January/February 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2012

International Educator - January/February 2012
Contents
From the Editors
Front Lines
In Brief
Voices: Rollins College President Lewis Duncan
Finding a Home in Higher Education
Promoting Peace Th Rough Partnerships
New York University Becomes a Global Network University
International Education Fairs
Education Abroad
A View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2012 - International Educator - January/February 2012
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Contents
International Educator - January/February 2012 - From the Editors
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Front Lines
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 8
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 9
International Educator - January/February 2012 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 12
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 14
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 16
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 18
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Voices: Rollins College President Lewis Duncan
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 26
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Finding a Home in Higher Education
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 30
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 32
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 34
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 36
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 38
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Promoting Peace Th Rough Partnerships
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 41
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 42
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 43
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 44
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 45
International Educator - January/February 2012 - New York University Becomes a Global Network University
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 47
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 48
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 49
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 50
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 51
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 52
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 53
International Educator - January/February 2012 - International Education Fairs
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 55
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 57
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 58
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 59
International Educator - January/February 2012 - A View From Out Here
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 61
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 62
International Educator - January/February 2012 - 63
International Educator - January/February 2012 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2012 - Cover4
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