University Business May 2017 - 50

PROFESSIONAL OPINION

out front with honest answers that display accountability and transparency.
Relationships matter
Serious issues of all kinds erode trust
in the leader and put pressure on
relationships. Prudent leaders spend
a great deal of time nurturing rela-

tionships in advance with faculty,
students, alumni, activists, the news
media and others who will influence the situation. And when crisis
strikes, they pay special attention to
the victims, providing empathy and
assuring that their human needs are
being met.

Developing a crisis mindset
Surviving a crisis requires thinking and acting in ways much different from
how university administrators normally operate. The best leaders have a "crisis mindset" that guides their words and actions. Here are the key elements:
Acknowledge that you're facing a crisis. People often ignore the warning
signs or try to explain them away. Often it's your front-line staff-student
affairs personnel, social media managers-who are the first to see what's
coming. Make sure they have permission to sound the alarm to their
superiors and to you directly.
Mobilize your team quickly. Convene your crisis team as soon as you can.
It's better to get people together, on the phone or around the table, as fast
as possible. If the issue resolves quickly, you can always send them home.
It's much harder to get them together amid chaos. Brief the people who
answer your phones to both alert you to what's being said and what they
should say to those who call.
Work to make sense of what's happening-and then communicate that
broadly. Good leaders ask questions that help make sense out of fastmoving, disjointed and sometimes false information. Stock your toolkit
with questions like: "What's happening right now? How has the situation
changed in the last 24 hours? Who is being affected? How are we supporting
the victims?" Savvy leaders make sure that the organization is filling the
void with information. They know that if the university doesn't own the
narrative, the rumor mill or aggrieved parties will.
Make decisions with incomplete information when necessary. Crisis
situations are fast-moving and dynamic. You'll be called on to make
decisions without full information. Listen to the varying perspectives
your team brings and make sure that you hear operational, legal and
public relations viewpoints. There's always something to say-even when
you don't know all the facts.
Empower the people under you. As the top leader, you're accountable for
the ultimate outcomes-but don't let that tempt you into micromanaging your institution's response. Instead, use what the military calls the
principle of "commander's intent." Rather than telling subordinates what
to do and how to do it, the battlefield commander articulates the overall
goal, sets broad limits on what's permissible, and steps back to allow the
people on the ground to make the specific decisions on how to proceed.

50 | May 2017

It's not over until it's over
A critical mistake many leaders make
is to assume too quickly that the crisis
is over. Veteran public relations professionals know that the toughest questions often come on the second day,
when the media and activists change
the conversation from "what happened" to "who is to blame." Missteps
at this stage often bring additional regulatory scrutiny for perceived process
defects. Leaders need to stay engaged
and to keep their teams focused on the
situation for weeks or even months.
Close the chapter
Good leaders also know how to move
their campuses from response to recovery. They tap into the power of rituals,
like memorial services, to help followers
transition from one phase to the next.
Academia often focuses on the brain,
but leaders move hearts.
Learn from the last time
Perhaps the most important task of
the leader is to make sure that the
organization learns from a serious incident. Too often we see debriefs that
focus on only what actions were taken
in response to the event. Presidents
should insist on a full examination that
includes what came before, and they
should see to it that changes are made
based on the lessons learned.
Not every endangered species
disappears. Some go on to thrive and
endure. College presidents can learn
from that example.

Joseph Brennan is vice president of communications and marketing, and clinical professor
of business at the University at Albany. Mark
Weaver owns Communications Counsel, an
Ohio-based firm that advises universities on
crisis communications. He teaches at The Ohio
State University College of Law, the University
of Akron, and the School of Government at
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
www.universitybusiness.com


http://www.universitybusiness.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business May 2017

University Business May 2017 - Cover1
University Business May 2017 - Cover2
University Business May 2017 - 1
University Business May 2017 - 2
University Business May 2017 - 3
University Business May 2017 - 4
University Business May 2017 - 5
University Business May 2017 - 6
University Business May 2017 - 7
University Business May 2017 - 8
University Business May 2017 - 9
University Business May 2017 - 10
University Business May 2017 - 11
University Business May 2017 - 12
University Business May 2017 - 13
University Business May 2017 - 14
University Business May 2017 - 15
University Business May 2017 - 16
University Business May 2017 - 17
University Business May 2017 - 18
University Business May 2017 - 19
University Business May 2017 - 20
University Business May 2017 - 21
University Business May 2017 - 22
University Business May 2017 - 23
University Business May 2017 - 24
University Business May 2017 - 25
University Business May 2017 - 26
University Business May 2017 - 27
University Business May 2017 - 28
University Business May 2017 - 29
University Business May 2017 - 30
University Business May 2017 - 31
University Business May 2017 - 32
University Business May 2017 - 33
University Business May 2017 - 34
University Business May 2017 - 35
University Business May 2017 - 36
University Business May 2017 - 37
University Business May 2017 - 38
University Business May 2017 - 39
University Business May 2017 - 40
University Business May 2017 - 41
University Business May 2017 - 42
University Business May 2017 - 43
University Business May 2017 - 44
University Business May 2017 - 45
University Business May 2017 - 46
University Business May 2017 - 47
University Business May 2017 - 48
University Business May 2017 - 49
University Business May 2017 - 50
University Business May 2017 - 51
University Business May 2017 - 52
University Business May 2017 - Cover3
University Business May 2017 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0320
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0120
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_1119
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_1019
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0819
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0719
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0619
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0419
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0319
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0119
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_1218
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_1118
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_1018
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0918
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0818
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0718
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0618
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0518
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0418
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0318
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0218
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0118
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_1217
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_1117
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_1017
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0917
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0817
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0717
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0617
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0517
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0417
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0317
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0217EPUB
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0217
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0117
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_1216
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_1116
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_1016
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0916
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0816
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0816CG
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB0716
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/GlobalSellSheet
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0616
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0516
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB0416
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB0316
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB_0216r2
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UBGuide
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB0116
http://www.nxtbook.com/pmg/UB/UB
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201508_ConsultantsGuide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201506_AudioVisualSolutions
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201505
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201504
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201502
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201501
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201501_FinancialServicesGuide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201408_ConsultantsGuide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201406
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201406_AudioVisualSolutions
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201405
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201404
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201402
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201401
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201401_FinancialServicesGuide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201308_ConsultantsGuide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201307
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201306_AudioVisualSolutions
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201306
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201305
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201303
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201302
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201301
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub201301_FinancialServicesGuide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1012
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0912
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub_cg12
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub070812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub_avguide0612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub_financeguide0112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1011
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub_cg11
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0611_av
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub_financeguide0111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1010
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub_2010financeguide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub_2010consultants
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub_2010avguide
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1009
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub_fg09
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1108
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1008
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0908
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0808
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0608
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0907
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0807
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0707
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0307
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0207
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0107
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1206
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1106
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub1006
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0906
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0806
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0706
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0606-GG
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0606
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/ub0406
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com