The Johns Hopkins University
March 1, 1999
A fatal dorm fire. A lab explosion. A hostage taking. A major, destructive hurricane. A sniper incident. A building occupation. A page one, network news-leading scandal. Any of these could happen to Johns Hopkins University. Are we ready?
Who would be in charge? Who would house displaced students? Who would call their parents? Who would call in the police or talk to the mayor? Where would we put the press? Who would get the word out to students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees? Who would see to it that business operations continue? By no means are these issues abstract. Recently, the Johns Hopkins community was shocked and saddened by the news that three of its graduate students were killed, and two others injured, in a very serious car accident. The local, divisional response to this crisis by leaders and staff at the School of Engineering, within Student Affairs [i.e., Chaplain, Counseling Services, Dean of Students, International Services, etc.], Communications and Public Affairs and Security, and by the General Counsel s Office was exemplary -- reinforcing the value of effective advance planning, sound judgement and execution, superb communication and coordination, and heroic effort and determination.
Both locally and nationally, a growing number of recent tragic events on campuses has demonstrated the importance of crisis management for the leadership of the university. Indeed, an institution as large and complex as Johns Hopkins is well-advised to make disaster planning and crisis management a regular feature of its internal organizational operations.
Go to Report of the Committee on Crisis Management Table of Contents
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