Types of Crises

  1. Critical Incident* – a situation that affects a specific segment or subgroup (ex.: a fire in a residence hall room, an isolated student death). These situations are primarily managed by Student Affairs and rarely need to be communicated past the impacted local community or group. Student Affairs communicates as necessary through the Resident Assistants and by communicating directly with the impacted student and his/her family.
  2. Campus Emergency* – any situation (from routine to severe) that disrupts orderly operations of the university (snow closure; a campus power outage; contagious disease scenario). This type of emergency might be fairly routine or emerge over time and increase in complexity and severity.
  3. Disaster* – a situation that disrupts orderly operations of the university as well as those of the surrounding community (active shooter on campus, some severe weather scenarios).
  4. Reputational Threat – situations that arise that might cause embarrassment to the university or be distorted by sensational media coverage. (ex.: felony arrests of students, faculty and staff, pending litigation, IT security breaches).

*Campus Crisis Management: A Comprehensive Guide to Planning, Prevention, Response, and Recovery.  Zdziarski, Dunkel, and Rollo, 2007