ERIC Number: EJ839341
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Reference Count: N/A
Learning the Hard Way
Hughes, Joy R.; Bushey, Keith R.
EDUCAUSE Quarterly, v29 n4 p55-57 2006
George Mason University has four campuses in Northern Virginia and 30,000 students, of whom 40 percent are graduate students. One of its campuses is just one mile from the Pentagon. On September 11, 2001, when terrorists struck the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon, no one knew the extent of the damage, how many people had been killed or injured, or whether other targets would be hit. The communication systems being used by regional police and fire departments were not interoperable with each other or with the university's system. The university realized that it had to make substantial investments to improve its ability to respond to emergencies. The list of possible remedial actions seemed infinite, with correspondingly limitless needs for funding to implement them. As the authors look back at the strategies they chose and the investments they decided to make, they see that three concepts drove their choices. First, they understood early on that they needed to form partnerships if they were to achieve success, given limited resources. Second, they used what they knew about principles of learning and communication to guide their efforts at educating the campus community about what to do in an emergency and how to find resources to assist themselves. The third ingredient for success is perhaps the obvious one: the university's executive leadership had to commit financial resources and their own time and energy to selecting strategies, funding them, and assisting with their implementation. This article presents seven of the strategies the university used to improve its capabilities to respond to emergencies.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Emergency Programs, Crisis Management, Change Strategies, Administrative Principles, National Security, School Safety
EDUCAUSE. 4772 Walnut Street Suite 206, Boulder, CO 80301-2538. Tel: 303-449-4430; Fax: 303-440-0461; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.educause.edu
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia