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ERIC Number: EJ899289
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0889
The Art of Breaking Bad News: Lessons Learned at a Large Public University
Head, Joe F.
College and University, v86 n1 p39-43 Sum 2010
The purpose of this article is to reflect on how to break bad news. The style in which one breaks bad news at the collegiate level has implications both for the individual and for the institution. If not managed well by enrollment professionals, negative news can taint prospects, applicants, parents, and current students, blemishing the institution. The fallout is witnessed, at times, in less than positive public relations and/or less than positive employee morale. Bad news travels fast! The breaking of bad news is deeply embedded in popular culture and frequently is idolized in theater and cinematography. Potentially explosive situations often can be disarmed with creative language or preparation. Everyone remembers "Houston, we have a problem," the alleged statement made from Apollo 13 to Houston Space Command. "You're gonna need a bigger boat," which communicated bad news about a really big shark (Jaws). If only enrollment services professionals could frame the delivery of bad news so dramatically--or comically.
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). One Dupont Circle NW Suite 520, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-293-9161; Fax: 202-872-8857; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A