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ERIC Number: ED580754
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 131
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-0-3554-6223-4
University Care, Response and Recovery after Tragedy and Perceptions of Effective Support Systems for Administrators
Bradley, Akirah J.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Davis
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore and understand lived experiences of university administrators in their efforts to care for, respond to, and begin recovery of a student community after a tragedy. Additionally, the study sought to discover support systems for university administrators working to move the campus forward and their perceptions of the support systems' effectiveness. Qualitative data was collected primarily through semi-structured interviews and journals entries from eight university administrators. The eight administrators all worked at the study site, "Sunny University" (SU), and were part of the response and recovery process for the students in the aftermath of the tragedy. The major results of the study conclude that administrators did not have a formula for care, response, and recovery after a tragic incident. The response was organic and intuitive. The following four major themes were found highlighting the response and efforts towards campus recovery: flexibility over structure, staff immediately mobilizing, the restoration process starting with events that developed a sense of community and safety, and administrators showing persistence and resilience. The next set of major results provides insight into the supports systems and perceptions of effectiveness. There were three themes found: (a) formal university support systems were the least effective; (b) informal university support systems were fairly effective; and (c) self-care support systems were most effective. The major results were interpreted and a framework was developed through the lens of organizational compassion that situates the study results and relationship of the university administrator and the organization. The researcher hopes the study will assist universities in understanding one unique tragic incident and experiences with response and recovery to better guide other campuses' approach to any future similar incidents. Recommendations for policy and future research are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A