College and university presidents have always faced a wide variety of crises, many of them prevalent in higher education. But in recent years, new kinds of crises have arisen, and their frequency and ferocity have increased. The ubiquity of social media and the impulse for outrage often serve as accelerants, turning seemingly small events into serious conflagrations that can escalate into personal confrontations and even violence.
Designed expressly for college and university presidents, Crisis Leadership Planning and Implementation examines the nature and dynamics of crises that presidents are likely to encounter. Working together with expert faculty and talented peers, you’ll assess your current crisis management processes and learn how to adapt them to prepare for endemic and novel crisis types. You will leave Harvard with a better understanding of the dynamics of crises, the appropriate role of the president, and strategies to both reduce the likelihood of a crisis and respond more effectively if one should occur.
This seminar will be hosted in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Crisis Leadership Planning and Implementation was created to provide a candid forum for presidents to talk with each other about their particular circumstances and challenges. The learning experience will include faculty-led sessions, discussion groups, and most importantly, connections with an extraordinary peer group of colleagues from across the country.
- Consider the unique characteristics of higher education institutions that make them especially crisis-prone;
- Review the use of standard risk management protocols, and consider when they are appropriate and when different organizational structures and responses are required;
- Assess your institution’s risk management and crisis management processes and structures;
- Discuss “sleeping dragons”: known risks that aren’t dealt with for a host of reasons, and can quickly erupt into devastating crises;
- Identify critical features of presidents’ crisis communication
The program draws on cross-disciplinary expertise from faculty at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Graduate School of Education.