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Clemson University Crisis Management Plan

Clemson University educates individuals and groups to minimize behaviors that can cause accidents or injuries. Nevertheless, University-related crises will occur and must be managed efficiently and effectively. The following outlines the steps in Clemson University's Crisis Management Plan and establishes Clemson's Crisis Management Team.

Scope of the Crisis Management Plan

The Crisis Management Plan will be enacted in serious incidents defined as any of the following:

  1. Any death on campus or at a University sanctioned or sponsored event or in/around a University facility;

  2. Any death of a student or employee traveling to, from, or on behalf of Clemson University;

  3. Serious damage to college property (including all arson);

  4. Any threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the University community;

  5. Other incidents unique to the campus demanding special attention but not involving the above such as serious injury to a visitor or extraordinary damage to community property by students;

  6. Other incidents which, in the judgment of the vice president for student affairs, require or would benefit from input from the crisis team.

  • Note 1:

    Extraordinary circumstances which impair any major function of the University (such as the destruction of a building, a nuclear explosion, or a mass suicide) are defined as disasters and will be handled in accordance with the University's Disaster Management Plan

    on-line and on file in the President and Vice President for Student Affairs offices.

  • Note 2:

    Crisis communication about situations that are controversial or sensitive in nature, but are not crises or emergencies (lawsuits, arrests, near fatal injuries, suicide attempts, regulatory investigations, negative news coverage, etc.) will be handled by the appropriate administrative officer and the Chief Public Affairs Officer.

Authority for Implementing the Crisis Management Plan

The Crisis Management Team described below is delegated full authority by the President of Clemson University to:

  1. Implement a swift, unified, and comprehensive response to a serious incident;

  2. Investigate and evaluate serious incidents for the purpose of preventing or minimizing the impact of a future incident; and

  3. Handle public and internal communication related to the event.

The Crisis Management Team will report to the President through the Vice President for Student Affairs.
The composition of the Crisis Management Team shall be:

  • Vice President for Student Affairs

  • Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (Student Life)

  • Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (Student Engagement)

  • Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (Municipal and Community Affairs)

  • Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (Campus Life)

  • Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (Gantt Intercultural Center)

  • Chief Public Affairs Officer

  • Chief Legal Officer

  • Chief Human Resources Officer

  • Chief Facilities Officer

  • Chief Information Security Officer

  • Chief Environmental Health and Safety Officer

  • Dean of Graduate School

  • Dean of Undergraduates Studies

  • Executive Director of Housing

  • Executive Director of Student Health Services

  • Director of Law Enforcement and Safety

  • Director of Fire and Emergency Medical Services

  • Director of News Services

  • Director of Counseling and Psychological Services

  • Director of Residential Facilities

  • Director of Residential Life

  • Director of Risk Management

  • Director of Student-Athlete Performance

  • Director of the Office of Community and Ethical Standards

Active Management of Crisis

The Crisis Management Team will conduct a yearly training session for all team members and potential substitutes to review, revise, and rehearse crisis management procedures.

When a crisis is anticipated or occurs, the following steps will be taken:

  • Any member of the Crisis Management Team who becomes aware of a crisis unfolding should call a meeting of the CMT.

  • The Crisis Management Team chairman or vice chairman will be notified immediately and will assure that the Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Public Affairs Officer are aware of the incident. The VPSA or CPAO will inform the President and other executive officers as appropriate. The VPSA or CPAO will inform the President and other executive officers as appropriate.

  • The CMT will meet upon notification by the chairman or as soon as feasible thereafter.

  • At the CMT meeting:

    1. Share all available information with the Team;

    2. Identify all affected parties and assign specific people to follow-up with each of those parties; where the incident involves alleged "victims," assure that all services possible are made available to the victims while protecting their privacy. Where the incident involves alleged "perpetrators/violators," assure that Judicial Services provides appropriate follow-up with student violators. Establish contacts for parents and families as appropriate.

    3. Establish the "University position and statement" and whom will make the initial statement (Chief Public Affairs Officer, unless otherwise assigned). Agree on the information to be conveyed to the campus and/or public by any other members of the Team. Implement the crisis communication plan.

    4. Agree upon the steps to be taken to manage the specific crisis.

  • Inform the campus and the public of the University position through the Chief Public Affairs Officer (unless otherwise assigned) or the President in the most serious cases.

  • Inform all University personnel necessary of the incident and the specific crisis management plan; involve others as appropriate in managing the crisis to the best of their ability.

  • Communicate again after the crisis unfolds to facilitate crisis debriefing sessions for the University community, review the specific crisis management plan, evaluate the responses to the crisis from various departments and agencies, and make recommendations for improvements.

  • The CMT Chairman or member should make a brief written report for each incident to be placed on file. The report may include the facts of the incident, an analysis of the situation, any recommendations resulting from the incident, and other pertinent information.

Threat Assessments Teams:

These small subgroups below should be called to assess threat of harm:

For student concerns:
AVPSA/Dean of Students
AVPSA/Student Engagement
CAPS Director
Chief of Police
Provost's designee/Dean

For employee concerns:
AVPSA/Dean of Students
Legal Counsel
CAPS Director
Chief of Police
Provost's designee/Dean

  • Faculty and staff call Police and legal counsel as well as HR.

  • Faculty and staff can request "no trespass notice" if they feel threatened by the spouse/family of co-worker.

  • When there's a firing, a plain-clothes police officer can be in the room/area.

  • CUPD has had success in sending a letter and making a phone call telling person not to make further contact with faculty/staff.

  • When safety concerns arise, they are discussed with building security coordinator.

  • Info needs to be added to the faculty/staff web pages.                      

  • Crisis Management Checklist

  • Crisis Management Worksheet

  • Disaster Management Plan

  • Handling Student Threats to Self/Others

  • Students in Distress Guide

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