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

  • Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students - Chair

  • Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Campus Life - Vice Chair 1

  • Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Executive Director of Housing and Dining - Vice Chair 2

  • Emergency Manager - Vice Chair 3

  • Assistant Dean of Students - Vice Chair 4

  • Associate Dean, Graduate School

  • Associate Provost, Provost's Office

  • Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies

  • Associate Athletic Director, Athletics

  • Director, Campus Activities and Events

  • Director, Access and Equity

  • Director, Counseling and Psychological Services

  • Deputy Chief, CIO

  • Associate Dean, CAAH

  • Associate Dean, CAFLS

  • Associate Dean, CBBS

  • Associate Dean, CES

  • Associate Dean, HEHD

  • Director, Community and Ethical Standards

  • Director, Clemson Dining

  • Designee, VP for Economic Development

  • Director, Environmental Safety

  • Director, University Facilities

  • Business Officer, CFO's office

  • Chief, Fire and EMS

  • Senior Associate General Counsel, General Counsel's Office

  • Director, Residential Life

  • Director, Housing and Dining Facilities

  • Designee, VP for Human Resources

  • Director, International Student and Scholar Services

  • Director, Media Relations

  • Director, New Student and Family Programs

  • Director, Parking and Transportation Services

  • Chief, CUPD

  • Director, Pre-Collegiate Programs

  • Registrar, Registrar's Office

  • Assistant Vice President for Research Compliance, VP for Research Office

  • Director, Risk Management Office

  • Executive Director, Student Health Services

  • Executive Director, Gantt Center for Student Life

  • Director, University Libraries

  • Director, Media Relations

Active Management of Crisis

The Clemson University 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 Clemson University Crisis Management Team who becomes aware of a crisis unfolding should call a meeting of the CU-CMT.

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

  • The CU-CMT will meet upon notification by the chair or as soon as feasible thereafter.

  • At the CU-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 the office of community ethical standards, 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 (Director of media relations). 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 designated spokesperson 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 CU-CMT Chair 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 - Chair
OCES Director (of students)
CAPS Director - Residential Life Director (of residential students)
Chief of Police - Sr. Associate General Council

For employee concerns:
AVPSA/Dean of Students - Chair
HR Director

Senior Associate 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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