Policies and Procedures Banner 

20.02 / Crisis Management Planning and Preparedness

Purpose:
Establish crisis management plan for the University.

Preamble:
In order to have a prudent and responsible plan of response to emergency or crisis situations involving death, serious injury, destruction of University physical plant or that threaten continued operation of the University, the following crisis management plan is hereby adopted and put in place.

Policy Statement:

Executive Policy and Decision Team

1.  The University shall have an Executive Policy and Decision Team made up of the President, the Provost and Senior Vice President, the Vice President for Administration and Finance, the Vice President for Student Affairs and the General Counsel. The General Counsel shall serve as primary coordinator of Team activities with each member being responsible, during a declared crisis situation, for arranging communication with, and facilitating operations by, their particular division. The Executive Policy and Decision Team shall, to the extent reasonably possible, establish and maintain communications with the President during any period when the President is away from campus or Wichita.

2.  Only the President or an officially designated member of the Executive Policy and Decision Team (after first conferring with the President, if possible) shall have authority to declare a University crisis situation.

3.  Crisis situations would include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following: physical destruction of one or more campus buildings or facilities, including data processing capabilities [weather or natural disaster, bomb, fire, chemical explosion]; any situation on campus where individuals are injured or killed [weather or natural disaster, laboratory explosion, fire, construction accident]; actual or threatened criminal violence on campus [workplace violence, hostage situation]; a death in a University building or residence hall [suicide, accident, criminal violence, weather or natural disaster]; or an accident or incident involving a University group or activity which results in death or serious injury [transportation of students or athletic team].

4.  The Executive Policy and Decision Team shall approve overall priorities and strategies; approve public information reports and instructions; and act as liaison with governmental and external organizations.

Pre-Event Activities

1.  The Executive Policy and Decision Team will coordinate and work with existing University groups and committees as appropriate and required to put the University in the best possible situation to be prepared and address foreseeable crisis situations. The Team will designate specific committees to assist with assigned tasks and assignments, including, but not limited to, a "Critical Incident Planning Group," a "Business Continuity Committee," a "Behavior Intervention Team," a "Communications Team" and a "Health Risk Assessment Committee."

2.  The Executive Policy and Decision Team shall work to achieve compatibility with the doctrines and methods expressed in the National Incident Management System (NIMS), the Incident Command System (ICS), the National Response Plan (NRP), Homeland Security Directives, and Kansas Executive Order 05-03.

3.  The Executive Policy and Decision Team shall work to establish open channels of communication between the University and local fire, police, emergency and counseling services, including collaboration with local crisis responders on anticipated actions in event of a crisis at the University or in the community of Wichita.

4.  The Critical Incident Planning Group will initiate training programs and requirements for all University employees and make regular reports to the Executive Policy and Decision Team.

5.  The Critical Incident Planning Group will initiate testing of all existing crisis notification/communication systems on a regular basis and make regular reports to the Executive Policy and Decision Team.

6.  The Critical Incident Planning Group will initiate situation-specific drills and/or "table-top" exercises to:

  1. Evaluate lock-down capabilities.
  2. Provide "active shooter" training for the University Police Department.
  3. Evaluate the University's ability to plan for interference with University operations.

7.  The Executive Policy and Decision Team will develop and maintain procedures and an "action plan" to carry out and implement its duties under this policy.

8.  The Executive Policy and Decision Team will meet at least two (2) times during each twelve (12) month period to review its readiness to respond to any particular crisis situation and to update, as required, its developed procedures and "action plan."

9.  Members of the Executive Policy and Decision Team will keep current telephone numbers on file with the President's Office, the University Police Department and the University Communications Office.

10.  The Behavior Intervention Team shall establish and implement campus threat assessment procedures and resources.

Responding to a Crisis Situation

1.  Upon the declaration of a University crisis situation, members of the Executive Policy and Decision Team shall meet immediately, said meeting to be on campus if possible, in one of the several previously identified locations (said location to be dependent upon the particular nature of the declared crisis). The members of the Team shall be guided by the following principles:

  1. Preserve and protect life above all.
  2. Provide open communication with the University community and the community-at-large, including utilization of a calling tree/chain of contact.
  3. Identify an on-site incident commander as quickly as possible.
  4. Seek liaison with the University Police Department and other specific departments as appropriate and required under the circumstances of the particular situation.
2.  The Executive Policy and Decision Team should be prepared to report to the President within four (4) hours of its first meeting to review actions and/or steps being implemented in any particular crisis situation. The Team is authorized to move forward and/or make decisions without specific approval of the President.

3.  The Executive Policy and Decision Team shall, as soon as reasonably feasible, initiate communications with and to all appropriate constituencies utilizing some or all of the following technologies: text messaging, email blasts, digital communications, webpage(s), existing weather sirens, telefacsimile transmissions, telephone, walkie-talkie, etc. The Team should, at all times, strive to authorize and/or provide:

  1. Timely and accurate updates.
  2. An identified and accessible liaison to the media.
  3. A centralized location for updates and press conferences. It is recognized that those interested in the University will want to hear from the President, as and if reasonably possible.
4.  The Executive Policy and Decision Team shall initiate counseling/support to the University community, including crisis victims and the families of any victims. Such counseling should be made available on campus, if appropriate, with trained and licensed providers. The Team shall also seek to make University staff available while counseling support is pending.

5.  The Executive Policy and Decision Team will remain active and operational until the crisis situation is declared to be ended by the President of the University, or the President's designee.

Post-Crisis Activities

1.  The Executive Policy and Decision Team shall conduct debriefing activities to evaluate the handling of any crisis and the effectiveness of the response thereto.

2.  The Executive Policy and Decision Team shall update, revise and amend this policy statement and accompanying procedures to respond to needs identified by the University's response to and handling of any particular crisis.

3.  The Executive Policy and Decision Team shall develop a plan to provide a family resource and victim support center in the aftermath of a crisis situation.

Implementation:
This policy shall be included in the WSU Policies and Procedures Manual and shall be shared with all appropriate constituencies of the University.

The General Counsel shall have primary responsibility for publication and distribution of this University policy.

Effective Date:
December 1, 1999

Revision Date:
July 1, 2006
January 14, 2008
February 29, 2008
February 6, 2009

(See also Emergency Response and Evacuation at Section 20.21 of this manual.)

Click the left half to go to Chapter 20. Click the
        right half to go to the Table of Contents. Chapter 20 Table of Contents