Adoption of Best Practices in Crisis Management among College Housing and Residence Life Officials

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Higher Edu and Learning Technology

Date of Award

Fall 2018


Administrators on college campuses are charged with a larger scope of responsibilities than ever before. Bishop (1995) claimed that "œinstitutions of higher education have become more concerned about the increased pathology in the student population and the management of crises on campus"¦" (p. 33). Catullo, Walker, and Floyd (2009) supported the argument for preparation and training, acknowledging the inability to prepare for every possibility: "œall administrators, especially student affairs personnel, who are often the first line of defense in a crisis, need to be proactive in crisis planning and pay attention to the lessons learned from catastrophic events" (p. 315). Best practices in crisis prevention and response have been used as the framework for which many organizations prepare and train. The purpose of this nonexperimental, quantitative study was to explore the level to which university residence life personnel are implementing best practices in campus crisis prevention, communication, response, and recovery. This exploration was done through survey to determine how many best practices are being adopted among housing and residence life personnel.The population of the study included Senior Housing Officers (SHOs), those who are Directors or Executive Directors of their Housing and Residence Life departments at colleges and universities both in the United States and internationally. SHOs who participated voluntarily self-selected into the sample population by completing a brief survey. A web-based survey was used to gather data from participants. Percentages and measures of central tendency were used to describe the best practices that are being adopted by campus housing professionals. A regression analysis was used to analyze the relationships between adoption and influences on their adoption levels. The analysis showed that having relationships with campus and local police, as well as having support of campus leadership, are significantly influential on adoption levels.


Jon Travis

Subject Categories

Education | Higher Education