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President Ross to speak at education association about crisis management
Published Mar. 01, 2011
On Monday, March 7, Lynn University President Kevin M. Ross will be in Washington D.C. to speak at the American Council on Education’s (ACE) 93rd Annual Meeting about his role during Lynn University’s Haiti earthquake crisis in January 2010. Ross will be one of four presenters for the "Leading through Crisis in the Digital Age" session.
Lynn University had 12 students and two professors staying at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, when the massive earthquake struck on Jan. 12. It devastated the entire country and caused the hotel to collapse. The school formed several teams that worked day and night to try and get all the students and faculty safely home. Sadly, four students and both professors perished in the hotel’s collapse.
During the crisis, Ross faced the challenge of managing a wide variety of efforts at Lynn’s campus and in Haiti and the Dominican Republic while trying to ensure accurate information flowed from one team to another and to the outside world during the dynamic, weeks-long situation.
Under normal circumstances, managing the flow of information for any institution is a challenge in today’s age of hyper-connected digital information technology. During a crisis it can easily overwhelm. From Internet rumors to organic social media efforts, Ross had to consider a variety of digital communications platforms as he worked with his teams to facilitate effective and ongoing communication.
The ACE conference website offers the following description of Leading through Crisis in the Digital Age session: “The very public and immediate nature of contemporary communications offers particular leadership challenges to presidents and other campus leaders dealing with campus crises. This session will feature several senior administrators who will discuss specific cases from their institutions, the challenges imposed and opportunities afforded by various communication mechanisms, and their recommendations for effective communication strategies during a campus emergency.”