Policy Details


Date of Last Update
9/15/2014

Approved By
  • President's Cabinet

Responsible Office
University Communications

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Crisis Communication Plan

PC 7.1

  1. Policy Scope
  2. Policy Statement
  3. Procedures
  4. Definitions
  5. History

Policy Scope

The audience for this plan includes all students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, trustees, the Grand Valley Foundation, and the general public.

Policy Statement

The purpose of this communication plan is to set guidelines to be followed for sharing information with executive officers, faculty, staff and students, as well as the general public. This includes both emergency and non-emergency communications. The plan is coordinated with the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) administered by the Emergency Coordinator.

Executive Summary

  • The Vice President for University Relations shall serve as the crisis communication director along with another cabinet member. In a physical emergency, that second executive officer will be the Vice President for Finance and Administration. In a public relations issue, the second executive officer will be determined by the issue.
  • The Associate Vice President for University Communications, Chief of Police, Dean of Students, Vice President for Enrollment Development, and the Associate Vice President for Facilities shall be the crisis communication coordinators.
  • Whenever a situation affecting the campus reaches proportions that cannot be handled by routine measures, the crisis communication coordinators shall notify the Vice President for University Relations.
  • The crisis communication director communicates with the other executive officers and Board of Trustees.
  • Each university administrator, upon being notified, is to provide applicable information to those persons under his/her direction as per the crisis notification system.
  • Main and field crisis communication posts shall be established as required by the situation and shall be equipped with communications systems required to utilize resources.

Following the crisis, the crisis communication coordinators will gather all appropriate individuals for debriefing and review. Appropriate action will be determined.

Procedures

TYPES OF COMMUNICATION
Emergency Notification:
An emergency is defined as a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. A university emergency is generally defined as any incident or event causing or potentially causing serious injury to persons, extensive property damage, loss of life, or disruption of university operations.

NOTE: The Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan can be found at http://gvsu.edu/s/0pC

If an Emergency Notification should be sent, GVPD or Pew Campus Security will write the initial notification message and send it using Grand Valley’s emergency notification system (RAVE). The crisis communication director, and the crisis communication coordinators will determine who else needs to be notified and the appropriate action and follow-up messages as it relates to each campus.

The Vice President for University Relations and the Associate Vice President for University Communications, or their designees, will write any subsequent message(s). A designated representative from University Communications will be responsible for distributing the alert using RAVE. University Communications will post messages on the university home page, GVNow and/or use the university’s social media outlets.

NOTE: Evacuation of Buildings procedures should follow instructions found in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (www.gvsu.edu/gvpd/securityreport).

If a Timely Warning should be considered, GVPD or Pew Security will notify the crisis communication director and/or crisis communication coordinator(s). A Timely Warning is required if GVPD or Pew Security receives a report that a Clery crime has been committed on GVSU Clery geography and considers there to be a serious or continuing threat to students and employees. The content of a Timely Warning needs to include information that would promote safety and aid in the prevention of similar crimes and information about the crime that triggered the Timely Warning. The Vice President for University Relations and the Associate Vice President for University Communications, or their designees, will write the message(s). A designated representative from University Communications will be responsible for distributing the alert using RAVE. University Communications will post messages on the university home page, GVNow and the university’s social media outlets.

SAFETY NOTICE FOR OFF-CAMPUS INCIDENTS
Grand Valley may elect to issue a safety notice to members of the University when it is determined there is a reoccurring series of criminal activity, a disruption to operations, or when the Department of Public Safety determines that there may be a serious continuing or ongoing threat to the health or safety of off-campus students. When deemed necessary, the Department of Public Safety will notify the Vice President for University Relations or Associate Vice President for University Communications for dissemination.

PUBLIC WEATHER INFORMATION
If the weather poses an immediate threat to the campus community the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) will be followed and communications made accordingly.
When there is inclement weather that requires cancellation or closure, the GVSU Cancellation/Closure Policy shall be followed.

REPORTING TO UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS POTENTIAL REPUTATIONAL INCIDENTS OR CRISES
Whenever an event or issue appears to have potential for becoming a controversial news story the Grand Valley staff or faculty member aware of the circumstance should immediately notify the unit head who has responsibility in the situation.

The unit head should immediately communicate all available information to the appropriate appointing officer/dean and/or executive officer, and the Associate Vice President for University Communications. University Communications should be notified regardless of the availability of the appointing officer/dean and/or executive officer.

Definitions

Crisis Communication Director:
The Vice President for University Relations or designee will be responsible for supervising communications being released during and surrounding a crisis.


Crisis Communication Coordinators:
The Associate Vice President for University Communications, Chief of Police, Dean of Students, Vice President for Enrollment Development, and the Associate Vice President for Facilities shall be the crisis communication coordinators. It is the responsibility of these individuals to communicate with one another about the nature of the incident and then share the information with the appropriate personnel.

History

Updated 6-14-17