Crisis Leadership for Higher Education

Crisis Leadership for Higher Education

October 23 - 24, 2017
Orlando, FL


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Be better prepared to effectively lead through crisis situations on your campus.

In today’s uncertain climate, the need for higher education institutions to be equipped to handle emergent crisis situations is paramount. A crisis for an institution can have far-reaching consequences if not managed appropriately. This highly experiential training is designed to provide you with the tools, skill set, and knowledge you need to effectively:

  • Recognize a crisis and where it falls on the crisis continuum (gauge how serious the situation is)
  • Identify and build the right team to respond, and define each member’s roles and responsibilities
  • Direct a comprehensive response, while also managing the day-to-day operations
  • Make critical decisions in responding to the crisis
  • Ensure that your institution emerges stronger on the other end of the crisis

Join our expert instructors for this unique hands-on training to empower yourself and your team to successfully lead your institution through a crisis.


A One-of-a-Kind Intensive Training

This unique training is focused specifically on the role of Presidents and senior leaders amidst institutional crises. Designed to empower institutional leaders to guide and direct efforts on campus, this training will be intensive and outcomes-driven. Throughout the event, you will take part in a simulation of the complexities and pressures of the early hours of a crisis and improve your ability to successfully navigate these types of situations.

Collectively, our expert instructors have 35 years of experience in higher education and 59 years of experience in the US Military. The approach to this conference is born directly from their extensive experience in training and mentoring senior army leaders in crisis action and execution.


Who Should Attend

This conference has been specifically designed for presidents and senior-level leadership staff in higher education. Leaders from the following functional areas have benefitted from this conference:

  • Presidents and Executive Staff
  • Marketing and Communications
  • External/Public Relations
  • Student Affairs
  • Enrollment Management
  • Public Safety and Operations
  • Finance and Administration

To get the most out of the conference, we encourage you to attend as an institutional team.

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Monday, October 23, 2017
Registration and Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:00 - 8:30 a.m.

Welcome and Introductions
8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Defining a Crisis and Assembling Your Response Team
9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
This opening session will be focused on clarifying the key questions of “what?” and “who?” as they pertain to crisis management in higher education. What is a crisis? What differentiates a crisis from the hundred other minor issues that crop up every day? Who should you have assembled and ready to mobilize on your crisis response team? And—equally important—who is ultimately responsible for leading during a crisis? How do you keep the day-to-day operations of the campus running while also managing the crisis? How can you balance quick action with transparency? As a means of sorting through these complex questions, we will review specific examples of crises from other colleges and universities.

Morning Break
10:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Emergent Crisis Management
10:45 - 11:15 a.m.
When a true crisis arises on campus, it unfolds quickly and it hits hard. It is of paramount importance that you and your team know how to respond efficiently and immediately. But how can you communicate effectively to both internal and external audiences when you may not yet have all of the information about the situation, and things are moving and changing quickly? In this session, you will be walked through the initial hours of a realistic crisis situation in which the response team has just assembled and must issue a press statement as a means of first response. You will learn how to write an effective statement that is at once succinct, transparent, and evocative of your institution’s position and values.

Working Time: Writing a Press Statement
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
With this example fresh in your mind, you will be given another vignette and asked to write your own press statement as a response. You will then be asked to deliver your press statement to the instructors and to the rest of the group for practice and feedback.

Lunch (included in registration fee)
12:15 - 1:15 p.m.

Charting a Course for the Crisis (includes activity)
1:15 - 3:00 p.m.

After making an initial press statement, the next step that a crisis requires on the part of the response team is purposeful planning about how you are going to proceed moving forward. In this session, your instructors will teach you a practical framework for your planning process to help you address key questions such as:

  • What is the mission statement for the crisis?
  • Where do we want the institution to end up once it is all over?
  • How can we emerge from the crisis even stronger?
  • What is our timeline, and what are our next steps?
  • What criteria will we use to determine if we are handling the crisis effectively?

The emphasis during this session will continue to be on real-life examples and hands-on practical experience.

Afternoon Break
3:00 - 3:15 p.m.

Leadership Demands and Decision Points: The Role of the President in a Crisis
3:15 - 4:30 p.m.
A President has a delicate balance to strike in terms of his or her role in a crisis situation. There is not only the crisis itself to contend with, but there are also decisions to be made about which member of the response team should be communicating with key internal and external audiences. On top of all of that, the day-to-day demands of leadership continue even as the crisis unfolds. This session will provide clarity for Presidents on what their primary focus should be and what key decision points they should be involved in throughout a crisis, and will provide other members of the response team with practical tools for delegating responsibilities, supporting the President, and keeping the necessary stakeholders informed.

Networking Reception (included in registration fee)
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Crisis Simulation
9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
To open the final morning of the conference, you will engage in a full-scale, hands-on crisis simulation to help you apply what you have been learning throughout the conference. Your instructors will present a detailed crisis scenario for you to work on, and you will then be divided into teams and given an hour to develop a press statement, vision and mission statement, and a rough crisis management plan for the scenario at hand.

Morning Break
10:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Simulation Presentations
10:45 - 11:30 p.m.
During this time, selected teams will be asked to present a summary of their crisis management plans to the instructors and the larger group. Instructors and peers will provide feedback and comments.

Closing Comments and Conference Wrap-Up
11:30 - 11:45 a.m.

October 23 - 24, 2017

Orlando, FL


Wyndham Orlando International Drive
8001 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819

Room Rate: $164, plus applicable tax.
Room Block Dates: October 22 and 23, 2017
Rate available until September 29, 2017.

Please book early - rooms are limited and subject to availability.

Reserve Your Room: Call 407-351-2420. Please indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate.


Jim Boozer

Major General Jim Boozer

US Army (Ret.)

Jim Boozer is a career Army general officer, serving at the strategic level with more than 30 years of experience in leading active organizations ranging in size from 30 to 25,000 personnel. His expertise is in the art of command during crisis. He brings a holistic blend of senior leader skills and technical experience for leaders at the highest executive level.  MG Boozer is a graduate of The Citadel, holds a master’s degree from the venerable Army War College and has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Maryland.

Cardon Crawford

Colonel Cardon Crawford

US Army (Ret.) and Director of Government and Community Affairs
The Citadel

Following retirement from the Army, he served as Director of Government and Community Affairs at The Citadel, where he formed and chairs the college’s Crisis Action Team (CAT). As the CAT chair, he successfully led the president and senior staff through three national-level crises that held the potential to negatively affect the reputation, image and brand of the college. He served as Executive Assistant to the President of the National Defense University. He is a graduate of The Citadel and holds master’s degrees from Central Michigan University and The National War College.

Questions About the Event?

Sarah Seigle Peatman
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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