|Printed Black & White Copy
This case, written from public sources, offers an opportunity to role-play a situation and challenge students to determine whether this event is a crisis. After months of meetings, the school's governing body decided not to renew the president's contract past July of 2008. Although the public had not yet been informed, the university president was told. Two days after being notified, W&M President Gene Nichol publically resigned effective immediately. No doubt, there would be sharp criticism from some and a sigh of relief from others. Questions about the board's decisions and actions were expected, and clear communication was needed. How should board of visitors' members prepare to respond publicly? Video of the role-play at our school is available as a teaching supplement.
The learning objectives include: exposing students to multiple sides of leading an organization through crisis and specifically focus on the decision-making and the communication aspects of crisis management; encouraging students to think critically about crisis prevention; recognizing the various stakeholders affected by the crisis; knowing what, when, how, and to whom to communicate regarding the crisis; and adopting a learning strategy for crisis prevention