Crisis Communication Protocol


Crisis communications relates to both emergencies and controversial issues. Emergencies include but are not limited to: fires, bomb threats, terrorist acts, earthquakes and other natural and man-made disasters. Controversial issues include alleged improper, unethical or illegal conduct by members of the University community, police and other agency investigations, internal hearings or litigation involving the University or members of the University community, student protests and other situations that reflect upon the institution’s reputation.


Contact  Vice President for University Relations  Ext: 1396
  Director of Public Information  Ext: 1117


The basic Crisis Communications outline is designed to provide information on how to respond to inquires in situations and in connection controversial issues. When there is an indication of a potential crisis or controversy involving Pace University, whether before or after exposure to the media, preparation for a timely, accurate response to the situation is primarily the responsibility of the Office of University Relations.The Vice President for University Relations will be responsible for interpreting information for dissemination to the University and the media. If the Office of University Relations cannot provide all of the needed information, it will contact the appropriate individual to gather the necessary information, or put the appropriate person directly in touch with the media.


Assess the situation:

  1. The individual who encounters the situation should determine whether it is actually a crisis and, if so, gather complete and accurate information from the appropriate sources as quickly as possible.  This information should be communicated to the Vice President of University Relations.
  2. The President of the University and administrative officers will be notified first of any crisis situation, to be immediately followed by the Office of University Relations.
  3. The Vice President for University Relations will consult with the President and University Counsel to determine whether an immediate response is necessary or advisable.
  4. Following discussion among those administrators, a decision will be made as to whom inside and outside the University should be contacted.  If the crisis is of major proportions the Vice President for University Relations will consult with the President and/or Provost and University Counsel before taking further action.
  5. If necessary, the Vice President for University Relations will call together a crisis communications committee.  The composition of the committee will depend on the nature of the situation at hand.


All communications (telephone calls and correspondence) from outside attorneys and all legal documents should immediately be referred to University Counsel for response.

Each manager should have a communication “web” for his/her department, listing phone numbers and contact order, should an emergency situation arise. Please be sure to gather the necessary information as soon as possible so that notification of a crisis can be given in a timely fashion.