Crisis Leadership Team

Managing a crisis requires a coordinated effort involving members of a team already identified who have received training and are familiar with the contents of this Guide. The Crisis Leadership Team (CLT) is the group created for this purpose by authority of the President.

Crisis Leadership Team Composition

The Crisis Leadership Team is a focused responsibility group for the crisis management process. The core Crisis Management Team includes members of senior management and representatives from several areas of the University who are in the best position to respond to the emergency. Specifically, the core team consists of:

  • President
  • Provost
  • Vice President, Administration and Finance
  • Vice President, Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center 
  • Chief of Staff, President's Office
  • Dean, Student Affairs and Academic Support (Chair)
  • Executive Director, Administration and Operation, Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center
  • Executive Director, Communications and Public Relations
  • Executive Director, Facilities
  • Executive Director, Gallaudet Technology Services
  • Director, Gallaudet Interpreting Service
  • Director, Public Safety (Vice Chair)
  • Director, Residential Life
  • Manager, Risk Management/Insurance
  • University Faculty Governance Representative

The Core Crisis Leadership Team meets regularly during the year and when a crisis occurs. Additional individuals may be invited to Crisis Leadership Team meetings during a crisis as support members. The core members remain constant, while support members are event-dependent. Some examples of support members include (but are not limited to):

  • Assistant Vice President for Administration
  • Executive Director, Business and Support Services
  • Director, Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center Operations
  • Director, Athletics
  • Director, Student Health Services
  • Manager, Department of Public Safety Communication Services
  • Manager, Business Services and Enrollment, Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center
  • Manager, Institutional Compliance, Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center

Others, as defined by nature of the crisis. 


The Crisis Leadership Team has jurisdiction for handling any of the following incidents:

  • Death on campus or at college sanctioned or sponsored events;
  • Any student death, any near fatal accident or incident; attempted suicide;
  • Serious damage to University property;
  • Level One emergencies, Level Two emergencies, or incidents demanding special attention and meeting the definition of major crisis, emergency, or disaster.


The Crisis Leadership Team structure deviates from the normal lines of authority, and the team is empowered to act decisively on behalf of the institution. These procedures apply to all personnel, buildings, and grounds owned and operated by the University.

The President has the executive authority to execute all portions of this plan. The Provost chairs the team with authority to give direction to the team and make final decisions. Collegiality, collaboration, and consensus are important elements of positive group interaction and communication, but these elements must be balanced with the need to be timely and decisive.

Some campus groups have authority to manage a crisis as it happens until the Crisis Leadership Team takes over. The groups with authority to handle crises initially during an emergency are:

  • Department of Public Safety
  • Residence Life (University) and Student Life (Clerc Center)
  • Facilities Maintenance and Operations

Team Responsibilities

The main functions of the Crisis Leadership Team are:

  • Assessment/Mitigation - Project what might occur, vulnerability assessment, elimination or reduction of the probability of a crisis.
  • Preparation - Develop a response plan to different potential crises.
  • Response - Respond to emergencies and direct emergency resources, plan activation.
  • Recovery and evaluation - Return of conditions to normal or improved levels; assure community well-being; recovery of vital functions; debrief and provide for the evaluation and improvement of the crisis process; reduction of risk of crisis recurrence.

Additional functions of the Crisis Leadership Team are:

  • Recommending appropriate response for each area of the organization.
  • Recommending and developing community and media communications during and after the crisis.
  • Serving as consultants, or providing "third-party" opinions to other members of the team.
  • Working with appropriate outside resources to secure information, resources, and assistance as needed.
  • Participating in, or conducting disaster and emergency preparedness training.
  • Developing and/or recommending efforts toward preventing crises from happening.
  • Revising and updating printed materials such as this Guide and brochures.
  • Assuring that all the emergency-related signs and designated areas are clearly marked and in place. Recommending appropriate training in preparedness and recovery.


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