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Checklist: Key Components of A More Resilient University That Anchors the Community

At the USU summer meeting, we partnered with APLU’s Council on Engagement and Outreach, to dig deep into the topics of resiliency and partnerships. From that meeting, we developed two checklists to help institutions strengthen their resiliency.  Our first checklist, below, compiles the information for improving the resiliency of campuses.

Checklist 1: Key Components of a more resilient University to anchor the community

Planning and Practice

  1. Do not skip planning. Different kinds of plans may be needed for political and social shocks in addition to environmental plans.

  2. Cross-train and practice the plan with stakeholders (community, faculty, staff, students, federal, state and local authorities).

  3. Have a back-up plan.

  4. Even with detailed planning, be ready for the unknown. ‘If you plan for all the things you think might happen, you’ll be better prepared for the things you didn’t expect to occur.

  5. Have an outside review of systems and plans

Must have’s in place

  1. Away teams

  2. Multiple redundancies (e.g. servers)

  3. Contingency contracts and interlocal agreements already negotiated.

  4. Partnerships with local authorities and other stakeholders (broadly considered) well -established and trust-based. (e.g. logistics for delivery of key resources throughout the community, use of campus resources as needed)

Key actions during and after an event

  1. Make space for and engage resources to deal with the emotional impact of shocks and stresses.

  2. Speak with one institutional voice

  3. Manage public perception of the crisis, and stay on message

  4. Visible, firm leadership


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