Johnson & Wales University

Project Description

Perceptions of Preparedness: A Study of Higher Education Senior Administrators´┐Ż Strategic Plans for Natural Disaster Recovery

Project Abstract

In August, 2005, the city of New Orleans was caught off guard by Hurricane Katrina. The massive damage and loss of human life and properties, coupled with interrupted business and higher education is appalling and in many instances unrecoverable. As of September 4th 2006, the estimated physical damage to institutions of higher education there is over one billion dollars. This does not take into consideration the tremendous impact on constituents including students, faculty, staff, parents, employers, etc.
In retrospect, it is clear that the preparedness and readiness of institutions of higher education in New Orleans regions did not prove to be at level with that that of corporate industry. This is due to many fundamental factors explored in this study. Specifically, this study will examine the attitudes and perceptions of higher education leaders towards disaster recovery planning for natural disasters. The research investigates actual and perceived strategic issues and factors in order to identify whether or not funding issues may hinder academic leaders from implementing a thorough disaster recovery plan to protect their institution from business disruption caused by natural disasters. In addition, this study outlines steps and a checklist to determine the preparedness and readiness of higher education institutions for a natural disaster.
The data collection instrument is a survey of higher education institutions´┐Ż senior administrators (sample size of 250 to 500 for higher education leaders) on the East Coast of United States. In addition to the survey, individual interviews will be conducted with eight to ten higher education administrators leading institutions in the New England Region, to discuss natural disaster recovery planning concerns, issues and nuances. The key findings of the survey and individual interviews will be used to infer the degree of preparedness higher education institutions have for natural disasters.

Surveys released for this project:
Dissertation Survey 40
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