Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communication

Document Type



Crises have been a part of all societies over the course of time. Leaders of small, primitive societies may have dealt with these crises by directly communicating with their citizens or by taking other hands-on approaches to crisis management and recovery. However, in large post-modern technological societies, leaders must find more efficient ways to handle and recover from crises. This qualitative study examines three crises that occurred at three Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs) in the last six years. Crisis communication planning and practices are explored with a special focus on elements of the discourse of renewal theory each institution implemented. The majority of existing research and literature in the field of crisis communication focuses on crisis management in corporate or governmental environments. This study, through each case presented, provides valuable insight into crisis communication in the educational sector. Additionally, the unique character and challenges of Historically Black Colleges and Universities are presented to add to the body of knowledge about these institutions. The ultimate purpose of this study is to develop a best practices model for continued renewal for each institution featured in this case. Generalized best practices are also provided for all HBCUs, students, scholars, and journalists to use in implementing and studying future post-crisis renewal efforts.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Broussard, Jinx C.