Crisis Management Workshop for the International Student and

Crisis Management Workshop
for the
International Student
Scholar Services Office
NAFSA National Conference
San Diego, May 2014
Dr. Patricia Burak, Ph.D
Syracuse University
Director, International Student & Scholar Services
Sean Milton, M.S., MTESL
ISSS Adviser
Northern Arizona University
Deborah Parris, BSBA, M.S. (in progress)
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ.
Associate Director, Center for International Programs & Services
Table Discussion
Share with your table:
 Name
 Institution
 Role at your school
 One thing you hope to learn from this workshop
Crisis Management Workshop
 Concept of Crisis Management
 KC-ISSS Task Force and Resource Library
 Areas of Impact
 Pre-crisis Preparation
 Sample Checklists
 Case Studies
 Post-crisis
What is the Value in Having a
Crisis Management Plan?
Concept of Crisis Management
Crisis is the period of time that warrants immediate action
because it is the period of danger or uncertainty. Crisis can arise
due to our faults, lack of attention or unforeseen circumstances.
It can be in any area like economic crisis, political crisis or even a
family crisis. Crisis management helps us to emerge from this
crisis successfully, without incurring heavy loss. Presence of mind
and timely execution of a good plan are the keys to get out of
crisis. A Chinese proverb goes thus, “a crisis is an opportunity
riding the dangerous wind”.
Concept of Crisis Management
The Big Picture
 Make a plan
 Build relationships and connections ahead of time
 Understand how campus system work
 Understand roles and responsibilities
 Believe that one individual can make a difference
KC-ISSS Task Force and Resource Library
NAFSA’s Comprehensive Resource on Crisis Management
Checklists Currently Available
Before, During, and After a Crisis:
Questions to Ask
Responding to a crisis in a
student’s/scholars home country
Responding to a international
student/scholar death
Responding to a missing
Responding to a serious injury of a
Working with international students
and scholars with mental health
Responding to a world-wide crisis
(e.g. H1H1)
Responding to arrest of a
nonimmigrant student
Impact on Student or Scholar
Areas of Impact
Assessment Survey
Are you prepared for a crisis?
Before a Crisis
Crisis management begins before a crisis
happens. International student and
scholar advisers must plan in advance to
ensure that they have the resources
they need, that responsibilities have
been clarified, that lines of
communication are open, and that
responsibilities are clear. Thorough
preparation will allow for a more
effective response once a crisis occurs,
improving the process for our students,
scholars, and institutions.
Pre-Crisis: Factors to Consider
Support structure on
Determining roles
Building connections
Pre-Crisis: Responsibility
International Populations
ESL students
Visiting scholars
Are there populations that you
AREN’T responsible for but YOU
will get the call?
Pre-Crisis: Responsibility
Responsibility for these groups
regarding crisis management
 Your office’s role
 Other offices on campus and
their role
Determine institutional
 Consult with legal affairs on
Pre-Crisis: Resources
What’s available on campus and in the community?
 Campus health insurance / institutional contractor
 Campus health center
 Institutional risk management offices
 Community health centers and hospitals
Are students/scholars provided resources in advance that will help
them respond to a crisis?
What are the considerations of students/scholars accessing particular
 Immigration
 Financial
 Eligibility
 Legal/ Public Welfare
Pre-Crisis: Communication & Relationships
Dean of students office
Campus security/police
University communication (to handle the media)
Risk management
Residence life
Counseling and psychological services
Campus health
Campus office for relationship violence,
Human resource office for employee assistance (for scholars)
University attorney's office
Established lines of
communication for emergencies
Phone tree
Is your office a part of that
communication plan?
After hours phone number or
emergency phone
Pre-Crisis: The Campus Health Insurance Policy
Is your campus insurance policy adequate?
Is it required?
Is it waived (and when)?
Who on your campus is the contact?
Pre-Crisis: Campus FERPA and HIPAA Practices
 Who is the authority on your campus regarding the
FERPA and HIPAA policies?
Are you familiar enough with FERPA and HIPAA?
What forms/procedures are used on your campus to
FERPA & HIPAA Online resources:
Responding to a Crisis in a
Student's or Scholar's Home Country
Crises in a student's or
scholar's home country may
be political, social, economic,
environmental, or healthrelated. Floods, tsunamis,
earthquakes, political
upheaval and war throughout
the world can cause
enormous stress for those
Responding to a Crisis in a
Student's or Scholar's Home Country
Resource Checklist
 Contact your Counseling Center
 provide additional counselors/advisers group sessions
 Contact HR and Employee Assistance Program
 Contact International Student Organizations
 Contact local immigrant communities
 Provide embassy/consulate contact information
 Arrange for the student to call home
 Stay informed of special immigration benefits
 Consider financial implications; provide temporary assistance from
 Research financial resources
Responding to an International Student or
Scholar Death
Recognize that some
university protocol may
not be sufficient for the
unique needs of an
international student or
scholar. Be prepared to
offer support to various
offices as needed. Have a
comprehensive, shared,
and readily available
written plan.
Responding to an International Student or
Scholar Death
Resource Checklist
Create a case file and include the following items:
 Print outs of the student's or scholar's records from the institution's information systems
 Contact page template
Contact appropriate people on campus
Contact student’s home consulate
Contact your institution's sponsoring health insurance company regarding repatriation
Don’t disclose information unless pertinent (FERPA)
Contact counseling center and/or Employee Assistance Program
Determine what campus constituencies are affected
 roommates, classmates, colleagues, faculty, staff
 Counselors to classroom
 Possible memorial service
Responding to an International Student or
Scholar Death
Resource Checklist (continued)
 Discuss more formal announcements (e.g. newspaper article) with
university relations
 Offer condolences in a culturally appropriate manner
 Advise the family of the appropriate documentation needed to
process/close the deceased student's or scholar's records
 Upon receipt of official documentation, draft and distribute an official
death notification for designated university
 Update SEVIS if necessary
 Assist with arrangements for the student's belongings, including academic
work, to be returned to the family
Working with Students with
Mental Health Issues
Perceptions of, and reactions to, mental
crises are rooted in cultural norms. This
can make it difficult to communicate with
a student's family, sponsoring agency, or
home institution regarding the crisis.
While reacting to a mental health crisis,
be aware that cultural differences will
make it challenging to communicate with
parties from different cultural
Working with Students with
Mental Health Issues
Know the Warning Signs
Noticeable change in behavior
Change in appearance
Sporadic communication patterns
Declining grades
Missing classes, work, meetings, or
Beginning to socially isolate
Bizarre behaviors
Working with Students with
Mental Health Issues
Resource Checklist
 Encourage the student/scholar to seeking counseling services
 Assess the situation
If you feel threatened or concerned:
 Call the campus security
 Call another colleague into the situation
 If you suspect the student/scholar is in danger or missing
 Work with counseling office & campus security
 Refer to "Responding to a Missing International Student or Scholar“
 Determine your level of involvement
Working with Students with
Mental Health Issues
Resource Checklist (continued)
 If involved, create a case file, and include the following items
 Records
 Contact page
 Determine if the student/scholar has restricted directory information
 If appropriate, seek to speak with the student/scholar yourself
 When speaking with student/scholar, be an active listener
 Utilize resources on campus that can assume specific responsibilities of
the situation
 Counseling services
 Health services
 Employee Assistance Program
Working with Students with
Mental Health Issues
Resource Checklist (continued)
 If appropriate, check with other points of contact to assess the student's/scholar's
level of crisis.
 Consider meeting together to create a plan to support the student/scholar
 Establish "lead" contact person in the appropriate campus departments
 Contact the student's or scholar's academic connections
– Dean's office of the student's college, department of the employee
– Academic adviser, supervising professor, faculty members, teaching assistants
 Contact relevant campus units
– Campus police department (to see if the student/ scholar has been involved in
any incidents), housing staff, residence hall director, apartment coordinator
 If severe, it may be necessary to contact family members or emergency contacts
Working with Students with
Mental Health Issues
Resource Checklist (continued)
 Gather information concerning health insurance benefits.
If a student/scholar has access to additional mental health services or facilities, it's
important to note. Determine if the student has medical evacuation services, and if deemed
necessary, know the process.
 If student/scholar is able to continue, monitor the student's/scholar's well-being during the
course of their program.
 If the student/scholar is not able to continue, assist in making plans for departure and
settling affairs. If medical evacuation is necessary, work with insurance provider.
Responding to a Missing Student or Scholar
It is difficult to set a specific
time frame in which to
consider a student or scholar
as missing. Each case must
be considered on an
individual basis, taking into
account the circumstances of
the case.
Responding to a Missing Student
If the student or scholar is found during the course of this
investigation, there may be a variety of other protocols to consider.
The student or scholar may need additional services including
healthcare, mental healthcare, and legal assistance.
If the student or scholar has not been found after exhausting all
resources, work with family members and local authorities to
discuss the possibility of filing an official missing persons report.
Continue to keep records of all communication.
Responding to the Arrest of a Non-Immigrant
International students may not understand the U.S. criminal
justice system, and their legal situation could be complicated
because of their immigration status. International advisers
should follow established campus policies and procedures in
providing advice and assistance. In particular, it is important to
limit advice to the areas of staff expertise and refer the student
to qualified practitioners when expert advice is required.
Responding to the Arrest of a Non-Immigrant
Resource Checklist
 Understand that any conversation that
you have with the student could be used
in a judicial proceeding
 Student should seek counsel from both a
criminal and immigration attorney, offer
assistance in seeking counsel if possible
 If necessary, notify key offices on campus
 Consider whether or not the Office of
Public Affairs should be informed
 If the students requests, utilize campus
channels to notify academic department
(student unable to attend classes
Responding to the Arrest of a Non-Immigrant
Resource Checklist (continued)
 Speak with police to determine:
Where student is being held
What charges have been filed
Other pertinent details regarding the case
If student’s consulate has been notified by law enforcement
If bail has been set, offer to assist student in contacting family and friends to
see if they can offer help
Offer assistance to family traveling from abroad
In case of serious offences, student may be temporarily removed from
campus. May need assistance in finding housing
Help student to understand the difference between campus proceedings and
criminal court process
Responding to the Arrest of a Non-Immigrant
Resource Checklist (continued)
 Determine whether or not student’s SEVIS record will be terminated. If
student is in your exchange visitor program, you may be required to report
the incident to Department of State
Special Note about Scholars
 Scholars may not be afforded the same benefits as students, such as access
to resources on campus
 Scholar who is an employee of the campus may be subject to employee
disciplinary procedures
Case Studies
Group Case Studies
 Crisis in a home
 Student in mental
health crisis
 Injury and death of a
Post Crisis
When the crisis is over or has passed is a time to wrap up responsibilities, but
also an important time to reflect and to learn. No crisis is managed perfectly.
Mistakes are made and processes sometimes do not work as planned. While
our instincts are to put the past behind us and move forward, we do so at the
cost of improving our ability to manage crises in the future.
Post Crisis
What follow up is needed?
Ensure that everyone involved in the crisis is okay
Thank those that helped you respond to the crisis.
If appropriate, engage in culturally sensitive follow-up with the
student/scholar's family and friends.
What documentation needs to be kept?
Secure all documentation
Print all e-mails and file them
Make detailed notes of what happened
 who was involved and their contact information
Post Crisis
How would you handle a similar crisis in the future?
Discuss what information could be given to students or scholars in advance to
avoid this kind of crisis
Explore how office policies could be changed to reduce the likelihood of having
this crisis occur again
Identify the resources that you used in responding to the crisis. If they were
inadequate, make the changes necessary to ensure that you have adequate
resources in the future
Determine if processes worked as they were meant to or if changes need to be
made. Think about whether communication between different offices on campus
worked well
Post Crisis
Be proactive in your preparations
Consider best practices, consider reality (budget, etc.)
Be empathetic, professional, conscientious, reliable
Reach out for help (NAFSA)
Protect yourself, and your office
Know the limits of your responsibilities
Crisis Management Workshop
Thank you –
Pat Burak, Syracuse, [email protected]
Sean Milton, Northern Arizona, [email protected]
Debi Parris, Embry-Riddle, [email protected]
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