These Precedented Times: Crisis Management in the CSU

These Precedented Times: Crisis Management in the CSU 

March 4, 2022

Time: 10:00 am – 3:00pm

Location: Virtual (meeting link to be provided)

At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic several journalists, and even higher education leaders, stated in the press that a crisis like this has never happened before. Yes, it is true that we have not had such a global event in a century. However, there are lessons to be learned from campuses that have been through disruptive crises and made it to the other side. Our colleagues in New York worked through the devastation of 9/11, our colleagues in New Orleans worked through Hurricane Katrina, and we all have had brushes with e. coli, H1N1, Zika, and, specifically, to us in California – wildfires. This convening offers participants an opportunity to hear from faculty researchers who have been sounding the alarm that a crisis was coming, and to learn from a department chair who recently survived Hurricane Florence only to then face COVID, and a housing services practitioner who had to quickly move students in a fire. Together, we will think about what can be done now to learn from what we’ve been through and prepare for the next crisis, whatever it may be.

Keynote Speaker – Dr. Mary Comerio

Mary Comerio is an internationally recognized expert on housing, disaster resilience and recovery. She has been on the faculty at U.C. Berkeley for 44 years. Her research includes seismic rehabilitation, post-disaster recovery and reconstruction, loss modeling and resilience-based design. She created the FEMA-sponsored Disaster Resistant University program and is the author of Disaster Hits Home: New Policy for Urban Housing Recovery, as well as hundreds of other books, reports, and scientific papers.

Featured Panelist – Dr. Aaron Jones

Dr. Aaron Jones (he/him/his) is a first-generation, equity-minded scholar practitioner, who is committed to creating spaces for thriving for underrepresented populations in higher education and beyond. Being a double alumnus of the University of California, Riverside (UCR), he spent his time there being an involved and engaged student leader and garnering a BA in English and a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration and Policy. Dr. Jones currently serves as Director of Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) at the UCSC.

Featured Panelist – Dr. Paulo F. Almeida

Dr. Almeida is a Professor and Chair of the Chemistry & Biochemistry department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Having published more than 60 research articles and book titled Proteins: Concepts in Biochemistry,  he has always been especially committed to the education of undergraduate students. Two months after becoming chair in 2018, Dr. Almeida faced great tragedy when Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington and destroyed the campus’ departmental building along with much of the contents. With only 2 years of recovery before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, for him as chair in particular, it has been three continuous years of stress and crisis management.


Learning Outcomes

Equity. A crisis is likely to impact the most vulnerable students, staff and faculty on your campus. Consider the ways to mitigate harm in advance.

Knowledge. Examine the literature from disaster and crisis management on university campuses experts to take what we’ve learned during the pandemic and prepare for the future.

Relationships. Consider how your unit can work with other units on campus to best move through a future crisis.


  • Participants will leave with insight on how to document their current pandemic and post-pandemic response to determine which practices are best to keep for the future.
  •  Participants will consider their sphere of influence with regard to crisis and disaster preparedness, and make a plan post-COVID to respond both to serve student and personnel needs.
  • Participants will have an understanding of resources in the area of crisis management and disaster preparedness specifically for universities, and where to find them.

Who should attend?

The coronavirus pandemic has shown us that everyone needs to make decisions about how to move forward during, and post, a crisis. This convening is designed for all system representatives (staff, faculty, and administrators) who will need to manage both their lives and their work when a disaster strikes again.

This convening does not require a team. Individuals, including faculty, staff and administrators may register for the event.

Do you have a Disaster Plan for your campus? Bring it with you!

Locate a copy of your campus’ disaster and recovery plan. Skim it prior to our session, and please have it handy during the convening.


Contact: Dylan Lohmeyer, Interim Operations Director