Ineffective Uncertainty Alleviation in the Wake of the October 2008 Shooting on the University of Central Arkansas Campus
15 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2011 Last revised: 14 Feb 2011
Date Written: February 8, 2011
In 2007, 46 murders were committed on college campuses in the United States. While that number is astounding, it doesn’t include the myriad other crimes – as well as natural disasters – classified as campus crises. Inherent in each crisis is a level of uncertainty for stakeholders. In 2008, two of these reported campus murders happened here in central Arkansas. On October 26, 2008, two students died as a result of a shooting on the University of Central Arkansas campus. As campus leaders scrambled to alleviate uncertainty surrounding the incident, their communication efforts came under fire from stakeholders. In this paper, I argue that University of Central Arkansas (UCA) communicators did not effectively manage uncertainty following the October 26, 2008, campus shooting.
Keywords: campus, shooting, education, uncertainty reduction, crisis communication
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