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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

Tonya Oaks Smith

Henderson State University

Date Written: February 8, 2011

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Smith, Tonya Oaks, Ineffective Uncertainty Alleviation in the Wake of the October 2008 Shooting on the University of Central Arkansas Campus (February 8, 2011). UALR Bowen School Research Paper No. 11-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1758052 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1758052

Tonya Oaks Smith (Contact Author)

Henderson State University ( email )

1100 Henderson Street
Arkadelphia, AR 71999-0001
United States

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