The Dangers of Opportunity: How Leaders in U.S. Higher Education Articulated Policy After 'Unite the Right' in Charlottesville
Taylor, Z.W., Zaragoza, D.M., & Hartman, C.E. (2019). The dangers of crisis: How institutional leaders addressed policy after Charlottesville. Critical Questions in Education, 10(3), 212-231.
20 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 23, 2019
By many accounts — on August 11th and 12th, 2017 — a “Unite the Right” rally organized by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, catalyzed a series of violent events culminating in the injury of dozens of people and the death of three people. Subsequently, dozens of college and university leaders across the country released official statements condemning the violence. This study examines 99 of these institutional statements released during or immediately after the crisis in Charlottesville to learn whether these statements informed campus community members of institutional hate and bias policies meant to protect members against acts of hate, bias, and violence, such as the ones witnessed in Charlottesville. Findings reveal only 8% of statements included a directive on how to engage with institutional hate and bias policies, yet over 75% of institutions had hate and bias policies in place. Implications for executive leadership communication and future research are addressed.
Keywords: higher education, policy, official statements, educational leadership, hate and bias
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