Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Joseph Ohren

Second Advisor

Dr. Edward Sidlow


Tragic events throughout the world such as the Columbine High School Shooting of 1999, Beslan Elementary School terrorist attacks in 2004, the Virginia Tech Shootings of 2007 and numerous natural disasters have forced a stark conclusion: Our schools are not impenetrable (Gidduck 2005). A new field has emerged to combat this problem, Emergency Management. Through the late 20th and early 21st century, Emergency Management has been increasing its presence on the campuses of our Institutions of Higher Education. However, these programs face four main challenges that hinder their progress: budget and finances, executive support, training and exercises, and their placement in the organizational chart. For Emergency Management to be fully effective on campus, the Emergency Manager must intentionally integrate his/her work within the political relationships, that is the power and influence relationships, on campus. Emergency Managers need to focus on the political aspect of their job in order to institutionalize Emergency Management. They can accomplish this by using three best practices, consistent documentation, intentional building of executive support, and development of positive community linkages.