Steps Educational Institutions Should Take in Response to Coronavirus

Fore more than 15 years, Dr. Ari Betof, the president of Organizational Sustainability Consulting, LLC, has been helping boards of trustees and leadership teams, especially at educational institutions, maximize their revenue growth and create sustainable organizations. To deal with a current issue, Dr. Ari Betof has written an online article in Medium about the coronavirus and how schools and colleges should handle it.

In light of the coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, spreading to countries around the world, colleges and schools should take five steps to properly handle the potential crisis.

1. Don’t panic
While the spread of coronavirus is a concern, there’s no need to panic about it. In fact, schools should take the time to plan for both the current and future situations. This plan should be realistic.

2. Update the Pandemic Crisis Plan (PCP)
Most schools and colleges created a PCP during the SARS outbreak and H1N1 pandemic. However, these happened more than 10 years ago. Rather than creating an entirely new PCP, organizations can modify the older plans to suit the coronavirus concern.

3. Find holes in the PCP
Organizations must stress-test their plan and look for any weak points or holes in it. Schools and colleges can find these gaps through tabletop exercises.

4. Stay informed
As with nearly any challenge, the coronavirus situation will evolve over time. Colleges and schools must stay informed of these changes and be flexible so they are capable of adapting to new obstacles relating to the virus.

5. Communicate with the school community
Coronavirus has made a lot of people nervous, including students, employees, and parents. Keeping these individuals calm requires early and regular communication from the school or college about its plans.

Co-Founder and Partner at Mission & Data; Chief Advancement Officer at Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship