Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Lloyd I Richardson, PhD


Farnsworth, Kent


Allen, Kimberly

Esbensen, Finn

Kohn, Dixie


Over the past 50 years, campus violence has significantly impacted our institutions of higher education. As a result, campus safety has become an increasingly important topic for all colleges and universities. The Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007 highlighted the necessity of emergency management planning and training as well as employee understanding of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Emergency management plans for 27 institutions in Missouri were collected and evaluated to determine how they instructed employees to respond to various campus safety scenarios and how training factored into the campus plans. Two-hundred, fifty-one employees were then surveyed to see how consistently and accurately they responded to two campus safety scenarios, based on the instructions given in their particular campus plans. Employee understanding of FERPA was also reviewed to identify how well administrators, faculty, and staff comprehend student privacy regulations. The following conclusions were established as a result of this study. (a) While most institutions have emergency management plans in place, these plans are not well read or understood. (b) Many emergency management plans are not comprehensive and are inconsistent across the state of Missouri. (c) Minimal participation in annual training as part of emergency management planning occurs at our public higher education institutions in Missouri, especially for faculty. (d) Participation in training does not indicate that an institution is better prepared to respond to campus safety incidents. (e) Employees do not understand what information may be shared under FERPA as well as what information is not subject to FERPA regulations. (f) Some institutions, and some individuals, are hesitant to discuss or evaluate emergency preparedness in response to campus safety incidents.

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