Sexual Violence and Crisis Communication in Higher Education
Keywords:Title IX, Crisis communication, Shared governance, Campus leadership, Sexual violence
In the modern landscape of higher education, Title IX and sexual violence prevention and response are increasingly important to universities. Unfortunately, too often university leaders respond retroactively and poorly to sexual violence on their campuses. Harris (2019) utilizes a unique approach to organizational communication theory to argue that institutions create a rape culture in a society that blames individuals, rather than organizations, for sexual misconduct. Bataille and Cordova (2014) complement this research with a collection of essays advising university leaders how to practice effective crisis communication. Together, these books create discourse around how sexual violence and communication are related to the responses of university leadership and the system of shared governance within higher education. University leaders need to confront their institutions’ participation in producing rape culture and educate themselves on how to perform effective crisis communication around sexual violence.