Job: University Emergency Management Director

California State University has an open recruitment.

by Eric Holdeman / January 29, 2020

This position is not for a single university, but for the California State University system overall, see Director, Emergency Management and Continuity.

I think the idea of establishing this new position was a good one. There are 23 campuses, and while there are emergency managers at each of them, I'm certain there is a wide disparity between the programs at each of them. 

One of the best steps they took was to align the position with risk management for the university system, since it is risk management that can help drive future improvements in preparedness and disaster mitigation on all the campuses. 

This is a new position, so you can't think that it will be a dictatorial relationship between this new position and the university emergency managers. Universities are places where corralling people and their "thinking" is not easily done. Instead of believing that you are going to be providing lots of direction, I think it could be you are the voice of all the campuses into the policy-making level of the university system. 

For the successful candidate, it will be important to get out and visit all those campuses. In the maritime industry, there is a maxim that says, "When you have seen one port, you have seen one port," meaning that they are all different. It would be wrong to think that what works for one university works for every university. 

My last thought about this position is that you are serving faulty that likely don't want to be served, and a population of younger people who have less life experience and no fears and even less investment in personal preparedness. Parents and others will see the universities as being "totally responsible" for the people placed in their care — not an enviable position for an organization with those responsibilities. Just think about the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus and all the implications it has for a multicultural university system with many international students. 

If I was 20 years younger — it would be an appealing position. Nothing like starting with a blank sheet of paper and building a program!

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