Crisis and Emergency Communications


Are you facing an issue that may result in negative media coverage or affect the university's reputation?

Misinformation spreads rapidly online, and speculation quickly fills an information void. If you anticipate a controversy or find inaccurate information about your work, we can help you plan a communication strategy to get ahead of the issue.

The Crisis Communication Plan describes the protocols for an effective, timely response during and following a crisis. If you're asked for comment from the university about a sensitive or controversial issue, ask about the context of the inquiry and gather contact information. If there's an immediate threat to safety, contact Campus Safety at 503-370-6911. Otherwise, contact your supervisor and Marketing and Communications, which will coordinate a response on behalf of Willamette. 

Crisis Communications Contacts

Colleen Kawahara, Chief of Staff, Office of the President
503-370-6031 (Office)

Tim Cobb, Vice President for Marketing and Communications
503-370-6280 (Office)


In case of a campus or regional emergency — such as those due to weather, natural disasters or fires — University Communications manages communications between the campus community and the public.

In an emergency, it's important to stay calm, avoid speculation and share accurate information. Please refer reporters to the Office of Marketing and Communications in these situations. You can say:

"To ensure we provide the most accurate information, please contact MarCom at 503-370-6667."

If Willamette closes due to weather conditions, information is available from these sources:

  • On the Willamette homepage
  • The university switchboard: 503-370-6300
  • A message sent through the university’s Emergency Alert System
  • An all-campus email

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