April 19, 2013

A Proven Leader in Crisis Management

Crisis readiness and response is a way of life at Northwood University and there is no better example of that than the efforts by Northwood students, faculty, and staff this week.

NU Commencement Preparation

Following the tragic events at the Boston Marathon this past week, Northwood staff on all three residential campuses in Florida, Michigan and Texas convened to review the very latest safety and security measures for our 2013 Commencement ceremonies in May. While we have always taken the highest precaution in following “best practices,” the unfortunate circumstances in Boston were a stark reminder to all of us that even the most prepared teams and plans cannot account for every manner of criminal intent.

Following that meeting, members of the Northwood administration and security staff system-wide are taking extra steps to ensure the safety and well-being of all our Commencement attendees, guests, and visitors. In addition to added security measures, we are partnering with local officials and law enforcement agencies. Further, we communicated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine if any threats have been levied against college and university campuses and, thankfully, no such threats exist at this time. Finally, we are communicating our safety goals and measures to all outside vendors and agencies.

Flood Response in Michigan

Those familiar with Northwood history and the Midland, Michigan area know this part of the state, including our campus, is at risk for flooding. And late this week Mother Nature provided yet another reminder of our natural settings as we dealt with flooding which threatened to be the worst in this area’s history.

Following communication from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as the Midland County Office of Emergency Management, members of our central administration, operations, and security staff—in partnership with campus leaders and members of our Crisis Team—sprang into action on Wednesday to work closely with city, county, and law enforcement agencies as well as our utility providers to devise, communicate, and implement appropriate response plans. As conditions changed and developed, plans were adjusted and communicated accordingly.

Here again, Northwood students, faculty, and staff responded brilliantly in ensuring the safety and security of everyone on our campus community, including the preservation of Northwood property and assets. Despite the adverse conditions, spirits remained high, faces were filled with smiles, and everyone demonstrated nothing less than a genuine and sincere regard for those around them.

Have a great weekend!


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640