Dartmouth cited for Hurricane Katrina information-sharing

An independent report ranks Dartmouth College highly for its Web-based information offered in response to Hurricane Katrina.

“Best Practices: Online Crisis Management: 30 Top Colleges and Universities,” released Sept. 14 by Ballardvale Research, an Andover, Mass., Web communications analysis firm, found that Dartmouth was one of three universities that particularly stood out in its communication efforts related to Katrina because it “took the view that they needed to quickly get information out to — and receive information from — the university community at large.”

The other colleges that stood out, according to the report, were Duke and MIT.

The study said the college’s use of its blog enabled “different Dartmouth communities to share information with hardly any Dartmouth IT involvement (other than pointing to the blog and putting up some affiliated information).”

According to the report, Dartmouth’s administration was among those schools that “recognized that students, alumni, and employees would be hungry for information and resolved that it was the university’s mission to foster information exchange during this extraordinary crisis. In addition, these institutions decided that they needed to break away from their normal Web site design, and instead use blogs or message boards to speed the communications process.”

To view the full report, visit ballardvale.com. — CINDY KIBBE

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