Harsh Economy Drives New Brand of Communication From the Top | Kathryn Masterson | The Chronicle of Higher Education | 4 December, 2009
Emory University’s president, James Wagner, did not put a rosy spin on the first “Dear University” message he wrote discussing the economic crisis. For colleges the past year’s global economic crisis was much bigger—and wetter—than your typical financial downturn. It was, in the words of many a college leader, a “perfect storm,” a “financial hurricane,” an “unprecedented and uncharted economic whitewater”—even full-out “climate change.”
Metaphors like those turned up repeatedly in presidential messages about the economic crisis. In letters, videos, and blog posts, leaders told their communities that they were not immune to the turbulent financial storms roiling the world economy and that they must work together to weather the tempest.