As of Aug. 1, Don Van Eynde, professor of management, took on the role of interim crisis management team chair, following Steven Bachrach’s leave. Don Van Eynde will lead the team until Bachrach’s return.
“Management is his gig,” said David Tuttle, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “He has been great at role modeling. He interviewed the people on the committee, found out what their goals were and where there may be issues of concern or confusion.”
Van Eynde, to faculty and other team members, is a perfect fit for the position, with extensive leadership and management skills under his belt.
“For any one who knows him it would not surprise them to know that his organization and management and leadership are all top notch,” Tuttle said.
The crisis management team is comprised of various groups, with a core group of eight individuals, including Tuttle and Van Eynde, an auxiliary team of seven individuals, the executive policy group and others, depending on the circumstance.
“The core team is comprised of eight people and then there is an auxiliary group with seven more, and the executive policy group, the president and vice presidents,” said Van Eynde. “There are also many others involved from ResLife staff to Counseling and Health Services depending on the crisis.”
According to Van Eynde, the Crisis Management Team’s mission statement and aim is “to prevent, mitigate, prepare for and respond to crisis/disaster situations in a manner that preserves life and property, minimizes chaos and allows for timely recovery of operations.”
The crises can range from storms and floods to data breaches or other various threats, which, to Van Eynde, forces the team to be ready for anything.
“Basically the job of the crisis management team is to deal with crises of various types, windstorms, tornadoes, floods, pandemics, loss of communications, pretty serious things,” Van Eynde said. “You never know what could be involved in a crisis, what exactly could happen”¦that’s the nature of crises, the nature of disasters”.
As chair of the team, Van Eynde has various responsibilities, from leading the team to advising and involving the executive group.
“The chair works closely with the emergency management coordinator,during the planning and operational phases of crisis management,” Van Eynde said. “It is also my job to inform and involve the executive group as necessary.”
With meetings every month, the Crisis Management Team is set to respond to various disasters.
“We do training exercises every month, and if there is an actual emergency, we respond and come together as a team and finally we continue to manage that through the recovery phase,” Van Eynde said. “It’s not only getting through the actual crisis but trying to get things back to normal.”
Although many students are unaware of the CMTs presence on campus, many students see them as an essential part of the university.
“I think a lot of what they do we don’t see as students,” said David Warga, junior history major. “Luckily we’ve never had a major incident, but it’s comforting to know that they are ready to respond and manage [a crisis].”
Although the team is prepared for various situations, their ultimate hope is not to be needed.
“The hope is that we will never be needed, but if we do, we want to respond well,” Van Eynde said.
“Luckily we have had almost nothing at Trinity and the few times we’ve had ice or things like that, things get done a lot behind the scenes and get done well.”