College and university leaders are facing a new type of scrutiny, from both inside and outside their campus communities. 

As Harvard University is showing with its handling of recently resigned president Claudine Gay, the communications playbook that has worked for decades is no longer effective. As RW Jones CEO Sean Rossall told the Wall Street Journal: “You can only survive for so long being that cloistered.”

“The most important thing that they can do right now is say everything. As many updates as they can provide, as much as they can tell the community, as much as they can openly and in real time share, the better off Harvard will be in the long run,” Rossall said.

Leaders need to have the courage to not listen to those on their team who are hoping things blow over. When in a crisis, mum is not the word