Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. David Hoppey

Second Advisor

Dr. Amanda Pascale

Third Advisor

Dr. Laura Boilini

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Lee Anderson-Louy

Department Chair

Dr. Kristi Sweeney

College Dean

Dr. Jenifer Kane


This exploratory mixed methods case study examined internal stakeholder’s perceptions of internally distributed COVID- 19 related crisis communication during the three stages of crisis (Coombs, 2019): pre-crisis (January to March 2020), crisis event (March 2020 to May 2021), and post-crisis (June 2021 to March 2022). The COVID-19 pandemic was an unforeseen crisis with yet unknown lasting impacts on institutions of higher education. Internal stakeholder perception of leaderships’ communication competence during a crisis event, and the leadership communication challenges during a world-wide pandemic are new areas of research (Bohn, 2022; Çelebi, et al., 2018; Coombs, 2010; Jong, 2020) It was important examine perceptions because the preponderance of literature had been written about requisite skills for engaging in quality leadership (Argyris & Schön, 1974; Bass, 1990; Maxwell, 1998; Northouse, 2010; Spillane, 2006) and about the qualities, such as openness, supportiveness, honesty, consistency, transparent, etc., that demonstrate leadership communication competence (Arokiasamy, et al., 2019; Bouilloud, et al., 2019; Johansson, et al., 2013; Üstüner & Kiş, 2014; Veil, et al., 2017). This study sought to contribute additional knowledge on internal stakeholder perceptions of leadership crisis communication competence and the challenges inherent in developing and delivering quality crisis communication not only during a pandemic, but in the midst of whatever crisis du jour affects a college campus (Coombs, 2000; Gigliotti, 2020; Talu & Nazarov, 2021)

Available for download on Thursday, August 07, 2025