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Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, students at colleges and universities along the Gulf Coast found themselves in a predicament. The classrooms they once filled and the residence halls they called home were destroyed or uninhabitable. At that point, many colleges and universities not directly impacted by the storm opened their doors to these students. While these same schools understood the impact that a major disaster could potentially have on their own operations, many may not have taken the opportunity to create resilient institutions through mitigation and preparedness. Like local governments, universities and colleges face major obstacles in overcoming the challenges of working toward resilience. Lack of financial resources, knowledgeable staff, and time constraints are common to many organizations. And, while faculty members are often overwhelmed with the demands of their own positions and staff members often have to do more with less, it is important for all college and university personnel to understand that resilience is not a trend, but rather a necessity and that universities must think beyond emergency management focused plans.

This roundtable brings together a diverse group of individuals at colleges and universities, including faculty, college and university police officers, and a university registrar who have identified creative and innovative methods of overcoming the challenge of resiliency.