Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Management (DMgt)

First Advisor

Steven Freeman

Second Advisor

Tom Guggino

Third Advisor

Melissa Wheatcroft


The Clery Act (20 USC. § 1092(f)) is a federal law intended to improve campus safety by making information about crime as well as safety and security policies more accessible. Research has shown that the law’s requirements to collect crime statistics and publish annual security reports have limited impact. Little research has examined the effectiveness of the timely warning and emergency notification provisions. This study explored the perceptions of Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) to determine whether timely warning and emergency notification messages are an effective tool for improving campus safety; to what degree they result in unintended harmful effects; and whether current training of CSAs is adequate to develop CSAs’ knowledge and skills related to writing Clery Act message content. A 28-item questionnaire was distributed to a random sample of 5,000 individuals from a national list provided by the Clery Center. The completion rate was 10% (n=514) and the margin of error was +/-5% at the 95% confidence level. The results indicate that CSA’s perceive Clery Act messages to be effective at informing campus communities about crime, influencing safety-related behavior, prompting tips that solve crimes, and deterring crime. However, CSAs also indicated sizeable unintended harmful effects including that messages mislead people to believe that campuses are less safe than they actually are, provoke panic, reinforce racial stereotypes, are victim blaming, expose the identity of victims who report crime, trigger retaliation, re-traumatize victims of past crime, and cause chilling effects on crime reporting. Most CSAs (97%) receive training. However, only 44% reported receiving training that covered best practices for drafting messages that are trauma-informed regarding victims of sexual violence and only 33% reported receiving training that covered best practices for handling information about the race of suspects in crime reports.


A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Management in Strategic Leadership