Originally published in 1971. On May 4th, 1970, shots fired by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University were heard around the world. People were either outraged by the killings or outraged at the students. Instant experts rendered the judgment that it was all a problem of communication. This book tested that hypothesis as it presents the result of an in-depth series of interviews both within and outside the university soon after the tragic event. The book includes a narrative of an initial understanding of the incidents but admits its limit in full information as it outlines the results of the study, which looked at systems and subsystems of information flow. This book adds to the understanding of problems of communication in large organisations and particularly education establishments as well as being a cautionary tale of a specific event.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. The Crises, May 1-4 2. The Administration and the Deans 3. Department Chairmen 4. The Faculty 5. The Students 6. The Non-Academic Division 7. Conclusions. Appendix A: Methodology. Appendix B: The Interview Guide. Appendix C: Recommendations from the Task Force on Communication. Appendix D: Photographs by John P. Filo
Philip Tompkins is Professor Emeritus of Communication and Comparative Literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is currently working on a book titled Managing Risk and Complexity through Open Communication and Teamwork, to be released in 2015.