NDSU’s Department of Emergency Management recently signed collaborative partnership agreements with the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services, Division of Homeland Security; Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management within the Department of Public Safety; and the Association of Minnesota Emergency Managers.
More agreements are expected soon.
“We’ve been blessed to work with our partners informally for more than a decade. Yet, we realized that we could further nurture synergy between academia and practice for the benefit of the people and communities in our region by formalizing and institutionalizing our relationships.” said Jessica Jensen, head of the Department of Emergency Management. “As hazard events and their consequences increase, this synergy will position our respective organizations to help best — something the people and communities throughout our region deserve.”
The agreements are the first of their kind in the field of emergency management.
“These agreements represent a milestone for our field. Emergency management developed in practice since the 1950s and in education since the 1980s. Practice and education have now developed and stabilized to the point that we can each enter into these kinds of agreements. I expect these kinds of agreements will become standard across the nation in the near future,” Jensen said.
Cody Schulz, NDDES director, said cooperation, collaboration and communication are essential to effective emergency management.
“Strengthening and institutionalizing the relationship between scholars and practitioners will help us to better serve our citizens, and it ensures we are studying and researching the most cutting-edge practices,” Schulz said. “A whole government, whole community approach to emergency management is the most effective and efficient way to serve the public, and this agreement moves us in that direction.”
NDSU is considered a leader in the academic field of emergency management – NDSU was the first university in the nation to offer a doctoral degree and remains one of the only to offer all levels of degree programs.
The agreements institutionalize relationships of cooperation between the department and external practice organizations. Previously, interaction was dependent on individual faculty and staff in each organization, who may come and go.
Anticipated benefits of the agreements include:
• More opportunities for communication and coordination
• Expanded integration of scholarly expertise and research in policy and practice
• Synergy between education and training processes in preparing the emergency management workforce of the future
• Enhanced professional development opportunities for persons in or seeking emergency management positions
According to Jensen, the agreements fit well with NDSU’s land-grant mission: professional development for students entering the field, partnership on projects that serve the public, application of research and information about the research needs of practitioners.
“Our program is focused on theory and research,” she said. “It is equally focused on providing students the opportunity to apply what they learn and develop professionally. We could not be more excited about the additional benefits we expect for our students as a result of these agreements in the latter two areas.”
The agreements will be reviewed every five years.
As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.