Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


David Milen


In the best of times, emergency managers of athletic event venues struggle with the responsibilities of venue security. The possibility of terrorist threats exacerbates the situation, especially when security threats can involve a critical mass of spectators at an event. Emergency managers at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletic venues were the focus of this study. The overarching research question examined whether the minimum core competencies and qualifications for NCAA emergency managers were perceived by the same managers as being sufficient and in alignment with the work that is expected of the position. Research questions were designed to study what practices emergency managers in the field deemed as the most important minimum work qualifications necessary to competently perform their duties. A quantitative survey instrument was administered to 120 Division I-A football stadium emergency managers. A 42 percent response rate was obtained. Data were collected and analyzed using a 3-round Delphi technique. Data were solicited by an online survey for the first 2 rounds, and either online or by mail for the final round. A total of 50 core competencies were identified with a high rate of agreement (96 percent) among participants. Findings indicate that command level emergency management related experience is vitally important with developing the most competent stadium emergency manager, while advanced educational training opportunities available through the Department of Homeland Security and National Center for Sports Security ranked low. Positive social change implications stemming from this study include a greater understanding of skills required to secure sporting venues, thereby potentially increasing the level of safety to spectators and reducing the possibility of terroristic threat.