Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Raymond A. Lauk


Since time immemorial, disasters have been part and parcel of the human experience; hence the ever-present need for disaster management. These disasters can take place everywhere and at any time, including institutions of higher education. The use of social media platforms as a tool for disaster management has gained traction in recent years due to its growing use across the world. The purpose of this study is to analyze the use of social media in disaster management specifically with respect to the perceptions on the existence of fake news and spam among directors in higher education Emergency Response/Emergency Management in the Commonwealth of Kentucky amid increasing threats caused by spam and fake news. The literature review covered a number of pertinent areas relevant to the topic including the dynamics of fake news and spam in United States’ disaster management, the critical features of higher education Disaster Management in the United States, and the role of social media in supporting Disaster Management in higher education. The study adopted a primary research methodology, which involved collecting qualitative data from the emergency management directors at the Kentucky institutions of higher education. Data was collected in person and using Zoom interviews with each respondent, depending on the availability of the interviewee was coded, and analyzed using the thematic analysis technique. Findings from the study are expected to shed light on the perceptions on the existence of fake news and spam among higher education Emergency Management and this will serve as a foundational framework for the use of social media as an effective tool for disaster management in higher education given that it is easily accessible, convenient, relatively affordable, fast, and popular.