At the University of Missouri, officials were slow to handle racial incidents and that contributed to protests, a student hunger strike, a threatened boycott by football players and the resignations of two administrators.

But at the University of Oklahoma, the fallout from a racist chant caught on video was kept to a minimum. The school president acted quickly to expel the students.

Experts say quick action can help defuse campus tension.

Benjamin Reese — president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education — says administrators shouldn't wait for students to demand a meeting. They can invite students to meet, and join protests if they agree with the issue.

Reese says administrators should know what they're going to do before something happens and be willing to speak immediately.