August 10, 2007
- Missouri State University Campus Community
- Michael T. Nietzel
- Emergency Response Task Force Initial Report
On May 4, 2007, I appointed a President’s Emergency Response Task Force. I charged this Task Force with “reviewing existing campus emergency response policies and procedures, identifying areas of potential improvement, and developing a recommended implementation plan, including a timeline and budget.” The Task Force was also asked to address how to prevent, mitigate, and respond to incidents of campus violence and threats, both internal and external.
The initial report of this Task Force includes analyses and recommendations pertaining to enhanced communications, increased target-hardening strategies, additional faculty/staff/student training, and increased personnel, both in our own Department of Safety and Transportation and in the number of officers with the Springfield Police Substation on campus.
In visiting with the Task Force, I was pleased to learn of its overall assessment that Missouri State University has been, and continues to be, a safe campus. The University has an existing Emergency Response Plan that is considered to be comprehensive and well-conceived. Our history is one of relative campus safety and security. Our relationship with the Springfield Police Department has been a very positive one. And, we anticipate that the findings of our Task Force will complement those in the forthcoming report from the Governor’s statewide Campus Security Task Force.
At this time, I am soliciting your suggestions regarding the Task Force report. Please send me any comments by August 25, 2007. I will forward all comments to Task Force Chair, Ken McClure, who, in turn, will share them with the Task Force for its evaluation. After any additional input from the Task Force to me, we will begin to implement those recommendations that: 1) appear to hold the best promise for further enhancing campus safety, and 2) contribute to an open, inviting campus environment.
I want to express my great appreciation to Ken McClure and all members of the Task Force for their diligent work on this project. The initial report covers a great deal of territory, and it was accomplished in a timely fashion. It reflects a willingness to consider many perspectives and alternatives for coping with extremely complicated issues, and it identifies both timeline and budgetary implications.
As a second phase, I also asked the Task Force to conduct a “broader review of campus emergency policies and procedures to include: tornadoes and severe weather; fire; bomb threats; and earthquakes.” The Task Force is to make its recommendations to me on this second phase by December 1, 2007. I will also make that report available for public comment and discussion.