June 5, 2007 — A new task force has been created by University of Utah President Michael K. Young to respond to security concerns in light of legislative response to the University’s policies regarding guns on campus and recent events of violence on university campuses. The Task Force on Campus Security will review security issues ranging from individual assault to catastrophic incidents.
Headed by law professor Wayne McCormack, the task force will provide guidance to students, staff and faculty should they become aware of the presence of weapons in their midst. It will also consider early warning signals regarding possible hostile behavior and seek ways to provide appropriate help to such individuals while protecting the campus environment.
In addition, the task force will seek opportunities to minimize risks of incidents by modifications to facilities. In the case of an incident, it will ensure that law enforcement and security operations provide rapid, appropriate response.
“We will be considering ways to forestall emergencies, to enhance our response capabilities and to communicate with the campus,” says McCormack. “All subjects related to security are on the table for consideration, but it is important to realize that this campus already has a very effective security and response system in place.”
Various units on campus are taking a fresh look at the University”s overall emergency response plans. The task force will participate in those reviews but will maintain its focus on security matters. If deemed necessary, a broader group will look at all emergency planning as needed.
In summary, the scope of the task force is to review University security policies regarding the following:
specific steps regarding weapons
a. what to do in the presence of weapons
b. procedures for a secure room for hearings
c. procedures for gun-free roommates in residence halls
resources and facilities for security
identification and management of potential disturbances before they occur
response and communications in the event of security emergencies
emergency planning and training procedures as they relate to security matters
The task force will not address issues related to weather or seismic events, technological failures, facility safety matters or environmental health and safety except as necessary for consideration of security planning.
Members of the Task Force on Campus Security include Barbara Cahill (Health Sciences), Arnie Combe, Ann Darling (Humanities), Cal Boardman (Business), Fred Esplin, Loretta Harper, Kevin Taylor (IT), Kirtly Parker Jones (Health Sciences), Wayne McCormack (Law), John Morris, Spencer Pearson (ASUU), and Annie Nebeker-Christiansen (Dean of Students).