President Shalala Convenes UM Task Force
With the release of the Report of the Virginia Tech Review Panel regarding the mass shootings at Virginia Tech University in April, President Donna E. Shalala is convening a Critical Incident Task Force that will meet over the next few weeks.
“This task force is charged with reviewing the Virginia Tech report’s findings and thoughtfully assessing how the University of Miami measures up against the recommendations,” says President Shalala. The task force will be chaired by the president’s chief of staff, Rebecca M. Fox.
The University of Miami has been working diligently since April and throughout the summer to ensure that University policies and procedures facilitate timely and efficient responses to a wide variety of possible emergencies.
This summer on the Coral Gables campus UM Police and Coral Gables Police, along with many other law enforcement agencies, conducted a massive emergency response exercise called Operation Sandbox. It is considered the largest training exercise on any university campus in the region. The highly successful effort involved police officers and fire-rescue personnel from 19 agencies across South Florida responding to a series of mock incidents. In addition, a “critical incident tabletop exercise” involving key University decision-makers required participants to determine what they would do at each point along detailed scenario timelines.
The University has been assessing its communication methods to rapidly disseminate vital information to faculty, staff, and students in the event of an emergency. It can now quickly send out an urgent voice and text message to all University community land and cellular phone numbers that have been supplied to MyUM, in addition to e-mail and Web site announcements.
The task force will involve decision-makers University-wide, including UM Police, Communications, Student Affairs, Health Services, Counseling Center, faculty, students, and others from the Coral Gables, Rosenstiel School, and Miller School campuses. The outcome of the task force’s review process will be shared with the University community.