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CAMPUS LIFE AND SAFETY AND SECURITY (CLASS) TASK FORCE 2008 Annual Report

Opening Letter

Dec. 31, 2008

The face of campus security was forever changed on April 16, 2007, when a student gunman at Virginia Tech gunned down 33 people and later turned the gun on himself, committing suicide. This massacre was followed by another shocking campus shooting in February 2008. In light of these tragedies, it has become crucial for college and post-secondary administrators to find appropriate solutions for maintaining a safe and secure campus, while continuing to provide a creative and open learning environment.

In response to the Virginia Tech tragedy, the Campus Life and Safety and Security (CLASS) Task Force was established by Executive Order 2007-17. After the final report was submitted Jan. 15, 2008, the task force requested that Gov. Brad Henry extend its duties. He responded by issuing Executive Order 2008-8, which enables the task force to continue to review and evaluate safety and security at higher education and career technology institutions and make recommendations for modifications, as needed, through 2010.

In this report on 2008 task force activities, you will see the great strides being made by our campuses to ensure the safety and welfare of students, faculty and staff.

In a recent campus survey, we found more campuses are using a broader array of technologies to notify students in the event of an emergency. More than half of our campuses have plans for bomb threats, active shooters and hazardous waste, and many have a mental health recovery plan.

During 2008, more campuses formulated plans in cooperation with local law enforcement, and more than half are now providing emergency plans to local emergency management operations. Eighty-four percent are reviewing their emergency operations plans annually.

Many of our campuses are providing annual safety and security training to faculty, staff and students, and a strong majority of our campuses have a crisis communications team in place to talk with media and parents.

In addition, HIPAA and FERPA, campus security and behavioral threat assessment training are now offered as part of CLASS initiatives.

As you read our annual report, it is our hope that you will see how one year has truly made a difference in how our campuses are working to ensure that safety and security are a top priority.

Sincerely,

Dr. Glen D. Johnson, Chancellor
Oklahoma State System of Higher Education

Dr. Phil Berkenbile, State Director
Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education