UNC Campus Security Initiative
Members of the Appalachian Community:
Appalachian State University has a long history as a leader in student health and safety within our system, state and region. In August 2013, President Tom Ross launched the UNC Campus Security Initiative. I commend Appalachian’s leadership on this important work and support this collaboration with our UNC colleagues as we continue strengthening the policies, procedures and resources in place to keep our students safer and support them in times of crisis.
At today’s meeting of the UNC Board of Governors, President Ross shared a report from the Campus Security Initiative. Vice Chancellor Cindy Wallace, Dean of Students J.J. Brown and Student Representative Cameron Muir served on the Campus Security Initiative. The report includes 36 recommendations to ensure that each campus, and the system, is supported in developing and implementing policies and procedures for education, prevention, response and reporting related to a range of important safety and health issues. Fourteen recommendations include UNC General Administration initiatives that facilitate system-wide collaboration in defining consistent policies and procedures, and include recognition of the federal laws with which we comply. Of the 23 recommendations specific to how the individual campuses operate, I am pleased to share that Appalachian is already in compliance with 17 and six are in practice but require some work to achieve full alignment with the guidance provided in the report.
We are very proud of Appalachian’s dedication to safety and health but there is always more to be done. Safeguarding the well-being of our students, and indeed the entire campus, is a continuous and strategic process. The six recommendations requiring additional work on our campus are a top priority over the months ahead. Today, I charge the University Safety Council, co-chaired by Vice Chancellors Cindy Wallace and Greg Lovins, to identify the appropriate area(s) for implementing each recommendation, develop a prioritization plan with timeline, and propose a resource structure to support the implementation. The critical information developed through the Council will be shared with you as we move forward with this important work.
The safety and health of our students is of the highest priority for me, and Appalachian’s tradition of caring for students shows that it is a deep and broad commitment throughout our entire community. I thank President Ross and all the members of the UNC System Campus Security Initiative for their dedication to our students. I ask that you review this important Report to the President and extend my sincere appreciation to each of you for your role in creating an engaged and responsive community.
Sheri N. Everts