Creating a safer and more welcoming campus is a stated goal of Michigan State University. The injury and loss of life that occurred Feb. 13 commits us to do more and better. Over the past two weeks, we have received many suggestions regarding the safety of our campus, and we appreciate the robust discussion. We write today to share some of the initial decisions that have been made and work that will begin soon. These are not the only updates or changes and not the only time feedback will be sought. This letter is intended to be the starting point on our campus journey toward a balance of ‘safety and welcoming,’ and we welcome your engagement.
Our campus police department justly earned wide praise for its response to the emergency on Feb. 13, reflecting the thorough planning and training it routinely conducts. In early February, the department earned a second accreditation term from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program. MSU is the only university in Michigan and the Big Ten Conference to receive accreditation.
While we are grateful for the commendations and for our preparation, there is more we can do. Therefore, we will soon conduct an after-action evaluation of how our emergency personnel and university leaders responded to the crisis. In addition, we intend to solicit an external, third-party after-action review. This is a common practice for education institutions that have experienced similar situations and a chance to review what went well during the emergency response and what could improve. The university will soon release an RFP for a vendor to assist with the review, and we continue our conversations with the federal Office of Victims of Crime as well. The third-party report will result in recommendations that will be made public.
We will update the campus community as these safety improvements and enhancements roll out. Our first week back was an emotional one, but we hope you find strength in being back together. The upcoming spring break will provide another opportunity for reflection and healing for some and a slower pace on campus for others.
Please remember to visit MSU’s campus safety information page to stay up to date on supportive resources and important information. We all want to feel safe and welcomed, and we are on a journey toward these shared attributes of our university.
Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. (she/her)
Thomas D. Jeitschko, Ph.D. (he/him)
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Interim Provost
Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., M.D., M.H.S. (he/him)
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Melissa Woo, Ph.D. (she/her)
Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Information Officer
Vennie Gore (he/him)
Senior Vice President for Student Life and Engagement
Marlon C. Lynch (he/him)
Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police