U emergency plan addresses civil unrest, terrorism

Kari Petrie

The University has created an emergency preparedness plan that sketches out a strategy for dealing with situations like civil unrest and terrorism.

The plan prioritizes areas on campus that should be dealt with first, such as residence halls and infrastructures critical to health and safety.

Other areas such as classrooms, research and administrative buildings are considered lower priorities.

Kathleen Brown, vice president for University Services, presented the plan to the University Board of Regents on April 11. She said the plan coordinates local, state and federal emergency plans.

Brown said managing incidences that might occur was a reason to create the plan. This includes outlining the responsibilities of key departments during an emergency and establishing who will make decisions during and after an emergency.

Continuing University operations are also part of the plan. Sixteen departments are required to submit a plan for emergency preparedness, she said.

Brown said coordinate campuses can use the University’s plan as a template, and their plans will vary depending on the campus’ local environment.

Frank Cerra, senior vice president for the Academic Health Center, also presented his department’s plan to the board. He said the health center plays an important part in emergency preparedness because of its ability to care for people and dispense health equipment.

The Academic Health Center can also provide communications through emergency hotlines and provide information about the emergency to the public and media, Cerra said.

Brown said the next step for the plan is staff training and campus-wide communication through posters and e-mails.

U’s state-wide impact

University President Robert Bruininks also presented to the board information on the institution’s impact on the state.

Bruininks highlighted that the University is not only the state’s sole land-grant and research institution, but it is also the primary educator of graduate and professional students.

Bruininks said the University generated $527 million in 2002 through research. It also ranked fifth in the nation for total number of doctorate degrees.

Kari Petrie covers Board of Regents and administration. She welcomes comments at [email protected]