University System of Georgia Implements System-wide Campus Safety Initiative
Atlanta — May 19, 2015
Today, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) implemented a system-wide campus safety initiative as recommended by Chancellor Hank Huckaby and the USG Campus Safety and Security Committee.
Last August, Huckaby called for the University System to take a serious and thorough look at what the USG is doing across campuses regarding safety and security. The USG campus safety initiative centralizes the implementation and oversight of campus safety policies, procedures and requirements and mandates system-led training for institution faculty and staff and students.
“Campus safety is a responsibility that the University System of Georgia takes very seriously,” said Board of Regents Chairman Neil Pruitt. “Our rigorous implementation of the committee’s recommendations over a clear timeline will improve and strengthen campus safety efforts across our 30 institutions.”
“We are about educating students and increasing the number of Georgians who have completed college. To continue to do this, we must provide our students, faculty and staff a safe environment, and we will apply best practices at each campus,” said Huckaby. “This is a fundamental change in the way we have been operating across our system of institutions.”
The Chancellor established the University System’s Campus Safety and Security Committee with stakeholders representing the campus community. The report and recommencations were developed by presidents, police chiefs, student affairs professionals, medical and mental health professionals, faculty and students.
Key provisions of the USG campus safety initiative include:
Education and Training for the Campus Community
• Institution Employees and Students: Required training to help identify and prevent sexual violence, harassment, and other misconduct with a special focus on entering freshmen students.
• Title IX: Mandated system-wide annual training for specific institution staff responsible for enforcing and investigating alleged violations.
• Law Enforcement: System-wide training for campus law enforcement specifically designed for the student-oriented campus environment. Key focus areas will include: responding to sexual assaults and addressing mental health needs.
Clear and Consistent Policies and Procedures
• Implement a consistent policy and approach based on best practices across all USG campuses to ensure student access to support services and confidential counseling.
• Develop consistent guidelines for reporting campus crime, including campus-wide timely warnings for crimes that pose a serious threat to the campus community.
• Transparent and Accessible: Create a clear, web-based site for all campus crime-related reports.
Tracking and Accountability
• Implementation Timeline: The report specifies a timeline for implementation of the recommendations, which the Board will review and adopt.
• Campus Climate Survey: Mandate a system-wide campus climate survey at least every two years that will evaluate how the system is doing and identify areas for improvement; the first survey will be conducted in the upcoming academic year.
• Annual Reviews of Support Services and Resources: For parties involved in sexual misconduct and assault.