The DRU fills a critical need for practitioners charged with ensuring the safety, resilience, and emergency preparedness of institutions of higher education (IHEs) across the country by offering simple yet essential resources to share information on best practices across the professional disciplines at no cost to colleges and universities.
The DRU Network's activities focus on assisting campus risk and safety professionals in reducing risk and increasing resilience on their campuses. DRU engages in the following types of activities:
- Member Listserv - Manages a free, national listserv for information sharing
- Annual DRU Summit - Hosts an annual in-person Summit focusing on key safety, risk, and resilience topics. Summits are open to a wide variety of campus partners and involve both presentations and small group discussions.
- Emerging Issues Forum and Roundtables - Hosts multidisciplinary forums and roundtables composed of higher education administrators and practitioners to identify safety, risk, resilience, and emergency management challenges and potential solutions. Roundtables often result in white papers with key findings.
- Resource Library - Hosts an online resource library with helpful resources on campus safety, risk, and resilience.
- Partnership Development - Brings together a variety of campus partners, regardless of discipline or professional association to network, problem solve, and work collaboratively on projects.
- Surveys - Conducts national multidisciplinary practitioners-based surveys to identify needs and issues facing higher education institutions in advancing disaster resilience.
Professional Association Engagement
The DRU Network is actively engaged with other professional associations, such as the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), International Association College Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), Campus Safety Health and Environmental Association (CSHEMA), University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA), National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), and others.
The DRU Network is engaged with other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emergency Management Institute, National Center for Domestic Preparedness and Training, National Center for Campus Public Safety, and many more.
In 2000, six schools participated in the FEMA Disaster Resistant Universities (DRU) pilot initiative. The intent of FEMA’s initiative was to support university efforts to reduce and manage vulnerability to hazards. The grant program was short-lived. After only one funding cycle, fewer than 20 colleges and universities received grant funding for mitigation planning.
The University of Oregon was one of the campuses that received an initial FEMA DRU grant. When federal funding was cut, several IHEs kept the core concept of the DRU alive. They saw the need for a practical, common-sense approach to disaster resilience on their campuses.
The timeline below highlights how the DRU found a home at UO, key moments in DRU history, and resources developed by DRU partnerships.
The DRU Library is launched
This digital collection provides free access to risk and resilience resources for institutions of higher education (IHEs). The DRU Library builds upon the work of the former National Center for Campus Public Safety's (NCCPS) resource library. Funding for NCCPs ran out in September 2019.
DRU and Deloitte co-hosted a roundtable on Defining and Improving Enterprise Risk Management and Maturity Models in IHEs
Learn more about the roundtable and read the white paper.
DRU conducted the 2nd National Higher Education Program Survey
The survey results provide an opportunity to establish baseline data for enterprise risk management programs in higher education and highlight responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DRU joined the Institute for Resilient Organizations, Communities, and Environments (IROCE)
IROCE at the University of Oregon links, leverages, and aligns applied social science research and resources to help organizations and communities adapt and thrive in the face of adversity.
DRU hosted a virtual COVID-19 response coordination center.
Throughout the pandemic, the DRU also hosted online sessions to share real-time information between practitioners.
DRU hosted a Higher Education Incident Management Team Workshop.
DRU and the Association of American Medical Colleges cohost Strengthening the Resilience of the Academic Medicine Community Symposium.
DRU hosted the Organizational Resilience and Enterprise Risk Management roundtable.
National DRU Network Summit
Read the 2018 DRU Summit white paper.
DRU and NCCPS cohosted the Emerging Issues in Managing International Programs at IHEs roundtable.
DRU presented congressional briefings in Washington D.C.
In 2015 and 2016 the DRU presented congressional briefings in partnership with US Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and former Congressman Peter Defazio.
DRU and NCCPS partnered to conduct the first national needs assessment of emergency management programs at IHEs in the United States.
The DRU Network was instrumental in bringing various professional associations, federal partners, and practitioners together to understand how to improve emergency management on campuses.
The needs assessment produced the first national data set about higher education emergency management needs and identified tangible recommendations for advancing emergency preparedness at universities and colleges.
Read the results of the needs assessment.
National Intercollegiate Mutual Aid Agreement
The DRU Network worked with the International Association of Emergency Managers' Universities and College Caucus and federal partners to develop a National Intercollegiate Mutual Aid Agreement. The agreement was the first of its kind in the nation and designed explicitly for campuses.
DRU expanded to project work.