In response to the tragic incident at Umpqua Community College in October 2015, Governor Kate Brown established the Oregon Campus Safety Work Group (OCSWG or the Work Group) to:
- Identify resource needs and potential state policy to enable a coordinated strategy across the higher education system for public and private institutions, and
- Analyze promising practices and protocols that can be shared across all post-secondary education institutions to maintain public safety, and prevent, prepare for, and effectively manage future response and recovery efforts for campus-wide crises or emergencies.
In considering the broad, overarching, and complex aspects of campus safety, the Work Group met with professionals from various disciplines throughout the state. In addition, the Work Group created subgroups focusing on the core topics. The work done in these groups helped formulate the Work Group’s primary recommendation that a standing body be established that will connect directly to the Governor's office, the legislature, and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. This entity would oversee, and have the authority to advance the priorities of, campus safety and resilience in higher education institutions statewide. This body, when created, would then work with Oregon’s postsecondary educational institutions and their partners to implement the recommendations of the Work Group.
The Work Group focused on four categories to improve the safety and resilience of Oregon campuses:
- Response, continuity, and recovery
- Physical safety and law enforcement
- Physical security and infrastructure
- Behavioral threat assessment and prevention
Within each category, we provide specific lists of recommendations to advance campus safety and resilience statewide.
Bringing professional disciplines together across the state to talk about prevention and planning is a critical component of campus safety and resilience. We recognize that resources available to enhance campus safety vary from institution to institution. Even so, partnerships with state and campus leaders, first responders, mental health professionals, and other community resources are available to most institutions. Oregon is home to a premier network of postsecondary educational institutions. It is our collective responsibility to strengthen campus safety and resilience. This report is not intended to be an exhaustive assessment, rather the report shall serve as a starting point for dialogue and action that will help match the superb quality of education available at Oregon institutions with a similarly robust and excellent campus safety and resilience governance structure.