The 53-campus system includes seven state universities and 25 community and technical colleges offering more than 3,500 programs to 374,000 students and 140,000 continuing career education enrollees. With campuses five to six hours apart, Karen Bergmeier, ITS project lead- er and Cisco WebExTM solution liaison, found herself traveling four to five hours two to three times each week to conduct training on the system’s proprietary software.
With Expansive views of the mighty Hudson River and a campus that consistently ranks among the nation’s most beautiful, Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, offers students an idyllic setting for learning. Still, like every other school, Marist faces serious threats to its IT network, and its unique campus, with 49 buildings spread across 180 acres, posed special security challenges to its IT staff.
For more than 35 years, Barton County Community College in central Kansas has been preparing students for success through a blend of classroom and practical hands-on education. A majority of the school’s degree programs incorporate the use of technology to prepare students for today’s workforce, while its wired buildings and computer labs ensure that technology access is at the fingertips of its more than 5,000 students.
Recent events have understandably triggered a flurry of crisis preparedness efforts at colleges and universities across the country. Many of these institutions are today breathing easier now that they have incident response plans the size of phone books resting in drawers or populating intranets. They feel confident that in an emergency they can evacuate parties at risk in a timely organized manner — perhaps.
THE DANGERS PEOPLE MIGHT encounter on a college campus are the same as those on a city street. Since there is no way to know when a security incident might occur (unless, say, someone calls in a bomb threat), campus leaders are relying on proper training to enable their security personnel to predict such incidents and respond appropriately.
While security personnel at community colleges deal with the same challenges faced by their counterparts at four-year institutions, there are some twists presented by the more fluid nature of the population at two-year institutions.
THERE IS A NEW "SIN" INDUSTRY on college campuses. It’s not beer, fast food, or tobacco. It’s water! Universities around the nation have begun to deny students the option of drinking bottled water, removing it from vending machines and campus stores.
Faced with threats from crime to natural disasters, and having learned lessons from the Virginia Tech shootings two years ago, campus security and emergency officials are building stronger relationships with their local and state counterparts.
THE CALL CAME IN AT 9:22 P.M. ON THURSDAY, APRIL 2, FROM THE Radford University (Va.) EMS team, an all-student, volunteer rescue squad, that there had been a fatal shooting just one block from campus. Dennie Templeton, who directs the school’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, remembers the time exactly, because within 15 minutes he had set up an emergency operations center (EOC) to interact with the outside responders who were fast arriving at the 9,500-student school.