Regents committee set to meet on safety, security

Discussion will look at infectious disease, active shooter scenarios, mandatory reporters

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A Board of Regents committee created last summer to monitor safety and security issues at its three universities will meet for a second time Thursday to discuss procedures for dealing with infectious disease on campus, active shooters, mandatory reporters, and mental health issues, among other topics.

The six-member committee met for the first time in August. In part, to outline its purpose — which includes reviewing campus safety and security reports, monitoring related issues, and assessing compliance and oversight.

Committee members during Thursday’s meeting — being held on the University of Northern Iowa campus — are slated to discuss an updated purpose statement and receive information on campus security reports and a safety and security summit held in October.

Aside from minutes and schedules, group members did not receive any supporting documents in advance of Thursday’s meeting, according to board spokesman Josh Lehman.

“Any other documents will be distributed at the meeting,” he said. “Several items on the agenda will be discussion only.”

When the Board of Regents approved the subcommittee in June, Executive Director Bob Donley said it will provide the campuses space to share best practices. Donley also said Iowa’s public schools do an “extraordinary job already” when it comes to safety and security.

“This is a great opportunity to highlight some of the things we are doing,” he said at the time.

Among safety and security issues that have been central on the campuses of late is sexual violence and efforts to address it. Iowa State participated in a recent climate and sexual assault survey through the Association of American Universities, which found that nearly 1 in 10 ISU students experienced some sort of unwanted sexual misconduct during their college years.

UI opted out of the AAU survey and conducted its own climate survey last semester, which some students criticized for the nature of its questions and the order in which they were asked. The UI survey, offered to the 32,000-plus students on campus, had a relatively low participation rate — with just 2,560 students completing the questionnaire.

Results from that survey are expected later this semester.

Both ISU and UI also are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for their handling of sexual assault reports.

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