Keeping Our Campus Safe
In the aftermath of last Friday’s bomb threat, I’d like to share some information with students, parents, and the campus community. First, I want to assure you that in these situations, the safety of our students, faculty, and staff is paramount.
I was encouraged that we had a calm and orderly evacuation and that no one was injured. I thank the UT Police Department, University Operations, our building managers, and many other offices for helping to deal with this emergency.
We have received more than a dozen bomb threats since I’ve been president. Every threat requires that we evaluate the evidence and consult with local, state, and federal law enforcement and emergency agencies, such as the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force. The immediate goal is to evaluate the credibility of the threat. Once the facts have been collected, we must consider what action to take. I’m not at liberty to give all the details that went into my decision to evacuate.
We used UT’s emergency text messaging system, the campus-wide siren, the UT website, social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and other digital media to instruct members of the campus community to leave their buildings. As you know, the threat was determined to be a hoax and the buildings were reopened at noon.
Any time we have an incident like this we review our emergency procedures and communications systems. We have already identified ways to make our messages clearer in the future.
Please know that we take all threats seriously, and that we are working diligently to keep our campus family of 70,000 safe.