risk management

SMU recognized by U.S. Department of Homeland Security for antiterrorism preparedness, effectiveness under the SAFETY Act

DHS Designated SAFETY Act sealThe SMU Police Department & Emergency Management Program has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for antiterrorism preparedness and effectiveness.

In the process, SMU has become the first university in the United States to receive the SAFETY Act Designation, conferred to providers of “qualified antiterrorism technologies that could save lives in the event of a terrorist attack.”

The University was recognized for “employ[ing] exceptional efforts to promote security/safety on campus.” The SMU Police Department submitted its antiterrorism preparedness program to the DHS Office of SAFETY Act for evaluation.

The DHS evaluation focused on two factors: the effectiveness of the program to substantially reduce risks of harm; and its demonstrated substantial effectiveness upon deployment or use.

SMU initiated antiterrorism planning after Sept. 11, 2001 and has built upon the effort in each successive year. The program was tested in preparation for the George W. Bush Presidential Center dedication ceremonies, as well as during the event itself, when all five living U.S. presidents visited the SMU campus.

The Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act was enacted by Congress as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. To attain SAFETY Act Designation, an entity must submit extensive documentation of its anti-terrorism program, including training, drills and exercises, planning, and partnerships with other terrorism response agencies at the local, state and federal levels.

SMU seeks full participation in Protection of Minors program

SMU President R. Gerald Turner has requested that all University employees complete an online training program on their responsibilities under Texas law to report suspected child abuse.

The course, “Program for the Protection of Minors,” requires approximately one hour to complete and includes a module on fundamentals of the Clery Act. Per University Policy #9.31, all SMU employees are required to complete the training.

The program is offered as a partnership among SMU’s Office of Police and Risk Management, SMU Human Resources, and the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC). The policy requirement applies to the SMU-in-Taos and SMU-in-Plano campuses as well as to the main campus.

> Complete SMU’s Program for the Protection of Minors on Blackboard

Texas colleges and universities are required to comply with the law laid out in Senate Bill 1414 relating to abuse-prevention training for employees who work with campus programs for minors, which took effect Sept. 1, 2011. For the first phase of training, an SMU task force spent five months identifying the University populations that work directly with minor children, says Jeff Strese, executive director of human resources.

All SMU camp operators, coordinators, and employees who work with minors completed a version of the program by June 1, 2012, Strese adds. In addition to the training in Blackboard, the SMU Police Department has completed DCAC’s first-responder training, which is recognized for its collaborative and child-centered approach to protection of minors, says Associate Vice President and Chief Risk Officer Anita Ingram.

Phase Two of the training rollout is currently in progress for all benefit-eligible faculty and staff, as well as student workers. The deadline for completion is Tuesday, April 30, 2013. The third phase will include training for temporary employees, including adjunct faculty.

The University has committed to exceeding state standards for compliance, said President Turner in a video introduction to the program. Turner and the President’s Executive Council have already completed the program.

Log in to Blackboard at courses.smu.edu with your 8-digit SMU ID and e-mail password. Find the training program on the right side of the page under My Courses (HRPPM-01: SMU Program for the Protection of Minors).

If you believe you have already completed the program, check your training summary in Access.SMU or contact SMU HR to review your training records. For more information, contact Mary Stall, 214-768-2194.

Find the full training sequence and more information on Blackboard

For the Record: Sept. 7, 2012

Versatile Link logoAnnie Xiang, Physics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has received the U.S. Department of Energy Generic R&D award, a 3-year program (2012 to 2015) with a total funding of $202,500 to develop small-form-factor, high-reliability optical transmitters at the 120 Gbps range for high-bandwidth data transmission in future particle physics experiments. At SMU, she also leads the Versatile Link project, a collaboration with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Oxford University, funded through U.S. ATLAS.

SMU’s Center for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention has received the 2012 TIPS Award of Excellence for its anti-alcohol abuse training program. The award is presented by Health Communications, Inc., the providers of the Training for Intervention ProcedureS (TIPS) Program. SMU began implementing TIPS in early 2007 to train students in how to make sound choices when faced with challenging decisions regarding alcohol use. The Award of Excellence winner is chosen based on both volume of students certified and feedback from TIPS Trainers and student participants.

Brian Zoltowski, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has received a $250,000 grant from the Herman Frasch Foundation for Chemical Research for his research focusing on the photoreceptor protein, one of the many proteins involved in an organism’s circadian clock. The photoreceptor protein enables plants to know when the spring and fall occur and to produce flowers or fruit at the appropriate time of year. The Frasch Foundation awards grants to nonprofit incorporated institutions to support research in the field of agricultural chemistry that will be of practical benefit to U.S. agricultural development. Grants are awarded for a period of five years, subject to annual review and approval on evidence of satisfactory progress.

Rick Halperin, Embrey Human Rights Program, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has written the foreword to Echoes of the Lost Boys of Sudan, a graphic novel by James Disco about the Sudanese genocide and an international incident in which more than 20,000 children – mostly boys – ranging in age from 7 to 17 were displaced or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005). Read more from the Huffington Post. (Right, an image from the book.)

Lori Ann Stephens, English, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has written The Lingerer – a libretto based on the story The Sweeper of Dreams by Neil Gaiman – which has been chosen as a finalist in the 2012 English National Opera Minioperas competition. More than 500 librettos were entered, and 10 were selected as finalists; Stephens is the only finalist from the USA. During the next two phases of the competition, composers create music based on one of the 10 librettos, and filmmakers create videos to accompany them. Stephens has been invited to London for the final presentations in October. Listen to the music written for Stephens’ libretto by composer Julian Chou-Lambert. audio

Louis Jacobs, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has been named the winner of the 2012 Skoog Cup presented by the Science Teachers Association of Texas (STAT) as part of its STAT Awards program. The Skoog Cup is awarded to a faculty or staff member at a Texas college or university who “has demonstrated significant contributions and leadership in the development of quality science education.” Jacobs and the other STAT Award winners will be honored at the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST) Nov. 8-10 in Corpus Christi.

Michael Corris, Art, Meadows School of the Arts, has been named reviews editor of the Art Journal, a publication of the College Art Association (CAA). CAA states its mission as “[promoting] the visual arts and their understanding through committed practice and intellectual engagement.”

Bezalel (Ben) Gavish, Information Technology and Operations Management, Cox School of Business, has been elected a Fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). Only 12 members of the Institute were elected Fellows in 2012. They will be honored on Oct. 15 at the 2012 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Phoenix.

Ed Biehl, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, has received the 2012 Kametani Award for achievements in the field of heterocyclic chemistry. The $3,000 award was created in 1999 and is presented annually in memory of the founder of Heterocycles, the official journal of The Japan Institute of Heterocyclic Chemistry. The award is sponsored by the Institute and the journal’s publisher, Elsevier.

Anita Ingram, Risk Management, has been voted 2012-13 president-elect of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA). She and the other new URMIA officers will be inducted Oct. 2 at the organization’s 43rd Annual Conference in Providence, Rhode Island. URMIA is an international nonprofit educational association promoting “the advancement and application of effective risk management principles and practices in institutions of higher education.” It represents more than 545 institutions of higher education and 100 companies.

SMU raises safety awareness during 2011 National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and SMU is planning several events to raise awareness of proper emergency procedures.

The University will focus on three major preparedness themes throughout the month:

  • Lockdown Awareness Week, Sept. 6-9
  • Shelter Awareness Week, Sept. 12-16
  • Evacuation Awareness Week, Sept. 19-23

Provost Paul Ludden asked faculty and staff members to review campus safety procedures with students when possible in an e-mail dated Aug. 22, 2011:

This September marks the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the United States and, as such, it has been proclaimed National Preparedness Month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It is also a time for all of us to reflect on the importance of strengthening the security and safety of our campus community.

SMU will observe this occasion during the month of September by hosting a series of events that are intended to orient students, faculty, and staff to various aspects of SMU’s emergency plan. The theme for Emergency Preparedness Month is “A Time to Remember, A Time to Prepare.”

If you feel it is appropriate, please take a few moments during class time to review with students the three principal emergency response mechanisms for all emergencies: Evacuation, Shelter, and Lockdown. For your convenience, a summary of these actions entitled “Know What to Do” is attached and a poster has been placed in each classroom.

Thank you for your support.

Watch SMU’s new “Know What To Do” video on lockdown emergency procedures by clicking the YouTube screen above, or click here to open the SMU lockdown procedures video in a new window. video

> Review the “Know What To Do” emergency document
> Download the Emergency Management calender of educational events (PDF format)
> Bookmark SMU’s Emergency Management homepage at smu.edu/emergency
> Read more about National Preparedness Month at ready.gov

For the Record: Dec. 2, 2010

Anita Ingram, Risk Management, was inducted as 2010-11 treasurer of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA) at the organization’s 41st annual conference in Pittsburgh on Oct. 12, 2010. URMIA is an international nonprofit educational association promoting “the advancement and application of effective risk management principles and practices in institutions of higher education,” according to its press release. It represents more than 500 institutions of higher education and 100 companies.

Beth Newman, English, Dedman College, attended the North American Victorian Studies Association conference in Montreal Nov. 11-13, 2010, where she read a paper titled “Walter Pater, Alice Meynell, and Aestheticist Temporality.” The next weekend she read a slightly expanded version of the paper at the Clark Library (UCLA), at a symposium titled “Cultures of Aestheticism.”

Emily George Grubbs ’08, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, wrote an article published in Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, published by the Dallas Historical Society. The article, “Texas Regionalism and the Little Theatre of Dallas,” discusses the collaboration between local artists and the Little Theatre of Dallas in areas such as program cover design, stage sets and publicity posters. Early in their careers, architect O’Neil Ford and artists Jerry Bywaters, Alexandre Hogue and Perry Nichols were among those who collaborated with the theatre.

Grant Kao and Justin Nesbit, graduate video game design students in The Guildhall at SMU, have been chosen to receive national scholarships presented annually by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Kao and Nesbit will receive $2,500 each through the Randy Pausch and Mark Beaumont scholarship funds, respectively. The scholarships are awarded by the AIAS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AIAS. Read more from SMU News.

SMU’s Data Mining TeamSubhojit Das and Greg Johnson, third-year students in the economics graduate program; and Jacob Williamson, a second-year graduate student in applied economics – has placed second in the national 2010 SAS Data Mining Shootout competition. Their faculty sponsor is Tom Fomby, Economics, Dedman College. Winners of the national competition were announced Oct. 25 at the SAS Data Mining Conference in Las Vegas.

SMU 2010 Data Mining Team in Las VegasThe competition’s problem statement was to determine the economic benefit of reducing the Body Mass Indices (BMIs) of a select number of individuals by 10 percent and to determine the cost savings to federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as to the economy as a whole, from the implementation of the proposed BMI reduction program. This is the third year in a row that the University’s Economics Department has fielded one of the country’s top three data mining teams; SMU finished as national champions in 2008 and 2009. Read more from SMU News.

(In photo, left to right: Tim Rey of Dow Chemical Company; Subhojit Das, Tom Fomby, Greg Johnson and Jacob Williamson, all of SMU; and Tracy Hewitt of the Institute for Health and Business Insight at Central Michigan University. Dow Chemical and the Institute for Health and Business Insight were co-sponsors of the competition, along with the SAS Institute of Cary, North Carolina.)

SMU establishes new policies, procedures on workplace violence

(Originally published Aug. 13, 2010.)

Stock photo of business people in an escalating argumentNo campus is immune from the possibility of violence by one community member against another. This summer, SMU has taken steps to ensure that all faculty and staff members have easy access to University resources when harassment, intimidation and other hostile acts are committed or threatened in the workplace.

“For some time now, we have been interested in getting a formal workplace-violence policy and program in place,” says Jeff Strese, SMU Director of Human Resources. The departments responsible for preventing and reacting to risk have been working together for years, he says. Human Resources, Legal Affairs, the SMU Police Department, Institutional Access and Equity, and Risk Management meet regularly to deal with high-risk issues and involve one another as appropriate.

Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Business Services Bill Detwiler and Vice President for Legal Affairs Paul Ward spearheaded the effort to improve connection and communication among these areas. “This is an opportunity to better deploy the resources that already exist,” Strese says. “It creates an umbrella for the whole University that allows our offices to work together to respond to or mitigate any risk.”

Campuses across the country have begun to focus on raising awareness of workplace violence during the past year, Strese adds. The issue came to national attention in February 2010, when a University of Alabama-Huntsville professor who had been denied tenure shot six colleagues in a departmental staff meeting, killing three.

“When you look at case studies of campus violence, you find that in every single one of them there was previous knowledge and concern,” Strese says. “We intend to streamline the information-gathering process so that intervention can occur earlier in situations where there is an emerging threat or risk, whether it comes from inside or outside this community.”

SMU’s program includes a new policy on workplace violence, added to the University Policy Manual in August. Policy No. 10.12 in the Public Safety section includes clear descriptions of prohibited behaviors, as well as procedures for reporting violence and threats of violence from an SMU community member or visitor.

A new website, smu.edu/workplaceviolence, provides e-mail and telephone contacts for reporting concerns securely and confidentially. It also serves as a clearinghouse for information on policy and procedure.

In addition, the University has established a Workplace Violence Assessment Team, which includes representatives from the offices of the Provost, Risk Management, Legal Affairs and Human Resources. The team will meet as needed to review individual cases and recommend appropriate responses in accordance with University policies. Other staff or faculty members, or both, may be invited to join on a case-by-case basis.

The new program “is not intended to supersede any existing policies or processes, such as those coordinated by the Office of Student Life or the Ethics and Tenure Committee,” says Anita Ingram, SMU Executive Director of Risk Management. The Workplace Violence Assessment Team will review each case it receives to determine if it should be referred to the appropriate area, she says.

> Learn more at smu.edu/workplaceviolence
> Find SMU’s University Policy Manual online

Environmental management peer review begins June 7

ICUT review stock imageAdvisers from seven Texas universities will visit campus June 7-10, 2010, to conduct a confidential environmental management peer review.

SMU will be the fifth Texas institution to be audited as part of a program of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT) and EPA Region 6. The peer audit team will address environmental compliance criteria issues, with HRP Associates supervising the audit process.

Team members will arrive from Abilene Christian University, Baylor University, St. Edward’s University, Southwestern Christian College, Stephen F. Austin State University, Temple College and Texas Lutheran University. Inspectors will wear identification badges to ensure campus security.

A majority of buildings located on campus will be audited, including but not limited to Dawson Service Center, Dedman Life Sciences Building, Embrey Engineering Building, Fondren Science Building, Heroy Hall, Junkins Engineering Building, the Material Accumulation Center (MAC) building and Owens Arts Center. Also included are the University’s on-campus food service areas, mechanical rooms and elevator spaces.

The process will assist SMU in identifying ways to improve environmental management on campus. The review will focus on areas that use and/or store chemicals, and/or create hazardous waste.

> Find more information and a detailed schedule at the Risk Management homepage

By | 2010-06-01T15:12:55+00:00 June 1, 2010|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

For the Record: Sept. 24, 2009

Anita Ingram, Risk Management, has been elected 2009-10 treasurer of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA), an organization dedicated to advancing the discipline of risk management in higher education. She and other new officers were inducted at URMIA’s 40th annual national conference Sept. 15 in Nashville.

Students in the Division of Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts, have received a 2009 Best of Show commendation from the Center for Innovation in College Media. The news segment “Students Reflect on Chaotic Inauguration Day,” originally broadcast by The Daily Mustang on Jan. 21, 2009, was named Best Breaking News Package.

Students Tyler Murray, Jessica Huseman and Reem Tahir won 7 of their 10 debates at the University of Northern Iowa Debate Tournament Sept. 19-21, 2009. The debate topic concerned U.S. policy regarding the use of nuclear weapons. Murray and Huseman argued a unique affirmative case offering a U.S. apology for dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which was undefeated at the tournament. Tahir finished 3rd in the novice division in her first collegiate debate competition. The SMU debate teams are coached by faculty members Ben Voth and Chris Salinas, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Meadows School of the Arts. Read more from SMU News.

For the Record: Nov. 13, 2008

Jim Hollifield, Political Science, Dedman College, spoke at the 2008 Dallas Institute Festival of Ideas Nov. 8. The lineup of speakers included Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, presidential historian Michael Beschloss, and New York Times columnists David Brooks and Nicholas Kristof.

Larry Palmer, Music, Meadows School of the Arts, played a recital at Harvard University to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Flentrop organ Nov. 2, 2008, in Busch Hall. The instrument, made famous through broadcasts and recordings by E. Power Biggs, is one of the most influential pipe organs in America. The following evening Palmer presented a program for the Boston Chapter, American Guild of Organists, in Harvard’s Memorial Church to mark the centenary of the birth of Hugo Distler, a German Lutheran composer who was the subject of Palmer’s first book. In October, Palmer played the dedicatory recital for the C.B. Fisk organ at First Presbyterian Church in Santa Fe, NM, for which he was the consultant.

SMU’s departments of Risk Management and Budgets and Information Technology Services have received a 2008 Honorable Mention Award from the International Association of Emergency Managers. ITS was honored in the Public Awareness: Division 2 category for its 2008 SMU Aware calendar. The calendar is part of the University’s Security Awareness Program.

Lighting Walk, National Night Out promote campus safety

SMU with Dallas evening skylineSMU’s 2008 Lighting Walk took place Oct. 7 in support of National Night Out. Personnel from SMU’s Physical Plant, Police and Risk Management departments gave presentations and discussed campus lighting needs in the context of safety, security, functionality and aesthetics.

As Daylight Savings Time draws to a close and the end-of-day walk to the car is darker than ever, SMU’s Park ‘N Pony office provides maps that mark lighted pathways to and from the employee, student and visitor parking areas. Pick up one or all at Parking and ID Card Services on the first floor of Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

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