University of California, San Diego


April 18, 2007


SUBJECT:    Monday, April 30, Town Hall to Discuss Emergency Preparedness

We all have been touched by Monday’s tragedy at Virginia Tech and we extend our deepest sympathies to the Virginia Tech families and campus community. The outburst of violence on that campus sent shock waves through our communities, but is especially shocking for those of us on university campuses. In a letter of condolence sent to Virginia Tech President Charles Steger on behalf of UC San Diego, I have expressed our campus’ profound sadness and sympathy.

Although this is not the type of event that you can ever be ready for, I want to assure you that UC San Diego has done a comprehensive job to prepare for what we can and have put plans in place to respond to a variety of crises. Because the safety of our students, faculty and staff is our priority, campus personnel at all levels conduct frequent and detailed exercises to help us respond effectively to crises and catastrophes. We work very closely with local, regional, state and federal agencies to prepare for, and respond to, emergencies, and we conduct numerous exercises to coordinate our campus response with police, fire, hazardous materials and medical teams in the San Diego area. Our exercises include communication plans since communication is an integral facet of successful crisis planning and management. In our drills and training, we practice and simulate how we will communicate with the campus community, law enforcement, the city and county, and the public through the media and other forms of technology.

We want to ensure that we are considering all opportunities for appropriate responses to the challenges that an emergency presents. I invite you to attend a Town Hall on Monday, April 30, from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Price Center Ballroom (B). Join leaders from our Environmental Health & Safety, Student Health, and the UCSD Police Department in a discussion about emergency preparedness.

I am approving one hour of administrative leave with pay that employees may apply to their attendance at the Town Hall, and I ask supervisors to allow employees to attend, as long as the absence does not infringe upon the performance of required job duties. Shuttles will be provided for participants from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Hillcrest who may want to attend.

The tragedy at Virginia Tech is every campus’ worst fear. We are doing what we can to anticipate, practice and prepare for many kinds of scenarios that threaten our students, faculty and staff. We will continue our emphasis in this area and will adjust appropriately our plans and procedures at UCSD. Please join me for the discussion on Monday, April 30.

Marye Anne Fox