Threat Assessment Team at MU

Overview

Millersville University has established a Threat Assessment Team (TAT@MU) to assist in addressing situations where students, faculty, or staff are displaying disruptive or threatening behaviors that potentially impede their own or others’ ability to function successfully or safely. The process is designed to help identify persons whose behaviors potentially endanger their own or others' health and safety.

It is the responsibility of faculty, staff, and students to immediately report any situation that could possibly result in harm to anyone at the University. Any member of the campus community may become aware of a troubling person or situation that is causing serious anxiety, stress, or fear and, if so, this information should be provided to the Threat Assessment Team at (717) 872-3717.

In cases where a person may pose an immediate risk of violence to self or others, please call 911. 

TAT@MU PDF

Purpose

For the safety of the campus community, any threat, explicit or implied, will be considered a statement of intent. The Threat Assessment Team will recommend actions to the appropriate vice president(s) in order to protect the student, employee, and University community. This team has been established to:

  • Respond to incidents of violence, threatening behavior, unwanted pursuit, harassment, and behavior indicating a student, faculty, or staff member poses a risk to self or others; when necessary, initiate contacts with appropriate authorities to place a student/employee in the custody of a mental health facility capable of supporting specific behaviors.
  • Coordinate and assess information from faculty, administrators, students, and local authorities.
  • Investigate the incident(s) and recommend appropriate actions, which may include suspension, expulsion, involuntary leave of absence, filing of criminal charges, or ongoing monitoring for follow-up and observation of behavior patterns; recommendations are made as appropriate to the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Vice President for Finance and Administration and/or the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, who shall sign off on action to be taken.
  • Identify resources for troubled students and personnel and make referrals to appropriate campus and off-campus agencies; help secure therapeutic actions that are appropriate, such as treatment or counseling, and that may include internal or external psychological evaluations.
  • Authorize notification, within FERPA guidelines, of parents, guardians and/or next-of-kin.
  • Assess outcomes of actions taken periodically.

Nothing in this policy is intended to abridge any employee's rights under a collective bargaining agreement, and any student's rights under the provisions of the student code of conduct, or their respective rights at law.

Procedure

Threat-related information should be forwarded to the Threat Assessment Team by calling (717) 872-3717. However, in an emergency, immediately dial 911. The executive committee of the Threat Assessment Team will initially evaluate the report and, if appropriate, convene TAT@MU. Individual members of the team are also available for advice and consultation. The executive committee shall be comprised of the Chief of the MU Police Department, Director of Safety/Environmental Health, Director of the Center for Counseling and Human Development, and Executive Deputy to the President, who shall serve as chair of the executive committee and TAT@MU.

Once a report is received, the following preliminary investigative information will be collected by the MUPD and/or other members of the executive committee as appropriate/necessary to complete the preliminary investigation as expeditiously as possible:

  1. Interviews to determine the existence of corroborating evidence;
  2. Student disciplinary/judicial MU history;
  3. Relevant employment records under the custody of the chief human resources officer;
  4. Other relevant information as deemed appropriate to assure the safety of the University community.

Threat Assessment Team

The Threat Assessment Team consists of University personnel with expertise in human resources/employee assistance, law enforcement/threat assessment/tactical applications, University operations, medical knowledge, social equity, and student affairs. A collaborative process to assess threats will be used, and, depending on the situation, personnel with areas of specialization/responsibility may be called upon to assist the team. Other individuals may also be consulted as needed such as a faculty member who has a concern about a student, a counseling psychologist to share expertise, and/or a manager who has information concerning an employee.

The team will meet on an emergency basis as well as on a regular bi-weekly schedule to review reports brought forward by faculty, staff, and students concerning disruptive, inappropriate, and/or threatening behavior. All information received by or related to the activities of the TAT@MU will be maintained in the Office of the Executive Deputy to the President. This information will be treated as confidential among and between members of the TAT@MU, will be protected in accordance with FERPA and other applicable laws and administrative rules, and will be released only as required by law or permitted by law under exigent circumstances.

Team Members

  • Dr. James McCollum, Executive Deputy to the President/Chief of Staff; TAT@MU Chair
    Phone: (717) 871-5955
  • Dr. Jeffrey Adams, Associate Provost for Academic Administration
  • Phone: (717) 872-3703
  • Mr. Pete Anders, Chief, MU Police Department
    Phone: (717) 872-3434
  • Ms. Lori Austin, Director of Judicial Affairs
    Phone: (717) 871-5841
  • Dr. Kelsey Backels, Director, Center for Counseling/Human Development
    Phone: (717) 872-3122
  • Dr. Aminta Breaux, ex officio, Vice President for Student Affairs
    Phone: (717) 872-3594
  • Ms. Melanie DeSantis, Interim Director of Human Resources
    Phone: (717) 872-3017
  • Ms. Janet Kacskos, Director of Communications
    Phone: (717) 872-3723
  • Mr. Hiram Martinez, Assistant to the President, Social Equity/Diversity
    Phone: (717) 872-3787
  • Dr. Susan Northwall, Director of Health Services
    Phone: (717) 872-3250
  • Dr. M. William Redmond, Jr., Assistant Vice President for Academic Administration
    Phone: (717) 871-5344
  • Mr. Thomas Richardson, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs; Director of Housing & Residential Programs
    Phone: (717) 872-3162
  • Mr. Patrick Weidinger, Director for Safety/Environmental Health
    Phone: (717) 872-3715

Conclusion

While supervisors, managers, department chairpersons, deans, and student affairs/residence life staffs are appropriate counsel for general student/employee concerns, they are not experts in responding to threatening or alarming incidents. Therefore, it is everyone's responsibility (students, employees, and visitors) to report incidents that could possibly result in harm to the campus community to the Threat Assessment Team by calling (717) 872-3717 or in case of an emergency, directly call 911.

The TAT@MU was modeled on the Threat Assessment Team developed by WCU.