(The following is a message from University of Houston President Renu Khator.)
While the University of Houston has made considerable efforts to maintain a safe and secure campus, we must always be striving to improve. Indications are that we fare well in our standards and policies when compared with other metropolitan universities, however, I would like to further heighten our safety awareness and efforts.
Whether real or perceived, the issue of campus safety demands our attention.
To that end, I am appointing a 13-member task force with members from the campus community, the Houston Police Department, Harris County law enforcement and neighborhood businesses to ensure that we seek the broadest solutions possible.
Specifically, I am asking this task force to:
1. Conduct a comprehensive examination and evaluation of University of Houston campus safety by reviewing
- a. Crime on the campus;
- b. Campus safety and security standards and practices; and
- c. Campus safety and security standards and practices on similarly situated universities throughout the state and the nation.
2. Investigate alternative means of enhancing safety and security on the campus; and
3. Recommend changes in policies and practices that will accomplish the goal of a safer campus community and environment.
I'm pleased that UH System Board of Regents member Nelda Luce Blair and Chief of Police and UH Assistant Vice President for Public Safety & Security Malcolm C. Davis will serve as co-chairs.
Other members include:
John Antel, UH senior vice president and provost; Elwyn Lee, UH vice president for Student Affairs; Mary Elizabeth Pelz, dean of the College of Public Service at UH-Downtown; Captain Jay Jones, Houston Police Department South Central Patrol Division; Kenneth Fomunung, president, UH Student Government Association; Dan Wells, president, UH Faculty Senate; Sandy Coltharp, president, UH Staff Council; Apollo Woods, Residential Assistant with UH Residential Life & Housing; Mark Annas, community liaison for Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management; the Rev. Leslie Smith, CEO, Families Under Urban and Social Attack Inc.; and Karen Clarke, UH associate vice president for University Relations.
Campus safety must remain a top priority for us because it cuts across every area of student success and national competitiveness. I'm confident that this task force will provide useful recommendations that will allow us to make our campus even safer and more secure.