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Compliance Certification Report
Comprehensive Standards 3.10.6

Last Updated August 24, 2004
(static edition)

Comprehensive Standards 3.10.6:

The institution takes reasonable steps to provide a healthy, safe, and secure environment for all members of the campus community.

The Institution Certifies Compliance: Yes

Compliance report completed by: Audit Team 34

Statement of Rationale for Judgment of Compliance:

The University of Memphis endeavors to maintain a safe, healthy, and secure environment where students, faculty, staff, and visitors can learn, work, and live. This is addressed in four ways: (1) occupational and environmental safety and health programs and services for the campus as a whole; (2) public safety and security efforts for both the campus and the surrounding neighborhood; (3) student health services and programs; and (4) residence life programs that ensure the safety and well-being of those students living in on-campus housing.

Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health Programs

The Occupational Safety and Health Program [1] at the UofM ensures a safe and healthy working environment for all university employees by integrating safety and health programs into the normal operation of campus activities.    

The Employee Safety and Health Office, reporting to the benefits manager of Human Resources, provides services associated with accident investigation, fire safety, and general safety. The Environmental Health and Safety Office, reporting to the vice provost for research, provides services associated with biological, chemical, and radiation safety. Physical Plant currently provides services associated with air emissions, asbestos, indoor air quality (including sick building issues), lead paint, pest control, polychlorinated biphenyls in electrical equipment, storm water, underground storage tanks, and wastewater discharge. Physical Plant also provides in-house safety training services for maintenance personnel. The Campus School, a joint venture with Memphis City Schools (MCS), receives additional safety-related services through MCS.

The standing committee on safety and security, [1] an advisory group of faculty, staff, and students appointed by the president, periodically reviews university safety programs and the hazardous waste reduction program. Additional standing committees appointed by the president include the biological safety committee, chemical hygiene committee, institutional animal care and use committee, and radiation safety committee. Programs promoting biological, chemical, and radiation safety are approved by the respective committees and become official policy in such matters. Department chairs and faculty members are responsible for ensuring that students are aware of appropriate safety procedures and that unsafe conditions and practices are promptly corrected.

Policies and programs designed to promote a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors include:

Smoking policy restricts smoking to approved locations on campus. [2]

Drug-free campus and alcohol abuse prevention policy prohibits unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use as well as being under the influence of illegal drugs and/or alcohol on university-owned or -controlled property.  [3]

Biological safety program [4] addresses issues such as implementing appropriate containment and decontamination procedures to requirements for recombinant DNA research, and possession of select agents.

Laboratory chemical hygiene program [5] minimizes exposures to hazardous chemicals in laboratories and protects the health and safety of laboratory employees.

Radiation safety program [6] assures safe use of radiation-producing devices and radioactive materials while maintaining radiation exposure to personnel as low as reasonably achievable.

Automated external defibrillator program ensures that personnel are trained to respond effectively to sudden cardiac arrest victims and that equipment is fully functional. [7]

Blood-borne pathogens exposure control plans protect personnel exposed to human blood, blood products, and other potentially infectious materials. [8]

Vaccination program for faculty, staff, and students exposed to medical hazards ensures that those exposed to medical hazards have the opportunity for appropriate vaccinations. [9]

Crisis management plan describes processes for managing crises, including bomb threats or explosive devices, civil disturbance, fire/smoke, hazardous material spill or release, loss of building utilities, severe weather, and suspicious mail. [10]

Campus recreation and intramural services offers wellness-related services to students, faculty, staff, and visitors through the Student Recreation and Fitness Center. [11] Wellness information is communicated through a periodic newsletter, The Record. [12]

The employee assistance program [13] administered through the Department of Human Resources, provides confidential assistance for personal problems that may affect job, family, or community life.

The Institutional Review Board safeguards the rights and welfare of all persons participating in research projects. [14]

Public Safety and Security

The UofM Department of Public Safety (DPS) provides professional law enforcement and security services to the university so as to maintain a safe environment to learn, live, and work. DPS operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year, monitoring the campus through a series of automobile, bicycle, and foot patrols. DPS has a complement of 30 police officers, all of whom are certified by the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission. The complement includes a full-time criminal investigator/detective and a crime prevention program coordinator. All officers are required to attend 40 hours of annual recertification training each year. Officers are also trained to administer first aid, including the use of automated external defibrillators that are carried in each patrol car and stationed in various campus buildings.

DPS works closely with the Memphis Police Department (MPD) and other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. DPS monitors not only safety and security issues on campus, but also in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus. Monitoring is accomplished in part by DPS personnel attending the Memphis Police Department Central Precinct’s weekly criminal activity meeting and also through daily electronic messages from the MPD. In the event DPS personnel become aware of an on-going potential safety concern in the areas near the campus, the university community can be notified through campus-wide electronic messages and personal safety alerts. [15]

In addition to traditional law enforcement and security services, DPS offers a variety of other services, including the following:

  • Supervising the student-run safety escort program (Tiger Patrol) and the parking lot observation tower monitors; [16]
  • Monitoring and answering emergency phones (exterior, interior, and elevator phones) and gated parking lot phones after hours; [17]
  • Conducting facility security and risk surveys and campus-wide crime prevention through environmental design consulting; and
  • Preventing potentially hazardous play and activities.

The director of Public Safety hosts a weekly university compstat meeting modeled after the highly successful New York Police Department’s computer statistics program. The meeting is attended by representatives from residence life, panhellenic council, student activities, the dean of students, and the dean of judicial and ethical programs. The meeting focuses on incidents during the previous week and develops action plans for possible recurrences, plans for upcoming events, and facilitates interdepartmental communication and problem-solving.

DPS is responsible for maintaining records and statistics for on-campus criminal offenses, personal accidents and injuries, and motor vehicle accidents. DPS is also responsible for releasing some public information in compliance with state and federal laws. [18] The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation 2003 Crime in Tennessee report documents that the University of Memphis remains the safest metropolitan campus in Tennessee. [19]

Awareness enhancement and education are among the primary crime prevention efforts. [20] The crime prevention coordinator spends an entire class session with freshman ACAD-1100 Introduction to the University class. DPS hosts a campus safety forum each spring and fall semester that is open to everyone, during which they provide safety, security, and statistical information as well as an overview of the services they provide and what is expected of the campus community to help “their” police department. The forum also addresses questions about crimes, observed criminal activity, reporting procedures, escorts, and other concerns. To communicate timely information to the entire university community, DPS posts personal safety alerts and all reported offenses on its web site. [21] Reported offenses are updated daily in the daily incident log and are accessible on-line for 90 days after the date reported.

Student Health Services and Programs

The mission of the UofM Student Health Services (SHS) is to maintain, restore, and improve the health and well-being of students, both physical and emotional. SHS is an accessible, cost-effective healthcare program that emphasizes campus-wide health promotion, disease prevention, and outpatient medical care so that students can achieve academic success. Faculty and staff may also utilize SHS services for a nominal fee.

SHS provides a variety of services that include the following:

  • Walk-in clinic for students, faculty, and staff with acute, episodic illnesses, or injuries.
  • Allergy and immunization clinic and assistance with immunization requirements.
  • Referral to local health care providers.
  • Health education programs and materials, including staff participation in freshman orientation programs, health fairs and other training programs.
  • Web-based sources for health information, answers to health questions, and anticipatory guidance for students.
  • Family planning clinic.
  • Tuberculosis screening.
  • Routine x-ray.
  • Laboratory screening for anemia, cholesterol, diabetes, hepatitis, HIV, and pregnancy.

Student Health Services staff includes a physician, a nurse practitioner, a licensed practical nurse, a health educator, and four registered nurses. All are appropriately qualified and have extensive experience in healthcare in general and college health services in particular. [22]

The lab director monitors the quality control, proficiency testing, and improvement programs. These programs include compliance with the Federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act; Occupational Health and Safety Administration requirements, including occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens; and hazardous and biological waste management regulations.

Residence Life Programs

The Department of Residence Life ensures safety by participating in training related to emergency procedures such as fire, tornado, earthquake, crime, bomb threats, illness, suicide, terrorism, blood borne pathogens, hazardous chemicals, and maintenance including life- and facility-threatening situations. [23] Training includes collaborations with staff in Physical Plant, Memphis Fire Department, police personnel, and other external and internal sources. Meeting all health and safety codes and standards is emphasized. These safety programs include the child care facility, which provides day care services for students.

A deferred maintenance study and program supports the maintenance of residence hall building systems. Departmental staff perform weekly inspections of buildings. Custodial staffing meets the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers standards for maintaining clean residence halls.

Floor meetings, programs and activities, safety drills, electronic communication systems, and newsletters are used to educate students on health and safety issues.  Monthly safety checks of each room are a part of the student's residential contract. [24] The Residence Life Information brochure, [25] Housing Hot Line newsletter, and the office website all communicate health and safety policies. The associate dean of students is a member of the crisis management team for the university. [10] The associate director participates in the weekly compstat meeting with the Department of Public Safety.

Partnerships with parking services, Tiger Patrol, and DPS have resulted in increased security benefits, such as expanded presence in Central and Carpenter parking lots and reduction of vandalism to parking equipment.

Relevant Organizational Unit(s):

Vice Provost for Research; Assistant Vice President for Human Resources; Assistant Vice President for Student Development; Director of Public Safety; Associate Dean of Students for Residence Life and Dining Services

Supporting Documentation and Evidence:

[1] UofM Policy UM1293 Occupational Safety and Health Program
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[2] UofM Policy 1:2A:04:04 Smoking
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[3] UofM Policy 2D:05:13D Drug-Free Campus and Alcohol Abuse Prevention
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Biological Safety Program

Biological Safety Committee

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Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Program

Chemical Hygiene Committee

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Radiation Safety Manual

Radiation Safety Committee

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[7] U of M Acquires Lifesaving Defibrillators, September 23, 2003 Press Release
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[8] Model Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan
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[9] UofM Policy 1:2B:05:02 Vaccination of Faculty, Staff, and Students Exposed to Medical Hazards
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[10] UofM Policy UM1532 Crisis Management Plan
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[11] Campus Recreation and Intramural Services ( visit the live www site )
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[12] CRIS Newsletter, The Record
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[13] Employee Assistance Program
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[14] Institutional Review Board
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[15] UofM Policy 2A:08:01 Personal Safety Alerts
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[16] Tiger Patrol Escort Program
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[17] Safety/Emergency Phones
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[18] Campus Safety Report
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[19] TBI 2003 Crime in Tennessee, p. 433
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[20] Safety Awareness Brochures
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[21] Daily Incident Reports
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[22] Qualifications of Student Health Services Staff
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Residence Life Staff Training Manual

Resident Advisor Manual

Residence Life Coordinator Manual

Residence Life Desk Manual

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[24] Residence Life Coordinator Manual, Safety Checks
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[25] Residence Life Information Brochure
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