Virinder Moudgil, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Lynne Schaefer, vice president for finance and administration, sent the following letter concerning campus security to Oakland University faculty and staff on Oct. 17:
Recent events here and abroad have lent an air of uncertainty and fear to our everyday lives. Please allow us to take a moment to reassure the entire Oakland University community that we are vigilant and prepared for incidents that may occur related to terrorist activities.
First, let us affirm that we have had no specific threats directed at the campus or any groups or individuals among the campus community. But, as with any emergency, natural or man-made, it pays to be prepared before anything happens. That is the spirit in which this message is delivered.
The recent national focus has been on anthrax, as you know, and the delivery of anthrax through the U.S. Postal system. If any suspicious piece of mail or package arrives in your office, please call the OU Police Department immediately at (248) 370-3331. The OUPD is prepared to answer your call expeditiously and handle situations as they may arise. If there is any doubt about mail you receive, it’s a good idea to err on the safe side.
We have accessed the most up-to-date information about anthrax, and how to handle campus security issues from the Centers for Disease Control and the FBI , and invite you to visit their Web sites if you want more information.
Additionally, we do not work with anthrax in our research labs. No substances resembling anthrax exist on this campus. If you hear rumors to the contrary, please bring them to our attention immediately.
We also are prepared to mobilize our emergency team if we receive any threats to the safety and security of the campus and its faculty, students and staff. Please report any threats you receive, of any nature, to the OUPD at once.
While we take any threat seriously, we also believe that it is important to conduct business as usual, to the extent that that’s possible. We wish to assure the university community that we have response plans in place to deal with threats and emergency situations. Since the terrible events of Sept. 11, we have been on heightened alert and all campus security measures have been stepped up.
That said, it also is important to avoid overreacting. While we need to be ready for any situation, we also believe it is unlikely that anything will happen on our campus. Still, we ask you to be vigilant and prepared in the event of an emergency.
We will keep you posted as developments warrant. In the meantime, let’s work together to enhance the personal safety of the entire Oakland University community.