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Letter From the Task Force Chair and Vice Chair

Dec. 31, 2009

Nearly three years have passed since the Virginia Tech tragedy, and Oklahoma’s higher education and career technology administrators continue to find appropriate solutions for maintaining safe and secure campuses, while continuing to provide creative and open learning environments that drive our state’s economy.

In response to the event at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, the Campus Life and Safety and Security (CLASS) Task Force was established by Executive Order 2007-17. After the final report was submitted Jan. 15, 2008, the task force requested that Gov. Brad Henry extend its duties. He responded by issuing Executive Order 2008-8, which enables the task force to continue to review and evaluate safety and security at higher education and career technology institutions and make recommendations for modifications, as needed, through 2010.

There has been a significant level of progress since the task force began its work in 2007. In this report on 2009 task force activities, you will see the great strides being made by our campuses to ensure the safety and welfare of students, faculty and staff.

The CLASS Task Force has also implemented a number of initiatives to aid campuses in maintaining safe and secure campuses. On April 23, the task force hosted a vendor fair to provide an opportunity for our higher education and career technology campuses to see what is available to enhance campus emergency notification.

On July 27–31, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services held the first mental health first aid train-the-trainer classes for higher education. The classes teach a layperson how to recognize and assist someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

Full National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliance by Dec. 1, 2010, is a major goal of the CLASS Task Force and required for recipients of federal preparedness funds and several grants administered through the U.S. Department of Education. This past year, the task force kicked off Campus Safety: Goal 2010 to ensure all postsecondary campuses are compliant by the deadline.

As you read our annual report, we hope you will understand that although we have made significant progress to ensure safety on our campuses, the threat still exists. We must continue to keep the issue of campus safety and security a top priority in Oklahoma.


Dr. Glen D. Johnson, Chancellor
Oklahoma State System of Higher Education

Dr. Phil Berkenbile, State Director
Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education