New University Working Group to Focus on Safety

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan today announced the formation of a working group charged with conducting a comprehensive review and analysis of safety on and around U.Va. Grounds.

Sullivan charged the Safety Working Group with developing recommendations to enhance safety for students, staff, faculty, patients, visitors and community members.

“I have convened this working group to bring a critical, concentrated focus to our safety efforts,” Sullivan said. “The working group will bring a multi-disciplinary perspective — including the student perspective — to our efforts to make U.Va. as safe as possible for everyone in our community.”

The University will also participate in a separate ad hoc safety advisory committee composed of representatives from U.Va., Albemarle County and the city of Charlottesville.

The new University working group includes students, faculty, staff and administrators from both the Academic Division and Medical Center. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Hogan serves as chair, while Marge Sidebottom, director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, serves as vice chair.

The working group will undertake a comprehensive review of safety-related programs in place at U.Va., beginning with a review of past assessments of safety on Grounds, and will seek input from across the University community. At the conclusion of its work, the group will deliver a report containing specific, actionable recommendations to enhance safety on Grounds and in the surrounding community.

“Safety of our students and the entire University community is our top priority,” Hogan said. “This commitment requires our constant self-evaluation and search for improvement. That might include issues related to lighting, transportation, communications and more. I’m eager to participate in this important effort.”

The working group held an organizational meeting on Sept. 26 and plans to meet regularly through October, though the timetable remains flexible.

Working group members include: Hogan; Sidebottom; Dean of Students Allen Groves; Vice Provost Archie Holmes; Lt. Melissa Fielding of the U.Va. Police; School of Medicine graduate student Meagan McGinley; second-year undergraduate student Morgan Phelps; Eric Charles, resident, Department of Surgery; Nathan Demers, Dean’s Office, School of Nursing; Barry Meek, associate general counsel; Thomas Harkins, chief environment of care officer for the U.Va. Health System; Rebecca White, director of U.Va. Parking and Transportation; Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget; Bill Brady, professor of emergency medicine and member of the Faculty Senate’s Policy Committee; former U.Va. Board of Visitors member Hunter Craig; Jason Bauman, associate director of athletics; and Gay Perez, executive director of Housing and Residence Life.

Media Contact

Anthony P. de Bruyn

University Spokesperson Office of University Communications