The University Record, September 24, 1996

Safety task force begins search for `ideal `climate at U-M

By Jane Elgass 

The newly appointed 14-member Task Force on Campus Safety and Security has begun meeting and has created five sub-groups to address specific issues. The task force is chaired by Paul Boylan, dean of the School of Music and vice provost for the arts.

The group's charge, similar in nature to that of a task force established in 1989, is "to examine the human climate on campus, engage in a broad range of activities that would identify questions and concerns that extend beyond simple questions of safety and security and to think about what the ideal climate might be and to recommend proposals for improvement."

In their charge to this task force, J. Bernard Machen, provost and executive vice president, and Farris W. Womack, executive vice president and chief financial officer, note the University is a different place than it was in 1990.

"It has grown in dramatic ways: it is larger in sheer size, its far-flung activities are greater in number and more widespread; it is the intellectual home of a significantly more diverse cadre of faculty, staff and students; and its leadership role in the application of technology to teaching, learning and research has increased enormously. In short," they add, "the University has become a richer, more vibrant place, and the need for personal safety and security is greater now than ever."

They also note that "because conditions have changed and new or different initiatives or approaches may be needed to address these new circumstances, we ask that you cast the net more broadly and not only undertake a review, but also take a fresh look at the degree to which we have an ideal climate."

Boylan anticipates "a thorough and thoughtful look at security issues on this campus, including a broader view of the `human climate' as it relates to the work of the faculty, staff and students. Because of the breadth of this study, I anticipate a report to the provost and executive vice president for financial affairs perhaps next March."