Office of the President

Reimagining safety at the UW

Creating learning, working and living environments that enable every UW community member to be successful requires a holistic approach to safety and well-being that brings together a range of resources in a coordinated, accountable manner.

A vision of holistic safety

A community of the UW’s size and complexity — three campuses and numerous medical facilities, all with public and private spaces including classrooms, research labs and residences, and all in an earthquake- and flood-prone region — requires a range of safety services. These range from overall emergency readiness and response, to violence prevention, mental health support, and both situation-appropriate intervention and post-incident support carried out as needed by unarmed safety responders or armed law enforcement officers.

A holistic approach to safety and well-being must be responsive to the different needs, as well as to the different experiences — some negative — that various community members have had with safety resources and personnel, both on and off of our campuses.

Aligning with the needs and values of the community

President Cauce has asked Sally Clark, director of regional and community relations, to lead a reimagining of how safety and well-being resources are organized and delivered at the UW. Consulting with student, faculty and staff leadership groups, Clark will lead an effort that will enable the University to better plan for and provide responses specific to the needs of the situation and more responsive to individual and community needs and experiences.

This will include aligning SafeCampus, Emergency Management and the UW Police Department (UWPD) in a new organization under a vice president-level position, while also evaluating what other safety and well-being units should more closely associate with this new entity, such as Environmental Health & Safety and Health Sciences Security. The process will also evaluate better coordination of community safety priorities and implementation across all three campuses and UW Medicine locations in order to prioritize the safety of all members of our community.

At the same time, the UW Bothell and UW Tacoma chancellors will also be launching efforts to evaluate the specific safety needs of their campuses and how to meet them while also aligning with the UW’s overall goal of a holistic approach to safety and well-being across the University.

Timeline

This project was announced Dec. 2, 2021 and has a goal of issuing final recommendations by the end of the 2021-22 academic year.

Provide your feedback

You can provide your thoughts, ideas and feedback to the project team by using the form below.