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A model for assessment and mitigation of threats on the college campus

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Purpose ‐ An increase in the number of disruptive and violent events on college and university campuses instigated this review of the methods used to interrupt the trend, with the goal of identifying a preliminary model for systematic management of such threats. The intent is to instigate research, review and discussion in order to decrease the number and severity of threatening incidents on college campuses. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Thorough review of plans from primary and secondary education, plans in use in higher education, literature on risk and threat assessment, literature on "whistle blowers", and of violent events on college campuses was used to construct a model. Findings ‐ It was found that, in terms of managing and reducing threats to people who study, live and work in post-secondary educational institutions, insufficient attention has been given to the unique needs of this setting and therefore efforts to mitigate threats have been insufficient. The investigation resulted in the development of a model of assessment and management of threats on university and college campuses. Research limitations/implications ‐ College campus threat assessment research is very much in its infancy and will certainly develop over time. This paper is the first step in an effort to develop and ultimately test the plausibility of a model. Future research should be pursued to determinewhether the model holds up under a majority of situations on college campuses. Those involved in threat mitigation in university settings should be queried to determine their agreement with the proposed framework and for assistance in refining it. Originality/value ‐ This paper presents suggestions for the systematic management of threats and mitigation in university settings.
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Keywords: Individual behaviour; Management techniques; Universities; Violence

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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