Special message to the community from UIW President Dr. Lou Agnese

October 13, 2015

Please allow me to address the University’s response to reports of a man carrying a firearm on campus on Tuesday, Oct. 27 and the resulting social media communications. 

With the cooperation of area police agencies, including the San Antonio and Alamo Heights Police Departments, an exhaustive campus-wide search was conducted and no person matching the description was found.  Let me assure you that throughout this incident, student safety was the University’s primary concern. Unfortunately, communication to the community was not as timely and clear as it should have been.

The administration is concerned about the level of miscommunication that occurred Tuesday evening.  The next day, senior administration of the University and representatives from other Congregation ministries met with University Police to discuss how the situation was handled and how to improve communications.  Several changes regarding police communication to the community have now been implemented that will allow University Police to communicate promptly, guide social media communication and further clarify how lockdowns are initiated and ended.

The immediate changes include:

•   Clearly identifying authority within the Police Department to issue notices and initiate lockdowns.

•   Strategies for responding and controlling social media events.

•   Improving coverage of the notification system.

•   Review of prepared emergency notification messages.

The University will continue to review the events of October 27 and will implement additional changes in the coming months to dispatching, improving social media communications through the alert system, additional emergency response training for faculty and staff, and exercises to improve emergency response within the University and in coordination with outside agencies.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and for being a valued member of the UIW community.