Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

Our thoughts are with the Spartan community and all those impacted by the tragedy at Michigan State University. After an emergency occurs elsewhere, it’s natural to have questions about what campus and local authorities are doing to train for, prevent, and respond to a similar incident here. I want to assure you that we have protocols and procedures in place to respond quickly and effectively.

The University of Iowa Department of Public Safety works with the Iowa City Police Department and other area law enforcement agencies to support as safe a community as possible for everyone. DPS reassesses best practices after every tragedy and takes an “all of the above” approach when it comes to prevention. That includes training our campus law enforcement officers at a level that exceeds standards, comprehensive threat assessment programs and intervention, community preparedness, and supporting the mental and emotional well-being of the people in our community.

These incidents serve as a reminder of how critical it is to involve our students, faculty, and staff in prevention and preparedness efforts. Here are steps you can take to manage the stress of these incidents and prepare for an emergency:

  • Make sure you are signed up to receive Hawk Alerts via text message, which is the fastest way to receive an alert. All faculty, staff, and students are automatically signed up to receive these emergency notifications, but you should review and update your preferences.
  • Check our emergency website during an active Hawk Alert for updates. These messages are also shared on our Twitter account (@uiowa_police).
  • Consider what you might do during an emergency. We regularly communicate the principles of “Run, Hide, Fight,” and offer training on violent incident survival and how to provide aid to an injured person.
  • If you see something, say something. We rely on those in our community to recognize and report troubling behaviors so the university can intervene and provide resources to mitigate the risk of violence.
  • The university has resources available if you need support, including the Employee Assistance Program, 319-335-2085. A comprehensive guide to mental health resources on campus is available at

What happened at Michigan State last week was tragic and heartbreaking. The same is true for all targeted acts of violence we’ve witnessed throughout the world. Your safety is our highest priority, and we will continue working hard to provide a safe environment for all Hawkeyes to live, learn, and work.

Mark Bullock
Assistant Vice President and Director, UI Department of Public Safety