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Assessing the Development of Campus Safety Policy in the Community College following the Virginia Tech Tragedy

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021989/00001

Material Information

Title: Assessing the Development of Campus Safety Policy in the Community College following the Virginia Tech Tragedy
Physical Description: 1 online resource (169 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: bomb, campus, cho, clery, colleges, constitutional, crisis, damages, dangerous, decisions, florida, force, health, immunity, liability, management, mental, negligence, policy, policymakers, privacy, safety, shootings, situations, student, task, teams, tech, themes, threats, timely, torts, tragedies, virginia, warnings
Educational Administration and Policy -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Higher Education Administration thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to contextualize, understand, and interpret the dynamics related to the advances of campus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy. Florida?s community colleges are an integral part of Florida?s educational system and are expected to do more for less. The question of whether campuses are actually safer based on the number of warning tiers they offer or officers they employ opposed to a campus' ability to avoid dangerous situations by improving communication pathways and monitoring the progress of at risk students was left open. Four areas structured the study: mental health considerations, Clery Act considerations, litigation concerns, and privacy concerns. Themes emerged from content analyses that included administrator interviews, the Virginia Tech Report, Florida?s Task Force Report on University Campus Safety, and newspaper articles. Grounded theory allowed for the explication of multiple factors. The theoretical framework provided a deeper understanding of campus safety planning. Overall, campus safety has focused on an institution?s ability to deal with hazard scenarios (back end responses) rather than strategies for the prevention of tragedies (front end avoidance). Failing to connect the dots in proactive dangerous situation avoidance on a campus portends the potential for increased harm to the campus community, in addition to increased liability for the institution. The data revealed several areas that warrant policymaker attention. Guidelines as to what it means for a student to be identified by a campus as at risk were nonexistent and in need of development. Recommendations included training for faculty and staff that ranged from the reporting of bomb threats and troubling behavior to an appreciation of how employee actions create special relationships that impart legal duties. By identifying multiple themes relevant to safety planning, the study contributed to the design of more considered campus safety policies.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Campbell, Dale F.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0021989:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021989/00001

Material Information

Title: Assessing the Development of Campus Safety Policy in the Community College following the Virginia Tech Tragedy
Physical Description: 1 online resource (169 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: bomb, campus, cho, clery, colleges, constitutional, crisis, damages, dangerous, decisions, florida, force, health, immunity, liability, management, mental, negligence, policy, policymakers, privacy, safety, shootings, situations, student, task, teams, tech, themes, threats, timely, torts, tragedies, virginia, warnings
Educational Administration and Policy -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Higher Education Administration thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to contextualize, understand, and interpret the dynamics related to the advances of campus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy. Florida?s community colleges are an integral part of Florida?s educational system and are expected to do more for less. The question of whether campuses are actually safer based on the number of warning tiers they offer or officers they employ opposed to a campus' ability to avoid dangerous situations by improving communication pathways and monitoring the progress of at risk students was left open. Four areas structured the study: mental health considerations, Clery Act considerations, litigation concerns, and privacy concerns. Themes emerged from content analyses that included administrator interviews, the Virginia Tech Report, Florida?s Task Force Report on University Campus Safety, and newspaper articles. Grounded theory allowed for the explication of multiple factors. The theoretical framework provided a deeper understanding of campus safety planning. Overall, campus safety has focused on an institution?s ability to deal with hazard scenarios (back end responses) rather than strategies for the prevention of tragedies (front end avoidance). Failing to connect the dots in proactive dangerous situation avoidance on a campus portends the potential for increased harm to the campus community, in addition to increased liability for the institution. The data revealed several areas that warrant policymaker attention. Guidelines as to what it means for a student to be identified by a campus as at risk were nonexistent and in need of development. Recommendations included training for faculty and staff that ranged from the reporting of bomb threats and troubling behavior to an appreciation of how employee actions create special relationships that impart legal duties. By identifying multiple themes relevant to safety planning, the study contributed to the design of more considered campus safety policies.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Campbell, Dale F.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0021989:00001


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e672657832a1b8b04539e57928ba025b
db42bbfc2e33eb3dae9fc900ad1f5054dfcb6cf3







ASSESSING THE DEVELOPMENT OF CAMPUS SAFETY POLICY
IN THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOLLOWING
THE VIRGINIA TECH TRAGEDY




















By

JENNIFER L. KERKHOFF


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2008

































2008 Jennifer L. Kerkhoff




























To Mark C. Simpson (1961-1998), in loving memory.









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

It is a momentous occasion to be able to honor the memory of Mark C. Simpson with the

completion of this degree. Mark was the most wonderful husband and friend a girl could ask for:

I cannot imagine where I would be today without having known him. I will be forever grateful

for the way Mark lived, loved, believed, and inspired. I thank the members of my supervisory

committee for signing on. A special note of gratitude is extended to the chairperson, Dr. Dale F.

Campbell, whose dedication to my success in this program was tremendously appreciated, and to

Dr. James Dyer for his confidence in me and his resource referrals. I thank my mom for her

loving encouragement and long phone conversations, which always brought me new

perspectives. Appreciation also goes to Susan Ellison, who helped me maintain balance

throughout this endeavor, and to Adrian Jones, who could not have been kinder or more

supportive. I thank each and every one of these extraordinary individuals from the bottom of my

heart.









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A CK N O W LED G M EN T S ................................................................. ........... ............. .....

LIST OF TABLES .............. ......... ...................................................8

LIST O F A BBREV IA TION S ......... .. ............... ............... ................................................ 9

A B S T R A C T ................................ ............................................................ 10

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ............... .......................................................... 12

Introduction ................... .......................................................... ................. 12
State ent of the Problem ..................................................................... 25
Purpose of the Study ............... ...................................................... 25
O bj ectiv es .................. ...................................................................................................... 2 7
M ental H health C considerations .............................................................. .....................27
Timely Warning Considerations..................... ....... .............................. 29
Litigation Concerns ........................................................... .............. 3 1
P riv a cy L aw s .......................................................................... 3 4
L ist of D definition s ............................................................................... 3 5
D design of the Stu dy ................................................................38
M eth o d s ...........................................................................4 0
Researcher Subjectivity .................................................... ............... .. ...... 40
L im itatio n s ................... ...................4...................1..........
S u m m ary ................... ...................4...................1..........

2 L ITE R A TU R E R E V IE W ........................................................................ .. .......................42

Institutional Culture and Organizational Effectiveness........................................................42
Culture and D decision M making ...................... ...................................................... ..... .... 45
Theories of Interaction and Organizational Effectiveness..............................................47
Interaction Theory ..................................... .. .... ...... .. ............47
Interaction System s M models ................................................ ................................ 48
Social Networking and Agent-based Modeling ................................... .................49
M edia Richness Theory ............................................... ....... ................. 51
A agency T theory ........................................................................... 52
A accountability M mechanism s ......................................................................... ....................53
R oles of W watchdog G roups....................................................................................... ....... 53
Agenda-setting Theory ...................................... .. .......... ....... ...... 54
Cost Containment Policy .................... .......................................55









O u tso u rcin g ..............................................................................5 7
Tabulation Studies ..................................................... ............ .. ....... 57
In L o c o P a re n tis ......................................................................................................... 6 5
S u m m ary ................... ...................6...................8..........

3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ........................................................................................................... 7 1

P u rp o se o f th e S tu d y ...................................................................................................7 1
R e se arch Q u e stio n s ........................................................................................................... 7 1
R rationale and M methodology .............................................................................................. 72
Content Analysis of Independent Sources ................................................................75
A dm inistrator Interview s ............................................................................. 75
D ata A n a ly sis ............................................................................................................. 7 5
S a m p le ................... ...................7...................6..........
A ssu m p tio n s ................................................................7 6
L im ita tio n s ................................................................................................................. 7 6
T threats to V validity and R liability ................................................................................... 77
Validation of the Data ......................................... .................. .... ........77
R liability and V validity ........................ ... ............................................... .78
Research Questions and Operationalization of the Variables .......................................... 81
What Actions Concerning Campus Safety Were Developed as a Result of the
V irginia T ech T tragedy? ........................................................................................ 81
What Actions Concerning Student Mental Health Issues Were Developed as a
Result of the Virginia Tech Tragedy? .............................................. .................. 82
What are the Benefits and Limitations of the Recommendations Found in the Task
Force Report as They Relate to the Community College? .......................................82
D ata A n a ly sis .................................................................................................. ............... 8 3
Content Analysis of Independent Sources ......................................... ....................... ...83
Newspaper Articles on Campus Shootings ........................................ ............... 83
T ask F force R eports................................................................. ... ..........................84
S u m m ary ................... ...................8...................4..........

4 F IN D IN G S ................... ...................8...................6..........

O verv iew ............................................ ...................................86
Describing the Milieu of the Community College ......................................................... 86
Describing the Sample of Administrators ................................. ............................90
Independent Sources ....................................................................................... 91
Content Analyses of the Interview s .................. .................... ................. .............. ..91
O p en -co d in g ............................. ..... .... .. ...... .. .. .... .. .... .. ...... .......... .. .. .. 10 3
Content Analysis of Newspaper Articles Pertaining to Campus Shootings ..................103
Content Analysis of Virginia Tech Report .................................................. 110
Content Analysis of Florida's Task Force Report....................................................... 115
Triangulation: Finding Consistencies in the Data ........... .................... ................... 117
Summary ................... ........................ ..................118





6










5 CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS ........................................ ....................... 120

D iscu ssion of the F finding s........................................................................................... 12 1
G rounded Theory: A genda Setting ................................................................ ................ ... 122
Question One: What Policy Actions Were Developed as a Result of the Virginia Tech
T ra g e d y ? ............... ........... .. ......... ... .............. .. ............................. ................ 12 6
Question Two: What Policy Actions Concerning Student Mental Health Issues Were
Developed as a Result of the Virginia Tech Tragedy? ............... ..................... 130
Question Three: What Recommendations from the Florida Task Force Report Were
Relevant to the Community College in the Participants' View? ....................................136
Central Question: What Factors in Campus Safety Policy Following the Virginia Tech
Tragedy Create the Most Problems in Design or Implementation for Florida's
C om m unity C college System ?.................................................................................... ... 137
Was a Special Relationship Created Between the Institution and Cho? .....................138
W as a Duty Ow ed to the V ictim s? .......................................................................... 139
N egligent Hiring, Training, and Supervision ..................................... .................142
Policymakers Versus Decision M akers.......................... ........................ 143
Im plications for Policy and Practice........... ................. .......... ............... ............... 144
Revisit Training for Faculty and Staff...................................................... ............... 144
Redefine Crisis Management Teams and the Aim of Sharing Information ..................145
Adopt Revisions of Student Codes of Conduct that Explain At-risk Referrals ............147
Contract With Risk Management Legal Counsel.................................................147
R visit D ual Enrollm ent .............................................................................. 147
Expand Organization Effectiveness Criteria .............................................................. 148
L im station s ............... ........ ..... ...................... .................. ................ 14 8
R ecom m endations for Future R esearch.................................................................... ...... 149
S u m m a ry ................... .......................................................................... 1 5 1

6 OPEN-ENDED QUESTION GUIDE........................................................ ............... 153

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ..................................................................................... ..................156

List of Cases ....................................... ............... ............... 165
List of Statutes and Other Sources .................................................................... 167

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ......................................................................... ... ..................... 169









LIST OF TABLES

Table page

3-1 O pen E nded Q u estion s............................................................................. .................... 85

4-1 C am pus Shooters .............. ..................... ... .............. ...... ..1.. .. 119











ABA

ALI

APA

C.F.R.

DCF

FBI

Fed. R. Civ. P.

FERPA


FDLE

Fla. R. App. P.

FMHA


HIPAA


U.S.C.


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

American Bar Association

American Law Institute

American Psychological Association

Code of Federal Regulations

Department of Children and Families

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Family Educational Right to Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, also known as
the Buckley Amendment); 20 U.S.C. 1232g

Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure

Florida Mental Health Act (FMHA) or Baker Act, Chapter 394, Florida
Statutes (2008)

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA),
Pub. L. 104-191, 110 Stat. 1936; 45 C.F.R. 160-164

United States Code









Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

ASSESSING THE DEVELOPMENT OF CAMPUS SAFETY POLICY
IN THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOLLOWING
THE VIRGINIA TECH TRAGEDY

By

Jennifer L. Kerkhoff

May 2008

Chair: Dale F. Campbell
Major: Higher Education Administration

The purpose of this study was to contextualize, understand, and interpret the dynamics

related to the advances of campus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy. Florida's

community colleges are an integral part of Florida's educational system and are expected to do

more for less. The question of whether campuses are actually safer based on the number of

warning tiers they offer or officers they employ opposed to a campus' ability to avoid

dangerous situations by improving communication pathways and monitoring the progress of at

risk students was left open. Four areas structured the study: mental health considerations,

Clery Act considerations, litigation concerns, and privacy concerns. Themes emerged from

content analyses that included administrator interviews, the Virginia Tech Report, Florida's

Task Force Report on University Campus Safety, and newspaper articles.

Grounded theory allowed for the explication of multiple factors. The theoretical

framework provided a deeper understanding of campus safety planning. Overall, campus

safety has focused on an institution's ability to deal with hazard scenarios (back end

responses) rather than strategies for the prevention of tragedies (front end avoidance). Failing

to connect the dots in proactive dangerous situation avoidance on a campus portends the









potential for increased harm to the campus community, in addition to increased liability for the

institution. The data revealed several areas that warrant policymaker attention. Guidelines as

to what it means for a student to be identified by a campus as at risk were nonexistent and in

need of development. Recommendations included training for faculty and staff that ranged

from the reporting of bomb threats and troubling behavior to an appreciation of how employee

actions create special relationships that impart legal duties. By identifying multiple themes

relevant to safety planning, the study contributed to the design of more considered campus

safety policies.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Introduction

Assessing the development of campus safety policy in the community college following

the mass murder at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) on

April 16, 2007 was the focus of this study. Responding to safety concerns, forums with

authoritative legitimacy sprang up after the Virginia Tech tragedy. In June, Virginia's

governor commissioned a panel to review the event (Va. Exec. Order No. 53, 2007). By

August, the Virginia Tech Report (2007) was completed. The report chronicles the downward

spiral of Seung Hui Cho, a 23-year-old, undergraduate senior at Virginia Tech; his legacy the

worst campus mass murder in history. The report also narrates the university's inability to

merge the warning signs, flags scattered throughout the campus at all levels of its

administration.

In response to the tragedy, the President of the United States assigned the Health and

Human Services Secretary, United States Attorney General, and the United States Secretary of

Education to meet with state governors and report back "on measures taken to improve

security and response to crisis situations on university campuses" (Fla. Exec. Order No. 07-77,

2007). The theme leaning toward: colleges under attack. Criminologists Max L. Bromley and

Leonard Territo (1990) drew attention to an increase in violent crimes occurring on college

campuses in their book College Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Awareness. Not much

attention was sparked then but now the federal government-big brother-wants to make sure

the issues are more thoroughly explored on behalf of all college students-the country's future

leaders.









The government's interest was perhaps piqued by the number of reporting and timely

warning violations on college campuses (e.g., Brumfield, 2007). The Jeanne Clery Disclosure

of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, U.S.C. 1092(15)(f), or Clery

Act, pertains to disclosure of campus security policy and campus crime statistics. It applies to

institutions participating in Title IV financial aid programs. The act makes provisions for the

reporting of crime statistics, as well as timely warnings required under 34 C.F.R. 668.46(e)

when there is a serious or continuing threat to students. The legislative intent of the act was to

aid in the prevention of similar crimes on college campuses by allowing students the

opportunity to be self-vigilant.

Recent articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education, one titled: Under Pressure to

Give Speedy Crime Alerts, Campus Officials Worry About the Information's Usefulness

(Hoover & Lipka, 2007) and one titled: College Leaders Wrestle i/ ith how to Prepare for

Unknown Threats (Selingo, 2008) indicate a disturbing trend related to Clery Act reporting.

The student body is not being informed upon discovery of certain violent crimes because

institutions feel they need to take control of the situation first, so they can make the alert more

useful by telling the students what to do. These administrative actions may be interpreted as

nothing more than attempts to get around the intent of the Clery Act. As a repercussion, the

new controlprong may result in the creation and assumption of duties for institutions where

none would have otherwise existed. When an institution decides to deprive students of their

normal power of self-protection or subjects them to association with persons likely to harm

them, the institution assumes a duty of reasonable care in doing so (e.g., see Nova

. ,nSl/rWMee.ll Univ., Inc. v. Gross, 758 So. 2d 86 (Fla. 2000)). A concomitant to holding









colleges responsible in state and federal tort actions is that someone was needlessly injured

before practices were modified.

Legislatures adopt statutes (laws or acts) "to prescribe conduct, define crimes, create

inferior governmental bodies, appropriate public monies, and in general to promote the public

good and welfare" (Gifis, 1991, p. 463). When government agencies cannot follow the rules

that apply to them, the appearance of promoting the public good or welfare becomes tenuous.

Public college safety efforts appear aimed at three and four layers of redundancy in

notification capabilities with little direct attention on proactive interventional strategies for

dangerous situation avoidance. Shifting to backed crisis response strategies implies a focus

other than dangerous situation avoidance and further implicates increased liability concerns-

a situation demonstrated in the Virginia Tech Report (2007). Furthermore, newly procured

campus warning systems cannot advance the right of self-protection if no one is being

notified.

The timeliness of this study was evident. Several issues related to college safety policy

planning were examined through administrator interviews and published reports. The Virginia

Tech tragedy was the primary unit of analysis. The Virginia Tech Report (2007) documents a

systemic lack of coordinated services within the structure of the university organization itself.

Fragmented and piecemeal conversations left buried in offices across the campus community;

a crisis management team unable to manage crisis ontogenetics. Provisions in Florida's

Gubernatorial Task Force for University Campus Safety Report on Findings and

Recommendations (published May 24, 2007 and referred to herein as the Task Force Report)

were also reviewed. State recommendations in the Task Force Report (2007) included









increasing law enforcement personnel and providing them with more training to installing

cameras and door locks to proposing safe harbors in federal and state privacy laws.

In this study, it was believed that a determination of the theory driving the campus

safety process may explain recent developments. Monies have been expended on emergency

equipment and notification systems. Whether guidelines have resulted that provide when the

warning devices will be activated and what hazards qualify for a warning, as well as how

information pertaining to potential at risk behaviors of students will be channeled to crisis

management teams, were areas ripe for review.

The new at risk student label found in the Virginia Tech Report additionally merited

examination. Determining who may be at risk in the K-12 setting presents far fewer challenges

than in the context of higher education. Services that are offered to troubled students in the K-

12 setting are more abundant, in part to No Child Left Behind legislation. No such provision

exists in the college environment. In Appendix M of the Virginia Tech Report (2007), at risk

students are defined as those who may be at risk of harming themselves or others. Follow up

and tracking of students so labeled is an important factor in dangerous situation avoidance as

indicated in the Virginia Tech tragedy. How colleges are handling students for whom the label

may attach merited review.

Provisionally shifting the focus away from structural campus enhancements leaves the

institutional actors and how they communicate with one another open for evaluation.

Numerous studies have been done on culture and decision making styles but these have

pertained mostly to market forces and revenue generation (Clark, 1972; Ouchi, 1980; Ouchi &

Wilkins, 1983; Chaffee, 1984; Cameron & Ettington, 1988; Tierney, 1988; Smart & St. John,

1996). Other studies have looked at organizational effectiveness (Cameron, 1978; Cameron &









Tschirhart, 1992). The studies do not distinguish between the roles of primary policymakers

and secondary decision makers-terms of legal significance-but may be useful in exploring

campus informational network pathways. This area was believed an important consideration

since breakdowns may be specific to a campus' culture and not to language in privacy codes.

Policy theory looks at the processes that influence the creation of new policy or the

revision of old policy. Approaches to examine policy distinguish themselves via their stated

assumptions and how they attempt to simplify an identified problem through various

frameworks (Sabatier, 2007). From the early stages heuristic framework (Lasswell, 1956;

Jones, 1970; Anderson, 1975; Brewer & deLeon, 1983) to variations of institutional rational

choice (Moe, 1984; Shepsle, 1989; Miller, 1992), the development of policy theory has been

ongoing. Conceptual frameworks may be amenable to a variety of theories, so policy analysts

attempt to determine the theory that explains the most about a particular phenomenon

(Sabatier, 2007, p. 6). The aim of this study was the attainment of a more thorough

understanding of the campus safety policy process and the theory behind its development.

Efficacy at clarifying real problems into manageable units is a key test for policy

frameworks and value categories (Sabatier, 2007). Although the wordpolicy is used frequently

in everyday language to represent a variety of beliefs, actions, and practices, its meaning is not

always clear. One of the most widely used online encyclopedias in the world, Wikipedia,

defines policy as "a deliberate plan of action to guide decisions and achieve rational

outcome(s)"; the definition further adds that policyiy differs from rules or law" (n.d.,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulbic_policy). The Oxford dictionary characterizes policy as "a

course or principle of action adopted or proposed by a government, party, business, or

individual etc." (Thompson, 1995, p. 1057).









An interaction between policies and laws exists: policy goals are oftentimes achieved

through legislation. For example, a shift from social welfare philosophy to one of social

control was realized in the United States' adult criminal justice system through tough on crime

policy that was implemented in official acts, such as minimum mandatory sentencing and

three strikes legislation (Beckett & Sasson, 2000). When youth between the ages of 10 to 20

comprised 16% of the population in the year 2000 but accounted for 32.1% of all arrests (FBI,

2000), addressing juvenile crime rates became a recognized policy problem. The theory of

therapeutic jurisprudence managed to increase treatment-oriented programs and mental health

diversion programs. The goal was to reduce recidivism rates for a targeted group of troubled

youth (Wexler, 2000a, 2000b; Winick, 2003).

Formal policies are also appealing whenever standardization is sought. Unsafe K-12

schools were identified as a public safety concern in decades past. A tenet of safe school code

was to incorporate both social welfare and social control functions in a package that fostered

safe learning environments for youth. The reduction of youth carrying weapons on school

property was an identified problem. To achieve the stated objective in the K-12 system, plans

included codes of behavior, violence prevention in the curriculum, and identification of

students at risk (i.e., see http://www.tvdsb.on.ca/safeschools). Eventually, in an effort to take

the problem more seriously, zero tolerance rules with compulsory suspension and expulsion

guidelines were implemented under the auspices of safe schools policy (Henry, 2007). Once

the tougher policy was enforced, new problems arose. The practice met with parental

dissatisfaction and public outcry.

Since the original zero tolerance policies did not consider student intent or other

mitigating circumstances, the impetus for change to the existing policies came from parents









and several agencies: state lawmakers, the American Psychological Association, and the

American Bar Association (Henry, 2007). As a part of the rule revision process, the 2005

Texas legislature statutorily authorized its schools to consider a student's particularized

circumstances provided a firearm was not at issue (id.). The Texas legislature chiefly codified

permission for the state's school system to exercise its discretionary capacity in those

situations that did not involve an actual firearm. The statute's legal significance was much

broader than simply differentiating a gun from a knife: it went to the release of civil liability, a

concern of school board personnel when modifying application of a formal policy on a case by

case basis. Thus, knowledge pertaining to administrative actions and their potentials for

institutional liability are beneficial for both policy development and the creation of guidelines.

In addition, demarcating the not-so-seamless comprehensive and compartmentalized

boundaries of the K-12/K-20 system requires an understanding of duty-one of the four

elements of a state law negligence cause of action (Little & Lidsky, 1997, p. 35). In a

structured K-12 environment, teachers in a classroom setting attempt to mold young people

into responsible adults. Founded on the role that the K-12 institutions serve in a student's life

and the responsibility school officials have over the youth, teaching youth responsibility

through policies designed to get tough when weapons are brought onto campus was clearly

guided by social welfare theory and the role of the state over the child in the school setting. K-

12 is a distinguishable arrangement from higher education communities where responsible

adults come and go as they please while furthering their education by choice, attending

campuses both physical and online. College students are a diverse population. Most students

are adults, eligible for the armed forces, and employed throughout the community.









Legal commentaries (Lupini & Zirkel, 2003) indicate an administrative legal literacy

deficit at the high school level. Other studies show confusion between the duties owed in the

K-12 setting as compared to the college setting (Lake, 1999). The following passage from

King v. Dade County Bd. of Public Instruction, 286 So. 2d 256, 258 (Fla. 3d DCA 1973)

(quoting McLeod v. Grant County School Dist. No. 128, 255 P. 2d 360 (Wash. 1953)) is

instructive as to the relationship of institutional duty in the K-12 system:

The relationship here in question is that of a school district and school child. It is not a
voluntary relationship. The child is compelled to attend school. He must yield obedience
to school rules and discipline formulated and enforced pursuant to statute. The result is
that the protective custody of teachers is mandatorily substituted for that of the parent.
(King, 1973, p. 258)

Although some analysts refer to the above doctrine as in locoparentis, the Florida

appellate court had "difficulty in strictly holding the school board, under the in locoparentis

doctrine, to the same standard that applies to the actual parents" (King, p. 257). The court

found edifying those cases across the country that showed school boards "may be liable for

negligence when the facts indicate improper supervision or the failure to properly safeguard

school children against foreseeable dangers" (p. 258). The latter standard of foreseeable

dangers falls under the rubric of typical negligence doctrine whereas the supervisory duty was

an expansion. In Rupp v. Bryant, 717 So. 2d 658 (Fla. 1982), the Florida Supreme Court

acknowledged that the "genesis of this supervisory duty is based on the school employee

standing partially in place of the student's parents" (p. 666). In a later case, the Florida

Supreme Court reiterated that "the school-minor student special relationship evolved from the

in locoparentis doctrine" (Nova ,n,,i/h'e, ,lein Univ., Inc. v. Gross, 758 So. 2d 86, 89 (Fla.

2000)).









Distinguishing characteristics of the K-12 setting are the degree of care, custody, and

control exercised over students that teachers have for the purpose of nurturing a safe and

orderly environment-one that minors are compelled to attend. K-12 schools have a legal duty

to the students, which is not the case on campuses of higher education. Courts have stated that

"the modem American college is not an insurer of safety of its students" (Coghlan v. Beta

Theta Pi Fraternity, 987 P. 2d 300, 305 (Idaho 1999) (quoting Bradshaw v. Rawlings, 612

F.2d 135 (3d Cir. 1979)). On the other hand, in terms of general negligence standards, colleges

and universities are no different than any other defendant who creates a foreseeable zone of

risk (Nova .'Soileatien Univ., Inc. v. Gross, 758 So. 2d 86, 90 (Fla. 2000)).

For the development of sound campus safety policy, it is imperative that policymakers

comprehend the difference between the K-12 and higher education setting. Specific language

in a recent State of Washington bill illustrates the point. Washington's House Committee on

Higher Education, a non-partisan legislative staff, conducted a survey of safety plans and

policies at higher education institutions in the state. The survey revealed that Washington's

universities had established public awareness procedures in the event of an emergency and had

mapped their campuses. The community and technical college system also had policies and

practices in place but only 10% had mapped their buildings. Since the community college was

most likely to depend on local law enforcement, the lack of schematic dissemination was

identified as a deficiency (Wash. H. R. Rep. No. 2648, 60th Leg., 2008, pp. 2-3). Based on the

commission's finding, one paragraph in the bill designed to raise standards sought to require

that each institution conduct: "a self-study assessing the institution's ability to ensure the

safety of students, faculty, and staff by September 30, 2008" [emphasis added] (p. 3). The

choice of language was problematic and recognized: public testimony indicated "concerns that









the language in the bill might create the expectation that campus safety is guaranteed. Since

the campuses are open it would be virtually impossible to ensure people's safety, which may

lead to liability concerns for the state down the road" (p. 4). The concern was directly on

point. A substitute bill was passed with modified language instructing each university and

college to "submit a self-study assessing its ability to facilitate the safety of students, faculty,

staff, administration, and visitors on each campus, including an evaluation of the effectiveness

of these measures" [emphasis added] (Wash. S. H. B. No. 2648, 60th Leg., 2008, p. 4).

The bill's language was further indicative of the need for this study, as there are no

identified criteria as to what it is colleges are supposed to be measuring: no goals and no

theory appear to be guiding the process. What encompasses safety has not been defined, so

knowing how many measures are too many or not enough has befuddled planners, content to

wait for top-down directives. Yet no one is more familiar with the inner workings of the

campus community and its culture than people working on location. In this study, on-site

administrator views were sought for their perspectives on the issues presented.

It is unknown at this time whether federal or state departments of education will

formalize realistic, workable, proactive solutions or concentrate on emergency response

mechanisms. When plans do emerge, accountability efforts will track resource allocations to

the identified goal sought to be achieved. Watchdog groups and civil liberty organizations are

known to monitor practices. Attention has been drawn to the fact that funding for Florida's

mental health system has been deficient. Policies that divert public resources from the

homeless or incarcerated populations over to college students may confirm philosophical

differences and become the subject of contention based on the distributions.









While the Florida Legislature has made some progress at dealing with problems that

reside within the Department of Children and Families, the judiciary has stepped in and sought

solutions. The Florida Supreme Court released a report on November 14, 2007 titled: Mental

Health, Transforming Florida's Mental Health System-Constructing a Comprehensive and

Competent Criminal J, 11 e 'i\ lC l Health/Substance Abuse Treatment System: Strategiesfor

Planning, Leadership, Financing, and Service Development (hereinafter referred to as the

Mental Health Report). The crisis of community mental health care is chronicled in the Mental

Health Report (2007). The report's findings revealed that:

Failing to adequately respond to the needs of people with serious mental illness and
serious emotional disorders in the community has resulted in a myriad of avoidable,
unnecessary, and costly consequences for individuals, communities, and the State of
Florida as a whole. These include:

Substantial and disproportionate cost shifts from considerably less expensive,
front end services in the public mental health system to much more expensive,
back-end services in the juvenile justice, criminal justice, and forensic mental
health systems

Compromised public safety

Increased arrest, incarceration, and criminalization of people with mental
illnesses

Increased police shootings of people with mental illnesses

Increased police injuries

Increased rates of chronic homelessness (p. 34)

Florida's piecemeal and ineffective delivery of mental health services has ties to the

state's unguided deinstitutionalization effort. The trek from treatment facilities to jails an

unintended consequence (id.). Likewise, what back end fallout the new campus safety policies

may engender warranted review: recent gubernatorial report recommendations indicating the

potential for problems. The Virginia Tech Report (2007) found troubling distinctions in









voluntary and involuntary mental health treatment options, positing that courts should have

jurisdiction over people who violate voluntary treatment protocol (pp. 56-63). However,

without an attendant criminal charge, this view is disturbing in light of constitutional

protections. It is recognized that an unstable young man, Cho, slipped through the cracks. But

the fractures were found on the property of the shooter's residence: Virginia Tech. Thus, the

action of shifting the focus from organizational responsibility to the attenuation of rights or

privacy considerations, mere vestiges left in state and federal codes since September 11, 2001

and the resulting war on terrorism, required a study to explore these interactions. The

legislature is privileged to assert safety as a legitimate government purpose when the goal is

rationally related to the means. But a rational basis standard will not lie where fundamental

rights are at issue nor will it cure separation of power violations and equal protection

challenges, rudiments lurking within some of the suggestions. Presently, the link between

reductions in campus violence to removals of student rights is not transparent.

It is axiomatic to state we want safe campuses and unrealistic to think we can create risk

free colleges. The equilibrium of the equation shaken each time something bad happens on

campus. The recent trend toward upgraded security equipment is easily correlated to the

Virginia Tech tragedy, an event that shocked the conscience of all who learned about it.

Whether the current interest of the federal government would have been present had the

student shooter selected a random fast food restaurant or a packed movie audience during a

premier is anyone's guess. However, the relationship between the shooter and the location is

important in attempting to understand proposals that seek to alter individual privacy

protections found in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

(HIPAA), which deals with medical records, or the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act









(FERPA), which pertains to educational records. The relationship is of further value in

establishing the duty element of a state law negligence cause of action, a relevant

consideration when record sharing is sought but mechanisms for tracking progress are ignored.

A balancing of many factors is required for the creation of safe schools policy in the

higher education milieu. Poorly conceived plans of action may result in the violation of rights,

as well as the adoption of legal duties that colleges must then wrestle to understand. In sum,

liability pathways are significant to the design of safety policies. The importance is simple:

when the sovereign adopts the protocols as standards of conduct, it then creates an

independent duty of care (e.g., see City ofJacksonville v. DeRay, 418 So. 2d 1035 (Fla. 1st

DCA 1982)). An institutional actor's acts or omissions under the totality of the circumstances

where a special duty has been established also creates liability. Exploring avenues of liability

presented in the Virginia Tech Report by way of content analysis in this study assisted the goal

of more thorough and considered safety policy development.

What direction campuses are taking on the avoidance of dangerous situations should be

examined before individual rights are assuaged and campus security coffers are depleted.

While laudable to want to spend to increase safety, if the expenditures are not addressing the

avoidance of dangerous situations then the public should question the practices. In the realm

of campus safety policy, guidelines for when warning systems are going to be activated; for

the relaying of potentially troubling information to an appropriate center or care team; and for

the follow up and tracking of students labeled at risk merited consideration. A study that

reviewed whether campuses are incorporating policies that address these issues subsequent to

the Virginia Tech tragedy was defensible.









Statement of the Problem

Campus safety policies appear focused on reactive emergency strategies for the

containment of unfolding crisis situations. The concentration left virtually unattended the

means to avoid dangerous situations through prevention and interventional actions. Whether

front end mechanisms are being addressed on college campuses following the Virginia Tech

tragedy was a topic worthy of review because of the lives that may be saved and the harms

that may be prevented.

To enhance the management, organization, and performance of colleges in the realm of

campus safety planning, a workable structural design will require an adequate foundation and

thematic discourse well versed in factors relevant to the avoidance of dangerous situations,

along with an appreciation of the laws of duty and potential liability pathways that exist or

may be created on a college campus between various parties. Prior studies showed that these

areas have not received the attention they merit. The Virginia Tech Report (2007, pp. 31-53)

chronicled the breakdown in communication between multiple agencies and constituencies at

Virginia Tech concerning the shooter's progressively disturbing behaviors which manifested

long before the trigger was pulled and thirty two people lost their lives. A study that explored

the dynamics of the tragedy was believed beneficial in targeting critical areas necessary for

policy development.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to contextualize, understand, and interpret the dynamics

related to the advances of campus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy. The

specific aim was to identify factors that should be considered in policy design. Four areas were

considered relevant and structured the setup of the exploratory examination: mental health

considerations, Clery Act considerations, litigation concerns, and privacy concerns. This study









analyzed the descriptive content contained in state commissioned reports, newspaper articles

specific to campus shootings, and administrative interviews in an attempt to determine

constructs/themes that transcend the subject of campus safety. Looking at the larger issue and

deconstructing it for review was considered the best mechanism to provide a solid foundation

of considerations specific to campus safety policy development.

The need for the study was found in the interaction of several recently published reports.

Florida's Gubernatorial Task Force for University Campus Safety (Task Force Report, 2007)

was commissioned to investigate university safety issues following the Virginia Tech tragedy.

The committee was charged to report "on measures taken to improve security and response to

crisis situations on university campuses" (Fla. Exec. Order No. 07-77, 2007, p. 1). Although

many of the report's suggestions are worthwhile, little attention was given to interventional

front end planning strategies. In a separate report (Mental Health Report, 2007), it was stated

that annually "as many as 125,000 people with mental illnesses requiring immediate treatment

are arrested and booked into Florida jails" (p. 34). The resolution found in the Task Force

Report (2007): the recruitment of more law enforcement officers and higher salaries for

retaining them (p. 16). Meanwhile, the Virginia Tech Report (2007) detailed a university with

little to no information networking abilities that precipitated the worst campus mass shooting

episode in recorded history. The theory driving present campus safety policy

recommendations warranted review to help clarify the direction safety plans are taking.

Exploring the theory driving policy actions was believed to have the further potential benefit

of later measuring the effectiveness of implemented plans.









Objectives

The following three objectives guided this study:

1. What actions concerning campus safety were developed as a result of the Virginia Tech
tragedy?

2. What actions concerning student mental health issues were developed as a result of the
Virginia Tech tragedy?

3. What are the benefits and limitations of the recommendations found in the Task Force
Report as they relate to the community college?

Four identified clusters of factors (mental health considerations, Clery Act

considerations, litigation concerns, and privacy concerns) were selected to examine each of the

stated objectives. Investigation of the cluster of factors provided a deeper understanding of the

interconnections of identified themes in the study. The following descriptions establish the

relevance of the categories and their significance to sound policy development.

Mental Health Considerations

Public mental health resources and services are at an all time low in the State of

Florida. As stated in a recent court case: "Despite a call to action by advocates and consumers

over the years, Florida continues to rank forty-eighth in the nation in per capital mental health

funding" (Dep 't of Children and Families, Svcs. v. Leons, 948 So. 2d 988, 990 (Fla. 4th DCA

2007)). The Department of Children and Families is routinely backlogged for bed space (id.),

indicating Florida's mental health system has suffered under budgetary constraints.

The Task Force Report (2007) assigned college administrators the role of determining

whether their institutions should implement, review, or increase mental health services. Efforts

to assemble a centralized unit where information on a particular student can ascend were

encouraged in both the Task Force Report (2007) and the Virginia Tech Report (2007). It was

not clear what happens to a student once he or is she is identified as at risk. Guidelines are









necessary not only for the identification of potential at risk behavior but also for the referral

process and follow up of an individual's progress. Merely notifying a parent of an adult

student's visit with a campus mental health advisor would not abrogate an institution's duty to

follow up in those cases where it referred or labeled the student at risk. Thus, what conditions

a student must satisfy to remain on campus required exploration.

Creativity in service options could result in new, dynamic, two-way outsourcing

models between government agencies. Studies have shown that colleges are creating mutual

aid agreements and attempting to provide mental health services to their students through

referrals and other methods. Collins and Mowbray (2005) stated that while "there is no

funding or requirement for particular services to persons with psychiatric disabilities some

community colleges can and do provide special services to this population" (p. 439). Other

college leaders have advocated the need for "fundamental shifts in America's broader national

policies: a universal child-care program, a system of family-support centers or community

mental-health centers, universal health coverage or local health clinics" (Grubb & Lazerson,

2004). One of the five principles outlined in the Mental Health Report (2007) was to followlw

the principles of federalism, and ensure that [The New Freedom Commission on Mental

Health's] recommendations promote innovation, flexibility, and accountability at all levels of

government and respect the constitutional role of the states and Indian Tribes" (p. 33). The

Department of Children and Families has been statutorily granted the power to contract with

universities and community colleges for facilities and services to carry out its responsibilities

under Florida's Mental Health Act (FMHA) or Baker Act, as per 394.457(3), Fla. Stat.

(2007). Interview responses may offer insights as to which service actions are being









considered in the community college setting and whether necessary changes to student codes

of conduct have resulted.

Timely Warning Considerations

The federal Clery Act was designed to aid in the prevention of similar crimes by

allowing students the opportunity to protect themselves upon timely notice of events that have

occurred or are unfolding on campus properties (34 C.F.R. 668.46(e)). The actual

enumerated crime list includes: criminal homicide, murder and non-negligent manslaughter,

negligent manslaughter, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle

theft, arson, arrests for liquor law violations, drug law violations, illegal weapons possession

(34 C.F.R. 668.46(c)(1)), and hate crimes (34 C.F.R. 668.46(c)(3)). How campuses are to

provide that warning is not mandated in the statute: it need only be in a manner that will aid in

the prevention of similar crimes (34 C.F.R. 668.46(e)).

Colleges are spending large sums of money to increase alerting mechanisms from

voice/audible sirens, text messages, blast e-mail capability, upgraded phone systems, more

security, building locks, security cameras, and voice fire alarms. After installation, additional

funds will be required to maintain the equipment. Many alerting features and systems have

already been established on campuses across the state (Ray, 2007). Accordingly, four action

areas presented themselves for review in the study.

First, whether campuses are favoring the new controlprong observed in recent media

reports commenting on the usefulness of the warnings warranted examination. The Clery Act

does not impose a duty on educational organizations to tell recipients of the information how

to respond-the usefulness of the information to the student being self-vigilance for the crime

element that may be lurking. Attempting to assert control may result in tort liability.

Therefore, institutions that are voluntarily creating duties for themselves while diligently









trying to work around the act should be explored. Potential consequences for these actions

include fines and liability. Eastern Michigan University cumulated $357,000 in fines. But

settlement with the family was for $2.5 million, with total costs stated as reaching over $4

million (Brumfield, 2007).

Second, the indication by law enforcement of a person of interest does not obviate an

institution's obligation to issue a Clery Act timely warning where applicable. There are no

provisions in the Clery Act that release an institution from reporting when the identity of a

suspect may be known. Exploring the prevalence of these practices was relevant to more

considered policy development.

Third, murders occur infrequently on a college campus. The Virginia Tech Report

(2007) indicates that shootingsns at universities are rare events, an average of about 16 a year

across 4,000 institutions" (p. 18). The Uniform Crime Report's crime clock indicates a murder

occurs every 32.6 minutes in society (FBI, 2004). The Florida Department of Law

Enforcement's crime clock indicates one murder occurs in Florida every 7 hours and 46

minutes (FDLE, 2006). The amount of expenditures being deployed on cameras and audible

sirens under the institutional goal of overall crime reduction in an environment with a

statically low rate of crime indicates problems in measuring the efficacy of the purchases.

What actions institutions have taken in defining safety and gauging value were examined.

Fourth, how the notification equipment is to be used was vague in the reports. Section

1001.43(7), Fla. Stat. (2007), states that "district school boards may adopt programs and

policies to ensure appropriate response in emergency situations" and may include

proceduresrs for reporting of hazards, including threats of nature, bomb threats, threatening

messages, and similar occurrences, and the provision of warning systems including alarm









systems and other technical devices" (id. at c). Colleges are installing numerous warning

devices and systems but are struggling to get usage right under the Clery Act as to when to

report-a situation demonstrated at Eastern Michigan University. Exploring whether

institutions are following other guidelines for activation of their warning devices was

important to policy design. Florida statutes do not reveal codes pertaining to community

college procedures for the reporting of hazards. Nor was relevant material found in the Florida

Administrative Code outside of bomb threats being a violation of student codes of conduct.

Rules may be promulgated by boards of trustees. Through the interview process, the study

sought to determine whether plans of action for the usage of the equipment existed elsewhere

and how students might avail themselves to the information.

Litigation Concerns

As the Florida Legislature considers state budget cuts and deals with the realities of

property tax reductions after passage of a recent state constitutional amendment, resources will

require effective stewardship by college leaders. Leaner budgets mean institutions of higher

education must understand and comply with numerous state and federal regulations lest they

be spending their shrinking budgets on fines rather than faculty. Since most states and the

federal government have abrogated sovereign immunity for government agencies under

specific tort claims acts, liability and the expenses association with litigation are tangible. A

defendant's legal expenses to prepare and defend against a lawsuit may be substantial. Tort

claims acts identify the limitations of waiver and enumerate mandatory pre-suit requirements.

Various acts also usually set a cap on how much a plaintiff may recover per incident for a state

law negligence based claim. In comparison to expenditures in preparing and taking the cases

to trial, damage awards may be minor. Yet depending on the type of action (state law









negligence versus federal 1983 claim) and the factual circumstances, damage awards can be

devastating. There are no applicable liability caps for government actors sued under 42

U.S.C. 1983, which provides:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of
any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected,
any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the
deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws,
shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper
proceeding for redress. [Codified 1988]

Alternatively, in egregious negligence cases where there are applicable liability caps, it

is possible for a plaintiff to circumvent Florida's cap through application of a claims bill. The

effects of these cases on the state's general revenue fund are evident: a single claim can have a

profound impact on state resources and future policy. This study examined how Virginia Tech

may have opened itself up to the potential for fines, as well as state and federal causes of

actions, by not effectively planning for the avoidance of dangerous situations. Since the

Virginia Tech Report (2007) details a chain of lost opportunities in dangerous situation

avoidance, it provided the impetus for addressing a very real, communal problem. The

chapters are essentially a template for the interconnections of actions and reactions and the

liability pathways created at the institutional level. The report demonstrates training deficits

for faculty and staff in identifying and reporting suspicious circumstances and warranted

analysis for theme explication.

Additionally, this study explored what legal representation was sought for campus

safety policy development. University and college general counsel rarely defend state and

constitutional tort suits. Pursuant to 284.385, Fla. Stat. (2007), the Department of Financial

Services assigns outside counsel and instructs all departments to cooperate in the handling of

the claims. The State Risk Management Trust Fund is administered with a program of risk









management. The Fund provides insurance, as authorized by 284.33 Fla. Stat. (2007), for

workers' compensation, general liability, fleet automotive liability, federal civil rights actions

under 42 U.S.C. 1983 or similar federal statutes, and court-awarded attorney's fees in other

proceedings ( 284.30, Fla. Stat. (2007)). Section 1983 claims are not subject to sovereign

immunity limits and policies normally exclude punitive damage awards altogether ( 284.38,

Fla. Stat. (2007)). As indicated in section 768.28(5), Fla. Stat. (2007):

The state and its agencies and subdivisions shall be liable for tort claims in the same
manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances, but
liability shall not include punitive damages or interest for the period before judgment.
Neither the state nor its agencies or subdivisions shall be liable to pay a claim or a
judgment by any one person which exceeds the sum of $100,000 or any claim or
judgment, or portions thereof, which, when totaled with all other claims or judgments
paid by the state or its agencies or subdivisions arising out of the same incident or
occurrence, exceeds the sum of $200,000. However, a judgment or judgments may be
claimed and rendered in excess of these amounts and may be settled and paid pursuant
to this act up to $100,000 or $200,000, as the case may be; and that portion of the
judgment that exceeds these amounts may be reported to the Legislature, but may be
paid in part or in whole only by further act of the Legislature.

In 1979, Florida community colleges formed the Florida Community College Risk

Management Consortium. The consortium contracts with private insurance carriers to handle

claims paid out of the consortium's loss fund (Pensacola Junior Coll. v. Montgomery, 539 S.

2d 1153 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989)). Florida's community colleges have contracted in the past with

excess coverage providers to cover catastrophic losses as well (id.). Section 768.28(16) (a),

Fla. Stat. (2007), provides:

The state and its agencies and subdivisions are authorized to be self-insured, to enter into
risk management programs, or to purchase liability insurance for whatever coverage they
may choose, or to have any combination thereof, in anticipation of any claim, judgment,
and claims bill which they may be liable to pay pursuant to this section. Agencies or
subdivisions, and sheriffs, that are subject to homogeneous risks may purchase insurance
jointly or may join together as self-insurers to provide other means of protection against
tort claims, any charter provisions or laws to the contrary notwithstanding.









As claims are paid, policy rates are affected. Lawsuits in situations like Eastern

Michigan University, and more than likely Virginia Tech, can be devastating when a duty is

established. Where preventative service options are not being developed, it stands to reason

that more reactive measures will be required in years to come as human crises go unchecked.

Since it was believed that both employee training and risk management legal consultation

have utility in reducing litigation potentials, these considerations were examined in the study.

Privacy Laws

Privacy rights contained in laws such as HIPAA and FERPA have come under

scrutiny. Safe harbors for government actors subject to the acts were requested in the Virginia

Tech Report (2007). The merit of providing safe harbors should be explained before changes

are considered. State standardization and the ease in which credits transfer throughout the

continuum of higher education allow students considerable liberty to move in and out of the

system. Students may take classes at multiple college campuses within the same institution or

attend unaffiliated institutions-public community colleges and public/private universities-at

any given time. The networking of information related to students is met with legal, structural,

and political barriers. Exploring administrative actions since the Virginia Tech tragedy, and

before basic privacy safeguards are removed without thorough issue development, was an

important exploratory area in the study.

The question as to whether other agencies in which information is sought to be relayed

are permitted to do anything with it was unanswered in gubernatorial reports. Whether

institutions are seeking clarification on the goals of sharing was examined through policy

considerations directed toward student codes of conduct. In addition, placing law enforcement

members on institutional crisis teams raised other privacy concerns based on subpoena

requirements within the codes: the usefulness of sharing becoming even more problematic if









the real intent is an avenue for law enforcement to avoid process. Whether colleges are

implementing guidelines that allow students due process and the means to challenge relayed

information was one consideration. Jurisdictional issues specific to online students who may

not be in the state was another. Administrative interviews in the study were used to attempt to

shed light on how institutions are acting on these issues.

List of Definitions


Agency


Apparent Agent









At Risk Students




Clery Act










Dual Enrollment


Duties


According to the third edition of the Restatement of Law on Agency
(American Law Institute, 2006), agency is the body of law comprising
the relationships of three parties: an agent, a principal, and a third-party
with whom the agent interacts.

The legal requirements of actual agency are not present, yet the
relationship is one where legal consequences attach to the principal
because the agent appears to be acting as the principal's agent. The
doctrine "applies to any set of circumstances under which it is
reasonable for a third party to believe that an agent has authority, so
long as the belief is traceable to manifestations of the principal"
(American Law Institute, 2006, p. 115). Relevant case law shapes the
criteria that apply in a particular jurisdiction.

The Virginia Tech Report refers to at risk students as those who may be
at risk of harming themselves or others. The definition is used in this
study. (http://www.goveror.virginia.gov/TempContent/
techPanelReport.cfm, Appendix M)

Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime
Statistics Act, U.S.C. 1092(15). Subsections (f) (f)(15) pertain to
disclosure of campus security policy and campus crime statistics. The
Clery Act applies to institutions participating in Title IV financial aid
programs. The act makes provisions for the reporting of crime statistics,
as well as timely warnings required under 34 C.F.R. 668.46(e) when
there is a serious or continuing threat to students. The legislative intent
of the act was to aid in the prevention of similar crimes on college
campuses.

Students working to complete both their high school curriculum and the
requirements for an associate degree on a community college campus.

Delegable versus non-delegable. If there is no duty, it cannot be
delegated. If there is a duty, both delegable and non-delegable duties
may be delegated. The terms are distinguishable as to what transfers:









liability. Where the duty is delegable, both the duty and the liability
transfer from the principal to the agent. With a non-delegable duty, the
liability for the transferred duty remains with the principal, meaning
both the principal and the agent may be liable in a civil cause of action.
A person or agency who hires an independent contractor/service
provider may still be liable where a non-delegable duty is involved. See
Dixon v. Whitfield, 654 So. 2d 1230, 1232 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995). Non-
delegable duties may be created in three ways: (1) by statute, (2) by
contract, or (3) by common-law (Keeton et al, 1984, p. 511).

FERPA Family Educational Right to Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, also known
as the Buckley Amendment); 20 U.S.C. 1232g; and 34 C.F.R. 99.
This federal law protects the privacy of student education records and
applies to all schools that received U.S. Department of Education funds.
The act provides for conditions under which parents of students who are
or who have been in attendance at the school may inspect and review
the educational records of their children.

Subsection (a)(4)(B)(iv) exempts: "records on a student who is eighteen
years of age or older, or is attending an institution of postsecondary
education, which are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist,
psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional
acting in his professional or paraprofessional capacity, or assisting in
that capacity, and which are made, maintained, or used only in
connection with the provision of treatment to the student, and are not
available to anyone other than persons providing such treatment, except
that such records can be personally reviewed by a physician or other
appropriate professional of the student's choice." 20 U.S.C. 1232g

Part 34 C.F.R. 99.31 of the federal regulations allows schools to
disclose records without the consent of the parent or eligible student
(student over 18 or attending an institution of postsecondary education)
to specific parties under certain conditions.

HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA),
Pub. L. 104-191, 110 Stat. 1936; 45 C.F.R. 160-164. HIPAA is a
federal law that provides for privacy of health care information. HIPAA
is organized under five titles. Title II was codified in Parts 160-164 of
Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations and covers notice
requirements and when consent is and is not required for health care
providers to exchange information, such as for routine purposes.
Specifically, section 164.506 of the code indicates permitted uses and
disclosures except for those that require authorization (consent) under
164.508(a)(2) [relating to psychotherapy notes]. Basically, what is
covered and exempt from disclosure without consent is the information
doctors, nurses, and other health care providers place in a person's
medical record; the conversations a doctor has about an individual's














Open Government


Outsourcing


Policy


Respondeat Superior


care with nurses and other health care professionals; and information
contained on an individual in the person's health insurer's computer
system. HIPAA regulations are extremely comprehensive: anyone
interested in provisions of the act should contact a health care attorney.

In Florida, public records laws and open meetings laws are found in the
Florida Statutes and Florida Constitution, along with enumerated
exemptions. Chapter 119, Fla. Stat. (2007), contains provisions relating
to public records. Non-compliance is subject to criminal sanctions.

Chapter 286, specifically section 286.011, pertains to public meetings
and records. Exemptions for particular agencies are found within
provisions pertaining to those entities (i.e., for hospitals see Chapter
395, section 395.3036; State Risk Management exemptions are located
in Section 284.40(2). However, 768.28(16)(b), Fla. Stat. (2007),
states that: "Claims files maintained by any risk management program
administered by the state, its agencies, and its subdivisions are
confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and

s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until termination of all litigation
and settlement of all claims arising out of the same incident, although
portions of the claims files may remain exempt, as otherwise provided
by law" [emphasis added]. Access to public records and meetings is
enumerated in Article I, Section 24 of the Florida Constitution.

The academic world defines outsourcing as the transfer of services
normally provided by the institution to an outside vendor (Brown &
Gamber, 2002).

Defined in the Oxford dictionary as "a course or principle of action
adopted or proposed by a government, party, business, or individual
etc." (Thompson, 1995, p. 1057).

A principle of tort law stating that "[a]n employer is subject to liability
for torts committed by employees while acting within the scope of their
employment" (American Law Institute, 2006, p. 139). Respondeat
superior "assigns responsibility to an employer for the legal
consequences that result from employees' errors of judgment and lapses
in attentiveness when the acts or omissions are within the scope of
employment" (p. 141). Respondeat superior does not apply "when a
principal does not have the right to control the actions of the agent that
makes the relationship between principal and agent performing the
service one of employment as defined in 7.07(3). In general,
employment contemplates a continuing relationship and a continuing set
of duties that the employer and employee owe to each other" (p. 141).









Satellite Campuses




Shepard's


Sovereign Immunity











Tort


Vicarious Liability


For purposes of this study, defined as community college branches
located in or near adjacent cities; distinguished from the main campuses
in terms of physical geography, course offerings, and available
resources.

Service that provides prior and subsequent history as well as citing
references for authorities used in the legal profession.

Sovereign immunity prohibits lawsuits against the sovereign
(government) without its permission. Sovereign immunity is distinct
from Eleventh Amendment immunity and qualified immunity. Scholars
commonly trace the sovereign immunity doctrine back to the maxim
"the king can do wrong." (Gifis, 1991, p. 457). The federal government
and individual states have enacted limited waivers of sovereign
immunity in tort claims acts. Sovereign immunity is normally
inapplicable in federal civil rights litigation for individual government
employees, although an entity may be entitled to Eleventh Amendment
immunity.

A tort is defined in Barron's Law Dictionary as "a wrong; a private or
civil wrong or injury resulting from a breach of a legal duty that exists
by virtue of society's expectations regarding interpersonal conduct,
rather than by contract or other private relationship" [emphasis added]
(Gifis, 1991, p. 493).

Situation where a "principal is subject to liability for a tort committed
by an agent, whether or not an employee, when actions taken with
apparent authority constituted the tort or enabled the agent to conceal its
commission" (American Law Institute, 2006, p. 140).


Design of the Study

Grounded theory, an inductive approach that allows for the theory generation through

inquiry and the conceptualization of core variables (Glaser & Straus, 1967; Creswell, 2002),

was used as the theoretical model. The study explored factors involved in campus safety

policy development through analyses of descriptive reports and administrator interviews. The

family of policy process frameworks known as institutional rational choice (IAD) provided the

conceptual model (Sabatier, 2007). Reforms and transitions in government require an

operational framework and a family of theories that are compatible. Using the IAD

framework, the action arena is first identified. Ostrom (2007) explains that the action arena is









a conceptual unit that facilitates the analysis, prediction, and explanation of actions within the

institutional arrangement. The community college was the action arena in this study and was

selected for its size in comparison to four-year institutions, as well as its unique population

that includes dual enrollment students. Dual enrollment students are oftentimes under the age

of 18. These students are working to complete both the high school curriculum and the

requirements for an associate's degree. Most dual enrollment students attend classes on a

community college campus. The unit of analysis to ground resulting actions was the April 16,

2007 mass murder at Virginia Tech.

Data were collected through various means: in-person interviews, telephonic

interviews, and written documents. Fellow graduate students assisted in question design by

providing feedback for obtaining more clear and probing responses. A panel of experts

comprised of two members of the executive committee of the National Council of State

Directors of Community Colleges, an affiliate of the American Association of Community

Colleges (AACC), reviewed the proposed interview questions. The executive committee

members are considered experts in community college administration. The expert panel rated

the interview questions for validity and recommended one change to strengthen the robustness

and depth of the interviews. Analysis was conducted on reports, statutes, newspaper articles,

and interview answers. Organization and explication of the data were accomplished through

open and axial coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). Subsequent to the Virginia Tech tragedy,

campus safety planning generated numerous uncertainties for college administrators.

Exploring the issues for theme development from the administrative perspective resulted in the

explication of emerging concepts: their relationships to campus safety planning provided in

Chapter 5.









Methods

Content analysis set out in a case study type formula was used because of the latter's

reported versatility when concentrating on a single group or community (Yin, 1994). Focus

was achieved through the aggregate of attitudes and opinions of campus administrators

(student affairs deans/assistant deans, academic deans/assistant deans, provosts, and vice

presidents/directors of informational technology) on topics of campus safety planning and any

recommended or implemented changes they were aware of or advocating for following the

Virginia Tech shootings. The progression from open coding, selective coding, to theoretical

codes allowed for concept generation and theory integration (Glaser, 1998; Strauss & Corbin,

1990).

A sample of high level administrators within the population of Florida's 28 community

colleges was randomly and purposively selected for the study. Triangulation, described as the

process of using multiple methods to measure a construct (Campbell & Fiske, 1959; Webb et

al., 1966), was employed. For the discovery of core variables, content analysis included

interviews and documents, such as commissioned reports and newspaper articles. The

independent source material expanded the contextual variables under review and strengthened

information received during the interview phase of the study.

Researcher Subjectivity

The researcher's subjective relationship to the research topic deals only with the legal

avenues of liability. As a licensed attorney in the State of Florida, the researcher has

represented plaintiffs and defended government agencies in civil rights actions, federal torts,

and state law negligence suits. Because of areas related to practice, the researcher's

perspective perhaps favored the legal significance of findings over that of a lay person.









Limitations

Documents and participants from community colleges in the State of Florida were

selected for this study. Findings are not generalizable outside of Florida because of the

inclusion of legal analysis specific to Florida law. The study's scope was delimited to

proactive campus safety measures presently in effect and those being considered for adoption.

Reactive measures taken during and after an identified human made crisis were looked at only

in the context of Clery Act timely reporting. Selective coding delimits the study in that it was

not concerned as much with data accuracy as it was with generating concepts.

Summary

The Virginia Tech Report (2007) provides details specific to communication

breakdowns leading up to the worst campus mass murder in history. Based on the seriousness

of the incident, a study was warranted that explored the complex and interwoven variables of

law, institutional communication, and other influences relevant to campus safety policy. The

facilitation of more considered policy development before protocols are adopted as standards

of conduct was necessary for both saving lives and reducing liability. The community college

environment-known to be all things to all students while managing increasing enrollments

and decreasing budgets (Roueche & Roueche, 1993)-was selected as the action arena for the

study. This section defined policy and illustrated some of the policy processes occurring in

other systems. A brief overview of the similarities and differences noted in the K-12 and

higher education settings was provided. This chapter concluded by presenting the three

research questions guiding the study, the four clusters of factors being explored, definitions,

researcher subjectivity, and limitations.









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

This chapter is presented in five sections providing a context from which to examine the

relevance of the emerging concepts and their relationship to campus safety policy. The topics

were considered theoretical realms related to components of the action arena and indicative of

the undertakings of campus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy. Section one

addresses institutional culture, decision making processes, and organizational effectiveness

dimensions. Section two explores organizational effectiveness in the framework of interactional

theories and systems model approaches. Section three provides an overview of accountability

mechanisms and the legal considerations meshed with Clery Act timely reporting. Section four

offers a review of the literature on agenda-setting theory and its relevance in shaping the way the

public thinks about a particular topic. Section five situates the study's design within the structure

of legal considerations related to the concept of duty and liability. The areas reviewed may

provide a basis for future predictive studies while one may best explain the state of affairs in

campus safety policy as it presently exists.

Institutional Culture and Organizational Effectiveness

Culture was thought to be an area in the literature worth exploring because of the lack of

information networking between faculty and administrators at Virginia Tech, as described in the

Virginia Tech Report (2007, pp. 40-52). The term culture was originally used by anthropologists

and later adapted by other disciplines to provide a fresh approach to guide inquiry (Smircich,

1983; Gregory, 1983). From characterizations of an organization's goals to characteristics of an

organization based on researcher defined criteria, the focus of studies transitioned accordingly. In

the 1980s, new management theories gained popularity. At the same time, studies sought to

explain the occurrences within the organization by investigating its culture (Tierney, 1988).









Eventually, educational researchers examined the concept of culture and its influence on

the effectiveness of higher education institutions (Saffold, 1988; Smart & St. John, 1996; Smart,

Kuh, & Tierney, 1997). From levels of analysis to degrees of qualities, culture-as a concept-

assumed various meanings. Tierney, for example, stated "culture is reflected in what is done,

how it is done, and who is involved in doing it. It concerns decisions, actions, and

communication" (Tierney, 1988, p. 127). The same three principles are relevant to policy

development and liability pathways. However, these areas have not been adapted or expanded in

the literature to explore how efficiently a higher education institution communicates within its

own ranks or with outside constituents, indicating a gap.

In the 1970s, it was apparent that there was "no well-defined nomological network for

organizational effectiveness" (Cameron, 1978, p. 622). Studies sought to rectify the situation by

determining the dimensions behind the concept of organizational effectiveness specific to

colleges and universities. Cameron conducted interviews with administrators at six different

colleges in the northeastern part of the United States. From the combination of initial interviews

and follow-up interviews, Cameron narrowed the "effectiveness criteria generated

... [into] nine dimensions [that] represented conceptually different constructs" (p. 614). The nine

dimensions are: student educational satisfaction, student academic development, student career

development, student personal development, faculty and administrator employment satisfaction,

professional development and quality of the faculty, systems openness and community

interaction, ability to acquire resources, and organizational health.

In a later study, Cameron and Tschirhart (1992) surveyed 331 four-year colleges and

universities in a stratified national sample to evaluate management strategies and decision

processes. Strategies referred to the pattern of resource allocation (external). Decision processes









were specific to information gathering, analysis, and managerial activities related thereto

(internal). The goal was to determine whether either or both had an impact on organizational

effectiveness. The variables were selected because "a great deal of research has confirmed the

theoretical propositions of these various organization-environment models [and their] predictive

power" (p. 89). Evidence indicated that these two models were the most predictive of

performance over time.

The decision-process typology contained the categories of participative or collegial,

rational, bureaucratic, political, and organized anarchy. The definitions implemented by

Cameron and Tschirhart (1992) were taken from an earlier study by Chaffee (1983). Collegial

was defined as being "directed by consensus"; rational as "directed by supporting data";

bureaucratic as "directed by structured administrative patterns"; political as "directed by

conflicting self-interest and power"; and organized anarchy as "directed by accidents" (Cameron

& Tschirhart, 1992, p. 91; citing Chafee, 1983, p. 3).

Prior research showed mixed results when attempting to measure decision processes and

effectiveness. Some studies indicated a negative correlation between centralized decision

processes (nonparticipative) and effectiveness (Singh, 1986; Hoare, 1983; Bibeault, 1982; Rubin,

1979; Huber, 1980). Yet Cameron "found a positive relationship between effectiveness and

centralization in some functional areas in large industrial organizations facing turbulent

environments" (Cameron & Tschirhart, 1992, pp. 91-92, quoting Cameron, 1990).

Based on the previous literature, Cameron and Tschirhart (1992) hypothesized that the

collegial style would most positively favor effective higher education institutions. The nine

dimensions of organization effectiveness (Cameron, 1978) were assessed using 32 Likert-type

items. The researchers claimed that the validity and reliability of the instrument had been tested









and confirmed in numerous studies. The data revealed "[p]articipative decision processes

positively correlated to five of the nine dimensions" (p. 99).

In general, resource allocation and long-term viability were the foci of the Cameron and

Tschirhart (1992) study. The management strategies and decision processes evaluated were

geared specifically to college related business, such as enrollment, market competitiveness, and

critical resources. When words such as decline, threat, or turbulence were employed, these terms

were not in reference to terrorism attacks, gun wielding perpetrators, or hurricanes but rather

competition, decreased revenues, and tenuous political capital. The concept of organizational

effectiveness did not include a measure of the organization's health specific to communication

relays. Based on their researcher-defined criteria, Cameron and Tschirhart found that

standardizedzd decision processes are not significantly related to any effectiveness dimensions,

contrary to expectation" (p. 99). Whether standardized decision processes are specific to

policymaking rather than secondary decision making (infra, p. 143) may be an area worthy of

expansion under a new dimension of organizational effectiveness.

Culture and Decision Making

Decision making has been discussed a great deal in the literature. It is unclear whether

particular styles influence organizational effectiveness (Smart, Kuh, & Tiemey, 1997; Chaffee,

1983; Cohen & March, 1974). Boleman and Deal (1991) centered on four organizational frames:

structural, human resource, political, and symbolic. The listed frames are perspective oriented

and designed to help facilitate an appreciation of the dynamics that occur within organizations.

Proponents of this model have asserted that more effective problem solving is realized when

multiple frames are used to view issues (Smart & St. John, 1996). The usefulness of the frames

was beyond the scope of this study because a determination of whether problem solving was









synonymous or distinguishable from either policymaking or secondary decision making would

be required.

Culture-type has also been associated with decision making preferences. Smart and St.

John (1996) identified four types of culture: clan, hierarchy/bureaucratic, adhocracy, and market.

Clan culture was defined as having high flexibility with a mentoring type leader. The

hierarchy/bureaucratic culture was stated as having stability and predictability with a

coordinator/organizer type leader. The adhocracy culture was similar to the clan culture but with

a more innovative type leader. The market culture shared elements of adhocracy distinguished by

an intense, goal-oriented leader (pp. 221-221).

Smart and St. John (1996) made two predictions: (1) that colleges and universities with

congruent values and practices would be more effective and (2) that clan and adhocracy culture

types are more effective than hierarchy and market culture types. Using the Institutional

Performance Survey (IPS) developed at the National Center for Higher Education Management

Systems, these researchers analyzed data returned from 334 four-year universities that were part

of the Krakower and Niwa (1985) national study. The IPS survey is a multipurpose survey

targeting the "effectiveness, culture, decision making processes, strategic orientations, and

structural characteristics of colleges and universities" (Smart & St. John, 1996, p. 226). The

respondents were trustees, administrators, and department chairpersons, as these parties were

identified as "major decision makers" (p. 226). In addition to the IPS survey, Smart and St. John

administered a 32 item Likert-type questionnaire to measure the nine dimensions of

organizational effectiveness developed by Cameron (1978). Findings suggested a link between

institutional effectiveness and culture type: some cultures reportedly performed better on specific

dimensions than others. No single best culture type was identified. The effort did not examine









organizational effectiveness as it relates to campus safety issues and combined policymakers

with secondary decision makers, revealing openings for future study.

Theories of Interaction and Organizational Effectiveness

Other disciplines have sought ways to examine organizational effectiveness and the even

broader term of community effectiveness. Higher education institutions have specifically

presented researchers with an array of challenges (Cameron, 1978, 1986). On the one hand,

measurable goals and outcomes are fraught with conceptual dilemmas. On the other, the values

and beliefs of the participants surveyed impart bias and subjectivity. Operational definitions of

the construct effectiveness have gone through several revisions. At one point, the school of

thought was to discontinue organizational effectiveness studies because of their numerous

conceptual problems (Nord, 1983; Connolly, Conlon, & Deutsch, 1980). Theories of interaction

and systems models may help break out the organizational effectiveness construct into more

manageable and measurable units.

Interaction Theory

Since communication requires an interaction of some type, theories of interaction were

reviewed. Interaction theory examines the interactional fields of social, political, and

psychological arenas (or situations). The aggregate of thefield concept contributes to the notion

of community (Kaufman, 1959). The interactional field is distinct from the community field,

which "consists of an organization of actions carried on by persons working through various

associations or groups" (Kaufman, 1959, pp. 10-11). The community field contains the

discernable "patterns of demographic, ecological, and physical factors" (1959, p. 11). Kaufman

claimed that action (or inaction) is a unit of study at the interactional level. At the observational

level, action is a project, program, activity, or event (id.).









Building on interactional theory, Wilkinson (1970) refined the termfield in an effort to

distinguish the concept from terms used in other disciplines. The overlap betweenfield theory of

behavior approaches and dilwh ie, of socialfields blurred the boundaries demarcating social

interactions from community fields. Wilkinson accentuated that the social field is the place

where the interactions or processes from other arenas manifest, whereas the community field

emerges from the social field. From this perspective, the activities that occur within the various

fields are critical to comprehending the larger community. Although directionality was not

readily ascertainable for the research problem presented in this study, the interactional fields may

prove useful for follow up research on emergent themes.

Interaction Systems Models

Other studies have attempted to measure the broader concept of organizational

effectiveness using systems models (Yuchtman & Seashore, 1967). The systems model approach

concentrates on the interaction processes occurring between the organization and the

environment. There are several noted variants in approaches. Katz and Kahn (1966) perceived

the relationship as an input-output modality. Yuchtman and Seashore's (1967) model interprets

the relationship through an analysis specific to bargaining for resources. The bargaining-position

view shifts the focus away from the goal (or goals) of the organization and instead looks at the

organization's ability to acquire coveted resources, which may include reputation, influence,

money, and human capital. The organization's resource-getting competence is then measured

from its relative bargaining position. This model is believed to accommodate comparisons

between dissimilar organizations and their relative ability to compete for the same resources. A

change in bargaining position would indicate a change in the relationship between the

organization and its environment.









The external environment, however, presents challenges for the systems models. For one,

the goal approach has been criticized because, more often than not, goals are not set by the

organization but instead by the comparative power structures of the environment in which the

organization operates (Yuchtman & Seashore, 1967). In addition to the problems created by

multiple publics in the external environment, this approach leaves unattended the impact of

organizational autonomy. The functional systems model struggles with shortcomings created by

the interdependence of the constituent parts within the whole and the influence each exerts on the

organization's articulated ultimate goal. Yinger (1965), in contrast, formulated a theory of

interaction based on the forces that influence social behaviors. In Yinger's theory, the situation

and the characteristics of the individual would be the independent variables; the individual's

reactive behavior would be the dependent variable. As concepts are derived from this study,

these models may be useful in predicting types of organizational effectiveness related to crisis

management.

Social Networking and Agent-based Modeling

Similarly, interaction theory draws attention to the larger social network of information

transmission. Since a network is comprised of individuals on each end, either characteristics of

the individual or characteristics of the job position may interact with the relays required for

decision making purposes. Social network analysis (a branch related to network theory) was

conceived to denote the patterns of ties between various actors (Barnes, 1954; Granovetter, 1973;

Haythornthwaite, 1996). Network theories shift the focus from the behavior and attributes of the

individuals to the network of interactions that occur within and between organizations. In

graphical terms, the nodes (actors) are the points and the ties (connectors) are the lines or the

relays that thread information through the agency. The attributes of the ties are thought to

indicate how the organization interacts as a whole. As such, the ties are more important than the









attributes of the individual actors, as these indicate the information input avenues (Barnes, 1954;

Granovetter, 1973; Haythornthwaite, 1996). The future benefit of these studies in measuring

campus communication relevant to crisis management and safety policy design should not be

ignored. Studying how well agencies actually network between themselves may be informative

as to what obstacles actually exist within the legislative codes versus those created by poor

reporting or institutional confusion within the network. Social networking process theories may

be helpful in determining real impediments from perceived ones and provide the potential for

empirical simulations and predictions.

Agent-based modeling methodologies are another group of networking process theories

that could have enormous value in systemically visualizing informational exchanges and safety

plans of actions by looking specifically at agency and constituent coordination. Computer

simulations of information transfer pathways may be achievable. Agent-based models (also

known as "grid, network, n-dimensional cubes and landscape visualization techniques") have

developed and matured since the 1990s (Guerin, 2004, p. 1) and are gaining in popularity for

their effectiveness in diagnosis and prediction used in emergency management. Newman (2003)

provided a thorough review of network dynamics and brought forth the development of complex

interactions, such as agents conferring on multiple networks at any given time. Agent-based

modeling "is a toolset that has grown up around the research of complex adaptive systems

(CAS)" (Guerin, 2004, p. 3). Guerin states:

Both disciplines deal with systems of extreme numbers of interacting components and seek
to describe statistical relationships between the aggregate macroscopic variables of these
systems. Thermodynamics finds these relationships through empirical manipulation and
observation while Statistical Mechanics derives the relationships from the interaction rules
of the microscopic components. (p. 3)









Research indicates that a "potential for visualization could be tracking the degrees of

freedom in the behavioral repertoire of agents. As a system self-organizes, components of the

system are expected to lose degrees of freedom through the emergence of context-sensitive

constraints" (Guerin, 2004, p. 5; see also Guerin & Kunkle, 2004; Juarrero, 1999; Kuglar &

Turvey, 1987). Agent-based modeling was believed an important framework for future

predictive studies based on information relays found on a college campus. Multiple

informational tracking scenarios may be subsequently generated and manipulated for efficacy

related to situational factors. These models could help identify overlaps, deficiencies, and

structural problem areas. They might also distinguish factors related to process dysfunction

versus individual human error along the communication pathways.

Media Richness Theory

Separate from networking models, the cognitive processes of individuals can be

examined through media richness theory. This view focuses on the dependent constructs of

information processing and communication effectiveness (Galbraith, 1977; Daft & Lengel,

1986). As communication effectiveness increases, uncertainty and ambiguity of task decrease

(Galbraith, 1977). At first blush, the media richness theory seemed applicable to the study. The

model's two assumptions acknowledge characteristics unique to organizations, such as the

sharing of information and the number of discrete individuals who are required to coalesce and

agree on a decision (Daft & Lengel, 1986). The theory's first assumption holds that the

institution's ability to process information is dependent on its resources to acquire information

from the different administrative agencies located throughout the organization.

The second assumption attempts to expand into the mediums of informational exchanges,

such as memos and e-mails versus face-to-face interactions. Because Florida has open

government laws, the model's second assumption would need to be explored in the context of









public organizations and then compared with private organizations. Whether mediums selected

are significantly influenced by concerns directly related to the creation of public documents

would require investigation. This area was beyond the scope of the study.

Agency Theory

The laws of agency are certainly germane to the present research topic. Networking and

informational exchanges create liability pathways. The Virginia Tech tragedy indicates

enormous potentials for institutional liability in a variety of contexts. One way to look at these

pathways is through the laws of agency, which focus specifically on the relationships of

principal, agent, and third party. The Restatement (American Law Institute, 2006) defines agency

as:

The fiduciary relationship that arises when one person (a "principal") manifests assent to
another person (an "agent") that the agent shall act on the principal's behalf and subject to
the principal's control, and the agent manifests assent or otherwise consents so to act.
(p. 17)

Another scenario indicating agency is realized when there is no assent but the actions of an

individual make it appear to a third party that this person is acting as a principal's agent.

Other considerations are the legal rights and duties that an agent and a third party create,

which are then imputed back to the principal. In these instances, rights and duties are made

between the principal and the third party, as well as between the principal and the agent

(American Law Institute, 2006). The relationship between a principal and agent is usually

defined by an agreement between the parties, but this is not the case for the relationships that are

formed through the agent and a third party and later attached to the principal.

An important facet of agency is the imputation of knowledge. Under certain conditions, it

is possible to attach the agent's knowledge to the principal. The allegations contained in a lawsuit

complaint would assert that the principal either knew or should have known some relevant fact.









In the larger campus environment setting, these averments may be based on knowledge available

on the network although not actually acquired by the defendant. The laws of agency may

facilitate discussion related to the content analysis of the Virginia Tech Report in this study. The

worth in reviewing these principles was obvious: information is capable of creating institutional

knowledge of decisive legal significance.

Accountability Mechanisms

Regulations such as the Clery Act serve a public purpose-saving lives. Colleges are held

accountable when breakdowns in communications occur. Imbued within the facts of the Virginia

Tech Report (2007) exists a potential Clery Act violation. Cited in the past, Virginia Tech is no

stranger to Clery Act violations. Security on Campus, Inc., a private non-profit watchdog

organization, indicates on its webpage that Virginia Tech received confirmation of a violation

over a decade ago on June 19, 1997. In an attempt to increase celerity of warnings and allow

students the opportunity to be self-vigilant, parameters have been sought that would also raise

institutional accountability. Proposed amendments are looking at a set time, such as 30 minutes

from event discovery, for warnings to be timely (Selingo, 2008). Watchdog groups monitor

compliance of various acts and seek appropriate remedies for questionable practices.

Roles of Watchdog Groups

On March 19, 2007, the United States Department of Education (DOE) received a Clery

Act complaint against Eastern Michigan University. Eastern Michigan University commissioned

a private law firm for an independent investigation. The published findings in the Butzel Long

Report (2007) indicate the university violated both the crime statistics reporting section and

the timely warning provision of the Clery Act, 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(1)-(15) and 34 C.F.R.

668.46(e). The violations involved an incident where Eastern Michigan University authorities

discovered the lifeless body of a female student in her dorm room on December 15, 2006.









Eastern Michigan University was eventually fined $357,000-$27,500 for 13 identified

offenses-for violating the Clery Act's reporting requirements (Brumfield, 2007). The Clery Act

does not require warnings of all deaths discovered on campuses. The university indexed the

student's death as a suicide, which is a category that does not require a timely warning under the

act. The evidence reviewed in the Butzel Long Report (2007) made the classification appear

highly suspect.

On April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech experienced the worst campus shooting tragedy in

history. The unique circumstances of the two separate murder scenes discovered on April 16

have brought under review whether Virginia Tech should have issued a timely warning to its

students and faculty between the two events. The campus thought it knew who the shooter was

and that there was no need for a warning (Virginia Tech Report, 2007, p. 79). There exists no

language in the Clery Act that releases an institution from reporting when a potential suspect is

identified. In the end, Virginia Tech had nothing more than an incorrect hunch and wasted

valuable time in not alerting the students. On August 20, 2007, Security on Campus, Inc. asked

the federal government, through the complaint process, to investigate Virginia Tech's response

(see www.securityoncampus.org). In this study, examining Clery Act reporting practices was

believed relevant to the implementation of sound safety policy.

Agenda-setting Theory

A lack of coherence and issue development in what constitutes campus safety has been

observed in the news. Studies found in the literature indicate that the media is capable of setting

the agenda, with the added potential of influencing the outcome. McCombs and Shaw discussed

agenda-setting theory in their 1972 article: The Agenda-Setting Function of the Mass Media.

Gitlin (1980), in his book The Whole World is Watching, added the concept of framing to the

theory and examined the news coverage of the 1960s student movement. Gitlin observed three









media perspectives, any one of which may be used to present the story to the public: (1)

documentation of the social problem; (2) critiques of proposed solutions; or (3) a focus on each

side's strategies during a particular event, such as the students' actions and the government's

reaction.

Rogers, Dearing, and Bregman (1993) acknowledged over 200 articles in the social

science literature on the topic of agenda setting. Quoting from an earlier work, McCombs (1993)

stated:

Agenda setting is considerably more than the classical assertion that the news tells us what
to think about. The news also tells us how to think about it. Both the selection of objects for
attention and the selection of frames for thinking about these objects are powerful agenda-
setting roles. Central to the news agenda and its daily set of objects-issues, personalities,
events, etc.-are the perspectives that journalists and, subsequently, members of the public
employ to think about each object (McCombs, 1992). These perspectives direct attention
toward certain attributes and away from others. (p. 62)

Determining the role of the media in recent campus safety policy conversations and the

frames the media has selected for issue development were pertinent considerations in this study.

Whether the media has shaped the direction of campus safety planning in a thorough

investigative manner or whether it has narrowed the lens and told readers how to think was

explored through open-ended interview questions.

Cost Containment Policy

Resources are hugely implicated through the amount of expenditures on security

equipment and law enforcement enhancements encouraged in the state commissioned reports.

Cost containment is the catch-term used by colleges that is analogous to corporate down-sizing.

The concept suggests a balance between student academic success (matriculation to graduation)

and student service packages to achieve that success. Accountability movements have resulted in

stricter resource management, meaning the end of some programs and the beginning of others

(Cohen, 1998). A negative correlation observed: when funding goes down, the number of









services goes down. Trying to raise tuition engenders much criticism. Reported in the 1990s,

tuition increases exceeded the average percent increases in inflation (Brown & Gamber, 2002).

From faculty compensation to deferred maintenance, community colleges have employed

various strategies to manage their budgets economically. Community colleges have particularly

sought to keep classes affordable. Their unique mission partially responsible: to serve their

communities and to provide open access to all who desire to continue their education, whether

for personal enrichment, to transfer to a four-year college, or to earn a certificate for a particular

occupation (Roueche & Roueche, 1993).

In efforts to increase student success, community colleges have developed learning

frameworks. A commitment to the student in a learning-centered environment is one focus

(O'Banion, 1987). Studies that attempt to delineate the path to student success and departure is

another (Tinto, 1975, 1988, 1993). Research has indicated that the information disseminated by

administrators may not be helpful in connecting students to the informal social and intellectual

communities available on a college campus (Tinto, 1987, p. 146). Following the Virginia Tech

tragedy, Florida's task force recommended that the State University System, the Division of

Community Colleges, and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida

"each undertake a study of the level of student involvement in Florida colleges and universities

and provide recommendations to develop supportive campus climates that will result in strong

student participation in daily activities and decisions affecting their campus life, particularly

safety and security" (Task Force Report, 2007, p. iv). Tinto's (1984) earlier work, although

referring specifically to concerns of whether students decide to stay or leave a particular

institution, might provide a basis for expansion specific to the encouraged endeavors found in

Florida's Task Force Report.









Outsourcing

Managing institutional costs is also accomplished through outsourcing. The academic

world defines outsourcing as the transfer of services normally provided by the institution to an

outside vendor (Brown & Gamber, 2002). Network pathways both inside and outside the campus

are highly relevant, especially since one method that has gained momentum in controlling

expenses is the outsourcing of services (Vandament, 1989; Hyatt, Shulman & Santiago, 1984).

Outsourcing creates a variety of legal relationships between agencies but is a valuable resource

to facilitate growth in services. Some examples of outsourcing include printing, food vending,

and bookstore suppliers. The nature of the relationship is important to rule applicability, such as

government in the sunshine, open records laws, and indemnity. If the institutions never had a

duty to offer a particular service, then outsourcing is not so problematic in terms of delegability

and rule compliance unless there is an ownership interest in the service provider by the

institution. Arrangements require legal consideration.

In the Virginia Tech Report (2007), crisis management teams were touted as a front end

screening mechanism. Local law enforcement agencies may already have teams in place that

may be an option for those campuses with budgetary constraints, although the type of

information shared would be limited. Because gubernatorial recommendations are silent on the

issue of what happens to a student once he or she is identified as at risk by an institution,

outsourcing would more than likely create issues as to what is and is not delegable. This study

sought to determine what plans the community colleges appear to be favoring on these issues.

Tabulation Studies

A review of the literature on cases looking at institutional negligence variables, such as

costs and duty, found instead a genre of tabulation efforts. These efforts attempt to quantify the

rise and fall in reported case filings but instead illustrate the difficulties in trying to understand a









phenomenon without a working knowledge of the constituent parts of what is being explored.

For example, a number of educators have spent a considerable amount of time attempting to

count the number and types of lawsuits being filed against schools and school personnel using

appellate case reporters (Hogan, 1985; Tyack, James & Benavot, 1987; Lufler, 1988; Zirkel,

1989; Imber & Thompson, 1991). Determining trends, primarily in the K-12 systems, such as

whether litigation is increasing or decreasing, is stated as the primary purpose. Several appellate

counting projects have reported that in the decade from the late seventies through the late

eighties, school district litigation was on the decline (Lufler, 1988; Zirkel, 1989). Other totals

showed the potential high costs of litigation remained stable but may be on the increase (Bennett,

1988; Wilke, 1988). While still other accounts thought the numbers revealed floods of future

litigation woes for school districts (Leary, 1981; Valente, 1987). Because an understanding of the

legal system and negligence suits are essential to effective campus safety policies, these studies

were reviewed with commentary to illustrate their shortcomings and the need for better research

on the topic.

Imber and Gayler (1988) sought to quantify developments in appellate educational

litigation because they felt this was relevant to school district budgeting and planning, as well as

to career choice determinations by those considering the field of education. Imber and Gayler

stated there were two categories of cases-torts and negligence-where "educators are most

likely to be held personally liable" (p. 77). However, negligence is a category of tort (or civil

wrong) that allows an injured party to recover damages (Lidsky & Little, 1997). Many states in

the 1980s had limited waivers of sovereign immunity that allowed suits only against the agency

(sometimes styled as suits against the person in his or her official capacity) and not the individual

employee (e.g., see 768.28, Fla. Stat. (2007)).









Prior to gathering their data from an online legal database, Imber and Gayler (1988)

indicated they looked to other sources; but "although statistics concerning the total amount to

litigation by state are available, they are not categorized (citing to National Court Statistics

Project, 1983)" (p. 57). In Florida, the State Risk Management Trust Fund provides coverage, as

authorized by section 284.33, Fla. Stat. (2007), for workers' compensation, general liability, fleet

automotive liability, and federal civil rights actions, which are each distinct categories. Section

768.28(6)(a), Fla. Stat. (2007), provides that "no action may be instituted against a state or one of

its agencies or subdivisions unless the claimant first presents the claim in writing to the

appropriate agency, and also to the Department of Financial Services, within 3 years after

such claim accrues." While the files are confidential, statistical information is available. Section

768.28(16)(b), Fla. Stat. (2007), provides that the exemptions exist "until termination of all

litigation and settlement of all claims arising out of the same incident, although portions of the

claims files may remain exempt, as otherwise provided by law."

Imber and Gayler (1988) tabulated their retrieved legal opinions and concluded that

education related litigation increased slightly in the 1960s, then declined. In their findings, they

stated that it was not possible to determine:

the likelihood that individual educators will be involved in litigation during their careers ..
[as the] calculation would require knowing the total number of education-related cases
(which cannot be done because the ratio of reported appellate cases to total caseload is not
known). (1988, p. 76)

Although the ratio is available from Florida's Department of Financial Services, the value

of the information is questionable since an educator cannot be sued in his or her individual

capacity in the State of Florida when acting within the course and scope of his or her duties

"unless acting in bad faith, with malicious purpose or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful









disregard of human rights, safety, or property" ( 768.28, Fla. Stat. (2007); see also Teacher

Liability Protection Act, 20 U.S.C. 6736, added to Chapter 70 in 2002).

Imber and Gayler (1988) further posited that "in the absence of any empirical or

theoretical reason to believe otherwise, it is reasonable to accept the hypothesis that trends in

appellate court cases in a particular category are a strong indicator of trends in trial court

caseloads in the same category" (p. 58). No theoretical basis for their assumption was indicated.

A standard textbook in research methods explains that hypotheses are statements about

relationships that researchers attempt to predict and then set out to test using accepted scientific

methods (Dooley, 2001).

Available empirical data indicates that appellate cases account for a mere fraction of the

total number of cases on the trial court dockets, as most cases are not appealed. Florida state

courts are broken down into 20 trial court circuits, five state district courts of appeal (DCAs), and

one Supreme Court. Numbers of cases obtained from the Florida Office of the State Courts

Administrator, available online at www.flcourts.org, indicate over three million suits filed in

county and circuit trial courts in the fiscal year of 2005-06. The clerk's office of each district

court of appeal reported the following total appellate cases filed in their respective jurisdictions

for the 2006 calendar year: First DCA 6,752; Second DCA 5,839; Third DCA 3,229 Fourth

DCA 5,084; and Fifth DCA 4,480. In total, the district courts of appeal reported 25,384 filed

cases. While the trial court data used fiscal year and the district courts used calendar year, it is

clear that district-wide appellate cases accounts for less than .8 % of the total number of cases

being commenced in the state trial courts. Adding the Florida Supreme Court's 2474 cases in the

calendar year of 2006 does not alter the representation in any significant manner.









Of those cases that do get appealed, several appeals may ensue before the resolution of an

issue is remanded back down to the trial court. The tabulated sample set may have included

multiple opinions in the same case, as well as opinions other than appellate court rulings, such as

published trial court opinions (e.g., see Schieszler v. Ferrum Coll., W.D. Va., 236 F. Supp. 2d

602, 233 F. Supp. 2d 796 (2002)). Another consideration is that cases filed in the trial court may

allege multiple causes of actions (counts) related to a single event and name numerous different

defendants from several distinct agencies. During the course of the litigation, the court may find

it has jurisdiction over some parties but not all the parties. An appellate court may have grounds

to determine whether qualified immunity applies as a complete defense to a single defendant.

Other defendants in the suit could have settled the counts alleged against them while still others

may have had their causes previously disposed by the judge in preliminary motions or by a jury

after a trial. The case style on the initial complaint indicating the parties plaintiffss and

defendants) may not change as the various parties file their motions and win dismissals,

summary judgments, or settle. A single case might close with well over 50 to 100 or more docket

entries and contain certain matters subject to appeal before trial along with other matters that

may only be appealed upon conclusion of a trial on the merits. A ruling denying qualified

immunity is subject to appeal before trial; a ruling denying sovereign immunity on discretionary

grounds is not. Thus, a case involving both a school and a law enforcement officer may have an

appealable issue before trial for the officer but not until after a trial for the school. Attorneys

might strategize as to whether to file the appeal before or after the trial since the lawsuit may be

going forward on the actions pleaded against co-defendants.

As for which party becomes appellant/petitioner or appellee/respondent, the

nomenclature would vary based on who is appealing (plaintiff or defendant). A case could have a









defendant appealing a denial of qualified immunity or a plaintiff appealing a finding of qualified

immunity. Other co-defendants, if applicable, might decide to settle or move forward with a trial

on the merits. In the latter scenario, the plaintiffs or defendants may then become the

appellant/s seeking a reversal or new trial for various grounds contained in the record. A party

who has an appeal granted in his or her favor may not necessarily be the party who wins the case.

In sum, conclusions from efforts that seek to merely count cases provide little insight into the

issues being explored. A single civil action that is zealously defended could have many docket

lines indicating motions filed (some granted, some denied), demurrers made, writs taken, and

may be influenced by multiple rulings from higher courts (appellate and supreme) on an

assortment of matters before ever going to trial.

Furthermore, the authors of the tabulation studies do not indicate the type ofjurisdiction,

as defined in state and federal rules of appellate procedure, exercised in the opinions they

reviewed. For Florida state cases, Fla. R. App. P. 9.030(b) defines the four categories of

jurisdiction of the district courts: appellate jurisdiction, certiorari jurisdiction, original

jurisdiction, and discretionary review. In the literature, the authors lump the opinions into a

broad category identified only as appellate cases. While it is difficult to discern the

representativeness of the cases or the appeal of these counting endeavors as they relate to trends

in educational litigation, they persist.

In a subsequent publication, Imber and Thompson (1991) indicated that educational law

textbooks had a tendency to group litigation topics in a manner that was more conducive to legal

experts than to the perspective and utility of an educator (p. 228). The authors sought to rectify

this situation and gathered totals from the Westlaw legal database of published opinions. In an

attempt to triangulate their counts, Imber and Thompson supplemented with data they received









from approximately 300 mailed surveys, returned from school districts across the United States.

From their review of the court opinions and other collected data, these researchers discovered

there were two main categories of litigants: students and employees; a third potential litigant was

described as outside third-parties (e.g., parties to contract disputes)-all representing the normal

parties who would have standing to file suit in the school setting.

As for who was filing the lawsuits, the authors found that employees, who outnumbered

students by almost ten times, filed three times as many actions (Imber & Thompson, 1991). They

stated that negligence actions comprised the bulk of their reviewed cases (p. 240), and they

predicted that these types of cases would continue to increase. How employees, presumably

covered under Florida's Workman's Compensation policies, were able to file the bulk of the

authors' identified negligent suits was not discussed. To confuse matters further, the authors

stated that the majority of the reviewed opinions were federal. The authors do not indicate how

the federal courts maintained jurisdiction over the state law negligence actions being tabulated.

Their described sample set was stated as the K-12 setting where "teachers or principals [were]

named defendants as opposed to suits filed against only the district, school board, central

administration, or other personnel" (p. 242). Imber and Thompson (1991) forecasted an increase

of negligence suits. At the same time, they indicated a decrease in state suits. The authors

attributed the [inconsistent] finding to the [erroneous] assumption that federalrl cases were

much more likely to be reported in Westlaw than are state cases" (p. 235). Without additional

information, it is difficult to discern what was counted.

Other parties have continued the pursuit of counting published court opinions and

positing their totals for policy considerations. A later effort used only United States Supreme

Court opinions and expressed the belief that "the Supreme Court appears to have shifted away









from a student-hospitable orientation" (Zirkel, 1998, p. 246). Another paper affirmed that the

"broad-sweeping characterizations about the trends in the frequency and outcomes of education

litigation without an adequate base of empirical research" was a regular occurrence (Lupini &

Zirkel, 2003, p. 258). On the other hand, Lupini and Zirkel (2003) asserted that proper trend

identification was necessary for informed policies and practices. These authors went on to state

that other studies (e.g., Imber & Gayler, 1988; Imber & Thompson, 1991) purporting "claims of

an explosion in education litigation [were] a myth" (p. 258).

In a more recent effort, Lupini and Zirkel (2003) sought "to determine whether there is a

statistically significant difference between the overall outcomes of reported, or published,

education court decisions from the mid-1970s and those from the mid-1990s"(p. 260). To

accomplish this task, the Westlaw legal database was used to establish population from which a

random sample of reported opinions was drawn. The authors included opinions from both state

and federal courts across multiple jurisdictions and coded the data according to "(a) the category

and subcategory for each case, (b) the particular judicial forum, (c) the year of the decision, and

(d) the outcome of the case" (p. 262).

Lupini and Zirkel (2003) found no statistically significant difference between outcomes

in cases filed in the 70s when compared to those filed in the 90s. The authors concluded that "the

data show a continuing propensity of courts in favor of school authorities" (p. 270). The authors

based this determination on "untested and, in some cases, untestable assumptions," that [they

believed] accounted for the stability in their results (id.). For instance, Lupini and Zirkel claimed

the "iceberg effect," [which is according to them] a phenomenon caused by "only using reported

court decisions" is "mitigated by the use of a computer database, which extends the target

population of cases beyond those published in traditional, bound hard-copy form" (id.). Their









[misguided] assumption was based on the "limited amount of research" in this area and their

personal beliefs in the "representativeness of reported court decisions" (id.). Lupini and Zirkel

additionally surmised an overall favorable school-friendly shift in court rulings based on the

Columbine school shootings and the fact that "schools are fighting a war on drugs and violence"

(p. 275). They further found that reductions in suits could not be explained by administrators

making better decisions because research showed "a low level of legal literacy among school

officials (e.g., Stephens, 1983; Zirkel, 1978, 1996)" (p. 274). In short, the value of tabulation

efforts as designed was questionable.

In Loco Parentis

Two additional articles (Lake & Tribbensee, 2002; Lake, 1999) are included in the

literature review. Both broach the subject of in locoparentis in the setting of higher education

litigation and together offer insights as to why the duty element of a negligence cause of action

has been so difficult for administrators to grasp. The case of Dixon v. Alabama, 294 F. 2d 150

(5th Cir. 1961) was cited in one article as standing for the proposition that:

[T]he Fifth Circuit determined that a college's power (including in loco parents) did not
extend to the denial of basic constitutional rights of fair play and process, including
procedural due process. Students at public universities became constitutional adults with
basic constitutional rights. (Lake, 1999, p. 10)

In locoparentis was not relevant to the issue decided in Dixon. The 14th Amendment

[1868] provides that a State may not "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due

process of law." Dixon v. Alabama is a landmark due process case that enumerated what process

was due before a public institution could expel a student: "due process requires notice and some

opportunity for hearing" (294 F. 2d at 158). In short, it appears the power of self-protection has

been confused in the literature with the supervisory capacity to effectively and safely manage an

organization.









The following excerpt from Wyatt v. McMullen, 350 So. 2d 1115 (Fla. 1st DCA 1977)

explains the power of self-protection:

[T]he general rule is that a parent may be liable for the consequences of failure to exercise
the power of control which he has over his children, where he knows, or in the exercise of
due care should have known, that injury to another is a probable consequence. Thus, a
father may be held liable where he knows that his children are persisting in a course of
conduct likely to result in injury to another. Failure to restrain the child, it is said, amounts
to a sanction of or consent to his acts by the parent. But ability to control the child, rather
than the relationship as such, is the basis of the parent's liability, and it has accordingly
been recognized that, under appropriate circumstances, similar liability might fall on a
nonparent who had such ability but negligently failed to exercise it [emphasis added] (59
Am.Jur.2d, Parent and Child, 133, citations omitted). (p. 1117)

In the college setting, institutions were early on charged with the power to make rules and

regulations "concerning the physical and moral welfare, and mental training of the pupils, and .

.any rule or regulation for the government, or betterment of their pupils that a parent could for

the same purpose" (Gott v. Berea Coll., 161 S.W. 204, 206 (Ky. 1913)). Case law establishes that

these rules and regulations were later afforded due process considerations when punishments

were imposed. But there is no case law directly on point that indicates a correlative duty existed

for colleges as the insurers of student safety-a state law negligence cause of action.

Since the late 1970s, the general rule has been that no per se special relationship exists

between a college and its students because a college is not an insurer of the safety of its students

(Bradshaw v. Rawlings, 612 F.2d 135, 138-41 (3d Cir. 1979) (explaining that "college students

are no longer minors ... Regulation by the college of student life on and off campus has become

limited College administrators no longer control the broad arena of general morals"); Booker

v. Lehigh Univ., 800 F. Supp. 234, 237-41 (E.D. Pa. 1992) (finding no special relationship); Nero

v. Kan. State Univ., 253 Kan. 567, 861 P. 2d 768, 778 (Kan. 1993) (same); Univ. ofDenver v.

Whitlock, 744 P. 2d 54, 59-61 (Colo. 1987) (en banc) (same); Eiseman v. State, 511 N.E.2d

1128, 1136-37 (N.Y. 1987) (same); Beach v. Univ. of Utah, 726 P. 2d 413, 415-16 (Utah 1986)









(same); Rabel v. Illinois Wesleyan Univ., 514 N.E.2d 552, 560-61 (Ill. Ct. App. 1987) (holding

that the responsibility of a university "is to properly educate" its students, not to act as their

custodian); Baldwin v. Zoradi, 123 Cal. App. 3d 275, 284-91 (Cal. Ct. App. 1981) (finding no

special relationship); cf Garofalo v. Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, 616 N.W.2d 647, 650 (Iowa

2000) analogizingg the lack of a custodial relationship between a university and its students to

the lack of a custodial relationship between a national fraternity chapter and its members)).

Finding a duty to protect from foreseeable dangers is distinguishable from having the

power to make rules and control one's morals. In McLeod v. Grant County School Dist. No. 128,

255 P. 2d 360 (Wash. 1953), the Washington Supreme Court provided a lengthy discussion on

the issue illustrating how a school district may be held liable in tort:

A school district may be sued "for an injury to the rights of the plaintiff" arising from some
act or omission of such district. RCW 4.08.120 (Rem. Rev. Stat., 951). .. the liability of
respondent school district for the alleged tortious acts or omissions of its officers, agents or
servants is to be determined according to the normal rules of tort law. Briscoe v. School
Dist. No. 123, supra. The tort here charged is negligence. In order to state a cause of action
for negligence, it is necessary to allege facts which would warrant a finding that the
defendant has committed an unintentional breach of a legal duty, and that such breach was
a proximate cause of the harm. See Ullrich v. Columbia & Cowlitz R. Co., 189 Wash. 668,
66 P. (2d) 853; Harvey v. Auto Interurban Co., 36 Wn. (2d) 809, 220 P. (2d) 890. (pp. 361-
362)

In order to decide whether respondent committed an unintentional breach of a legal duty, it
is first necessary to determine what respondent's legal duty was, under the circumstances ..
In Briscoe v. SchoolDist. No. 123, supra, we noted and applied 320 of Restatement of
Torts, which reads as follows: "One who is required by law to take or who voluntarily
takes the custody of another under circumstances such as to deprive the other of his normal
power of self-protection or to subject him to association with persons likely to harm him, is
under a duty of exercising reasonable care so to control the conduct of third persons as to
prevent them from intentionally harming the other or so conducting themselves as to create
an unreasonable risk of harm to him, if the actor "(a) knows or has reason to know that he
has the ability to control the conduct of the third persons, and "(b) knows or should know
of the necessity and opportunity for exercising such control." 2 Restatement, Torts, 867,
320. (pp. 362-363)

The court must first determine in a negligence claim whether a duty exists upon which

liability may be predicated. In state law negligence actions, in locoparentis is sometimes









pleaded to assert that a duty to protect existed on the part of the defendant institution. As the

Virginia Tech Report (2007) establishes, several of the victims' families believe in locoparentis

is "applicable to at least some of the students, even those who are legally adults" (p. 83). Counsel

for a defendant institution would illustrate through legal arguments why reliance on the doctrine

to establish a duty in the college setting is misplaced for adult students. Successfully doing so,

however, does not provide immunity from suit.

Case law shows that institutions are capable of creating special relationships with adult

students and being held liable under general negligence principles (e.g., see Coghlan v. Beta

Theta Pi Fraternity, 987 P. 2d 300, 305 (Idaho 1999); Nova S.,/lev'e /in Univ., Inc. v. Gross,

758 So. 2d 86, 90 (Fla. 2000)). Higher education administrators need to be aware of these

developments. An assessment of the particularized facts in cases where a duty has been found are

instructive: the determinative factor centering on the amount of institutional control asserted. In

addition, a noticeable gap in the case law was observed specific to the standards of duty for

higher education institutions that enroll minor students who attend classes on the college campus.

What action administrators have taken in these areas was explored in the study.

Summary

This chapter provided an overview of the literature related to the present research

problem. To a greater extent, the literature review illustrated areas in need of expansion

regarding crisis management and the ability of administrators to effectively handle dangerous

situations that may be developing on their campuses. Past studies revealed that measures have

been created to examine the concept of organizational effectiveness. Cameron (1978) identified

nine dimensions of organizational effectiveness specific to the college and university setting;

missing from the dimensions was a measure for components of campus safety.









Theories of interaction date back to the 1960s. These theories proved problematic in

terms of the concept of organizational effectiveness when institutional goals were sought to be

identified. For-profit industries were amenable to systems model approaches examining input-

output modalities (Katz & Kahn, 1966) or resource-bargaining strength (Yuchtman & Seashore,

1967). Although media richness theory showed potential for the present study, it was realized

that its second assumption involving specific mediums of informational exchanges would have to

be tested in organizations subject to open government laws. A control group would be required

to adequately determine whether there were any differences between favored mediums in public

and private settings and was beyond the scope of the present study.

Yinger (1965) formulated a basic theory of interaction that looked at the situation and the

characteristics of the individuals involved rather than focusing on the organization. Yinger's

theoretical approach was instructive for its potential to explain actions in times of rapid

informational exchanges. Social network theory (Barnes, 1954; Granovetter, 1973;

Haythornthwaite, 1996) shows potential for mapping the legal significance of the informational

relay paths that occur before, during, and after a crisis event. Because of the imputation of

knowledge between actors in an organizational setting, a basic overview of the laws of agency

was presented. The reviewed tabulation efforts show limitations in their design and purpose.

Shrinking state budgets reshaped the management of expenditures within public

institutions. Cost containment has colleges finding ways to do more with less funding.

Accountability movements hover nearby and monitor how funds are spent and the choices that

colleges are making. Other groups are monitoring for rule compliance. Watchdog groups file

complaints in areas where colleges are deficient; Clery Act timely warnings being a common

complained about shortfall. In the background, agenda-setting theory shows that the media is not









just reporting the news but shaping it by actively telling the public how to think about certain

topics.

The literature section established a variety of interconnected areas that may shape

contingencies related to the dynamics of campus safety policy development. In this study, factors

influencing the direction of campus safety policy development following the Virginia Tech

tragedy were explored, guided by the research topics presented in the literature. Emergent

themes may add to the literature base by providing workable variables to expand Cameron's

(1978) organizational effectiveness criteria in future studies.









CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to contextualize, understand, and interpret the dynamics

related to the advances of campus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy. The

specific aim was to identify factors that should be considered in policy design. Four areas were

considered relevant and structured the setup of the exploratory examination: mental health

considerations, Clery Act considerations, litigation concerns, and privacy concerns. This study

analyzed descriptive content contained in state commissioned reports, newspaper articles specific

to campus shootings, and administrative interviews in an attempt to determine constructs/themes

that transcend the subject of campus safety. Looking at the larger issue and deconstructing it for

review was considered the best mechanism to provide a solid foundation of considerations

specific to campus safety policy development.

This chapter details the design of the study, including research questions, assumptions,

limitations, researcher subjectivity, rationale, and methodology. Data collection approaches and

data analysis are presented. Chapter 3 concludes with a discussion of the threats to validity and

other concerns.

Research Questions

The central objective was identifying What factors in campus safety policy following the

Virginia Tech tragedy create the most problems in design or implementation for Florida's

community college system? The following research questions facilitated the design and scope of

the study:

1. What actions concerning campus safety were developed as a result of the Virginia Tech
tragedy?









2. What actions concerning student mental health issues were developed as a result of the
Virginia Tech tragedy?

3. What are the benefits and limitations of the recommendations found in the Task Force
Report as they relate to the community college?

Rationale and Methodology

The Virginia Tech tragedy has generated considerable attention and emotion: college

administrators finding themselves at the forefront of the foray. Exploring administrator concerns

regarding college safety planning was important for the discovery of emerging themes and their

relationships to the incident. A qualitative design was considered the most appropriate method

because qualitative studies "are best at contributing to a greater understanding of perceptions,

attitudes, and processes" (Glesne, 1999, p. 24). Grounded theory is an inductive approach that

allows for the theory generation through inquiry (Glaser & Straus, 1967; Creswell, 2002). The

literature review provided the sorting stage where a theory may be grounded or a new one

generated. Grounded theory was the best fit for the theoretical model to guide the study because

of its workability in explaining how the problem was being framed.

The family of policy process frameworks known as institutional rational choice was used

as the conceptual model (Sabatier, 2007). Although many fields have attempted to develop

policy process theories, difficulties present themselves in defining institutions, incentives, and

outcomes (Ostrom, 2007). The seminal amalgamation of institutional rational choice theory

across various disciplines to divine a general framework was published in The Three Worlds of

Action: A Metatheoretical Synthesis of institutional Approaches (Kiser & Ostrom, 1982). What

emerged was the institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework, which has since gone

through numerous revisions and evolutions (Ostrom, 2007).

Reforms and transitions in government require an operational framework and a family of

theories that are compatible with the structure. Using the IAD framework, the action arena is first









identified. Ostrom (2007) explains that the action arena is a conceptual unit that facilitates the

analysis, prediction, and explanation of actions within the institutional arrangement. Ostrom

(2007) identifies seven clusters of variable in this arena: "(1) participants, (2) positions, (3)

outcomes, (4) action-outcomes, (5) the control that participants exercise, (6) information, and (7)

the costs and benefits assigned to the outcomes" (p. 28). The action arena for this study was the

community college. An actor (individual or entity) interacts with:

1. the resources that an actor brings to a situation;

2. the valuation assigned to states of the world and to actions;

3. the way actors acquire, process, retain, and use knowledge contingencies and information;
and

4. the process actors use for selection of particular courses of action.
(Ostrom, 2007, p. 28)

Once the initial action arena is identified, there are two additional steps to explore the

dynamics more closely. First, the action arena is conceived as dependent on clustered factors

such as "(1) the rules used by participants to order their relationships, (2) the attributes of states

of the world that are acted upon in these arenas, and (3) the structure of the more general

community within which any particular arena is placed" (id.). Second, these factors are

influenced by "shared understandings of rules, states of the world, and nature of the community"

(id.). In sum, there are two variables: the action arena (or the situation) and the actor. Both

variables are necessary if the goal is diagnosis, explanation, and predication as they relate to the

actions and results (p. 29).

Changing the institutional arrangements may create different outcomes. In order to test

these predictions, Ostrom (p. 33) indicates that evaluative criteria such as "(1) economic

efficiency, (2) equity through fiscal equivalence, (3) redistributional equity, (4) accountability,

(5) conformance to general morality, and (6) adaptability" may be employed. Ostrom maintains









that in "a democratic polity, officials should be accountable to citizens concerning the

development and use of public facilities and natural resources" (p. 34). The IAD framework

further provides the tools necessary for "testing hypotheses about behavior in diverse situations

at multiple levels of analysis" (p. 51). Oakerson (1999) applied the framework to the governance

of local public economies; Prakash (2000) used it to examine corporate responses to

environmental challenges.

This study was designed as a means to identify and contextualize the variables necessary

to make predictions for future research aimed at measuring the efficacy of implemented campus

safety policies. Within the community college action arena existed the actors or college

administrators. By exploring the action arena through the actors' attitudes and perceptions,

emerging concepts and their relationship to the Virginia Tech tragedy were possible. Evaluative

criteria, such as accountability and agent-based modeling found in Chapter 2, may be used in

later studies to determine the efficacy of adopted policies.

The unit of analysis was the Virginia Tech tragedy as it was represented in the Virginia

Tech Report (2007). The single group or community studied was community college

administrators and their opinions and attitudes regarding campus safety policies and any

recommended or implemented changes following the incident. Merriam (1988) defines a

qualitative case study as "an intensive, holistic description and analysis of a single entity,

phenomenon, or social unit" (p. 16). Heuristic refers to a case study's power to "illuminate the

reader's understanding of the phenomenon under study" (Merriam, 1988, p. 13). Relying on

multiple sources of data collection, triangulation of data helps strengthen the findings (Yin,

1994). For this study, data were collected from state commissioned reports, newspaper articles,

and administrator interviews.









Content Analysis of Independent Sources

Four independent sources were explored for theme explication: administrator interviews,

newspaper articles, the Task Force Report, and the Virginia Tech Report. Content analysis was

conducted on various news articles pertaining to campus shootings. The accuracy of the articles

was irrelevant. The source was used only as a means to identify the general relationship of

shooters to the targeted institutions. Content analysis was conducted on portions of two

gubernatorial reports for the purpose of illustration and discovery.

Administrator Interviews

Open-ended interviews were conducted by the researcher in person or by phone.

Establishing rapport was thought critical to the receipt of insightful and thorough perspectives.

The interviews lasted up to 45 minutes and were recorded for later transcription when possible.

The interviews were designed to determine the participants' knowledge, beliefs, concerns,

experiences, involvement, and perceptions of campus safety policy following the Virginia Tech

tragedy. Participants were provided with written informed consent information, confidentiality

and anonymity information, and a brief description of the study before beginning. Interview

questions were not provided prior to the interviews.

Data Analysis

Four recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim. Five additional interviews were

transcribed from copious note taking. Text from each interview was coded for themes. Open and

selective coding for theme explication included newspaper articles and sections from two task

force reports. The coding process allowed theory development to be grounded in the real world

and to evolve through the data gathering process (Glaser & Straus, 1967).









Sample

Prior to beginning the study, the researcher submitted the study's protocol to the

university's Institutional Review Board (IRB). Upon approval, higher education administrators

employed at Florida's 28 community colleges were randomly and purposively selected for

interview. The administrators consisted of deans and assistant deans of student affairs and

academic affairs, campus provosts, and vice presidents/directors of institutional technology and

planning. Although the researcher offered to set aside any hour of the day or night for the

interviews (in an effort to increase participation), the majority of the administrators contacted did

not wish to participate, citing workloads and deadlines. Of the 74 administrators solicited, nine

granted an interview. The nine participants represented five different community colleges and

seven distinct campuses. The sample included representation from small, medium and large

multi-campus settings, in the southern, central, and northern districts of Florida.

Assumptions

Assumptions of this study include the belief (a) that perspectives of the participants were

meaningful, (b) that participants answered the interview questions sincerely and thoroughly, (c)

that the participants who were interviewed are dealing with the same or similar issues as other

community college administrators elsewhere in the state and across the country, and (d) that the

primary data were accurately transcribed for coding purposes.

Limitations

Only a small number of respondents within Florida's community college system

participated in the study. Although content analyses of independent sources provided

consistencies among the data points, the representativeness of the study was limited to the

geographic confines of the State of Florida. Findings are further not generalizable outside the

state because of the inclusion of legal discussion specific to the laws of Florida. The study's









scope was delimited to proactive campus safety measures presently in effect and those being

considered for adoption. Selective coding delimits the study in that it was not concerned as much

with data accuracy as it was with generating concepts. Reactive measures taken during and after

an identified human made crisis were looked at only in the context of Clery Act timely reporting.

The study was additionally delimited by only interviewing active administrators at campus

settings based on the conceptual construct guiding the study. The attitudes and opinions of the

Florida Board of Education and the community college council of presidents' risk management

consortium were not solicited for information although their role in future policy development is

paramount. The researcher focused on the perceptions and actions of the identified group

selected for the study as it was believed that present practices, ascertainable through the selected

interview strategy, would be more indicative of what was actually occurring in the community

college setting since the Virginia Tech tragedy.

Threats to Validity and Reliability

Validation of the Data

Different methods of data collecting in the study allowed the researcher "to control for

invalidity of the method" (Hagan, 2000, p. 289). Structured interviews were designed to elicit

information as to the participants' thoughts, opinions, and attitudes related to the topic of the

study. Berg (2001) indicated that there is a relationship between one's thoughts and actions.

Taking this dynamic into consideration, the research questions were designed around specific

constructs. When information is drawn from more than one source, validity is enhanced

(Creswell, 2002). Triangulation is the process of using multiple methods to measure a construct

(Campbell & Fiske, 1959; Webb et al., 1966). In the study, each thematic representation of the

structural components analyzed was triangulated to increase validity through the content

analyses of the independent sources.









Reliability and Validity

To test reliability, a researcher seeks to determine whether the instrument yields

consistent results on repeated trials (Carmines & Zeller, 1979, p. 11). This study did not seek to

measure a construct such as intelligence but rather the thoughts and opinions about the

development of community college safety policy/planning following the Virginia Tech tragedy.

Preliminary work included pre-testing the structured interview questions asked of the

respondents. A number of fellow graduate students were used for commentary on achieving

clearer responses and developing more probing-type questions capable of eliciting richer, more

detailed responses. Inter-coder reliability was not an issue since a single researcher collected the

data used for analyses.

Validity, on the other hand, seeks to determine the "relationship between concept and

indicator" (Carmines & Zeller, 1979, p. 12). By using the grounded theory approach, validity is

judged more on the criteria of fit, relevance, workability, and modifiability. The concepts must

fit the incident being explored and the study must be relevant to the participants' concern (Glaser

& Straus, 1967; Glesne, 1999; Creswell, 2002). The criteria of fit, relevance, workability, and

modifiability were applicable and adaptable to this study. Nevertheless, a discussion of validity

in the traditional sense follows.

A valid instrument is one that actually measures the phenomenon being studied. The

process of measuring a concept introduces random error, so a researcher attempts to limit the

extent of random error. Nonrandom error, however, has "a systematic biasing effect on

measuring instruments" and "lies at the very heart of validity" (Carmines & Zeller, 1979, p. 14).

In these cases, the measuring instrument gauges something other than the concept studied. Using

instruments that have been tested for reliability and validity reduces the chances for nonrandom

error. The literature review indicated that no prior instrument had attempted to measure the









construct of campus safety policy and planning or its perceived efficacy at a particular location.

The rationale behind this study was the desire to fill gaps in the literature by exploring the topic

in a manner that would allow for the identification of major themes while providing

synthesizable areas for the discovery of the policy theory that best explained current practice.

Internal validity. An unreliable instrument lacks internal validity (Ary et al., 2002).

Threats to the validity of selected instrumentation include face validity, content validity,

construct validity, and criterion-related validity (id.). Whether an instrument is facially valid for

its intended purpose is a matter of review.

In this study, a panel of experts comprised of two members of the executive committee of

the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges, an affiliate of the American

Association of Community Colleges (AACC), agreed to review the proposed interview questions

following the researcher's preliminary work of pre-testing and modifying the structured

interview instrument. The AACC describes itself as a national voice for two-year associate

degree granting institutions. The executive committee members are considered experts in

community college administration. The expert panel rated the interview questions for validity

and recommended one change to strengthen the robustness and depth of the interviews. That

recommendation was incorporated into the final instrument (Appendix A).

Content validity asks whether the responses generated by the instrument accurately

represent the content of what the instrument had intended to measure (Gall et al., 1996). Using

an expert panel provided control for threats to content validity.

Construct validity is relevant when "abstractions that cannot be observed directly" are

indicated (Ary et al., 2002, p. 32). Common abstractions include motivation, anxiety, and

satisfaction. It is conceded that the term safety can indeed be abstract. However, a campus safety









policy and the behaviors and actions it seeks to influence are observable and concrete. To deal

with potential concerns, the use of an expert panel addressed construct validity issues.

Criterion-related validity seeks to determine whether the study's design was right for the

particular construct being measured (Ary et al., 2002). Using a panel of experts dealt with

criterion-related validity.

External validity. Threats to external validity refer to the generalizability or

representativeness of the study's findings (Ary et al., 2002). This study was not generalizable

outside the State of Florida because of the inclusion of legal discussion specific to the laws of

Florida. Different agency law applications, as well as whether other states have waived sovereign

immunity and to what extent, are matters guided solely under the principles of federalism, vary

on a state-by-state basis, and involve issues left to the interpretations of the individual state's

highest court and have no precedential weight or authority in other jurisdictions outside each

state's borders. States would have to be evaluated independently to identify similarities and

differences to determine whether a researcher could control for variance between jurisdictions

and allow for meaningful comparisons. The magnitude of a study to accomplish the latter was

beyond the scope of the study.

Researcher subjectivity. The researcher's subjective relationship to the research topic

deals only with the legal avenues of liability. As a licensed attorney in the State of Florida, the

researcher has represented plaintiffs and defended government agencies in civil rights actions,

federal torts, and state law negligence suits. Because of areas related to practice, the researcher's

perspective perhaps favored the legal significance of findings over that of a lay person. A focus

supporting flexibility over standardization may also be evident. The researcher has never been

employed by the community college system in the State of Florida and has never represented any









of its employees in their official capacity. The researcher offers no legal advice in the following

study but does attempt to draw the reader's attention to legal matters that should be explored by

policymakers in the community college setting.

Research Questions and Operationalization of the Variables

What Actions Concerning Campus Safety Were Developed as a Result of the Virginia Tech
Tragedy?

The concept of community college actions as they relate to campus safety policies and

guidelines can be explained in several ways. For the college administrator, they may be written

or verbal, new or historical, and relate to how one is instructed or authorized to deal with a

particular issue. The study sought to determine whether the response pattern had shifted

following the Virginia Tech shootings, and if so, what each respondent found to be the

influential factors behind the change: the subsequent release of the gubernatorial reports, calls

from parents, mandates from the state, statutes and laws, or some other variable. The direction of

change, as in whether it was top-down or bottom up, was sought. This question also explored

administrative actions related to Clery Act timely reporting and the promulgation of other

potential hazard warnings to the campus community. The focus was fourfold.

First, are campuses favoring the new controlprong observed in recent media reports

commenting on the usefulness of the warnings? Second, do campuses believe that when law

enforcement identifies a person of interest the obligation to issue a Clery Act timely warning

abates even though there are no provisions in the Clery Act that indicate this is the case? Third,

do the amount of expenditures being deployed on cameras and audible sirens under the

institutional goal of overall crime reduction in an environment with a statically low rate of crime

suggest measurement problems for administrators? Fourth, do guidelines exist as to how the

equipment will be used and are the guidelines available to the campus community?









What Actions Concerning Student Mental Health Issues Were Developed as a Result of the
Virginia Tech Tragedy?

This question explored actions related the availability of campus resources and mutual

aid options for mental health services. An additional aim of this question was to probe what the

interviewed administrators were most likely to fear on their campuses and whether the growth

rate of online classes presented novel challenges.

Efforts to assemble a centralized unit where information on a particular student can

ascend were encouraged in both the Task Force Report (2007) and the Virginia Tech Report

(2007). This question sought to determine what happens to a student once he or is she was

identified as at risk on a campus. Examination looked at whether guidelines were available for

the identification of potential at risk behavior, as well as for the referral process and follow up of

an individual's progress.

How Virginia Tech may have opened itself up to the potential for fines, in addition to

state and federal causes of actions, by not effectively planning for the avoidance of dangerous

situations via the lack of information networking was examined. Plus, based on the devastating

consequences of unreasonable acts or omissions related to foreseeable dangers, the study

explored what legal representation was being used for safety policy issues as they arose.

What are the Benefits and Limitations of the Recommendations Found in the Task Force
Report as They Relate to the Community College?

Attitudes regarding findings and recommendations presented in published reports are a

crucial part of the study. Respondents were probed as to their familiarity with the topics

contained within Florida's Task Force Report (2007). Respondents who had not reviewed or

been briefed on the report were asked for their thoughts and opinions about some of the

recommendations after being made aware of them by the researcher. The underlying relevance









was in discovering whether the participants were actively engaging in conversations related to

the recommendations.

Responsibilities pursuant to privacy acts in the enumerated recommendations were

queried. Whether administrators perceived a need to relay particular observations regarding

students to parents or other agencies was examined. Views on whether law enforcement

personnel had a role institutional crisis teams were sought. Areas of interest further included

guidelines that allow students due process and the means to challenge relayed information.

Whether student codes of conduct had been changed was also explored.

Data Analysis

The analysis for the research was sectioned into two parts: interview documents and

written documents. Qualitative content analysis was employed to arrive at a richer understanding

of the nature of campus safety policy development following the Virginia Tech tragedy.

Emergent themes were developed from exploratory interview questions and task force reports.

Answers to interview questions provided trails from which additional themes were explored.

Table 3-1 (infra, p. 85) outlines the questions used to acquire detailed responses covering the

stated research objectives. The focal point of each question was directed at respondents' actions

and perceptions related to the underlying process of the explored topic. Content analysis, coding,

and basic descriptive statistics provided the means to identify developing themes.

Content Analysis of Independent Sources

Newspaper Articles on Campus Shootings

LexisNexis is a legal research database with search engines that are capable of pulling

newspapers articles across the country by topic. A LexisNexis search of newspaper articles

pertaining to college shooting incidents was conducted then supplemented with basic Google

queries. The search was limited to shooting incidents on higher education campus in the United









States and contiguous provinces. The articles had limited information but were useful in

exploring several areas: shooters affiliations to targeted institutions, general idea of the number

of victims, whether the shooters committed suicide, ages of the shooters, and the approximate

years in which the incidents occurred. It was important to use this source of data to strengthen

the evidence contained in findings from the respondent interviews and also to explore the

relationships: employee/employer; student/institution; or pure random act of violence by

outsiders to the campus community.

Task Force Reports

Relevant portions of the Virginia Tech Report and Florida's Task Force Report were

examined. The simulation of data points contained within the key topic areas of these sources

was considered a means to strengthen findings of emergent themes through constant comparison

for overlap and theme consistency.

Summary

This chapter outlined the procedures and design of the study. A qualitative content

analysis design was indicated, providing for rich, thick description of the problem being

explored. The attributes of the selected design were presented along with the study's

assumptions, limitations, and general threats to validity. An expert panel was used to control for

internal threats to validity. This chapter included a description of the study's purpose, rationale,

researcher subjectivity, operationalization of the variables, sample selection, population, and data

analysis.










Table 3-1. Open Ended Questions
Question Asked
*What concerns involving the Virginia Tech shootings
stood out the most in your mind as a college administrator?
*Once the shooter's mental health background became known,
were there discussions on campus about at risk students?
*Does your institution provide counseling services?
*Does your institution use licensed law enforcement officers
or security personnel?
*Have you read or been briefed on the contents of the
Virginia Tech Report or Florida's Gubernatorial Report?
*Have any policies been reviewed, changed, or implemented
within the last year? Student conduct codes?
*Have you requested or do you know whether your college
has provided or sought advisory opinions on privacy laws
(e.g., FERPA, HIPAA)? The Clery Act? Negligence Actions?
*Following the shootings, have students or their parents
expressed any specific concerns that you are aware of?
*How would you describe your campus culture?
*How are decision made on your campus?
*How would your college students be notified under the
timely warning provision of the Clery Act?
*Does your institution have crisis intervention teams in place?
*Does the increase in online classroom growth raise or
lower safety concerns?


Focal Point of Question

Perceptions: Attitudes

Actions: Preparation
Actions: Resources

Actions: Resources

Perceptions: Influences

Actions: Preparation


Actions: Preparation

Perceptions: Influences
Perceptions: Influences
Actions: Influences

Actions: Resources
Actions: Resources

Perceptions: Attitudes









CHAPTER 4
FINDINGS

Overview

This study sought to extricate themes that are relevant to the development of campus

safety policies. Grounded theory methodology was used to guide the study. The community

college was selected as the setting. Institutional actions precipitated by the Virginia Tech tragedy

were explored. From coding considerations to the individual perceptions of the interviewed

respondents, the resulting theory was grounded in real life experiences. Reviewed actions

centered on practices, directives, and policy advancements that have been implemented on each

reviewed campus in the last year. To validate the interviews, other data points were introduced.

The data points included newspaper articles pertaining to college shooting incidents and relevant

portions of the Virginia Tech and Florida's Task Force Reports. This chapter describes the

campus setting and provides the themes that emerged from each independent source.

Describing the Milieu of the Community College

Interviews conducted in person on campus gave way to researcher observation. Seven

locations were visited and initially appeared to consist of diverse types of campus arrangements,

from sprawling main campuses on considerable acreage to satellite campuses located in

buildings in the heart of business districts. The different outward appearances gave way to

remarkably similar inward characteristics. Upon arrival, neither a visitor's pass nor sign in was

necessary at any location. Classrooms were present everywhere and laid out in a variety of

arrangements consistent with the unique architecture of each setting.

Each campus appeared to have private businesses operating on campus that provided

services to the campus community. One campus operated a cafe with seating that opened up to

an outside area adjacent to multiple businesses; there was a main thoroughfare heavily traveled









with pedestrian traffic unrelated to the campus that had full access. On the day of the

researcher's visit, diners included enrolled students, business people, and a landscape crew. At a

snack bar inside a more isolated main campus, customers were students, employees, and

independent service providers. UPS and Fed Ex drivers were observed on two campuses. The

flow of traffic illustrated the multiple roles of each institution; it further detailed the many

services a college campus receives. The numerous community resources and constituents to

carry out the overall operations to facilitate the academic mission were of enormous proportions.

Open access and open buildings were common denominators of the visited sites, which

was not surprising. Open access has embodied the structure of community colleges throughout

the country, and is common at large universities as well. The theme of open access was not the

unique component, though. Grocery stores, mall shopping centers, and restaurants each enjoy

open access. The distinction was in the number of structures and various points of entry and exit.

At each Florida community college visited, there were multiple roads in and out; buildings and

doors in every direction. Some doors opened to stairways, others opened to classrooms. A few

opened to offices, while still others opened to other doors. One building observed had elevators

for freight and elevators for people. Each structure provided multiple ways for ingress and

egress, meaning there were numerous ways to get out in the event of an emergency. Although

not unusual, it was observed that buildings with more than one floor were not architecturally

designed with external exit options, such as fire escapes.

Building placement and design made it difficult to ascertain where individuals or groups

of people were headed to or from unless the beeline was towards or away from numerous

parking lots. Each location was also replete with nooks and crannies. So while each campus

encompassed lots of space, there were many columns, pieces of art, and architectural features









that presented obstructions. While sitting in the parking lot of each location, the researcher

observed people carrying notebooks, boxes, skateboards, backpacks, luggage, and briefcases. But

mostly, people carried books, phones, and I-pods. Packages and vending supplies were delivered

in Styrofoam coolers, milk crates, brown boxes, and sealed envelopes. Many people were

observed chatting, both on their phones and in small groups. People smiled and said hello when

greeted and passed. Some of the pedestrian traffic wore headphones. Cars and buses were

observed dropping off and picking up people at two of the campuses. At one of the bus stops,

people were busy with correspondence: one was reading a newspaper, two were text-messaging,

and one was talking on a cell phone. A small cluster of smokers was seen on one campus, maybe

employees on break or students hanging out before or after class.

Campus security officers were observed at two college campuses: one was seen at the

main campus and the other at a satellite branch. The officers were very polite and both asked

whether the researcher needed assistance. Apparently, standing motionless and gazing about

made the researcher look lost. No requests for the researcher to present identification were made,

only kind offers to assist. The interactions highlighted another observation: groups were not

readily identifiable on the campuses. Delivery drivers were easy to spot and identify, comprising

the only group accurately linked to its purpose. While many of the people were young and

stereotyped by the researcher as appearing to be students based on clothing and materials carried,

the faculty, staff, and others, such as service providers who may be contracted to work on the

campuses, were not visually distinguishable. People believed to be students could have been

visitors or staff. Several people were noticed wearing picture identification cards, but it was not

possible to see if the badges were for the institution or related to the person's place of

employment elsewhere. At one location, there were signs pointing to the offices of a private









university operating within the community college; this established merely another way the

population on a campus was comingled from multiple sources. At three campuses, colored flyers

stapled to large polls advertised upcoming public workshops scheduled in the days and weeks to

come.

The researcher was directed to a district administration office for one of the interviews.

The office was not located on the college's campus. The building occupied its own geographic

space adjacent to other commercial establishments in a central location of the larger city. The

parking lot required a code to raise a gate arm, but no other security feature, such as fencing or

cameras, was observable. With the proximity of other businesses, it appeared the gate allowed

for parking by those who were employed in the building. Metered parking along the street was

accessible. Upon entering the building, there was a sign-in desk; no one was at the desk during

the researcher's entry or exit.

The general setup of the campuses visited was open and inviting. People were friendly;

the grounds well maintained. Continuous movement in a variety of directions was observed.

Lone people sitting or leaning against structures were noticed. Other people were seen talking on

cell phones and studying in groups. The researcher's journal of notes for each site was useful in

validating the diversity and magnitude of the college setting.

On the whole, the community college campuses were nothing more than moderate sized

political subdivisions operating both private and governmental functions within larger political

subdivisions (counties) that likewise operate in a terrain filled with both private and government

entities. About the only thing missing within the campus community were jails and various types

of entertainment, although sports venues were quite prevalent. There were judicial affairs

services mostly managed through offices of student affairs from what could be determined from









posted signs; it appeared punishment by way of expulsion merely sends a student back into the

larger community. The citizens of each community were indistinguishable from one another,

comprising the same groups moving about in a free society conducting business with and

purchasing products from public and private entities. The main theme that emerged from the site

visits was the diversity of pedestrian traffic that flows through the community college setting.

Describing the Sample of Administrators

The sample of administrators was comprised of nine high level college administrators in

Florida's community college system. All nine participants held advanced degrees and were

deans, assistant deans, provosts, or vice presidents/directors; none were new to college

administration. Demographic variables on age, sex, and ethnicity of the administrators were not

relevant to the study. Each administrator needed only to be actively employed at one of the

state's 28 identified campuses as enumerated on the Florida Department of Education's web

page (http://www.fldoe.org/cc/colleges.asp) and employed at the institution at the time of the

Virginia Tech tragedy.

The sample included representation from the southern, central, and northern parts of the

state. The selection process from the described population was both random (n=8) and purposive

(n=l). The sample was not truly representative of high level administrators working in Florida's

community college system since it was not fully random. All of the administrators worked

directly within the college communities being examined, and their thoughts and opinions were

considered invaluable to the research topic. With the extent of coverage, the group provided

meaningful data on an issue that has generated a great deal of discussion: campus safety policy.









Independent Sources


Content Analyses of the Interviews

The interviews were designed to explore the actions and perceptions of the

administrators. Actions focused on changes to student codes of conduct, promulgation of

guidelines for use of warning equipment, training modules for faculty, and institutional

preparation specific to the use and development of counseling resources-relevant to cost

containment discussed in the literature. Related to perceptions were broad categories of

influences and attitudes, such as views on task force recommendations, decision making styles,

and campus culture, also described in the literature. The surveyed topics that generated rich

responses from each respondent were assembled alphabetically and are presented below.

Accreditation. The topic of whether safety planning should be made an accreditation

standard was well received by each respondent. One stated: "institutionally, absolutely. It is part

of the learning process." Each favored some form of campus safety planning in the accreditation

process; none detailed any specifics about what it should include.

At risk. Respondents had mixed reactions about what services to provide at risk students

and how to identify them. One respondent indicated that:

Larger universities with medical colleges and student health centers are perhaps better
suited to offer specific services, whereas we would be better situated to make referrals to the
providers located in our community when the need presents itself.

Another respondent stated that:

Every establishment is vulnerable to abnormal behavior. Communities have state funded
mental health treatment facilities so attempting to duplicate efforts on shoestring budgets is
problematic.

One explained:

Issues regarding how to respond to a student like this appropriately without crossing the
line, without being invasive or violating a student's privacy rights are being discussed. If









anyone is even remotely concerned about a student, we are addressing the appropriate
responses for that information.

Heightened awareness of at risk students, or at least those presenting themselves to be at

risk, along with appropriate responses to these students were consistent threads found in eight

responses. No respondent found Appendix M in the Virginia Tech report overly helpful after

looking at it during the interview. One said "it described every student a faculty member has ever

had and yet no student a faculty member has ever had." Five respondents commented that

Appendix M may be an effective screening tool for individual faculty in the K-12 setting.

Concerns basically centered on differences between the K-12 setting and the college

environment. From students who were juggling work, classes, and families and the wide variety

of course offerings (work force development and general academics) to the size and location of

the classes and expertise of the faculty, three respondents felt Appendix M and other lists like it

were best left to intervention/crisis teams and not individual faculty.

Eight of the respondents indicated some type of apprehension regarding the at risk profile

being implemented; fears related to liability that ranged from under reacting to overreacting.

Comments ranged from "we can't help if we don't there is a problem" to "do these people even

belong in the academic environment, and if not, what grounds do we use to remove them?" The

availability of counseling resources to be of assistance along with how these issues were to be

decided presented numerous areas of concern from seven of the respondents.

As far as identified crisis response scenarios, three respondents showed the researcher

flip charts; four had binders that contained various protocols for action/reaction scenarios. The

information was mostly applicable to weather hazards and identified crises occurring on a

campus opposed to front end identification and assistance with potential at risk students or

scenarios that may escalate into dangerous situations.









Five respondents (56%) brought up the troubling information stream between Cho and

the Virginia Tech administration that become known to the public after the Virginia Tech

shooting tragedy. The majority of the respondents (78%) expressed some concern over not

wanting to unnecessarily profile odd behavior. In contrast, one respondent stated:

One concern was that as the Virginia Tech story started to unfold, it was clear that there
were many warning signs in front of them but there was not enough communication to
connect the dots. So what at first seemed like an utter random act of violence that no one
could have ever predicated was not the case. There was instead someone who was really
significantly troubled and who had demonstrated this throughout his interactions with the
educational system from precollege all the way through college.

During the interviews, service options for students thought to be at risk were explored.

One respondent reported a unique arrangement that the institution had worked out with its

employee assistance program (EAP). The respondent stated that really troubled students could

be referred to the EAP for assessment. The college would pay the initial screening fee. The EAP

arrangement was described as an institutional response for a campus that did not employ mental

health trained workers. The respondent indicated that the service had been used only once and

that the student declined to follow through with treatment. As to the at risk student who chose

not to participate in counseling, concerns regarding follow up or institutional tracking of the

student were not raised by the respondent.

Three other respondents described counseling models at their institutions. These centers

were described as places where students could be seen on any number of matters and provided

referrals on others. Again, no criterion for follow-through of prescribed treatment was

mentioned. Student codes of conduct appeared to be the guiding framework to advance a student

over to judicial affairs when behavior warranted, but changes to conduct codes or updates in

student rights for those individuals identified as at risk had not been implemented since the

Virginia Tech tragedy.









Best practices. When asked about best practices related to campus safety, two

participants provided examples from other colleges without specifically recalling the names. One

respondent's institution had modeled its crisis safety team on the successes reported at another

institution located out of state and felt the design was working well for student needs. Another

indicated that Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York, had a case management

team model that was reviewed for design considerations. Other than a central reporting location,

no specifics were provided. Four of the nine interviewees (44%) indicated that the counseling

referral system being used at their institutions was in place prior to the Virginia Tech tragedy.

Three respondents discussed active classroom models for more interactive student

participation. It was explained that in active classroom settings, student personalities were more

observable. One respondent pointed out that creating an active classroom environment in a math

class was not very realistic. Differences between K-12 teachers and professors were also briefly

mentioned by three respondents. The context centered on best practices that would work in one

environment but not necessarily the other. K-12 educators were described as receiving

considerable pedagogy instruction and training to recognize issues (child abuse) to report to the

authorities. Professors (mostly adjuncts) were described as subject matter experts. The researcher

linked the described respondent views to the different duties that exist in the two settings and did

not develop the issue further during the interviews. Three respondents openly questioned

whether spending money on overlapping warning systems was a best practice.

Campus culture. Queries related to campus culture engendered a diversity of responses.

At the larger campuses with multiple satellite offices, the respondents at branch locations

indicated that each campus had its own culture. For instance, the satellite was viewed as being

clannish to one respondent while the main campus was described as market driven by another









respondent. One respondent felt the local satellite leaned towards adhocracy whereas the main

branch was bureaucratic. Another stated it this way:

It varies a great deal between each of our campuses, as each has its own provost/president
and each has its own community flavor. Our current president is very goal oriented.
Planning is a big feature of what we do, so we lean toward bureaucratic and market driven
in the overall context.

Another respondent described her institution as consensus building with a commitment to shared

governance.

Clery Act. A majority of the respondents (n=5) indicated little to no personal knowledge

of the mechanics of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime

Statistics Act, referred to as the Clery Act. One believed it pertained to crime data and reports on

the campus' website. Three understood it encompassed more than crime totals and that it also

had a timely warning provision. Responses from those familiar with the act ranged from

"awareness is the key" to "do they [students] really need to know?" Two of the respondents felt

their institutions had an additional obligation to advise recipients on an appropriate course of

conduct in connection with the reported events. One respondent answered in the form of a

question:

Is it the best idea in the world to tell everyone there is a shooter on campus? Will everyone
run out of the buildings and run to the parking lot headed for cars and off campus like
maniacs?

Other comments included:

Damned if you do and damned if you don't. We want people to know if there is a danger on
campus but we feel we are not doing due diligence if we do not have enough information to
tell them what to do once they receive the information.

Anecdotally, the same respondent explained:

We once had an employee killed on campus. It was a domestic violence incident where the
perpetrator immediately fled from campus. We called law enforcement and the officers









handled the situation. So who do we tell? We don't want the campus community to unduly
panic. So the issue for us is that it seems irresponsible to not provide more information.

Committee work or panels. When asked whether committee work or panels had been

formed to look into mental health services after the Virginia Tech tragedy, each respondent

believed discussions were occurring at the state level. Although not knowing the specifics, one

said: "I feel certain there have been discussions." Only one respondent reported being actively

engaged in a number of dialogues on the matter. No respondent made reference to in-house

studies of any nature. A respondent at a larger community college believed that growth in one

type of service would positively correlate with growth in another and commented:

We have recently contracted with an external corporation to provide housing at one of our
community college locations. As more of these housing arrangements come into existence,
a push for more medical services will be forthcoming. To get any type of service, though, it
will have to be a paid service and be budgeted for.

Decision making. Questions related to decision making engendered a range of responses.

At satellite campuses, each respondent (n=4) again offered two opinions: the way decisions were

made locally and the way they were made on main campus. None of the respondents (n=5)

located on main campuses qualified their answers in terms of differences in decision making

styles at one location compared to the other. One respondent described the directionality of

decision making this way:

Most major decisions are reviewed by the cabinet, so they are top-down decisions that come
from these 15 people before it becomes official. Certain things need approval by the trustees
as well. The gist for the ideas may come from the faculty, staff, and students but would be
sent up for review, approval, and implementation.

In a legal context, the respondent's description indicated a pathway more akin to policymaking

than decision making. The importance of the administrative role in decision making as it relates

to the operationalization of implemented policy (specific to the power the sample of

administrators engage on a regular basis) was not developed in the responses.









Each respondent was aware of how the overall decision making process was organized in

case of an emergency on campus. Flip charts provided details as to the chain of command and

who contacts whom. Only three respondents (33%) knew the name or position of the party or

parties who could issue a Clery Act timely warning on their campus.

Dual enrollment. Community colleges have a small population of dual enrollment

students who are working on completing both their high school and associates degrees at the

same time. Respondents were probed as to their thoughts about having pupils under the age of 18

on their campuses; the responses varied. One respondent did not think the dual enrolled youth

actually attended college campuses but rather the courses were offered in the high school setting.

Another respondent mentioned technology concerns and wondered whether the college should be

filtering content for the under 18 population. A respondent at a smaller campus indicated a

specific resource/contact person who worked directly with the dual enrollment students and dealt

with matters as they arose. Another respondent mentioned the home schooled youth who come in

quite young possessing the discipline and aptitude for college work and compared those students

with a group of very immature dual enrolled students who had to be asked to leave after a series

of childish disruptions on campus. Eight of the nine respondents did not link age to the

possibility of varying institutional duties; the one respondent who did make a connection

believed the matter was handled through waivers.

Forces driving change. Forces that are driving recent campus safety changes following

the Virginia Tech tragedy were explored. The media was credited by each respondent in some

manner as the most influential contributor. One respondent summed it up this way:

There was a huge knee jerk reaction to the events at Virginia Tech, which was undeniably a
horrific event. But much of the attention was media driven. This was not the first time
multiple people were shot and killed on an academic campus. There is a time and a place for
national attention and exposure where certain events rise to the forefront of the media.









Campuses responded immediately, along with state and national leaders, but there is only so
much any of us can do.

No respondent had personally received or was aware of any calls from students or parents

following the Virginia Tech shooting. Two respondents provided the researcher with names of

contact people who may have known more on the subject. The referrals indicated the

respondents had not personally followed up or been advised on the matter.

Online classes. The online student population is rising. Respondents were asked whether

this posed new challenges in the quest to identify and support potential at risk students. One of

the respondents felt keeping up with the technology was a problem. Six respondents raised issues

related to difficulties in seeing overt behavior; seven felt student writings were revealing and

provided something tangible that could be forwarded to appropriate parties. Two respondents

referred to an anonymity problem; one of the two felt "anonymity exists in either environment."

Student conduct codes. No respondent indicated any changes in student codes of

conduct since the Virginia Tech shootings. One felt certain that her institution's "Noah's Ark

committee and the cabinet were looking at ways we are going to respond." Three indicated that

their policies were being evaluated but had no additional information. One indicated a review

was presently underway but that it was precipitated by academic dishonesty and not disruptive

behavior. Two respondents believed information on community service options for students was

being added. Upon further probing, it was established that these respondents were specifically

referring to upgrades to student handbooks as useful reference guides for the student body and

had not meant conduct codes were being supplemented. To date, no changes were shown.

Safety officers. Private security with mutual aid agreements for law enforcement backup

was the majority arrangement (80%). One multi-campus college had its own police department;

no advantages to the arrangement were mentioned or explored. Only the two respondents









affiliated with the college with sworn officers showed support for the controlprong view to the

Clery Act. No respondent with private security arrangements indicated any dissatisfaction or

desire to change to sworn officers. One respondent at a campus with private security was aware

of a new position that was created in response to concerns raised by the Virginia Tech tragedy.

The institutional goal in bringing a security specialist in was to oversee safety functions more

closely. The respondent explained:

This new person is to report to the director of risk management and is in charge of parking,
security, and safety. The person hired has a strong safety background. It used to be that all
these functions fell under the director of risk management who has about 1000 other things
to consider. So these services were not getting a single-minded approach or the attention felt
needed at the time.

Each respondent indicated close relationships with local law enforcement agencies, whether

having sworn officers or not. The local law enforcement responses were described as reliable by

each respondent. The majority (n=7) indicated the response times were very quick: reasons

clustered around speculation of proximity (n=4) to good relations (n=3). No respondent reported

anything negative from the use of security personnel who do not carry weapons or have arrest

powers. Two respondents described community-oriented type policing approaches and spoke

highly of the arrangements.

Student records/privacy laws/sharing. When queried about student records and privacy

laws, the responses varied considerably in some areas and were uniform in another. For example,

eight of the respondents did not believe law enforcement should have access to student records;

this opinion was shared by respondents at the college having sworn officers. It should be noted

that one respondent was not directly asked this question. Of the eight who were, no respondent

could think of a legitimate educational purpose for law enforcement to have access to student

records. Four respondents were aware of FERPA and its emergency disclosure provision; these









respondents believed the act's guidelines were sufficient for them to provide information on a

need-to-know basis. One respondent indicated attending legal conferences and workshops and

believed she "has always interpreted FERPA the correct way." The respondent explained that she

trains the registrar and student phone operators on the topic and indicated the college "provides

good information under the mandates of the legislation." The response appeared limited to

information the institution would divulge upon request opposed to direct observations regarding

a student's behavior that the institution could legally disclose to parents and proper authorities.

Concerns were raised by three respondents who mentioned high school transcripts and

counseling services or accommodations that may have been provided to a student throughout

precollege matriculation. This was an issue raised in the Virginia Tech Report. These

respondents explained that their institutions would not be interested in screening out students for

admission because of enhancements noted on transcripts but would desire a coding tool to

institutionally spot students who may be candidates for adjustment issues. The same respondents

knew front end information was only available if a student voluntarily disclosed or when a

problem arose and the institution later determined the need to request the information after

admission. Time, need, and expense were listed as factors that would not allow an institution to

be pulling complete records on all students once admitted. One respondent stated: "As it stands

now, we have to wait until something very telling or bad happens before we can become

interested." Another indicated: "the system feeds the problem." The disjunction in records

between the precollege and college setting was referred to by one respondent as "the gap: what

happens in K-12 stays in K-12." How the information would be managed was not disclosed.

Six respondents referred to information sharing in the context of providing resources to

students. One respondent discussed storage and retrieval, as well as compliance with document









retention, indicating the need for "more complete backup systems and integration." Two

respondents indicated concerns as to what to do with particular types of information if it were to

become known, such as illegal conduct in a student's past. One respondent indicated institutional

concerns as to whether the college would become liable for information contained in student

background checks that were required for clinical programs. What to do with disqualifying

background information for a program was causing angst: indicating confusion between the

negligent hiring concerns of employers versus possible omissions on institutional applications.

Reports: Strengths and weaknesses. Responses related to the strengths and weaknesses

of the two task force reports generated a variety of themes related to the findings and

recommendations. Seven respondents had not personally read either the Task Force Report or the

Virginia Tech Report but had been briefed in some manner on one or both. Two respondents

received their information on the reports from the media entirely. Five indicated that newspaper

articles and media clips supplemented their knowledge of the reports and kept them informed on

the issues. Overall, two respondents thought the recommendations in Task Force Report did not

apply well to community colleges. Three did not think the Task Force Report was applicable to

them at all. Two believed their campus' cabinet was still reviewing the information. One

respondent clearly knew the report applied because of a board member's concern. One

respondent summed it up this way: "sometimes when these reports come out, they are not all that

helpful. You can help along campus safety, but you cannot insure it."

Related to security features discussed in the Task Force Report, all the participants

indicated some form of new technology purchase, such as upgraded emergency notification

systems, following the Virginia Tech tragedy. Comments indicated momentum toward

completing blast e-mail capability, text messaging, installing voice capable sirens, and









revamping web pages with emergency information. Three respondents additionally talked about

door locks; one respondent mentioned that costs for upgraded phone systems were being

explored-describing the present phone setup as one that allowed calls out but not in, meaning

emergency information could not be forwarded through the classroom phone system for people

located in other parts of a building close to an unfolding event. Another respondent elaborated on

numerous features being implemented and explained:

One method being explored is having colleges join forces for the creation of purchasing
contracts to obtain security equipment and contracts at reduced rates. This RFI buying
power will allow us to secure better technology for our campuses. The services will cost
each campus somewhere between a quarter of a million dollars annually to maintain after
the initial expenses to install the technology. We have audio sirens now but we are looking
at installing a new fire alarm system that will allow voice warnings also, which we hope to
be able to restrict to particular buildings and even specific floors within a particular building
when the system is up and running. By having as many tiers as possible, we are hoping to
keep the members of our community as safe as possible. The emergency systems are for all
types of incidents and occurrences, such as weather events or distressed students. We have
also implemented a full disaster recovery site for our computer data and records that has full
backup with triple redundancy. All files are protected, so we feel well covered.

Three respondents felt the equipment was excessive in light of other needs. Another stated:

Essentially, what is happening is that we are seeing expenditures on devices that are used
after someone has already been shot or killed on campus rather than dealing with the front
end. It would be great if we could get those funds and try to identify and help these students.

One respondent indicated "text messaging is not a particularly effective means of getting

information to students." No respondent mentioned the development of guidelines for informing

the campus community of when warnings through the systems would issue; no respondent was

aware of any existing lists.

On the topic of faculty roles for at risk student identification, each expressed some type

of concern. Referral to some entity was viewed by eight of the respondents as the proper faculty

role. One respondent described it as a percolation process, explaining "the need is to create a

place where the information can percolate up because low and behold, it usually does turn out









that the student is not just making suicidal threats or acting strangely in one class." Getting the

information to converge in the institutional environment was the recognized challenge by the

majority (n=8). No respondent felt the need for special courses and training for faculty; three

talked about the logistical improbabilities of implementing such a plan. Eight believed the

faculty's role should be one of referral to the program director or department chair. One summed

the matter up as follows:

Attempting to provide a program for a faculty of our size, especially the number of adjuncts
and people who teach only one class a semester and who have absolutely no training in
these aspects-no training in behavioral issues, is not something to be engaged in. It would
be like giving them a license and letting them arrest people.

Referrals up to department chairs who then must provide the information to some type of central

crisis team intake mechanism was thought the most practical solution by three respondents.

Open-coding

As the interview data were compared, two emergent themes evolved: legal

literacy/responsibility and resources. To validate the interviews themselves, additional data

points are introduced in this section consisting of three sections of independent content analyses.

Subcategories related to the data points began to illuminate the properties and dimensions of the

factors being investigated. Creswell (2002) indicates that propertiesis are subcategories in

grounded theory of open codes that serve to provide more detail about each category" (p. 441).

Content Analysis of Newspaper Articles Pertaining to Campus Shootings

The interviews revealed the belief that the Virginia Tech tragedy was not the only

campus mass shooting event on record. A search of articles pertaining to higher education

campus shooting incidents in the United States and Canada was conducted for purposes of

analysis. The articles provided information on the (a) perpetrators' gender and age, (b) their

affiliations to the institutions where the shootings occurred, (c) types of weapons used, (d)









whether suicide followed, and (e) the approximate year of the incidents. These articles were not

meant to be an exhaustive representation nor were they used for their accuracy or reliability. The

main purpose in reviewing them was to determine the most common relationship between the

shooter and the campus. The articles further validated that the Virginia Tech tragedy was not the

first time multiple deaths had occurred on a college campus from a shooter.

Listing the events chronologically, the most recent campus shooting reviewed occurred at

Northern Illinois University (NIU) of February 14, 2008. Including himself, Stephen P.

Kazmierczak took the lives of seven people. Reports indicate that Kazmierczak was a Caucasian,

27-year-old, NIU graduate student who began having difficulty in some classes, failing two and

receiving an incomplete in another. He reportedly left NIU in the spring 2007 semester to attend

the University of Illinois (Heinzmann, Zorn, & Long, 2008). Personal information confirmed by

authorities indicated that Kazmierczak was prescribed Prozac and had stopped taking it two

weeks before he walked into a crowded lecture hall, dressed in black, and began firing at the

students in attendance (Illinois Shooting, 2008).

On February 8, 2008, Latina Williams walked into a second-floor nursing class at a

Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge, fired six rounds, killed two students, reloaded her

.357 revolver and killed herself. Reports indicate that Williams was a 23-years-old, African

American student at the college. No additional information was available other than speculation

about whether the two victims in a room of 20 were targeted (Woman Kills, 2008).

The Virginia Tech Report (2007) indicates that on April 16, 2007, Seung Hui Cho, a 23-

year-old, undergraduate senior of Korean decent attending Virginia Tech, murdered Emily

Hilscher in her dorm room at West Ambler Johnston residential hall at 7:15 a.m. Seconds later,

Cho also murdered Ryan Clark, who may have responded to the noise. At 9:01 a.m., Cho mailed









a package to NBC News. From 9:40 a.m. until approximately 9:51 a.m., Cho began shooting

inside classrooms in another location, Norris Hall, after he had secured three downstairs

entranceways with locks and chains. Cho placed a bomb threat in one of the sets of chains (p.

90). By the time Cho took his own life at 9:51 a.m., he had killed 30 people in Norris Hall and

wounded 17 others. Thirty-one bodies were left to be identified once law enforcement made its

way to the second floor classrooms where Cho had opened fire and later killed himself. The total

loss of human life was 33 people including Cho. Multiple news sources and the Virginia Tech

Report (2007, pp. 89-91) state that Cho had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in his

youth, received special services throughout his elementary and secondary education, and was

court ordered for a mental evaluation in 2005 following a report of stalking.

In Montreal, Quebec, 25-year-old Kimveer Gill, described with a Mohawk hairstyle and

wearing a black trench coat, opened fire on students at Dawson College on September 13, 2006.

Gill wounded 19 people and amazingly only killed one victim although others received multiple

gunshot wounds. Gill carried a suicide note and took his own life after being hit by police

gunfire. Gill was not a student at Dawson College and no explanation was provided as to why he

was at the institution. Plans found in Gill's personal effects allegedly indicated he planned to kill

at other institutions (n.d., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawson_College_shooting).

A male nursing student killed three instructors on October 28, 2002 at the University of

Arizona then committed suicide. Robert S. Flores, Jr. was described as a 40-year-old veteran

who had numerous problems ranging from a failed marriage, failing health, and failing grades.

He left a suicide note and sent a 22-page list of grievances to a newspaper, arriving the day after

his deadly event, which began "Greetings from the dead (nytimes.com, 2002).









On January 16, 2002, Peter Odighizuwa, a 43-year-old, Nigerian law student opened fire

with a .38 caliber pistol at the Appalachian School of Law. When the rampage was over, the

despondent law student had taken the lives of two professors and a student (Beach, 2002, p. 32).

Fellow students are reported to have jumped him to end the siege. Odighizuwa received multiple

life sentences for his actions (n.d., http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/O1/16/

law. school. shooting/).

In a random act of violence, Donald Cowan, 55 years of age, killed an associate music

professor of Pacific Lutheran University on May 17, 2001. The professor was on a walkway

outside of one of the university's dorms, where he was shot four times by an assailant unknown

to him (Professor Slain, 2001).

A 37-year-old male doctoral student shot and killed an English professor before taking

his own life on the University of Arkansas campus in August 2000 (Professor Shot, 2000). No

additional information was provided.

San Diego State University was the scene of a triple homicide on August 15, 1996. In this

event, a disgruntled graduate student, 36-year-old Frederick Davidson, killed three engineering

professors during his thesis defense (Rose, 1996). Davidson received a life sentence. In a

separate shooting episode, an engineering professor was killed while administering a final exam

in the fall of 1998 (Professor Shot, 1998).

In 1995, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported that a 45-year-old ex-research

assistant, John Costalupes, opened fire at point blank range on a professor who managed to

survive the attack. The motivation for the attack was listed as an unspecified grudge. Costalupes

was allegedly vocal in his institutional dissatisfaction and enumerated his grievances in a 1994

Start Tribune article where he complained that the "overall academic mediocrity of the university









is not... so much a problem as it is the consequence of mismanagement by a top-heavy,

Byzantine bureaucracy" (Duchschere, 1995, p. 2B).

On August 24, 1993, a 53-year-old former mechanical engineering associate professor,

Valery Fabrikant, was charged with four counts of first degree murder. Fabrikant shot and killed

his department chair and three colleagues/professors as he strolled through Concordia

University's Hall building armed with a gun (Mennie, 1993). It was indicated that Fabrikant had

been denied tenure and was angry at the faculty. Fabrikant now allegedly publishes and

continues his research from prison (n.d., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valery Fabrikant).

A graduated doctoral student at the University of Iowa returned the next semester and on

November 1, 1999, killed five people before turning a gun on himself. Gang Lu, a 28-year-old

from China, armed with two revolvers, a .38 and a .22, proceeded to Van Allen Hall where he

shot members of his dissertation committee for allegedly failing to accord his dissertation the

prestigious honors he believed it deserved (n.d., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gang_Lu).

In 1989, a shooting quite similar in many respects to the Virginia Tech massacre occurred

at the Ecole Polytechnique College in Montreal, Quebec. On December 6, Marc Lepine, 25 years

of age, armed himself with a semi-automatic rifle and a hunting knife then went on a rampage

that killed 14 women (12 engineering students, one nursing student, and one university

employee) and injured 14 other people (4 male students and 10 female students) before

committing suicide. Lepine started his slaughter in a second floor mechanical engineering class,

moved down stairs to the cafeteria where he killed and injured more people, then made his way

up to the third floor to kill and injure others. He left a suicide note claiming political motives,

mentioning also that feminists had mined his life. The police released information on Lepine that

indicated he began his studies in a pre-university program in the pure sciences in 1982, switching









a year later to a three year vocational electronics technology program, abandoning the program

in his final semester. In 1986, Lepine was provisionally admitted to Ecole Polytechnique; he

completed one of two required science prep courses (n.d., http://archives.radio-canada.ca/IDD-0-

13-382/desastres tragedies/polytechnique/; n.d., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89cole

Polytechniquemassacre). In the years since the shootings, several students in attendance at the

time have committed suicide. Others advocated for more stringent gun control legislation:

Canada's Firearms Act passed in 1995 (n.d., http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-70-398-

2241/disasters tragedies/montreal_massacre/clip7).

California State University, Fullerton, was the scene of a mass murder on July 12, 1976.

Edward Charles Allaway, a 37-year-old Caucasian male and university custodian, opened fire

with a .22 caliber rifle. Roaming the halls of the library, he killed seven people and injured two

others. Allaway was apprehended by police and found not guilty by reason of insanity (n.d.,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_CharlesAllaway). In a petition for release, Allaway's

experts indicated that his paranoid schizophrenia was in remission; the Fourth District held

Allaway still posed a danger to society. The California Supreme Court denied Allaway's petition

for review in 1998 (CA Supreme Court Minutes, March 18, 1998, Dkt. S067722). He remains at

Patton State Hospital in San Bernadino County where he is eligible to apply for release every

year (2006, http://media.www.dailytitan.com/media/storage/paper861/news/2006/05/15/

News/History.Of.A.Cal. State.Fullerton.Killer- 1996812.shtml).

The University of Texas tower shootings occurred on August 1, 1966. Charles Joseph

Whitman, a 25-year-old University of Texas, Austin, student killed 14 people and wounded 31

others after he had killed his wife and mother at home earlier that morning. Armed with a

hunting rifle and a rented hand truck filled with supplies, Whitman met with campus security and









obtained a parking pass, claiming he had a delivery to make. Whitman made his way to the

observation deck of the university's 32 story administration building, referred to as the tower. He

engaged in fire for 96 minutes. Although carrying a suicide note, Whitman was eventually killed

by law enforcement: the building's design proving problematic. An autopsy confirmed Whitman

had a brain tumor; reports indicated he was in declining health (n.d.,

http://www.crimelibrary.com/notoriousmurders/mass/whitman/index_ .html.).

The list of campus shooters was not comprehensive, but it was revealing. Table 4-1

(infra, p. 119) provides an overview of the 16 shooters found in the search. Removed from the

data were reports of deaths linked directly to domestic violence and individual suicides. The

remaining events show that shooters (mass or otherwise) come from all walks of life: students

(n=l 1), employees (n=2), and the general public/random (n=l). The majority of shooters (94%)

were male (n=15), one was female (n=l). All used a firearm, although some, such as Cho and

Lepine, also brought knives. Most were educated at an advanced level. The styles of the killings

resembled executions. Only the female shooter was identified as African American; the majority

(67%) were Caucasian (n=9), French (n=2), unspecified (n=2), Nigerian (n=l), Korean (n=l),

and Chinese (n=l). The majority (71%) committed suicide (n=10). The mean age was 32.6 years;

the mode was 25; the range 23 to 55. Socioeconomic disadvantage did not appear relevant. No

gang connections or drug problems were referenced. Five of the shooters were stated as having

biological infirmities ranging from a brain tumor to psychological disorders. The increase in the

frequency of multiple shootings reported in the news over the last decade was notable. Half of

the shootings covered a 32-year time span (1966-1998) while the other half occurred in an eight

year period (2000-2008).









The emergent theme was the internal relationship between the shooter and the campus.

The majority of the shooters had some connection to the campus as students or former students

(n=l 1) and employees (n=2). In spite of the diversity of pedestrian traffic noted in the campus

milieu section, only one event in the media reports described an external, random shooter.

Content Analysis of Virginia Tech Report

In June 2007, Virginia's governor commissioned a panel to review the Virginia Tech

shooting incident (Va. Exec. Order No. 53). By August 2007, the Virginia Tech Report was

completed. The report contains 11 chapters and 14 appendixes. Of the 25 sections examined,

seven were believed relevant to the focus of this study: chapter two university setting and

security; chapter four mental health history of Seung Hui Cho; chapter five information

privacy laws; chapter six gun purchase and campus policies; chapter seven double murder at

West Ambler Johnston; chapter eight mass murder at Norris Hall; and appendix H explanation

of FERPA and HIPAA laws. These sections varied in emphasis, but two modes of presentation

were apparent: descriptive and informational.

Chapter two: University setting and security. The report's basic details provide a

picture of the university's setting, including building and security features that existed at the

college at the time of the mass murder on April 16, 2007. The chapter concludes with

recommendations that were informational and emphasized only opinions as to what the

university did right and wrong. The report showed that Virginia Tech did not train staff or

students for emergency situations (p. 17). The report also indicated that Virginia Tech's response

plan did not include "provisions for a shooting scenario and did not place police high enough in

the emergency decision-making hierarchy" (id.): the first assertion was presented as a discovered

fact while the second portion of the statement was presented as an opinion. In Florida, the type of

decision making indicated could be considered operational and subject to liability (infra, p. 143;









Trianon Park Condo. Assoc., Inc., v. City ofHialeah, 468 So. 2d 912 (Fla. 1985); Kaisner v.

Kolb, 543 So. 2d 732 (Fla. 1989)). Thus, legal literacy and the role of law enforcement were the

emergent themes.

Chapter four: Mental health history of Seung Hui Cho. Three themes evolved in this

section. The first theme was familial support. Cho's elementary and secondary educational

experiences described active family and institutional support to help Cho overcome numerous

obstacles. With special accommodations and counseling services throughout his high school

curriculum, Cho graduated with a 3.52 grade point average and did well on his SAT exams. The

report's authors believing that Cho's grades and test scores were "substantially modified for Cho

due to the legally mandated accommodations for his emotional disability, his grades appeared

higher than they otherwise would have been" (p. 37). This view revealed the second theme:

educational records. The report focused on the redacted K-12 school records that are forwarded

to prospective colleges upon application although Virginia Tech had more than enough time to

pull complete records had it been so inclined. The report also initially sought to explore the

relevance of a sudden change of major; however, the authors were led to believe this was not a

red flag based on the number of students who change majors (stated as over 40%).

The third identified theme was communication. Cho's higher education career began

exhibiting a pattern of troublesome behavior. Faculty explored class disruption in the student

handbook but never filed any written reports. The university's care team was aware of Cho's

behavior but felt hampered by "overly strict interpretations of federal and state privacy laws"

(p. 52). Deans, student affair personnel, and a provost were all apprised of Cho's angry writings

and troubling nature but did nothing. Residence Life was informed of multiple reports and

concerns expressed over Cho's behavior in the dorm (p. 52). On Nov. 27 and Dec. 12, 2005, the









Virginia Tech police received calls indicating Cho had bothered/harassed two female students.

Other than speaking with him, no charges or referrals to judicial affairs resulted. Cho sent a

suicidal message and was taken by Virginia Tech police for assessment. Cho's parents were not

contacted. At his commitment hearing, Cho chose not to divulge information about himself. The

report claims psychiatrists were unable to gather collateral information because of privacy laws

(yet for what use or from where they would have gathered the information was not provided in

the report). The intake evaluator found Cho mentally ill but not a present and imminent danger to

himself or others. The special justice ruled Cho "presented an imminent danger to himself as a

result of mental illness" and ordered him to outpatient treatment (p. 48). Cho was accepted as a

voluntary patient at Cook Counseling Center, meaning no notice to the court was required for

failure to attend sessions or to make follow up appointments. Upon return to campus, Virginia

Tech did not arrange for follow up or tracking of Cho's progress or condition. Cho's family was

never apprised of any of these events (pp. 31-53). Communication within the institution and to

Cho's parents was demonstrated as being severely flawed.

Chapter five: Information privacy laws. Four categories of records were identified: law

enforcement records, court records, medical information records, and educational records.

HIPAA, FERPA, and Virginia state law privacy provisions were examined in the report. The

report found "widespread lack of understanding, conflicting practice, and laws that were poorly

designed to accomplish their goals" (p. 63). In contrast, the report went on to state that the

university had interpreted provisions too narrowly and confused observable actions with

educational records (pp. 49-60). The report's findings invalidate its proffered conclusory

statement that the reviewed laws were poorly designed to accomplish their goals. The report









summarizes conflicting practices, legal literacy deficits, and numerous management errors. The

single theme of legal literacy emerged.

Chapter six: Gun purchase and campus policies. The report indicates that there are

firearm transactions that require no background checks under Virginia law. Transactions by

collectors at gun shows, sales by private collectors, and personal gifts of weapons are exempted

(p. 72). There are no restrictions on who can purchase ammunition (p. 74). Forms related to gun

purchases ask applicants to answer certain questions regarding mental health (-assumes people

intent on killing will answer truthfully). The Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE), a

division of Virginia's state police, coordinates criminal background checks (p. 72). Court clerks

are required to certify a form regarding involuntary mental health admission dispositions, but

ambiguity existed as to who actually completes the form. Without a certified form, information

could not be forwarded to CCRE. Employees not taking the initiative to bring process flaws to

the court's or a supervisor's attention were revealed. The importance of this section does not

relate to gun availability since one can easily be acquired without filling out any forms. The

general process errors and lack of communication between internal constituents in a government

agency were significant. Process within government agencies was the theme that repeated.

Chapter seven: Double murder at West Ambler Johnston. This section details the

initial two murders that were discovered in West Ambler Johnston hours before the Norris Hall

mass murder. One victim had a boyfriend who was known to own a gun and practice with it on a

range, so he became the person of interest. Law enforcement told the university's Policy Group

that "they had a good lead and that the person of interest was probably not on campus" (p. 79).

Without having any suspect in custody, a Clery Act timely warning was not issued to the

university's population. Two hours after the first murders, the agency's premature conclusion









proved wrong and devastating. The Clery Act's timely warning provision and legal literacy

emerged as themes.

Chapter eight: Mass murder at Norris Hall. This section provides an overview of a

methodical and well planned execution. Cho killed his first two victims, mailed a video tape to a

local news agency, locked and chained three sets of doors on the building he targeted. With a

light coat covering a shooting vest and a backpack filled with ammunition and supplies (p. 89),

Cho did not stand out during any of his preparations. Cho placed a bomb threat note at one

entrance indicating a bomb would detonate if the chain was removed (p. 89). The note was

removed by a faculty member and taken to a third floor dean's office. Before authorities were

contacted about the bomb threat, Cho began his rampage (p. 90). The doors to the classrooms did

not have locks; the design of second floor windows was not conducive to easy escape (p. 93). No

ledges or outside ladders existed. Barricading, jumping, and playing dead were the victims'

options as Cho wandered through rooms and down halls firing his weapons: a 9 mm Glock and a

.22 caliber Walther (p. 92). Outside, police struggled to get in. Unsuccessful at the three chained

entrances, they moved to a fourth door and shot it open. Exiting the building appeared equally

troublesome: survivors were sent down stairways leading to the chained doors while the police

swept for a second shooter (p. 97). The emergent theme was again process within government

agencies.

Appendix H: Explanation of FERPA and HIPAA laws. This section explains that

FERPA applies to all education records, and HIPAA governs health information. The summary

offers some bullets on what can and cannot be disclosed and to whom. The report attempts to

clarify confusion as to what information the federal acts include and exclude for sharing along an

institution's information network. The appendix is an attempt to explain some of the mechanics









of the legislation, indicating that medical privacy laws govern written and oral information

related to and gained during the course of treatment but exclude personal observations and

conversations between a student and a faculty member. The report states that neither HIPAA nor

FERPA prevents a faculty member, administrator, or member of law enforcement from

contacting an adult student's parents and reporting troubling behaviors that they have witnessed.

FERPA also allows schools to release educational information to parents who claim adult

students as dependents for tax purposes (p. 70). FERPA does not apply to law enforcement

records created for law enforcement purposes (p. 66). According to the overview, a copy of a

police report shared with the school would be subject to FERPA, but the original maintained by

the law enforcement agency would not (p. 66). As such, Virginia Tech's law enforcement

personnel were not prevented from contacting Cho's parents and informing them of the

complaints female students had made about his behavior during the fall 2005 semester (2007,

p. 66). Emergent themes were legal literacy, communication, and process within government

agencies.

Content Analysis of Florida's Task Force Report

In response to the Virginia Tech tragedy, Florida's governor promulgated Executive

Order No. 07-77 and commissioned a task force: "(A) to improve communication and

collaboration between education, mental health, law enforcement and emergency management

agencies"; and (B) specifically to "(1) identify students who pose a risk, (2) identify methods of

notification during emergency situations, (3) identify strategies for improving cross-agency

communications, and (4) identify necessary improvements for training of law enforcement

officials and first responders to crisis situations" (2007).

Florida Executive Order No. 07-78 (2007) designated the committee membership of the

task force. Members were as follows: the Secretary of the Department of Children and Families;









the Director of the Office of Drug Control Policy; the Commissioner of the Florida Department

of Law Enforcement; the Director of the Department of Emergency Management; the Chancellor

for the State University System; Florida State University Chief of Police; a designee of the

Attorney General of Florida; and two students representatives, one from a two-year college and

one from a four-year college or university.

After numerous public hearings on the issue of campus safety, the task force grouped the

responses and concerns into the following four break-out categories: "prevention, intervention,

response, and aftermath" (pp. 2-3). On May 24, 2007, the task force presented its written

findings and recommendations. For the most part, the task force delegated to the State University

system, the Division of Community Colleges, and the Association of Independent Colleges and

Universities of Florida the undertaking of determining "ways to increase the funding dedicated to

campus mental health and wellness needs, including community education" (p. iii). The report

suggested that these agencies "examine the feasibility of mutual aid agreements between

campuses to provide or augment mental health services" (p. iii). The "State University System

[was] charged with establishing a legal working group to provide guidelines and best practices

for the sharing of mental health information concerning at risk students" (p. iv) and "campus

mental health centers [were instructed to] develop a protocol for the exchange of information

with local mental health providers regarding individuals who might pose a danger to themselves

or others" (p. v).

Each college and university was encouraged to "develop a multidisciplinary crisis

management team, integrating and ensuring communication between the university law

enforcement or campus security agency, student affairs, residential housing, counseling center,

health center, legal counsel, and any other appropriate campus entities to review individuals and









incidents which indicate at risk behavior" (p. v). Furthermore, "upon the addition of any

emergency notification systems or devices, the individual institution [was encouraged] to

undertake an extensive awareness campaign to educate the campus community about its use"

(id.). Other recommendations included the addition of an Introduction to Mental Health course

as part of the undergraduate curriculum for all students and programs targeting everything from

suicide prevention to date rape (id.).

The Department of Children and Families, the agency responsible for mental health care

pursuant to Florida's Mental Health Act Florida Mental Health Act or Baker Act, Chapter 394,

Fla. Stat. (2007), was charged with "improving mental health services" and to "particularly target

K-12, college, and university initiatives in preventing underage drinking, substance abuse,

suicide, bullying, domestic and dating violence, and other violent or destructive behavior" (p. ix).

The agency was to further "develop a long-term strategy to reduce the gap in available

treatment" (id.).

Rather than a coordinated effort without overlap, the task force allocated its charge to

multiple agencies and committees to develop protocols to identify students who pose a risk and

to identify strategies for improving cross-agency communications. No theory or structured

guidelines were provided. Each agency was left free to develop its own definition of at risk,

which begets confusion, and its own protocols for information relays. No indication of what

other agencies were permitted to do with the encouraged transfers of information was provided.

In sum, the overarching themes of the report were communication and process within

government agencies.

Triangulation: Finding Consistencies in the Data

In order to validate the interviews and the issues raised in them, three other data points

were used for content analysis and consisted of (1) newspaper articles pertaining to college









shooting incidents; (2) the Virginia Tech Report (2007); and (3) the Florida's Task Force Report

(2007). The high level administrators who participated in the study supplied the foundation for

understanding the larger issue of campus safety planning. By interviewing only those at the

practitioner level-administrators actually on a campus dealing with the day to day issues that

arise-rich description was provided of not only their opinions and attitudes of the campus safety

planning considerations but also of the building setting and the population that moves through it

and around it on a regular basis. Because respondents' attitudes and opinions on the topic as a

single data point may be considered invalid, other data points used for exploring unknown

factors and their influences on the situation were critical. These descriptive avenues provided the

framework from which the themes emerged.

Summary

Consistent themes emerged from analyzing the content of selected data sources relative to

campus shootings and campus safety planning. Emergent main themes were: legal literacy and

communication. Supplemental themes identified in no particular order included: (1) the role of

law enforcement, (2) familial support, (3) educational records, (4) process within government

agencies, (5) Clery Act timely warnings, (6) resources, (7) relationship of shooter to campus, and

(8) the diversity of pedestrian traffic. Examining the topic from multiple angles allowed for the

discovery of divergence and overlap. The additional data points selected for the study provided

details of the policy process, validated findings from the interviews, and supplied the base to

ground the emergent theory discussed in Chapter 5.









Table 4-1. Campus Shooters


Year
2008
2008
2007
2006
2002
2002
2001
2000
1998
1996
1995
1993
1991
1989
1976


Age
27
23
23
25
43
40
55
37

36
45
53
28
25
37


1966 25


GenderWeapon Affiliation
Male Firearm Student
Female Firearm Student
Male Firearm Student
Male Firearm None
Male Firearm Student
Male Firearm Student
Male Firearm Not Indicated
Male Firearm Student
-- Firearm
Male Firearm Student
Male Firearm Student
Male Firearm Professor
Male Firearm Graduate
Male Firearm Student
Male Firearm Custodian


Male


Firearm


Student


Deaths Suicide
6 Yes
2 Yes
32 Yes
1 Yes
3 No
3 Yes
1 No
1 Yes
1 No
3 No
1 No
4 No
5 Yes
14 Yes
7 No
14 Yes/
by cop









CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS

The purpose of this study was to contextualize, understand, and interpret the dynamics

related to the advances of campus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy. The

specific aim was to identify practice areas and factors that are in need of policymaker attention.

The researcher sought to explicate themes that transcend the subject of campus safety as

indicated in interviews and recent gubernatorial reports and link them with operational

considerations concentrated in the three research questions that structured the study:

(1) What actions concerning campus safety were developed as a result of the Virginia
Tech tragedy?

(2) What actions concerning student mental health issues were developed as a result of
the Virginia Tech tragedy?

(3) What are the benefits and limitations of the recommendations found in the Task Force
Report as they relate to the community college?

Four areas were considered relevant and guided the setup of the exploratory examination:

mental health considerations, Clery Act considerations, litigation concerns, and privacy

concerns. The central question framing the study was What factors in campus safety policy

following the Virginia Tech tragedy create the most problems in design or implementation for

Florida's community college system?

The results of each question were shaped by the conceptual model of the institutional

analysis and development (IAD) framework (Ostrom, 2007) and are addressed individually in

this chapter. The study's design accommodated the community college as the action arena; the

administrators as the actors. Actions and perceptions were examined through clusters of

variables that described the participants, action-outcomes, information, and control. Themes

specific to these variables were explored in relation to the unit of analysis: the Virginia Tech

tragedy.









The lack of theory driven practice and the nonexistence of measurable goals stood out as

the major factors in need of policymaker attention. Related factors creating problems in campus

safety policy design and implementation at the community college level were found in the

interplay between the general deficit of actions focused toward dangerous situation avoidance

and the administrative actors' level of legal literacy as to how liability attaches, as well as an

appreciation of the harms that can be reasonably prevented opposed to those that cannot.

Back end emergency response mechanisms were the favored policy action. Proactive

initiatives more specific to the avoidance of dangerous situations that emerge from within the

campus community were scarce and found only within crisis management teams, which several

respondents indicated existed prior to the Virginia Tech tragedy. The crisis teams appeared to

have no follow through responsibilities, yet the review of campus mass murders found in the

media indicated that the majority of shooters had some type of relationship with their targeted

institutions. This section contains a discussion of the findings, along with noted limitations,

implications for policy and practice, and recommendations for future research.

Discussion of the Findings

The findings of the study were based on the descriptive content contained in administrative

interviews, state commissioned reports, and newspaper articles specific to campus shootings.

Sorting potential campus safety concerns into the four identified clusters of factors presented in

Chapter 1 (mental health considerations, Clery Act considerations, litigation concerns, and

privacy concerns) allowed the researcher to establish a foundation from which to develop

themes. The conceptual framework outlined in Chapter 3 provided the structure for exploring the

significance of the findings.









Grounded Theory: Agenda Setting

The researcher sought to determine what theory was driving the present policy planning

process and how success or failure of plans was to be determined. The literature review in

Chapter 2 indicated numerous studies have delved into the topic of organizational effectiveness.

Missing from the studies was a dimension specific to crisis management or efforts to measure the

quality of informational relays across the campus environment. Meanwhile, the direction of

numerous recommendations found in state commissioned reports appeared more illusory than

functional. One possible reason for this state of affairs was found in the study: the data showed

that agenda-setting theory best explains the processes that have occurred in Florida's college

safety planning venues.

Agenda setting was prevalent in the majority of topics explored. In the context of the

Virginia Tech shootings, newspapers first drew attention to how a South Korean English major

once declared to be a danger to himself and ordered to receive outpatient mental health treatment

in 2005 later purchased weapons from a licensed gun dealer (Luo, 2007). Missteps in Cho's gun

application process were a hot topic in numerous media outlets. Conversely, a once popular topic

of investigative reporting was how easily weapons could be acquired on the black market,

through straw purchases, or on street covers where crack is sold (e.g., see Noyes, n.d.; Cork,

1999). Information on how many crimes out of reported total crime figures occur with legally

acquired guns was not discussed. The Virginia Tech Report (2007) pointed out that personnel

gifts and sales by private collectors did not require background checks in Virginia (p. 72).

Another media focus was students rallying to carry handguns on campus. A public

session at the University of North Florida showed advocacy for "allowing concealed weapon

permit holders to carry a concealed handgun on Florida's college campuses" (p. 20). Florida's

Task Force Report (2007) drew attention to the fact that case law allows narrowly tailored









restrictions of gun carrying in the campus environment (p. 5). As for Florida's concealed

weapons statute, dialogue was not found indicating that the statute allows the carrying of non-

projectile stun guns or nonlethal electric weapons (as classified by the manufacturers) by

registered students, employees, or faculty provided the person is licensed to carry a weapon as

per 790.06(12), Fla. Stat. (2007). The stun gun provision does not apply to professional athletic

events or inside the passenger terminal area in any airport (id.). And in some states, these devices

are banned from public use entirely (e.g., NY, NJ, MA, MI). It would appear that students in

Florida have more options for self-protection on college campuses than students in other states,

but news articles discussing whether college regulations are allowing or disallowing these

devices were not located, nor was coverage on students' thoughts and attitudes on the issue. In

contrast to what has been mentioned in news outlets are other matters that have not received

equal coverage: this finding linked to policy considerations because the majority (n=5) of

interviewed respondents indicated that the media was keeping them informed of the issues.

The handling of at risk students also appeared media developed. As media attention

focused on mentally ill college students, state educational representatives responded back.

Florida's State University System Chancellor Mark Rosenberg started a dialogue focused

primarily on profiling and ways to identify troubled students "and remove them when necessary"

(Emerson, 2007). Recognizing problems with the direction being asserted, Mental Health

America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) issued warnings through

the media for educators to not overreact and engage in unnecessary profiling (Shern, 2007).

One possible way to interpret findings associated with the direction news coverage has

taken would be to assert that it was alarming. Rosenberg's alleged statements were reminiscent

of the dialogue that ensued following the establishment of the 1956 Florida Legislative









Investigative Committee, also known as the John's Committee-named after Senator Charley E.

Johns of Starke. The John's Committee went from a focus of ferreting out those who supported

civil rights to one of detecting and removing lesbian or gay individuals from state funded

schools, such as the University of Florida, Florida State University, and the University of South

Florida (Sanlo, 1999). Sanlo (1999) revealed that several suicides were associated with the

committee's activities-indicating the serious, long term consequences of bad practice. Although

placing Florida's college students in fear for having a mental illness should not be the legacy of

the Virginia Tech tragedy in Florida's institutions of higher education, the path that unchecked

agenda setting may cause state legislatures to proceed down should not be ignored. The data

showed there have been no dialogues as to actual rehabilitative treatment models for continued

enrollment eligibility for college students: the goal appearing only to be the removal of people

subjectively determined to be at risk. Based on due process considerations, this area requires

policymaker attention.

The study's data further showed that the news has been telling readers how to think about

campus safety (see McCombs, 1992). Gitlin (1980) indicated three theoretical media

perspectives that may be used to present the story to the public. Findings indicated the media has

focused on institutional actions and countervailing views to engender response. Institutions have

reacted in droves, purchasing redundant security technologies not knowing how much is enough.

Respondents in the study indicated no authority to activate the systems and showed only a basic

understanding of when a warning should issue, such as for an identified weather or emergency

response scenario. Meanwhile, the Task Force Report can be interpreted as indicating that

Florida has tendered the state law matter of campus safety planning to accreditation agencies and









federal authorities, such as the United States Department of Education-perhaps hoping the

federal government will attach financial incentives to recommendations.

Data from the study showed that the rights of students have not been updated to include

guidelines on when the warning systems will be activated even though the Task Force Report

(2007) encouraged institutions to "undertake an extensive awareness campaign to educate the

campus community about [their] use" (p. v). Rather, what warning and when the warning shall

issue remain unspecified. The lack of lists may be because administrators are trying to issue

warnings on a case by case basis. As shown in the media, administrators have been busy

defending the way they issue timely warnings: Under Pressure to Give Speedy Crime Alerts,

Campus Officials Worry About the Information's Usefulness (Hoover & Lipka, 2007); College

Leaders Wrestle / i/h how to Prepare for Unknown Threats (Selingo, 2008). However, instead of

implicating discretionary acts, these actions arguably may be operational and subject to liability

(e.g., see Trianon Park Condo. Assoc., Inc. v. City ofHialeah, 468 So. 2d 912 (Fla. 1985).

The new administrative view on notification leans toward the creation of some type of

control prong to dangerous situations. The view's prevalence may be growing, but curiously

only on campuses that have sworn police departments as indicated in the following respondent's

answer: "We feel we are not doing due diligence if we do not have enough information to tell

them what to do once they receive the information." This prong could not only engender Clery

Act fines but also state and federal tort claims, the latter situated outside of immunity caps. The

need for policymaker attention in this area was established in the study. Findings further

demonstrated that the overall campus safety planning that has occurred over the last year has

been fragmented and frustrated-wedged in the action/reaction mode with no clearly defined

mission or theory driving the policy actions other than the agenda setting capacity of the media.









Question One: What Policy Actions Were Developed as a Result of the Virginia Tech
Tragedy?

The researcher sought to answer what policy actions were developed. The findings

showed there were no definitive policy actions adopted at any of the selected campuses other

than the procurement of warning equipment and the employment of one new security manager.

Respondents indicated multiple notification features that were available on their campuses with

upgrades and modifications since the Virginia Tech tragedy. Favored mechanisms included

audible/voice warning devices, text-messaging, and blast e-mails. One respondent indicated that

the equipment will cost each campus "somewhere between a quarter of a million dollars annually

to maintain." Procedures for the reporting of hazards related to weather events and back end

crisis management were all that existed in the data. No respondent was authorized to issue a

timely warning, and clarity as to what constitutes a timely warning was nonexistent.

The findings further revealed that plans for using the purchased emergency notification

equipment were not available even though the Task Force Report (2007) recommended that

intended usage be promulgated on each campus through awareness campaigns (p. v). Guidelines

were not available that explained what warnings students should expect to receive. While the

Clery Act enumerates the crimes that require timely warnings under its provisions, college

policies may include other types of crimes or potential hazards, such as bomb threats, that merit

application of a timely warning. Respondents neither mentioned an enumeration of Clery Act

identified crimes nor indicated other dangerous situations where warnings might result in a

warning to students on a consistent basis. No respondent provided a document from which to

ascertain the types of events that students could be assured notification. Efforts at making text

messaging features operational were in progress at several campuses. The institutional ability to

route information across campus networks for timely warning consideration was wanting with









little guidance on what qualified for a warning and only 1/3 of the respondents having

knowledge of the party who could issue a timely warning on their campuses. In addition to

multiple tiers of warning systems, campuses appeared to favor multiple tiers of information

routing.

The importance of understanding timely warnings was revealed in the literature review.

Brought forward by a complaint, Eastern Michigan University was fined $357,000-$27,500 for

13 identified offenses-for violating the Clery Act's reporting requirements (Brumfield, 2007).

The Office of Student Affairs at Eastern Michigan University played a role in the non-reporting

violations. The Butzel Long Report (2007) revealed that Eastern Michigan University classified

a murder as a suicide. Student affairs administrators dispatched preliminary information to the

campus community but failed to update information as it became known.

The Virginia Tech Report (2007) shows that police officers incorrectly thought they had

identified a person of interest. The fact that students were not be provided the opportunity to be

vigilant in their self-protection conflicts with the intent of the Clery Act. The study's findings

indicated that campus cultures are continuing the pattern of openly denying students the right of

self-protection. As illustrated in the interviews, one respondent stated:

Is it the best idea in the world to tell everyone there is a shooter on campus? Will everyone
run out of the buildings and run to the parking lot headed for cars and off campus like
maniacs?

However, it is the law. A law that was written exactly for the failed logic described in the

following recorded interview response:

We once had an employee killed on campus. It was a domestic violence incident where
the perpetrator immediately fled from campus. We called law enforcement and the officers
handled the situation. So who do we tell? We don't want the campus community to unduly
panic. So the issue for us is that it seems irresponsible to not provide more information.









The response showed consideration was not given to the fact that the killer could have easily

returned to the campus upon hearing sirens and seeing approaching red lights: any student who

stood in his way, a potential victim. The local law enforcement responses were described as

reliable by each respondent. The majority (n=7) stated the response times were very quick.

Additionally, the belief that identifying persons of interest relieves an agency from the timely

notice provision was not supported.

Campuses have explored best practices for crisis management teams. A marked

inadequacy was revealed when no respondent had any standards to explain what would happen

to students who refused evaluation or treatment options. Student codes of conduct had not been

updated since the Virginia Tech tragedy. The majority of respondents indicated the ability to

ascend reports of troubling behavior from faculty to either department deans or offices of student

affairs. A noted shortcoming was indicated: training for faculty was not favored. Manuals were

specific to administrative actions for weather hazards and identified emergency response

scenarios. The term safety appeared to be defined as back end readiness to deal with discovered

criminal elements on campuses and weather phenomena. In the multi-campus settings,

respondents' answers indicated that each believed that the campuses were communicating in

some manner; a social networking model would be helpful in demonstrating the belief.

The study's respondents' indicated that the use of campus general counsel when issues

arose was the preferred practice for understanding legal considerations. Based on this finding,

one could assume that attorneys from programs of risk management are not being consulted.

Since consequences for bad practice may be devastating, the situation merits policymaker

attention. While it may appear to administrators that federal law is specific to Clery Act

violations, which provides only fines for the non-issuance of a warning and contains no cause of









action for a party, other legal actions could conceivably attach based on the actions of campus

constituents. Case law shows that a federal 1983 claim, which is not subject to state sovereign

immunity waivers, might be applicable in limited circumstances, such as where (1) a government

entity inadequately trains or supervises its employees, (2) the failure to adequately train or

supervise is the policy of the entity, and (3) the policy causes the entity's employees to violate a

citizen's constitutional rights (Doe v. Faerber, 446 F. Supp. 2d 1311, 1316-17 (2006)).

Additionally, state law negligence actions predicated on actions that result from the secondary

decision making powers of government actors may subject the entity to suit (infra, p. 143;

Kaisner v. Kolb, 543 So. 2d 732 (Fla. 1989)).

Another possible way to interpret these finding would be to assume that the campus

culture has not explored the link between actions, training, and lawsuits. As illustrated in the

Virginia Tech Report (2007), a faculty member retrieved a bomb threat note and did not

immediately act on it. Although the failure to report a bomb threat note may seem like a Clery

Act violation, bomb threats do not require a warning under the provision (see 34 C.F.R.

668.46). However, whether a 1983 tort could be established based on the faculty member's

retrieval and handling of the bomb threat note left by the shooter, Cho, requires review (e.g., see

City of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 387 (1989)). What the data in the Virginia Tech Report

and the administrator responses demonstrated was that training of faculty and staff in areas of

dangerous situation avoidance was lacking. Based on the legal liability that may attach in

situations where dangerous situations are not avoided in a reasonable manner or where deliberate

indifference may be shown, the need for policymaker attention was established.









Question Two: What Policy Actions Concerning Student Mental Health Issues Were
Developed as a Result of the Virginia Tech Tragedy?

The Task Force Report (2007) recommended that colleges and universities "develop a

multidisciplinary crisis management team, integrating and ensuring communication between the

university law enforcement or campus security agency, student affairs, residential housing,

counseling center, health center, legal counsel, and any other appropriate campus entities to

review individuals and incidents which indicate at risk behavior" (p. v). The data revealed that

percolation and ascension of reports on potentially troubling behavior existed although training

modules for faculty and staff on the issue did not. Also missing were what to do with the

information, student rights, and institutional process for follow through of referrals.

The Task Force Report (2007) recommended that "campus mental health centers develop

a protocol for the exchange of information with local mental health providers regarding

individuals who might pose a danger to themselves or others" (p. v). Inundating multiple

agencies with information or personal observations that cannot be used for a lawful purpose

suggests the potential for lawsuits in one respect and the lack of identified goals in another. The

findings in the study indicated that no legitimate purpose for the encouraged information relays

across agencies has been recognized. Data revealed that the respondents were aware of FERPAs

guidelines and its emergency provisions. Exchanges were not relevant to Baker Act intake

certification as per 394.463(2), Fla. Stat. (2007). Respondents offered no opinions as to what

campus mental health professionals should do with received information or what the institution's

role was once the information was delegated.

Referrals for Baker Act certificates may be based on observation. A law enforcement

officer need only "execute a written report detailing the circumstances under which the person

was taken into custody" ( 394.462(2)2, Fla. Stat. (2007)). The report must indicate the grounds









establishing the officer's belief that the person transported has a mental illness and because of

the condition, one of the enumerated provisions pursuant to 394.462(1), Fla. Stat. (2007), was

established. There is no requirement under Florida law that grounds in the certificates be

supplemented with documents or records. More importantly, a voluntary patient may refuse

treatment pursuant to the Baker Act. In doing so, the person is to be discharged within 24 hours

unless transferred to involuntary status as per 394.4625(2)(b), Fla. Stat. (2007). Criteria for

involuntary status are provided in 394.4625(5). Notification of a parent or family member is

authorized under the act as per 394.4597, Fla. Stat. (2007).

No respondent discussed the development of guidelines as to how to deal with students

who refuse treatment, but who have not been disorderly and subsequently return to campus. The

study revealed that there were no actions or mechanisms on each campus that would inform

crisis management teams (or the designated point person) of those students who refused

voluntary treatment or who discontinued counseling visits. One respondent's comment showed

no follow up concerns regarding a student who refused treatment after an EAP referral for a

really troubled student. For the students who are disruptive, one respondent indicated:

"Presently, we trespass students with issues and this is basically angering someone who already

has problems." One possible way to interpret these findings would be to assume that dangerous

situation avoidance is not a priority. The findings further showed a preference for incarceration

over therapeutic options. The latter would be consistent with practices indicated in the larger

political subdivisions in which colleges operate. The Mental Health Report (2007) indicates that

failing to adequately respond to the needs of people with serious mental illness and serious

emotional disorders has resulted in "increased arrest, incarceration, and criminalization of people

with mental illnesses" (p. 39). Because an institution's ability to follow up and track the progress









of identified and referred at risk students (and employees) would link to whether it acted

reasonably under the circumstances, the need for the development of more comprehensive roles

of crisis management teams was shown.

As for privacy codes, the data showed that administrators expressed concerns over

content redacted from high school records during the admissions process, as illustrated in the

responses: "What happens in K-12 stays in K-12"; and "The system feeds the problem." Without

guidelines as to what to do with the information or procedures for the follow up and tracking of

identified or potential at risk students, the need for coding on student high school records prior to

admission was not supported in the findings. Instead, the theme of process within government

agencies was highlighted. The Virginia Tech Report (2007) demonstrated the inability of the

campus community to follow through on a series of ongoing witnessed observations, the

institution having ample time to request records. Respondents in the study pointed to no follow

up criteria for percolation efforts or students who refused treatment following a referral. One

possible was to interpret these findings would be to assume that guidelines must provide exacting

details for any type of process to result. The Virginia Tech Report (2007) references "widespread

lack of understanding [and] conflicting practice" (p. 63); privacy provisions that were interpreted

too narrowly; and administrative confusion between observable actions and educational records

(pp. 49-60). The pattern was further demonstrated in the report with reference to court clerks

failing to fill out forms (or at the very least, provide them to the party who could) so information

could be certified and forwarded to Virginia's Central Criminal Records Exchange (p. 72).

Florida's Task Force Report (2007) recommended that "each university and college

establish/expand its formal working relationship with local mental health systems and

community-based organizations in order to ensure adequate support for and communication









about campus mental health issues" (p. 22). This suggestion also highlighted the theme of

process within government agencies. The data in the study showed that respondents articulated

no perceived problems with the provisions or constraints found within HIPAA or FERPA. Yet

the determination of which agency should be providing what type of information to the other was

nonexistent. For example, should local mental health agencies and service providers be required

to notify campuses of missed appointments by students or should the university be required to

send reports over to referral agencies for verification of student attendance at appointments? In

the alternative, should students be required to provide receipts to campuses in which they attend

of their compliance with referrals and verification of release from care if treatment is no longer

indicated? Without providing operational procedures, the findings indicate a low probability of

informational relays actually taking place.

The findings further showed that no respondent believed there was a valid purpose for

law enforcement to have access to student records or to be on the institutional crisis teams. This

finding could be interpreted as skewed since the majority of institutions had campus security

officers. The Virginia Tech Report (2007, p. 19) recommended placing law enforcement officers

on crisis management teams. However, the Virginia Tech Report's position may prove ill

advised in terms of privacy considerations since student educational records are not public

documents. FERPA specifically mandates that the release of educational records must comply

with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena (34 C.F.R. 99.31(a)(9)(i)). Although the

Virginia Tech Report (2007, p. 13) intimated the desire to get around FERPA, provisions within

Florida laws, separation of powers issues, and liability based on operational actions and duties

may be implicated upon the placement of law enforcement in this realm (Trianon Park Condo.

Assoc., Inc. v. City ofHialeah, 468 So. 2d 912 (Fla. 1985)).









Section 1002.22(1), Fla. Stat. (2007), states that it is the intent of the Florida Legislature

that "students and their parents shall have rights of access, rights of challenge, and rights of

privacy with respect to such records and reports." The statute goes on to enumerate the rules that

guide the exercise of the rights. Thus, paying specific attention to the information law

enforcement officers have available to them if they are placed on institutional crisis management

teams is an important consideration that implicates both state and federal concerns. Pursuant to

34 C.F.R. 99.31(a)(9)(ii):

The educational agency or institution may disclose information under paragraph (a)(9)(i) of
this section only if the agency or institution makes a reasonable effort to notify the parent or
eligible student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance, so that the parent or
eligible student may seek protective action, unless the disclosure is in compliance with-. ...
(B) Any other subpoena issued for a law enforcement purpose and the court or other issuing
agency has ordered that the existence or the contents of the subpoena or the information
furnished in response to the subpoena not be disclosed.

A health and safety exception is found in section 34 C.F.R. 99.31(a)(10), which states that

records may be released when "disclosure is in connection with a health or safety emergency,

under the conditions described in 99.36." Section 99.36(a) provides:

An educational agency or institution may disclose personally identifiable information from
an education record to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of
the information is necessary to protect health or safety of the student or other individuals.

The regulations allow education institutions to provide the names of contact information for next

of kin in emergency situations pursuant to 34 C.F.R. 99.36(a). These findings are pertinent to

safety policy guidelines and further draw attention to the theme of familial support in those cases

where persons are taken for commitment evaluation, such as involuntary screening pursuant to

394.4597(2), Fla. Stat. (2007), of the FMHA or Baker Act. The Baker Act specifically requires

that the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the patient's guardian or guardian advocate,

or representative be entered in the patient's clinical record. This provision does not imply that the









institution that initiated evaluation under the act would not have to follow up on students who

later return to campus.

The data revealed that each community college studied had some type of counseling

model in place that related to the earlier community college definition of at risk students, which

was defined as those students "who were underprepared for college, work over 20 hours a week,

lack family support, are first-generation college goers, and who experience low academic success

at the beginning of the postsecondary experience" (Roueche & Roueche, 1993, p. 1). Other

services included referrals for students needing assistance or counseling. Respondents indicated

that information was available on each campus to students interested in community resources for

a variety of issues. Respondents also made reference to consent forms that students could avail

themselves that would allow administrators to discuss student progress and healthcare concerns

with parents. The directionality of interactions was ambiguous as to whether students had to

actively seek out the information or whether faculty and advisors brought it to the students'

attention. This finding was indicative of research found in the literature that indicated the

information disseminated by administrators may not be helpful in connecting students to the

informal social and intellectual communities available on a college campus (Tinto, 1987, p. 146).

A socio-economic disadvantage may also exist for students without private healthcare

coverage. The Task Force Report (2007) indicated that in comparison to all states, Florida ranked

"48th in per capital mental health spending; 47th in Medicaid spending per child beneficiary; and

43rd in Medicaid spending per adult beneficiary" (p. 22). It was further noted in the report that:

[T]here was usually a delay in receiving services because demand for services remains
high, and available mental health practitioners are not able to handle the workload. To
further complicate the matter, it is difficult for students without insurance to receive needed
mental health services in the community. (Id.)









Although the task force deferred to the State University system, the Division of Community

Colleges, and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida to "determine

ways to increase the funding dedicated to campus mental health and wellness needs, including

community education" (p. iii) and to "examine the feasibility of mutual aid agreements between

campuses to provide or augment mental health services" (p. iii), the Department of Children and

Families (DCF) has the responsibility to carry out mental health services under the Florida

Mental Health Act. DCF has the statutory authority to contract with universities and community

colleges for facilities and services pursuant to 394.457(3), Fla. Stat. (2007). No respondent

mentioned the development of mutual aid agreements with DCF. One respondent specifically felt

these arrangements were not allowed since the college's budget was separate from other

agencies. Considerations for subsidized private health care coverage also were not indicated.

Specific to familial support networking, talking with family was discussed on a case by

case basis-from invitations to the student to sit down with a student affairs dean for a

conference call with a parent to filling out a form a student could sign for parental access to

information. An appreciation of information that could be provided to parents without consent,

other than directory information, was not found. In sum, the findings showed that the ascension

of potential at risk student information to the appropriate resource center on campus, such as the

office of student affairs, designated dean, or crisis management team was the only front end

mechanism in place. Training for faculty and guidelines as to what to do with the information, as

well as mechanisms for tracking student compliance with referrals, were absent.

Question Three: What Recommendations from the Florida Task Force Report Were
Relevant to the Community College in the Participants' View?

The data revealed only the generalized view that the report was helpful in raising

awareness. The majority of respondents indicated waiting on top-down directives. Only one









respondent reported involvement in committees and discussions on the issues raised in the report

but felt the report was not overly helpful. Other respondents were active in the procurement of

security features and database management more specific to the alerting of developing hazards

and weather events and the retrieval of electronic information during outages.

It could be assumed that redundant tiers of notification systems at least make it appear as

if institutions are making campuses safer. Besides purchases, installations, and test messages,

protocols for the use of the equipment were absent, indicating that community colleges in the

state may indeed believe the report does not pertain to them. The position was further supported

when no respondent indicated that studies of student involvement had been undertaken on his or

her respective campus. Each respondent believed the media influenced-to some degree-the

issuance of the gubernatorial report and the direction of present campus safety planning.

Central Question: What Factors in Campus Safety Policy Following the Virginia Tech
Tragedy Create the Most Problems in Design or Implementation for Florida's Community
College System?

The factors that are creating the most problems in campus safety policy design are the

lack of theory driving present considerations and the unstipulated term safety. The data revealed

there are no criteria to measure the successes or failures of present strategies. The Virginia Tech

Report (2007) offers the greatest insights into the relevance of key factors. The lack of

communication and legal literacy were the overarching identified themes in the report.

Understanding the significance of the emergent themes was believed important to policy

development and the dynamic of actions between constituents. For instance, notification of

parents or family members by campus counseling centers of students seeking services would not

nullify an institution's responsibilities for students the institution identified as at risk or knew or

should have know was at risk. The Virginia Tech tragedy stands as a lesson in the importance of

dangerous situation avoidance: the event provides a backdrop of communication and training









deficits and offers insights as to where appropriations might be better spent to protect campus

communities.

The basic details provided in the Virginia Tech Report should be reviewed by

policymakers. A random act of violence with no elements of foreseeability is distinguishable

from a violent act by a person linked to the campus and identified as exhibiting troubling

behavior. The relationship of the shooter to the campus community becomes a necessary

component for determining liability pathways when dangerous situations are not avoided (e.g.,

Coghlan v. Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, 987 P. 2d 300, 305 (Idaho 1999); Bradshaw v. Rawlings,

612 F.2d 135 (3d Cir. 1979); Nova Snimheavin Univ., Inc. v. Gross, 758 So. 2d 86, 90 (Fla.

2000)). While the data showed a diversity of pedestrian traffic in the descriptive milieu of the

community college, the content analysis of newspaper articles pertaining to campus shooting

indicated that the majority of the shooters (n=l 1) in mass shooting incidents were either students

or former students. The Virginia Tech shooter, Cho, was a residential student at Virginia Tech.

Was a Special Relationship Created Between the Institution and Cho?

Answered in the affirmative, Cho's next of kin could move forward in a wrongful death

suit on behalf of their son. A finding of negligence requires a legal duty owed to the plaintiff, a

breach of that duty, proximate cause, and damages. The threshold element, the existence of a

duty of care, is a question of law properly resolved by the court (Garofalo v. Lambda Chi Alpha

Fraternity, 616 N.W.2d 647, 650 (Iowa 2000)). In general, the law imposes no affirmative duty

upon individuals to act for the protection of others (Garofalo, p. 652 citing Restatement 2d of

Torts 314, 1965, p. 116). In cases where the plaintiff alleges that the injury resulted from a

failure to act, the law requires the existence of a special relationship between the injured party

and the alleged negligent party. Common special relationships include innkeeper/guest,

landlord/invitee, peace officer/arrestee, and common carrier/passenger (Restatement 2d of Torts









314A, 1965, p. 118). However, special relationships may be created and assumed by

institutions based on particular factual scenarios (Coghlan v. Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, 987 P. 2d

300, 305 (Idaho 1999); Bradshaw v. Rawlings, 612 F.2d 135 (3d Cir. 1979); Nova .,'/l//ecllll

Univ., Inc. v. Gross, 758 So. 2d 86, 90 (Fla. 2000)).

The facts of interest in the Virginia Tech Report (2007) are these: Cho was a full time

student living in a dorm located on campus where most of his erratic behavior occurred

(pp. 41-43). Cho had numerous, troubling interactions with faculty and with female students.

Residence Life was aware of multiple reports and concerns expressed over Cho's behavior in the

dorm (p. 52). The institution's care team was informed of problems involving Cho. Cho was

taken for psych evaluation by the institution's law enforcement agency. Cho's progress after

being released from evaluation was not followed up on or tracked by the university.

Causation and damages aside, the family might allege that a special relationship was

created. A plaintiff s attorney supporting this position could conceivably argue that Virginia

Tech created a special relationship based on how each institutional actor responded to and took

charge of Cho's progressively distressing behaviors. Institutional actors talked with him, advised

him, and transported him for mental health evaluation. Averring this position, one could assert

control based on the pattern of interactions; that the institution knew or should have known that

Cho was a danger to himself or others; and that it breached its duty in failing to not only connect

the dots but also in failing to follow up on Cho, who lived in a dorm, once he returned to campus

after his psychological evaluation.

Was a Duty Owed to the Victims?

If a duty was owed to Cho, then the estates of 32 people, along with numerous harmed

survivors to the incident, would meet the threshold requirement to go forward with lawsuits.

There are several potential avenues for attaching liability indicated in the Restatement of Torts









and case law that should be considered by policymakers. As per Nova Univ. v. Wagner, 491 So.

2d 1116, 1117 (Fla. 1986)), the Florida Supreme Court quoted the basic negligent principle

found in the Restatement 2d of Torts 319 (1965):

One who takes charge of a third person whom he knows or should know to be likely to
cause bodily harm to others if not controlled is under a duty to exercise reasonable care to
control the third person to prevent him from doing such harm. (Nova, 1986, p. 1118)

Thus, a Florida court would first determine whether the defendant's conduct created a

foreseeably broader zone of risk that posed a general threat of harm to the plaintiff (Creamer v.

Sampson, 700 S. 2d 711, 713 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997)). Answered in the affirmative, the plaintiff has

established a duty between the parties and satisfied the legal threshold "for opening the

courthouse doors" (Creamer, p. 713). It should be noted that respondeat superior "assigns

responsibility to an employer for the legal consequences that result from employees' errors of

judgment and lapses in attentiveness when the acts or omissions are within the scope of

employment" (American Law Institute, 2006, p. 141).

The Virginia Tech Report (2007) provides a second scenario for discussion. The report

indicates a faculty member discovered a bomb threat (p. 90); the door the note was removed

from was chained, which was not normally the case; the note particularly made reference to the

chains; the faculty member made no effort to warn the people inside the building or attempt to

determine other avenues of ingress; and the faculty member proceeded to a third floor office

without contacting anyone along the way regarding the note. The report further indicated that

faculty members were not trained for emergency situations (p. 17).

It is the class of people who were harmed and not the type of harm that actually occurs

that establishes the duty element. If a court were to find that discovery of a bomb threat note

made it foreseeable that some type of harm could occur, a duty would be established. Judge









Cordozo explains "the concept of duty to embrace only those persons or classes of persons to

whom harm of some type might reasonably have been foreseen as a result of the particular

tortious conduct" [emphasis added] (Henley v. Prince George's County, 503 A. 2d 1333, 1340

(Md. 1986)(citingPalsgrafv. LongIslandR. Co., 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E. 99 (N.Y. 1928)).

A possible avenue for attaching a duty in similar cases may exist through premise

liability. The Restatement 2d of Torts provides:

A possessor of land who holds it open to the public for entry for his business purposes is
subject to liability to members of the public while they are upon the land for such a
purpose, for physical harm caused by the accidental, negligent, or intentionally harmful
acts of third persons or animals, and by failure of the possessor to exercise reasonable care
to

(a) discover that such acts are being done or are likely to be done, or

(b) give a warning adequate to enable the visitors to avoid the harm, or otherwise
protect them against it. (1965, 344)

The comment section in the Restatement indicates that the rule applies to independent

contractors who are permitted to carry on activities upon the land. The facts surrounding the

bomb threat note may support a cause of action under common law grounds. The possessor is

required to exercise reasonable care for the protection of the public who enter (id., comment C).

In addition, the Restatement acknowledges that the public entity is "not an insurer of the safety

of such visitors against the acts of third persons" but is "under a duty to exercise reasonable care

to give them protection" (id., comment D). General exceptions to the independent contractor rule

which attach liability to the employer include "(1) Negligence of the employer in selecting,

instructing, or supervising the contractor, and (2) Non-delegable duties of the employer arising

out of some relation toward the public or the particular plaintiff" (Restatement 2d of Torts, 1965,

409 comments 1 & 2).









The significance of other avenues of institutional liability was revealed in the study when

interviewed respondents discussed the impracticalities of providing training to large numbers of

adjunct faculty who may only teach one semester. Grounds for a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action should

be considered by policymakers. These actions are not subject to sovereign immunity caps and

have been indicated in limited circumstances where (1) a government entity inadequately trains

or supervises its employees, (2) the failure to adequately train or supervise is the policy of the

entity, and (3) the policy causes the entity's employees to violate a citizen's constitutional rights

(Doe v. Faerber, 446 F. Supp. 2d 1311, 1316-17 (2006)).

Negligent Hiring, Training, and Supervision

Employers are responsible for the negligent hiring, training, and supervision of their

employees. Florida's case law indicates that "negligent, hiring, supervision, or retention is

identical to the duty upon private employers who hire, retain, or supervise employees whose

negligent or intentional acts in positions of employment can foreseeably cause injuries to third

parties" (SchoolBd. of Orange County. v. Coffey, 524 So. 2d 1052, 1053 (Fla. 5th DCA 1988).

The content analysis of the newspaper articles on campus shooters found that a small

minority of the campus shooters were employees (n=2). In the reviewed shooting scenarios

found in the newspaper search, one shooter was described as a faculty member recently denied

tenure; another was described as a custodian. A party would be looking for any facts (e.g.,

carrying a gun to work, making threats, etc.) to indicate the employer knew or should have

known of the employee's unfitness but failed to take action (Doe v. Malicki, 814 So. 2d 347, 362

(Fla. 2002); Garcia v. Duffy, 492 So. 2d 435, 438-439 (Fla. 2d DCA 1986)). The importance of

training and the need to percolate information about faculty, staff, and students to the appropriate

epicenter for consideration were shown.









Policymakers Versus Decision Makers

The literature review revealed that studies have comingled the role of decision makers

and policymakers. The data also showed administrators use the terms interchangeably. In the

law, the terms have legal significance. The confusion could be a factor creating problems in the

design or implementation of community college safety policy, especially since a notable

distinction exists between the state's universities and community colleges. Section 1004.67, Fla.

Stat. (2007), establishes that community colleges are political subdivisions of the state. Thus, the

community college is not an arm of the state that has traditionally enjoyed Eleventh Amendment

immunity: both its employees and the entity are subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983.

Qualified immunity exists for government actors performing discretionary functions

unless their conduct violated clearly established federal statutory or constitutional rights (Harlow

v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982)). Agencies may be liable in respondeat superior for non

discretionary duties in the exercise of governmental authority (e.g., see Howlettt v. Rose, 496

U.S. 356 (1990)). To determine whether liability attaches when an agency is sued in its official

capacity, the Florida Supreme Court has created four categories that place particular acts within

discretionary (categories I and II) or operational (categories III and IV) functions. As explained

by the Florida Supreme Court in Trianon Park Condo. Assoc., Inc. v. City ofHialeah, 468 So. 2d

912 (Fla. 1985), category I relates to legislative, permitting, licensing, and executive officer

functions; category II the enforcement of laws and protection of the public safety; category III

- capital improvement and property control functions; and category IV providing professional,

educational, and general services (pp. 919-921).

If a Florida court finds the alleged act falls within the realm of discretionary functions

contained in categories I and II, then there is no state law liability because there has never been a

common law duty of care with respect to these actions or inactions. The discretionary function









exception is grounded in the doctrine of separation of powers (Pollock v. Fla. Dep 't ofHighway

Patrol, 882 So. 2d 928 (Fla. 2004)). On the other hand, "there may be substantial governmental

liability under categories III and IV... because there is a common law duty of care regarding

how property is maintained and operated and how professional and general services are

performed" [emphasis added] (Pollock, 882 So. 2d at 921). Defining a duty as operational,

however, does not make an agency liable per se. Operationally defined functions may still be

covered under sovereign immunity when a plaintiff fails to establish the existence of either a

common law or statutory duty (p. 938).

Because the terms "discretionary" and "operational" are susceptible to broad definitions,

case law has evolved to help clarify the distinction. In Kaisner v. Kolb, 543 So. 2d 732 (Fla.

1989), the Florida Supreme Court stated that "every act involves a degree of discretion, and

every exercise of discretion involves a physical operation or act" (p. 736). Therefore, the court

further explained that operational functions are acts that are "not necessary to or inherent in

policy or planning" (p. 737). Operational functions merely reflect "a secondary decision as to

how those policies or plans will be implemented" (id.). The courts may intervene by way of tort

law in these contexts as they are not entangling themselves in fundamental questions of policy or

planning involved in the exercise of executive or legislative power (id.). Accordingly, the data

revealed these areas are important to community college safety planning.

Implications for Policy and Practice

Revisit Training for Faculty and Staff

It is the responsibility of the institution to adequately train its faculty and staff on issues

of dangerous situation avoidance and the proper reporting of suspect conditions noticed on

campus. Failure to train may implicate not only state law negligence actions but also federal tort

actions, which are not subject to sovereign immunity caps. Training modules might consider









content that directs the campus community on the types of information and to whom (as well as

the time frame) it should be reported. The campus community should receive instruction on

when and where to report concerns or signs of potential at risk behavior.

Redefine Crisis Management Teams and the Aim of Sharing Information

First, campuses should conceptualize the making of referrals as the beginning of the

dangerous situation avoidance process. Follow up and tracking of students identified and deemed

at risk should be an attendant circumstance. Based on the ease of student transfers, legislatures

should consider providing a Registrar code for students deemed at risk and who voluntary leave

an institution prior to showing adequate progress. Rules for the clearance/removal of the code

should be clear. Legislatures should also distinguish mandatorily requiring counseling centers to

notify family members of adult students who seek counseling at the direction of campus crisis

management referrals from the notification of family members in those cases where students

seek services without campus referrals or the signing of waivers. The former implies the

continuing duty of the institution to facilitate campus safety while the latter implies the potential

for discouragement in adult students seeking professional services altogether.

Second, colleges should consider structuring crisis management teams in a manner that

allows for audits specific to recommendations for improvement of internal procedures and

methods on a periodic basis. Accountability measurements should include coordination,

adequacy, and timeliness of team actions. For students identified as at risk, measurements should

include effectiveness of tracking and program successes or failures. The need for reform was

implied since an institution that knows or should have known that a student posed a risk of harm

to self or others and that does not act reasonably may be held liable for tragic consequences.

Reasonable action does not imply colleges must prevent all possible harms. It simply means an

institution must act reasonably on information that becomes available to a party within the









organization's network. An example of unreasonable action by a dean of student affairs, which

went as far as qualifying for punitive damages, was found in the preliminary motions in the case

of Schieszler v. Ferrum Coll. (W.D. Va., Case No.: 7:02CV00131, 2002). In the Schieszler case,

the trial court determined a special duty was created between student affairs personnel and a

student who committed suicide in a dorm room (236 F. Supp. 2d 602). The case is instructive to

attorneys seeking to open the courthouse doors.

Third, the aim of sharing information with outside mental health agencies should be

explained. Whether outside agencies are capable of doing anything with the information was

unclear. Institutions may want to discuss the possibility and feasibility of adding institutional

crisis management teams that meet certain criteria as a group capable of issuing Baker Act intake

certificates. Section 394.463(2), Fla. Stat. (2007), allows the execution of a certificate by a court

(al), law enforcement officer (a2), or a physician, clinical psychologist, psychiatric nurse, mental

health counselor marriage and family therapist, or clinical social worker (a3). Since community

colleges often do not hire any of the above, this expansion may provide an effective use of

resources and sharing capabilities without having to alter privacy rights. It also provides an

avenue of information that may be acted upon by the recipient.

Fourth, the new label of students being at risk of harming themselves or others may not

be mutually exclusive of the traditional at risk definition used in the community college and

defined as "those who were underprepared for college, work over 20 hours a week, lack family

support, are first-generation college goers, and who experience low academic success at the

beginning of the postsecondary experience" (Roueche & Roueche, 1993, p. 1). Modified

community college counseling models for the latter may be applicable to the former. A review of

this consideration was implied based on the emergent theme of familial support.









Adopt Revisions of Student Codes of Conduct that Explain At-risk Referrals

Responsibilities for students identified as at risk should be clearly indicated in student

codes of conduct. If a student refuses voluntary treatment options, then the institution should

determine what the refusal means in terms of continued enrollment eligibility. Upon receipt of

multiple avenues of information on a particular student, the institution should consider deciding

on a course of action that is made known to the student. Procedures outlined in the college

handbook should include guidelines for students to challenge the adequacy of the information, as

well as the consequences to students who refuse voluntary examination.

Contract With Risk Management Legal Counsel

Policymakers should consider contracting for advisory opinions from community college

risk management legal firms, independent private firms, and even those firms that contract with

the Sheriff s self-insurance fund, for campus safety policy development where multiple agencies

and the sharing of data are involved. These firms routinely handle claims in applicable state and

federal courts and are well equipped to advise on policy implications. Advisory opinions as to

the providence of newly created administrative interpretations of adding a control prong to the

Clery Act should be contemplated. A review of this consideration was implied based on the

emergent themes of legal literacy, communication, and process of government agencies.

Revisit Dual Enrollment

Community colleges have a small population of dual enrollment students who are

working on completing both their high school and associates degrees concurrently. A select few

four-year institutions have created high schools on their main campuses and commingled

populations (i.e., California State University, Fresno). Interviewed respondents were probed

about their thoughts about having pupils under the age of 18 on their campuses. Only one

respondent made a connection to the possibility of variant levels of institutional responsibilities









between the two groups (minors v. adults). The respondent believed that waivers resolved any

potential problems. Policymakers should consider whether a distinction in the duty analysis

between the under 18 versus the 18 and over groups in the college setting exists. FERPA

explains who has access to the student's records but has no application in a state law negligence

claim. The literature review in Chapter 2 showed a gap in the case law on the matter.

Policymakers should also consider the validity of waivers. A question was certified to the

Florida Supreme Court regarding negligence waivers for youth in Fields v. Kirton, 961 So. 2d

1127 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007), with oral arguments set for June 11, 2008 (2007 Fla. LEXIS 2500).

Whether the decision in the Fields case or the doctrine of in locoparentis has applicability in the

dual enrollment context was an open question. If the K-12 analysis applies to students under the

age of 18 who are attending college campuses, then special training of faculty and staff specific

to this area would be implicated.

Expand Organization Effectiveness Criteria

Cameron (1978) enumerated nine dimensions to measure organizational effectiveness.

Missing from the criteria were measures related to front end and back end campus safety

initiatives or measures related to institutional networking abilities and the timeliness of moving

information among and between campus constituents. Expanded dimensions should include

subcategories specific to themes identified in Chapter 4. The operational abilities of crisis

management teams may be worthy of comprising a separate dimension.

Limitations

Only high level administrators in the community college system were selected for

participation in the study. A broader approach might have included law enforcement personnel

and representation from Florida's Department of Education. However, including a content

analysis of Florida's Task Force Report was a means to bring in each of their respective









perspectives. Missing from the task force's membership was representation from the group

sampled in this study.

Of Florida's 28 community colleges, the sample included representation from five

different community colleges and seven distinct campuses. However, the sample size of

administrators was small and not fully random. One member was purposively selected. The

decision for this was based on past rapport with the administrator and the belief that the rapport

would generate more open and considered responses of the subject matter being studied. The

proper role of law enforcement in timely warning considerations was not fully developed in the

sample as the majority used private security and had no complaints regarding the arrangements.

Researcher subjectivity may be biased toward the legal implications of practice. Also,

legal reporters should be consulted to Shepardize citations after publication of the study to

determine whether each case or specific points within each case have been overruled. Case law

evolves and statutes are subject to repeal and modification.

Recommendations for Future Research

Several questions remain in the college safety planning venue. One significant question

yet to be answered was how colleges and the public are defining safety. If definitions favor

equipment purchases that announce warnings, then some institutions are performing well. On the

other hand, how the equipment is to be used and whether increased technology purchases will

actually reduce crime in general or mass shootings in particular on college campuses remain

open questions.

Future research should:

1. Investigate whether other states have theories driving the development of their campus safety
policies that are providing instruments to measure the efficacy of implemented actions. In the
alternative, determine whether campus safety policies without theory driven practice are
measuring the coordination, adequacy, and timeliness of crisis team actions for a range of









suspect behaviors from potential suicides to underage drinking and making recommendations
for the improvement of internal procedures based on audit findings.

2. Examine whether state statutes mandating that campus counseling centers notify the parents
or family members of adult students seeking treatment without campus referrals affects the
number of students who would have otherwise voluntarily sought services.

3. Determine the value of each layer of redundant notification and the circumstances for
implementing it. The data revealed considerable cost to each campus to maintain it:
"somewhere between a quarter of a million dollars annually," according to one respondent.
The study also showed disagreement as to the utility of the equipment.

4. Examine the social and financial ramifications of policies focused on back end reactive crisis
management in comparison with those focused on front end preventative and interventional
strategies.

5. Investigate the differences in public and private campus settings as to whether there is a link
to open government laws and media richness theory to determine whether private campuses
have more effective percolation methods already in place. The content analysis of shooting
incidents hinted that mass murder occurs more frequently on public campuses.

6. Study whether the development of sound campus safety policies is being undermined by the
political process. The heavy focus toward law enforcement services and salaries in the Task
Force Report stands in stark contrast to the recommendations contained in the Mental Health
Report. The judiciary appears to have taken on the role of representation reinforcement in
dealing with the state's mental health crisis: the dynamic of the process warranting
exploration.

7. Study the effectiveness of training for faculty and staff in crisis avoidance through social
networking models (Bames, 1954; Granovetter, 1973; Haythomthwaite, 1996) and agent-
based modeling (Guerin, 2004). Simulation models are situated to measure coordination,
adequacy, and timeliness of information flows for improvement of internal processes.

8. Examine the policies of college crisis management teams in other states that already include
mechanisms to hold students accountable for failure to follow through on recommended
treatments and determine the strengths and weaknesses of the procedures.

9. Study whether there is a need to alter statutory privacy protections. Government agencies
have shown a pattern of communication deficits and other internal process problems. The
interaction of civil commitment criteria and constitutional protections, as well as enumerated
privacy rights contained in state and federal statutes, should be examined and compared with
how an institution communicates within itself and with its constituents. Whether
impediments exist within the codes themselves versus problems of poor ascension
mechanisms or institutional confusion within the network should be determined through
social networking theories.









10. Explore the guidelines used in the K-12 setting for providing warnings in the institutional
setting and compare and contrast these with concerns raised for reporting in the college
setting in an effort to determine philosophical differences in safety planning in the two
locations, which are described by the legislature as a seamless system.

11. Expand institutional culture studies reviewed in the literature with a focus that distinguishes
policymakers from secondary decision makers and include a focus aimed at actions rather
than opinions to determine whether decision making styles are perhaps relevant in specific
contexts.

12. Investigate whether a paradigm shift is occurring in the realm of campus safety planning
specific to cost containment polices and the accountability they sought to achieve. Cost-
containment sought to do more with less while campus security features appear to attempt to
do less with more.

13. Explore the patterns of shooters identified in campus mass murders with a multidisciplinary
approach that includes psychologists and criminologists. The data showed that the majority
of shooters committed suicide, implicating a possible link. Whether crisis hotlines can be
permitted to forward information to college crisis management teams should be explored.

14. Examine the feasibility of a longitudinal study on returning veterans who enroll in
institutions of higher education to determine whether indicators of post traumatic stress might
enable more timely proactive service options to support their needs and goals, as well as
whether federal funds might attach.

Summary

The media's ability to set the agenda has campuses purchasing redundant warning

systems but doing little else. Training modules for the reporting of suspicious circumstances and

troubling behavior should be forthcoming, along with guidelines indicating to the campus

community when warning devices will be activated. Implicated in the study was the need for

guidelines that instruct the campus community as to what the imposition of an at risk label

actually means in terms of continued enrollment eligibility. Ongoing assessment of crisis

management teams should include audits to recommend improvement of internal procedures

related to coordination, adequacy, and timeliness of actions, as well as the unit's efficiency in the

follow up and tracking of students designated at risk. Agent-based modeling and social

networking theories provide avenues for determining where dysfunction in communication









relays exist. Policymaker should define safety and the goals sought to be achieved. The study's

emergent themes provide expansive area's for Cameron's (1978) organizational effectiveness

dimensions.

Bromley and Territo (1990) urged senior administrators to "provide leadership and policy

guidance related to security issues" (p. 17). Yet colleges have continued to grow in size and

number-asserting the educational mission over the institutional ability to effectively manage

information streams that flow from student to faculty, faculty to administration, administration to

student. From problems in reporting pursuant to the Clery Act to incorrect interpretations of

privacy acts, the need for reform was shown. Campus administrators must be required to adopt

information transfer and dissemination abilities to reduce foreseeable harms known to someone

along the organization's network for which knowledge may be imputed to the organization.

Working to divine considered and appropriate front end approaches specific to those situations

that develop and intensify on a college campus does not make colleges the insurers of student

safety. Rather, it holds colleges accountable, like any other entity, in those situations where it

knew or should have known of the danger, or where it created the danger. The operative word

being foreseeable opposed to utter and truly random acts of violence that no one within the

campus community could have predicted.

This chapter presented the study's conclusions, implications for policy and practice,

limitations, and recommendations for future research. By identifying multiple themes and linking

them to practice and theory relevant to campus safety, the study contributed to the design and

implementation of more considered policies.









APPENDIX
OPEN-ENDED QUESTION GUIDE

* Based on your own personal thoughts of the Virginia Tech shootings and the media
coverage that followed, what concerns (regionally or nationally) involving the shootings
stood out the most in your mind as a college administrator?

* Following the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, several committees with
legislative authority were formed. Two of the main reports are the Virginia Tech Report,
commissioned by Virginia's governor, and Florida's Gubernatorial Task Force for
University Campus Safety Report on Findings and Recommendations, commissioned by
Florida's governor.

Have you read or been briefed on these reports?

If so, have these reports influenced your institution's discussions on how to
address campus safety and security issues following the Virginia Tech tragedy?

* What do you believe are the benefits and limitations of the findings and
recommendations as they relate to your community college?

* Have there been any policies reviewed, changed, or implemented on your campus
following the Virginia Tech tragedy?

* Have there been changes to the student code of conduct that you are aware of?

* Once the details of the shooters mental health background became available, were
discussions of mental health issues and identifying "at risk" students engaged in on your
campus?

Were the criteria set forth in the Virginia Tech Report's Appendix M discussed?

Broadly speaking, a person who may be considered a danger to him/herself or
others is considered "at risk" in the Virginia Tech Report. Do you have any
thought regarding the definition?

If given the opportunity, how would you like to see "at risk" individuals (students,
faculty, or staff) identified and helped?

What services does your institution presently provide?

* To your knowledge, have student mental health issues and student records been discussed
on your campus since the shootings?

What areas are you aware of that create administrative problems for your
institution?










Do you believe these areas are unique to your institution?

* Does your institute have a counseling model to deal with student attrition?

Does your college use crisis intervention teams?

* Florida's Task Force charged the community college system with several tasks. Are you
aware of whether any of the recommendations are being explored at this time?

* Have any committee's been formed on campus or through other initiatives to review
specific campus safety and security practices or to create new ones?

How would changes in a student's behavior be brought to light on your campus?

* Can you summarize the forces you feel are driving change within and outside the college
system in light of Virginia Tech's tragedy?

* Should campus safety planning and policies become part of the accreditation process?

* Have you requested or do you know whether your college has provided or sought any
advisory opinions on privacy laws (e.g., FERPA, HIPAA)?

The Clery Act?

State law civil actions?

* Are any committees internal or external to the college actively reviewing these matters to
your knowledge? If so, please explain how they were formed.

* Do you know what the Clery Act requires an institution to do?

How would a timely warning be issued on your campus?

Who can issue a warning?

What would you consider "timely?"

* Community colleges have a unique mission. Has any thought been given by you or your
office on how better quality service options could be engendered for mental health
services in the community or on your campus?

* Community colleges in the state serve a diverse group of students. Do you see any special
considerations that should be explored in relation to having a population of dual
enrollment students on your campus who are under the age of 18?









Have parents, students, or faculty expressed specific safety concerns that you are
aware of?

* How would you describe your campus culture? [clan-highly flexible, mentoring leader;
hierarchy/bureaucratic-stable/predictable; adhocracy-clan with more innovative-type
leader; or market-goal oriented leader]

Do you feel your campus culture is open to change or resistant to change?

* How are decision made on your campus? [discussion and consensus; top-down; other; it
depends] Please explain.

* In terms of campus safety policy and being proactive in identifying troubled students and
intervening on their behalf, communications between the faculty, department heads, and
crisis intervention are some of the areas discussed in the reports.

Are you aware of any logistical problems unique to a multi-campus setting that
should be explored?

Does your institution have security or law enforcement officers?

Are mutual aid agreements established?

* Are there easy to locate hot line numbers where students/faculty staff/visitors can relay
information regarding events they may perceive as odd, such as a building being chained
or a package left on a bench?

Are students, faculty, or both offered awareness workshops?

Should law enforcement have access to student records? If so, why?

* As campuses continue to serve increasing numbers of students in the online environment,
do you feel this will help or hinder the design and implementation of campus safety
policies related to prevention and intervention?

Is the growth in online courses raising or lowering campus safety
concerns?

* Are you aware of any best practices either here or at another institution that may foster
supportive campus climates and increased student participation in campus activities?

Do you have any thoughts on the factors that have been most useful in creating
engagement?

* Do you have any thoughts or concerns on the topic of campus safety policy related to
prevention or intervention that you think needs further exploration?









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List of Cases

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Doe v. Malicki, 814 So. 2d 347 (Fla. 2002)

Eiseman v. State, 511 N.E.2d 1128 (N.Y. 1987)

Fields v. Kirton, 961 So. 2d 1127 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007) & 2007 Fla. LEXIS 2500

Fla. Dep 't ofHighway Patrol v. Pollock, 745 So. 2d 446 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1999)

Garcia v. Duffy, 492 So. 2d 435 (Fla. 2d DCA 1986)

Garofalo v. Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, 616 N.W.2d 647 (Iowa 2000)

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Pensacola Junior Coll. v. Montgomery, 539 S. 2d 1153 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989)

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Rupp v. Bryant, 717 So. 2d 658 (Fla. 1982)

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Sch. Bd. of Orange County v. Coffey, 524 So. 2d 1052 (Fla. 5th DCA 1988)

Trianon Park Condo. Assoc., Inc. v. City ofHialeah, 468 So. 2d 912 (Fla. 1985)

Univ. ofDenver v. Whitlock, 744 P. 2d 54 (Colo. 1987)

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List of Statutes and Other Sources

34 C.F.R. 99.31

34 C.F.R. 99.36

34 C.F.R. 668.46

42 U.S.C. 1983

45 C.F.R. 160-164

59 Am.Jur.2d, Parent and Child, 133

Art. I, 23, Fla. Const. (1998)

CA Supreme Court Minutes, Dkt. S067722 (1998, March 18)

Chpater 119, Fla. Stat. (2007)

Chapter 284, Fla. Stat. (2007)

Chapter 286, Fla. Stat. (2007)

Chapter 394, Fla. Stat. (2007)

Chapter 395, Fla. Stat. (2007)









Chapter 768, Fla. Stat. (2007)

Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA); 20 U.S.C. 1232g; Buckley Amendment;
and 34 C.F.R. 99

Fla. Exec. Order No. 07-77 (2007)

Fla. Exec. Order No. 07-78 (2007)

Fla. R. App. P. 9.030(b)

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Pub. L. 104-191, 110
Stat. 1936; 45 C.F.R. 160-164

Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, U.S.C.
1092(15)

Restatement 2d of Torts 3 14A (1965)

Restatement 2d of Torts 319 (1965)

Section 790.06(12), Fla. Stat. (2007)

Section 1001.43, Fla. Stat. (2007)

Section 1004.67, Fla. Stat. (2007)

Teacher Liability Protection Act, 20 U.S.C. 6736

U.S. Const. amend. IV, 12

Wash. H. R. Rep. No. 2648, 60th Leg. (2008)

Wash. S. H. B. No. 2648, 60th Leg. (2008)

Va. Exec. Order No. 53 (2007)









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Jennifer L. Kerkhoff holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminology, summa cum laude, from the

University of South Florida, along with the King O'Neal Award. She received her Juris Doctor

with honors from the University of Florida's Levin College of Law, and Master of Science in

criminal justice from Sam Houston State University in Texas. Throughout the course of her

educational achievements, Ms. Kerkhoff has been involved in grant projects, as well as college

research and teaching.

Ms. Kerkhoff is a practicing attorney in the State of Florida. She is licensed in the Federal

Middle District of Florida, the Federal Northern District of Florida, and the Eleventh Circuit. Ms.

Kerkhoff s case load has included civil rights claims, 42 U.S.C. 1983 actions, state law

negligence claims against government entities, government in the sunshine violations, and a

variety of business transactions. She has served as a consultant on agency matters and police

practices and was the interim Assistant Dean for Students at the University of Florida's Levin

College of Law for the 2005-2006 academic year.





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1 ASSESSING THE DEVELOPMENT OF CAMPUS SAFETY POLICY IN THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOLLOWING THE VIRGINIA TECH TRAGEDY By JENNIFER L. KERKHOFF A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Jennifer L. Kerkhoff

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3 To Mark C. Simpson (1961-1998), in loving memory.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS It is a m omentous occasion to be able to honor the memory of Mark C. Simpson with the completion of this degree. Mark was the most w onderful husband and friend a girl could ask for: I cannot imagine where I would be today without having known him. I will be forever grateful for the way Mark lived, loved, believed, and insp ired. I thank the members of my supervisory committee for signing on. A special not e of gratitude is extended to the chairperson, Dr. Dale F. Campbell, whose dedication to my success in this program was tremendously appreciated, and to Dr. James Dyer for his confidence in me and hi s resource referrals. I thank my mom for her loving encouragement and long phone convers ations, which always brought me new perspectives. Appreciation also goes to Susa n Ellison, who helped me maintain balance throughout this endeavor, and to Adrian Jones, who could not have been kinder or more supportive. I thank each and every one of these ex traordinary individuals from the bottom of my heart.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........8 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS.......................................................................................................... 9 ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................10 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................12 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........12 Statement of the Problem....................................................................................................... .25 Purpose of the Study........................................................................................................... ....25 Objectives...............................................................................................................................27 Mental Health Considerations.........................................................................................27 Timely Warning Considerations...................................................................................... 29 Litigation Concerns......................................................................................................... 31 Privacy Laws...................................................................................................................34 List of Definitions...................................................................................................................35 Design of the Study................................................................................................................38 Methods..................................................................................................................................40 Researcher Subjectivity........................................................................................................ ..40 Limitations.................................................................................................................... ..........41 Summary.................................................................................................................................41 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................42 Institutional Culture and Or ganizational Effectiveness ..........................................................42 Culture and Decision Making................................................................................................. 45 Theories of Interaction and Organizational Effectiveness ...................................................... 47 Interaction Theory........................................................................................................... 47 Interaction Systems Models............................................................................................ 48 Social Networking and Agent-based Modeling.............................................................. 49 Media Richness Theory................................................................................................... 51 Agency Theory................................................................................................................52 Accountability Mechanisms...................................................................................................53 Roles of Watchdog Groups..................................................................................................... 53 Agenda-setting Theory...........................................................................................................54 Cost Containment Policy........................................................................................................ 55

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6 Outsourcing.....................................................................................................................57 Tabulation Studies........................................................................................................... 57 In Loco Parentis............................................................................................................... 65 Summary.................................................................................................................................68 3 METHODOLOGY................................................................................................................. 71 Purpose of the Study........................................................................................................... ....71 Research Questions............................................................................................................. ....71 Rationale and Methodology....................................................................................................72 Content Analysis of Independent Sources.......................................................................75 Administrator Interviews.................................................................................................75 Data Analysis...................................................................................................................75 Sample.............................................................................................................................76 Assumptions.................................................................................................................... 76 Limitations.................................................................................................................... ...76 Threats to Validity and Reliability......................................................................................... 77 Validation of the Data.....................................................................................................77 Reliability and Validity...................................................................................................78 Research Questions and Operatio nalization of the Variables .................................................81 What Actions Concerning Campus Safety W ere Developed as a Result of the Virginia Tech Tragedy?............................................................................................... 81 What Actions Concerning Student Mental Health Issues W ere Developed as a Result of the Virginia Tech Tragedy?.......................................................................... 82 What are the Benefits and Limitations of the Recommendations Found in the Task Force Report as They Relate to the C ommunity College?.......................................... 82 Data Analysis..........................................................................................................................83 Content Analysis of Independent Sources..............................................................................83 Newspaper Articles on Campus Shootings..................................................................... 83 Task Force Reports.......................................................................................................... 84 Summary.................................................................................................................................84 4 FINDINGS....................................................................................................................... .......86 Overview....................................................................................................................... ..........86 Describing the Milieu of the Community College................................................................. 86 Describing the Sample of Adm inistrators............................................................................... 90 Independent Sources...............................................................................................................91 Content Analyses of the Interviews................................................................................. 91 Open-coding..................................................................................................................103 Content Analysis of Newspaper Articles Pertaining to Cam pus Shootings..................103 Content Analysis of Virginia Tech Report....................................................................110 Content Analysis of Floridas Task Force Report......................................................... 115 Triangulation: Finding Consistencies in the Data................................................................ 117 Summary...............................................................................................................................118

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7 5 CONCLUSIONS AND I MPLICATIONS........................................................................... 120 Discussion of the Findings.................................................................................................... 121 Grounded Theory: Agenda Setting.......................................................................................122 Question One: What Policy Actions Were Deve loped as a Result of the V irginia Tech Tragedy?....................................................................................................................... .....126 Question Two: What Policy Actions Concerni ng Student Mental Health Issues W ere Developed as a Result of the Virginia Tech Tragedy?..................................................... 130 Question Three: What Recommendations fr om the Florida Task Force Report Were Relevant to the Community Colleg e in the Participants View?...................................... 136 Central Question: What Factors in Campus Saf ety Policy Following the Virginia Tech Tragedy Create the Most Problems in Design or Implementation for Floridas Community College System?............................................................................................ 137 Was a Special Relationship Created Between the Institution and Cho? ....................... 138 Was a Duty Owed to the Victims?................................................................................ 139 Negligent Hiring, Training, and Supervision................................................................ 142 Policymakers Versus Decision Makers......................................................................... 143 Implications for Policy and Practice..................................................................................... 144 Revisit Training for Faculty and Staff........................................................................... 144 Redefine Crisis Management Teams a nd the Aim of Sharing Inform ation.................. 145 Adopt Revisions of Student Codes of C onduct that Explain At-risk Referrals ............ 147 Contract With Risk Management Legal Counsel.......................................................... 147 Revisit Dual Enrollment................................................................................................ 147 Expand Organization Eff ectiveness Criteria .................................................................148 Limitations.................................................................................................................... ........148 Recommendations for Future Research................................................................................149 Summary...............................................................................................................................151 6 OPEN-ENDED QUESTION GUIDE...................................................................................153 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................156 List of Cases.........................................................................................................................165 List of Statutes and Other Sources........................................................................................ 167 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................169

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Open Ended Questions.......................................................................................................85 4-1 Campus Shooters............................................................................................................ .119

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9 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ABA American Bar Association ALI American Law Institute APA American Psychological Association C.F.R. Code of Federal Regulations DCF Department of Children and Families FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Fed. R. Civ. P. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure FERPA Family Educational Right to Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment); 20 U.S.C. 1232g FDLE Florida Department of Law Enforcement Fla. R. App. P. Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure FMHA Florida Mental Health Act (FMHA) or Baker Act, Chapter 394, Florida Statutes (2008) HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Pub. L. 104-191, 110 Stat. 1936; 45 C.F.R. 160-164 U.S.C. United States Code

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10 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy ASSESSING THE DEVELOPMENT OF CAMPUS SAFETY POLICY IN THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOLLOWING THE VIRGINIA TECH TRAGEDY By Jennifer L. Kerkhoff May 2008 Chair: Dale F. Campbell Major: Higher Education Administration The purpose of this study was to contextu alize, understand, and interpret the dynamics related to the advances of cam pus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy. Floridas community colleges are an integral part of Flor idas educational system and are expected to do more for less. The question of whether campuses are actually safer based on the number of warning tiers they offer or officers they employ opposed to a campus ability to avoid dangerous situations by improving communication pathways and monitoring the progress of at risk students was left open. Four areas structur ed the study: mental health considerations, Clery Act considerations, litigation concerns and privacy concerns. Themes emerged from content analyses that included administrator in terviews, the Virginia Tech Report, Floridas Task Force Report on University Campus Safety, and newspaper articles. Grounded theory allowed for the explicati on of multiple factors. The theoretical framework provided a deeper understanding of campus safety planning. Overall, campus safety has focused on an institutions ability to deal with hazard scenarios (back end responses) rather than strategies for the preven tion of tragedies (front end avoidance). Failing to connect the dots in proactive dangerous situation avoidance on a campus portends the

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11 potential for increased harm to the campus commun ity, in addition to increased liability for the institution. The data revealed se veral areas that warrant policy maker attention. Guidelines as to what it means for a student to be identified by a campus as at risk were nonexistent and in need of development. Recommendations included training for faculty and staff that ranged from the reporting of bomb th reats and troubling behavior to an appreciation of how employee actions create special relationships that impart legal duties. By identifying multiple themes relevant to safety planning, th e study contributed to the design of more considered campus safety policies.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Introduction Assessing the developm ent of campus safety policy in the community college following the mass murder at Virginia Polytechnic Inst itute and State University (Virginia Tech) on April 16, 2007 was the focus of this study. Responding to safety concerns, forums with authoritative legitimacy sprang up after the Virg inia Tech tragedy. In June, Virginias governor commissioned a panel to review th e event (Va. Exec. Order No. 53, 2007). By August, the Virginia Tech Report (2007) was completed. The report chronicles the downward spiral of Seung Hui Cho, a 23-year-old, undergraduat e senior at Virginia Tech; his legacy the worst campus mass murder in history. The report al so narrates the universitys inability to merge the warning signs, flags scattered throughout the campus at all levels of its administration. In response to the tragedy, the President of the United St ates assigned the Health and Human Services Secretary, United States Attorney General, and the United States Secretary of Education to meet with state governors and report back on measures taken to improve security and response to crisis situations on university campus es (Fla. Exec. Order No. 07-77, 2007). The theme leaning toward: colleges under attack. Criminologists Max L. Bromley and Leonard Territo (1990) drew attention to an in crease in violent crimes occurring on college campuses in their book College Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Awareness Not much attention was sparked then but now the federal governmentbig brotherwants to make sure the issues are more thoroughly explored on behalf of all college studentsthe countrys future leaders.

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13 The governments interest was perhaps piqued by the number of reporting and timely warning violations on college campuses ( e.g ., Brumfield, 2007). The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, U.S.C. (15)(f), or Clery Act, pertains to disclosure of campus security policy and campus crime statistics. It applies to institutions participating in Ti tle IV financial aid programs. The act makes provisions for the reporting of crime statistics, as well as timel y warnings required under 34 C.F.R. 668.46(e) when there is a serious or conti nuing threat to students. The legislative intent of the act was to aid in the prevention of si milar crimes on college campus es by allowing students the opportunity to be self-vigilant. Recent articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education, one titled: Under Pressure to Give Speedy Crime Alerts, Campus Officials Worry About the Informations Usefulness (Hoover & Lipka, 2007) and one titled: College Leaders Wrestle with how to Prepare for Unknown Threats (Selingo, 2008) indicate a disturbing tr end related to Clery Act reporting. The student body is not being informed upon discovery of certain violent crimes because institutions feel they need to take control of the situation first, so they can make the alert more useful by telling the students what to do. These administrative actions may be interpreted as nothing more than attempts to get around the inte nt of the Clery Act. As a repercussion, the new control prong may result in the creation and assump tion of duties for institutions where none would have otherwise existed. When an in stitution decides to depr ive students of their normal power of self-protection or subjects them to association with persons likely to harm them, the institution assumes a duty of reasonable care in doing so ( e.g ., see Nova Southeastern Univ., Inc. v. Gross 758 So. 2d 86 (Fla. 2000)). A concomitant to holding

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14 colleges responsible in state and federal tort actions is that someone was needlessly injured before practices were modified. Legislatures adopt statutes (laws or acts) to prescribe conduct, define crimes, create inferior governmental bodies, appropriate public monies, and in general to promote the public good and welfare (Gifis, 1991, p. 463). When gove rnment agencies cannot follow the rules that apply to them, the appearance of promoting the public good or welfare becomes tenuous. Public college safety efforts appear aimed at three and four layers of redundancy in notification capabilities w ith little direct atte ntion on proactive interventional strategies for dangerous situation avoidance. Shifting to back end crisis response strategies implies a focus other than dangerous situation avoidance and further implicates increased liability concerns a situation demonstrated in the Virginia Tech Report (2007). Furthermore, newly procured campus warning systems cannot advance the right of self-protection if no one is being notified. The timeliness of this study was evident. Se veral issues related to college safety policy planning were examined through administrator interviews and published reports. The Virginia Tech tragedy was the primary un it of analysis. The Virginia Tech Report (2007) documents a systemic lack of coordinated services within the structure of the univers ity organization itself. Fragmented and piecemeal conversations left bur ied in offices across the campus community; a crisis management team unable to manage crisis ontogenetics. Provisions in Floridas Gubernatorial Task Force for Univers ity Campus Safety Report on Findings and Recommendations (published May 24, 2007 and referred to herein as the Task Force Report) were also reviewed. State recommendations in the Task Force Report (2007) included

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15 increasing law enforcement pers onnel and providing them with more training to installing cameras and door locks to proposing safe harbors in federal and st ate privacy laws. In this study, it was believed that a determination of the theory driving the campus safety process may explain recent developments. Monies have been expended on emergency equipment and notification systems. Whether guide lines have resulted that provide when the warning devices will be activated and what hazards qualify for a warning, as well as how information pertaining to potential at risk beha viors of students will be channeled to crisis management teams, were areas ripe for review. The new at risk student label found in the Virginia Tech Report additionally merited examination. Determining who may be at risk in the K-12 setting presents far fewer challenges than in the context of higher education. Services that are offe red to troubled students in the K12 setting are more abundant, in part to No Ch ild Left Behind legislat ion. No such provision exists in the college environment. In Appe ndix M of the Virginia Tech Report (2007), at risk students are defined as those who may be at risk of harming them selves or others. Follow up and tracking of students so labe led is an important factor in dangerous situation avoidance as indicated in the Virginia Tech tragedy. How colleges are handling students for whom the label may attach merited review. Provisionally shifting the focus away from structural campus enhancements leaves the institutional actors and how they communicate with one another open for evaluation. Numerous studies have been done on culture and decision making styles but these have pertained mostly to market forces and reve nue generation (Clark, 1972; Ouchi, 1980; Ouchi & Wilkins, 1983; Chaffee, 1984; Cameron & Ettington, 1988; Tierney, 1988; Smart & St. John, 1996). Other studies have looke d at organizational effectiv eness (Cameron, 1978; Cameron &

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16 Tschirhart, 1992). The studies do not distinguish between the roles of primary policymakers and secondary decision makersterms of legal significancebut may be useful in exploring campus informational network pathways. This ar ea was believed an important consideration since breakdowns may be specific to a campus cultu re and not to language in privacy codes. Policy theory looks at the processes that influence the creation of new policy or the revision of old policy. Approaches to examine policy distinguish themselves via their stated assumptions and how they attempt to simplify an identified problem through various frameworks (Sabatier, 2007). From the early stages heuristic framew ork (Lasswell, 1956; Jones, 1970; Anderson, 1975; Brewer & deLeon, 1983) to variations of institutional rational choice (Moe, 1984; Shepsle, 1989; Miller, 1992), the development of policy theory has been ongoing. Conceptual frameworks may be amenable to a variety of theories, so policy analysts attempt to determine the theory that explai ns the most about a particular phenomenon (Sabatier, 2007, p. 6). The aim of this study was the attainment of a more thorough understanding of the campus safety policy proc ess and the theory behind its development. Efficacy at clarifying real problems into ma nageable units is a key test for policy frameworks and value categories (Sabatier, 2007). Although the word policy is used frequently in everyday language to represen t a variety of beliefs, actions, and practices, its meaning is not always clear. One of the most widely used online encyclopedias in the world, Wikipedia, defines policy as a deliberate plan of ac tion to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome(s); the definition further adds that [p]olicy differs from rules or law (n.d., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulbic_policy). The Ox ford dictionary characterizes policy as a course or principle of acti on adopted or proposed by a gove rnment, party, business, or individual etc. (Thompson, 1995, p. 1057).

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17 An interaction between policies and laws ex ists: policy goals are oftentimes achieved through legislation. For example, a shift from social welfare philos ophy to one of social control was realized in the United States adult criminal justice system through tough on crime policy that was implemented in official acts, such as minimum mandatory sentencing and three strikes legislation (Beckett & Sasson, 2000) When youth between the ages of 10 to 20 comprised 16% of the population in the year 200 0 but accounted for 32.1% of all arrests (FBI, 2000), addressing juvenile crime rates became a recognized policy problem. The theory of therapeutic jurisprudence managed to increase treatment-oriented programs and mental health diversion programs. The goal was to reduce recidivism rates for a targeted group of troubled youth (Wexler, 2000a, 2000b; Winick, 2003). Formal policies are also appealing whenev er standardization is sought. Unsafe K-12 schools were identified as a public safety concer n in decades past. A tenet of safe school code was to incorporate both social welfare and social control functions in a package that fostered safe learning environments for youth. Th e reduction of youth carrying weapons on school property was an identified problem. To achieve the stated objective in the K-12 system, plans included codes of behavior, vi olence prevention in the curriculum, and identification of students at risk ( i.e., see http://www.tvdsb.on.ca/safeschools). Even tually, in an effort to take the problem more seriously, zer o tolerance rules with compul sory suspension and expulsion guidelines were implemented under the auspic es of safe schools policy (Henry, 2007). Once the tougher policy was enforced, new problems arose. The practice met with parental dissatisfaction and public outcry. Since the original zero tolerance policies did not consider stud ent intent or other mitigating circumstances, the impetus for change to the existing policies came from parents

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18 and several agencies: state lawmakers, the American Psychological Association, and the American Bar Association (Henry, 2007). As a part of the rule revision process, the 2005 Texas legislature statutorily authorized its schools to consider a students particularized circumstances provided a fi rearm was not at issue ( id .). The Texas legislat ure chiefly codified permission for the states school system to ex ercise its discretionary capacity in those situations that did not involve an actual firearm. The stat utes legal significance was much broader than simply differentiati ng a gun from a knife: it went to th e release of civil liability, a concern of school board personnel when modifyi ng application of a formal policy on a case by case basis. Thus, knowledge pertaining to administrative actions and their potentials for institutional liability are benefi cial for both policy development a nd the creation of guidelines. In addition, demarcating the not-so-seamle ss comprehensive and compartmentalized boundaries of the K-12/K-20 system requires an understanding of dutyone of the four elements of a state law negligence cause of action (Little & Lidsky, 1997, p. 35). In a structured K-12 environment, teachers in a classroom setting attempt to mold young people into responsible adults. Founded on the role that the K-12 institutions serve in a students life and the responsibility school officials have over the youth, teaching youth responsibility through policies designed to get tough when w eapons are brought onto campus was clearly guided by social welfare theory and the role of the state over the child in the school setting. K12 is a distinguishable arrangement from higher education communities where responsible adults come and go as they please while fu rthering their educati on by choice, attending campuses both physical and online. College st udents are a diverse population. Most students are adults, eligible for the armed forces, and employed throughout the community.

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19 Legal commentaries (Lupini & Zirkel, 2003) in dicate an administrative legal literacy deficit at the high school level. Other studies show confusion between the duties owed in the K-12 setting as compared to the college se tting (Lake, 1999). The following passage from King v. Dade County Bd. of Public Instruction 286 So. 2d 256, 258 (Fla. 3d DCA 1973) (quoting McLeod v. Grant County School Dist. No. 128 255 P. 2d 360 (Wash. 1953)) is instructive as to the relationship of institutional duty in the K-12 system: The relationship here in question is that of a school district and school child. It is not a voluntary relationship. The child is compelled to attend school. He must yield obedience to school rules and discipline formulated and enforced pursuant to statute. The result is that the protective custody of teachers is manda torily substituted for that of the parent. ( King, 1973, p. 258) Although some analysts refer to the above doctrine as in loco parentis the Florida appellate court had difficulty in stri ctly holding the school board, under the in loco parentis doctrine, to the same standard that applies to the actual parents ( King, p. 257). The court found edifying those cases across the country th at showed school boards may be liable for negligence when the facts indicate improper supe rvision or the failure to properly safeguard school children against foreseeable dangers ( p. 258). The latter standard of foreseeable dangers falls under the rubric of typical neglig ence doctrine whereas the supervisory duty was an expansion. In Rupp v. Bryant, 717 So. 2d 658 (Fla. 1982), the Florida Supreme Court acknowledged that the genesis of this supervisory duty is based on the school employee standing partially in place of the students parents (p. 666). In a later case, the Florida Supreme Court reiterated that t he school-minor student special relationship evolved from the in loco parentis doctrine ( Nova Southeastern Univ., Inc. v. Gross 758 So. 2d 86, 89 (Fla. 2000)).

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20 Distinguishing characteristics of the K-12 setting are the degree of care, custody, and control exercised over students that teachers have for the purpose of nurturing a safe and orderly environmentone that minors are compe lled to attend. K-12 schools have a legal duty to the students, which is not the case on campuses of higher education. Cour ts have stated that the modern American college is not an insurer of safety of its students ( Coghlan v. Beta Theta Pi Fraternity 987 P. 2d 300, 305 (Idaho 1999) (quoting Bradshaw v. Rawlings, 612 F.2d 135 (3d Cir. 1979)). On the other hand, in term s of general negligence standards, colleges and universities are no different than any other defendant who creates a foreseeable zone of risk ( Nova Southeastern Univ., Inc. v. Gross 758 So. 2d 86, 90 (Fla. 2000)). For the development of sound campus safety policy, it is imperative that policymakers comprehend the difference between the K-12 and higher education setting. Specific language in a recent State of Washington bill illustrates the point. Washingtons House Committee on Higher Education, a non-partisan legislative sta ff, conducted a survey of safety plans and policies at higher education institutions in the state. The survey revealed that Washingtons universities had establis hed public awareness procedures in the event of an emergency and had mapped their campuses. The community and techni cal college system also had policies and practices in place but only 10% had mapped their buildings. Since the community college was most likely to depend on local law enforcement, the lack of schematic dissemination was identified as a deficiency (Wash. H. R. Rep. No. 2648, 60th Leg., 2008, pp. 2-3). Based on the commissions finding, one paragraph in the bill designed to raise standards sought to require that each institution conduct: a self-study assessing the institutions ability to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff by Se ptember 30, 2008 [emphasis added] (p. 3). The choice of language was problematic and recogni zed: public testimony indicated concerns that

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21 the language in the bill might create the expectat ion that campus safety is guaranteed. Since the campuses are open it would be virtually impossible to ensure peoples safety, which may lead to liability concerns for the state down the road (p. 4) The concern was directly on point. A substitute bill was passed with modifi ed language instructing each university and college to submit a self-study a ssessing its abilit y to facilitate the safety of students, faculty, staff, administration, and visitors on each campus, including an evaluation of the effectiveness of these measures [emphasis added] (Was h. S. H. B. No. 2648, 60th Leg., 2008, p. 4). The bills language was further indicative of the need for this study, as there are no identified criteria as to what it is colleges are su pposed to be measuring: no goals and no theory appear to be guiding the process. What encompasses safety has not been defined, so knowing how many measures are too many or not enough has befuddled planners, content to wait for top-down directives. Yet no one is more familiar with the inner workings of the campus community and its culture than peopl e working on location. In this study, on-site administrator views were sought for their perspectives on the issues presented. It is unknown at this time whether federa l or state departments of education will formalize realistic, workable, proactive solu tions or concentrate on emergency response mechanisms. When plans do emerge, accountability efforts will track re source allocations to the identified goal sought to be achieved. Watchdog groups and ci vil liberty organizations are known to monitor practices. Atten tion has been drawn to the fact that funding for Floridas mental health system has been deficient. Po licies that divert public resources from the homeless or incarcerated populations over to college student s may confirm philosophical differences and become the subject of contention based on the distributions.

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22 While the Florida Legislature has made some progress at dealing with problems that reside within the Department of Children and Fa milies, the judiciary has stepped in and sought solutions. The Florida Supreme Court rele ased a report on November 14, 2007 titled: Mental Health, Transforming Floridas Mental Heal th SystemConstructing a Comprehensive and Competent Criminal Justice/Mental Health/Sub stance Abuse Treatment Sy stem: Strategies for Planning, Leadership, Financing, and Service Development (hereinafter referred to as the Mental Health Report). The crisis of community mental health car e is chronicled in the Mental Health Report (2007). The reports findings revealed that: Failing to adequately respond to the needs of people with serious mental illness and serious emotional disorders in the community has resulted in a myriad of avoidable, unnecessary, and costly consequences for i ndividuals, communities, and the State of Florida as a whole. These include: Substantial and disproportionate cost shifts from considerably less expensive, front end services in the public mental health system to much more expensive, back-end services in the juvenile justi ce, criminal justice, and forensic mental health systems Compromised public safety Increased arrest, incarceration, and cr iminalization of people with mental illnesses Increased police shootings of people with mental illnesses Increased police injuries Increased rates of chronic homelessness (p. 34) Floridas piecemeal and ineffective delivery of mental health services has ties to the states unguided deinstitutionalization effort. Th e trek from treatment facilities to jails an unintended consequence (id .). Likewise, what back end fallout the new campus safety policies may engender warranted review : recent gubernatoria l report recommendations indicating the potential for problems. The Virginia Tech Report (2007) found troubli ng distinctions in

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23 voluntary and involuntary mental health treatmen t options, positing that courts should have jurisdiction over people who violate voluntary treatment protocol (pp. 56-63). However, without an attendant criminal charge, this view is disturbing in light of constitutional protections. It is recognized that an unstable young man, Cho, slipped through the cracks. But the fractures were found on the property of the sh ooters residence: Virginia Tech. Thus, the action of shifting the focus from organizational re sponsibility to the atte nuation of rights or privacy considerations, mere vestiges left in state and federal code s since September 11, 2001 and the resulting war on terrorism, required a study to explore these interactions. The legislature is privileged to assert safety as a legitimate government purpose when the goal is rationally related to the means. But a rational basis standard will not lie where fundamental rights are at issue nor will it cure separation of power vi olations and equal protection challenges, rudiments lurking within some of the suggestions. Presently, the link between reductions in campus violence to removals of student rights is not transparent. It is axiomatic to state we want safe campuses and unrealistic to thi nk we can create risk free colleges. The equilibrium of the equati on shaken each time something bad happens on campus. The recent trend toward upgraded securi ty equipment is easily correlated to the Virginia Tech tragedy, an event that shocke d the conscience of all who learned about it. Whether the current interest of the federal government would have been present had the student shooter selected a random fast food re staurant or a packed movie audience during a premier is anyones guess. However, the relation ship between the shooter and the location is important in attempting to understand proposal s that seek to alte r individual privacy protections found in the Health Insurance Portability and Acc ountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which deals with medical records, or the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act

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24 (FERPA), which pertains to educational records. The relations hip is of further value in establishing the duty element of a state la w negligence cause of action, a relevant consideration when record shari ng is sought but mechanisms for tracking progress are ignored. A balancing of many factors is required for the creation of safe schools policy in the higher education milieu. Poorly conceived plans of action may result in the violation of rights, as well as the adoption of legal duties that colleges must then wrestle to understand. In sum, liability pathways are significant to the design of safety policies. The importance is simple: when the sovereign adopts the protocols as standards of conduct, it then creates an independent duty of care ( e.g., see City of Jacksonville v. DeRay 418 So. 2d 1035 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982)). An institutional acto rs acts or omissions under the to tality of the circumstances where a special duty has been established also creates liability. Exploring avenues of liability presented in the Virginia Tech Report by way of content analysis in this study assisted the goal of more thorough and considered safety policy development. What direction campuses are taking on the avoi dance of dangerous situations should be examined before individual rights are assuag ed and campus security coffers are depleted. While laudable to want to spend to increase safety, if the expenditure s are not addressing the avoidance of dangerous situations then the pub lic should question the practices. In the realm of campus safety policy, guidelines for when warning systems are going to be activated; for the relaying of potentiall y troubling information to an appropr iate center or care team; and for the follow up and tracking of students labeled at risk merited consideration. A study that reviewed whether campuses are incorporating polic ies that address these issues subsequent to the Virginia Tech tragedy was defensible.

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25 Statement of the Problem Ca mpus safety policies appear focused on reactive emergency strategies for the containment of unfolding crisis situations. Th e concentration left virtually unattended the means to avoid dangerous situations through pr evention and interventi onal actions. Whether front end mechanisms are being addressed on college campuses following the Virginia Tech tragedy was a topic worthy of review because of the lives that may be saved and the harms that may be prevented. To enhance the management, organization, and performance of colleges in the realm of campus safety planning, a workable structural design will require an adequate foundation and thematic discourse well versed in factors rele vant to the avoidance of dangerous situations, along with an appreciation of the laws of duty a nd potential liability pa thways that exist or may be created on a college campus between various parties. Prior studies showed that these areas have not received the attention they me rit. The Virginia Tech Report (2007, pp. 31-53) chronicled the breakdown in communication betw een multiple agencies and constituencies at Virginia Tech concerning the shooters progre ssively disturbing behaviors which manifested long before the trigger was pulled and thirty tw o people lost their lives. A study that explored the dynamics of the tragedy was believed beneficial in targeting critic al areas necessary for policy development. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to contextua lize, understand, and in terpret the dynam ics related to the advances of campus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy. The specific aim was to identify fact ors that should be considered in policy design. Four areas were considered relevant and structur ed the setup of the explorator y examination: mental health considerations, Clery Act consid erations, litigation concerns, a nd privacy concerns. This study

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26 analyzed the descriptive content contained in state commissioned reports, newspaper articles specific to campus shootings, and administrativ e interviews in an attempt to determine constructs/themes that transcend the subject of campus safety. Looking at the larger issue and deconstructing it for review was considered th e best mechanism to provide a solid foundation of considerations specific to campus safety policy development. The need for the study was found in the intera ction of several recently published reports. Floridas Gubernatorial Task Force for Univer sity Campus Safety (Task Force Report, 2007) was commissioned to investigate un iversity safety issues follow ing the Virginia Tech tragedy. The committee was charged to report on measur es taken to improve security and response to crisis situations on university campuses (Fla. Exec. Order No. 07-77, 2007, p. 1). Although many of the reports suggestions are worthwhile little attention was gi ven to interventional front end planning strategies. In a separate report (Mental He alth Report, 2007), it was stated that annually as many as 125,000 people with me ntal illnesses requiring immediate treatment are arrested and booked into Florida jails ( p. 34). The resolution found in the Task Force Report (2007): the recruitment of more law en forcement officers and higher salaries for retaining them (p. 16). Meanwhile the Virginia Tech Report (2007) detailed a university with little to no information networ king abilities that precipitated the worst campus mass shooting episode in recorded history. The theory driving present campus safety policy recommendations warranted review to help cl arify the direction safety plans are taking. Exploring the theory driving policy actions was believed to have the further potential benefit of later measuring the effectiv eness of implemented plans.

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27 Objectives The following three objectives guided this study: 1. What actions concerning campus safety were developed as a result of the Virginia Tech tragedy? 2. What actions concerning student mental health issues were develope d as a result of the Virginia Tech tragedy? 3. What are the benefits and limitations of th e recommendations found in the Task Force Report as they relate to the community college? Four identified clusters of factors (m ental health considerations, Clery Act considerations, litigation concerns and privacy concerns) were se lected to examine each of the stated objectives. Investigation of the cluster of factors provided a deep er understanding of the interconnections of identified themes in the study. The following descriptions establish the relevance of the categories and their significance to sound policy development. Mental Health Considerations Public mental health resources and services are at an all time low in the State of Florida. As stated in a recent court case: "Despite a call to action by advocates and consumers over the years, Florida continues to rank forty-ei ghth in the nation in pe r capita mental health funding" ( Dept of Children and Families, Svcs. v. Leons, 948 So. 2d 988, 990 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007)). The Department of Children and Fam ilies is routinely backlogged for bed space ( id. ), indicating Floridas mental health system has suffered under budgetary constraints. The Task Force Report (2007) assigned colleg e administrators the role of determining whether their institutions should implement, review, or incr ease mental health services. Efforts to assemble a centralized unit where informa tion on a particular student can ascend were encouraged in both the Task Fo rce Report (2007) and the Virgin ia Tech Report (2007). It was not clear what happens to a student once he or is she is identified as at risk Guidelines are

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28 necessary not only for the identification of potentia l at risk behavior bu t also for the referral process and follow up of an indi viduals progress. Merely noti fying a parent of an adult students visit with a ca mpus mental health advisor would no t abrogate an institutions duty to follow up in those cases where it referred or labeled the student at risk. Thus, what conditions a student must satisfy to remain on campus required exploration. Creativity in service opti ons could result in new, dynamic, two-way outsourcing models between government agencies. Studies ha ve shown that colleges are creating mutual aid agreements and attempting to provide ment al health services to their students through referrals and other methods. Collins and Mowbra y (2005) stated that while "there is no funding or requirement for particular services to persons with psychiatric disabilities some community colleges can and do provide special services to this popul ation" (p. 439). Other college leaders have advocated the need for "f undamental shifts in America's broader national policies: a universal child-care program, a sy stem of family-support centers or community mental-health centers, universal health coverage or local health clin ics" (Grubb & Lazerson, 2004). One of the five principles outlined in the Mental Health Report (2007) was to [f]ollow the principles of federalism, and ensure that [The New Freedom Commission on Mental Healths] recommendations promot e innovation, flexibility, and accountability at all levels of government and respect the constitutional role of the states and Indian Tribes (p. 33). The Department of Children and Families has been statutorily granted the power to contract with universities and community college s for facilities and services to carry out its responsibilities under Floridas Mental Health Act (FMHA) or Baker Act, as per 394.457(3), Fla. Stat. (2007). Interview responses may offer insights as to which service actions are being

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29 considered in the community college setting an d whether necessary changes to student codes of conduct have resulted. Timely Warning Considerations The federal Clery Act was designed to ai d in the prevention of similar crimes by allowing students the opportunity to protect themselves upon timel y notice of events that have occurred or are unfolding on campus prope rties (34 C.F.R. 668.46(e)). The actual enumerated crime list includes: criminal hom icide, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, bu rglary, motor vehicle theft, arson, arrests for liquor law violations, drug law violations, illegal weapons possession (34 C.F.R. 668.46(c)(1)), and hate crimes (34 C.F.R. 668.46(c)(3)). How campuses are to provide that warning is not mandated in the statute: it need only be in a manner that will aid in the prevention of similar crimes (34 C.F.R. 668.46(e)). Colleges are spending large sums of mone y to increase alerting mechanisms from voice/audible sirens, text messages, blast e-mail capability, upgraded phone systems, more security, building locks, security cameras, and voice fire alarms. After installation, additional funds will be required to maintain the equipm ent. Many alerting features and systems have already been established on cam puses across the state (Ray, 2 007). Accordingly, four action areas presented themselves for review in the study. First, whether campuses are favoring the new control prong observed in recent media reports commenting on the usefulness of the warnings warranted examination. The Clery Act does not impose a duty on educational organizati ons to tell recipients of the information how to respondthe usefulness of the information to the student being self-vigilance for the crime element that may be lurking. Attempting to as sert control may result in tort liability. Therefore, institutions that are voluntarily creating duties for themselves while diligently

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30 trying to work around the act should be explored. Potential consequences for these actions include fines and liability. Ea stern Michigan University cu mulated $357,000 in fines. But settlement with the family was for $2.5 million, with total costs stat ed as reaching over $4 million (Brumfield, 2007). Second, the indication by law enforcement of a person of interest does not obviate an institutions obligation to i ssue a Clery Act timely warning where applicable. There are no provisions in the Clery Act that release an in stitution from reporting when the identity of a suspect may be known. Exploring the prevalence of these practices was relevant to more considered policy development. Third, murders occur infrequently on a college campus. The Virginia Tech Report (2007) indicates that [s]hootings at universities are rare events, an average of about 16 a year across 4,000 institutions (p. 18) The Uniform Crime Reports crime clock indicates a murder occurs every 32.6 minutes in society (FBI 2004). The Florida Department of Law Enforcements crime clock indicates one murd er occurs in Florida every 7 hours and 46 minutes (FDLE, 2006). The amount of expenditu res being deployed on cameras and audible sirens under the institutional goal of overal l crime reduction in an environment with a statically low rate of crime indicates problem s in measuring the efficacy of the purchases. What actions institutions have taken in defi ning safety and gauging value were examined. Fourth, how the notification equipment is to be used was vague in the reports. Section 1001.43(7), Fla. Stat. (2007), stat es that district school boa rds may adopt programs and policies to ensure appropriate response in emergency situations and may include [p]rocedures for reporting of hazards, including threats of nature, bomb threats, threatening messages, and similar occurrences, and the provision of warning systems including alarm

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31 systems and other technical devices ( id at c). Colleges are in stalling numerous warning devices and systems but are str uggling to get usage ri ght under the Clery Act as to when to reporta situation demonstrated at Easter n Michigan University. Exploring whether institutions are following other guidelines for activation of their warning devices was important to policy design. Florida statutes do not reveal codes pertaining to community college procedures for the reporting of hazards. Nor was relevant material found in the Florida Administrative Code outside of bomb threats be ing a violation of stude nt codes of conduct. Rules may be promulgated by boards of trust ees. Through the interview process, the study sought to determine whether plans of action for the usage of the equipment existed elsewhere and how students might avail themselves to the information. Litigation Concerns As the Florida Legislature considers state budget cuts and deals w ith the realities of property tax reductions after passag e of a recent state constitutional amendment, resources will require effective stewardship by college leader s. Leaner budgets mean institutions of higher education must understand and comply with numer ous state and federal re gulations lest they be spending their shrinking budgets on fines rath er than faculty. Since most states and the federal government have abrogated soverei gn immunity for government agencies under specific tort claims acts, liability and the expe nses association with li tigation are tangible. A defendant's legal expenses to prepare and defe nd against a lawsuit may be substantial. Tort claims acts identify the limitations of waiver and enumerate mandatory pre-suit requirements. Various acts also usually set a cap on how much a plaintiff may recover per incident for a state law negligence based claim. In comparison to expenditures in preparing and taking the cases to trial, damage awards may be minor. Ye t depending on the type of action (state law

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32 negligence versus federal 1983 claim) and the factual circumstances, damage awards can be devastating. There are no applicable liabi lity caps for government actors sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983, which provides: Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other pe rson within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or im munities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress. [Codified 1988] Alternatively, in egregious negligence cases where there are applicable liability caps, it is possible for a plaintiff to circumvent Florid as cap through application of a claims bill. The effects of these cases on the st ate's general revenue fund are evid ent: a single claim can have a profound impact on state resources and future po licy. This study examined how Virginia Tech may have opened itself up to the potential fo r fines, as well as state and federal causes of actions, by not effectively planning for the av oidance of dangerous situations. Since the Virginia Tech Report (2007) details a chain of lost opportunities in dangerous situation avoidance, it provided the impetus for a ddressing a very real, communal problem. The chapters are essentially a template for the interconnections of actions and reactions and the liability pathways created at the institutional level. The report demonstrates training deficits for faculty and staff in identifying and reporting suspicious circumstances and warranted analysis for theme explication. Additionally, this study explored what legal representation was sought for campus safety policy development. University and co llege general counsel ra rely defend state and constitutional tort su its. Pursuant to 284.385, Fla. Stat. ( 2007), the Department of Financial Services assigns outside counsel and instructs all departments to cooperate in the handling of the claims. The State Risk Management Trust Fund is administered with a program of risk

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33 management. The Fund provides insurance, as authorized by 284.33 Fla. Stat. (2007), for workers' compensation, general liability, fleet au tomotive liability, federal civil rights actions under 42 U.S.C. 1983 or similar federal statutes, and court-awarded attorney's fees in other proceedings ( 284.30, Fla. Stat. (2007)). Section 1983 claims are not subject to sovereign immunity limits and policies normally exclud e punitive damage awards altogether ( 284.38, Fla. Stat. (2007)). As indicated in section 768.28(5), Fla. Stat. (2007): The state and its agencies and subdivisions sh all be liable for tort claims in the same manner and to the same extent as a priv ate individual under like circumstances, but liability shall not include punitive damages or interest for the period before judgment. Neither the state nor its agencies or subdivi sions shall be liable to pay a claim or a judgment by any one person which exceeds the sum of $100,000 or any claim or judgment, or portions thereof, which, when to taled with all other claims or judgments paid by the state or its agencies or subdivi sions arising out of the same incident or occurrence, exceeds the sum of $200,000. Howe ver, a judgment or judgments may be claimed and rendered in excess of these am ounts and may be settled and paid pursuant to this act up to $100,000 or $200,000, as the case may be; and that portion of the judgment that exceeds these amounts may be reported to the Legislature, but may be paid in part or in whole only by further act of the Legislature. In 1979, Florida community colleges formed the Florida Community College Risk Management Consortium. The consortium contract s with private insurance carriers to handle claims paid out of the consortiums loss fund ( Pensacola Junior Coll. v. Montgomery 539 S. 2d 1153 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989)). Floridas community colleges have contracted in the past with excess coverage providers to cover catastrophic losses as well ( id .). Section 768.28(16) (a), Fla. Stat. (2007), provides: The state and its agencies and subdivisions are authorized to be self-insured, to enter into risk management programs, or to purchase liability insurance for whatever coverage they may choose, or to have any combination thereo f, in anticipation of any claim, judgment, and claims bill which they may be liable to pay pursuant to this section. Agencies or subdivisions, and sheriffs, that are subject to homogeneous risks may purchase insurance jointly or may join together as self-insurer s to provide other mean s of protection against tort claims, any charter provisions or laws to the contrary notwithstanding.

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34 As claims are paid, policy ra tes are affected. Lawsuits in situations like Eastern Michigan University, and more than likely Virg inia Tech, can be devastating when a duty is established. Where preventative service options are not being de veloped, it stands to reason that more reactive measures will be required in years to come as human crises go unchecked. Since it was believed that both employee trai ning and risk management legal consultation have utility in reducing litigation potentials, thes e considerations were examined in the study. Privacy Laws Privacy rights contained in laws such as HIPAA and FERPA have come under scrutiny. Safe harbors for government actors subject to the acts we re requested in the Virginia Tech Report (2007). The merit of providing safe harbors should be explained before changes are considered. State standardiz ation and the ease in which credits transfer throughout the continuum of higher education a llow students considerable libert y to move in and out of the system. Students may take classes at multiple co llege campuses within the same institution or attend unaffiliated institutionspublic community colleges and public/pri vate universitiesat any given time. The networking of information relate d to students is met with legal, structural, and political barriers. Explori ng administrative actions since th e Virginia Tech tragedy, and before basic privacy safeguards are removed without thorough issue development, was an important exploratory area in the study. The question as to whether othe r agencies in which informa tion is sought to be relayed are permitted to do anything with it was unanswered in gubernatorial reports. Whether institutions are seeking clar ification on the goals of shar ing was examined through policy considerations directed toward student codes of conduct. In addition, placing law enforcement members on institutional crisis teams raised other privacy concer ns based on subpoena requirements within the codes: the usefulness of sharing becoming even more problematic if

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35 the real intent is an avenue for law enfor cement to avoid process. Whether colleges are implementing guidelines that allow students due process and the means to challenge relayed information was one consideration. Jurisdictiona l issues specific to online students who may not be in the state was another. Administrative interviews in th e study were used to attempt to shed light on how institutions are acting on these issues. List of Definitions Agency According to the third edition of the Restatement of Law on Agency (American Law Institute, 2006), agen cy is the body of law comprising the relationships of three parties: an agent, a principal, and a third-party with whom the agent interacts. Apparent Agent The legal requirements of actual ag ency are not present, yet the relationship is one where legal cons equences attach to the principal because the agent appears to be ac ting as the principal's agent. The doctrine "applies to any set of circumstances under which it is reasonable for a third party to believe that an agent has authority, so long as the belief is traceable to manifestations of the principal" (American Law Institute, 2006, p. 115) Relevant case law shapes the criteria that apply in a particular jurisdiction. At Risk Students The Virginia Tech Report refers to at risk students as those who may be at risk of harming themselves or ot hers. The definition is used in this study. (http://www.governor.virg inia.gov/TempContent/ techPanelReport.cfm, Appendix M) Clery Act Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, U.S.C. (15). Subsections (f) (f)(15) pertain to disclosure of campus security policy and campus crime statistics. The Clery Act applies to institutions part icipating in Title IV financial aid programs. The act makes provisions for the reporting of crime statistics, as well as timely warnings requi red under 34 C.F.R. 668.46(e) when there is a serious or continuing threat to students. The legislative intent of the act was to aid in the prev ention of similar crimes on college campuses. Dual Enrollment Students working to complete both their high school curriculum and the requirements for an associate degr ee on a community college campus. Duties Delegable versus non-delegable. If there is no du ty, it cannot be delegated. If there is a duty, both delegable and non-delegable duties may be delegated. The terms are disti nguishable as to what transfers:

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36 liability. Where the duty is delegable, both the duty and the liability transfer from the principal to the agent. With a non-delegable duty, the liability for the transferred duty remains with the principal, meaning both the principal and the agent may be liable in a civil cause of action. A person or agency who hires an independent contractor/service provider may still be liable where a non-delegable duty is involved. See Dixon v. Whitfield 654 So. 2d 1230, 1232 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995). Nondelegable duties may be created in three ways: (1) by statute, (2) by contract, or (3) by common-la w (Keeton et al, 1984, p. 511). FERPA Family Educational Right to Priv acy Act of 1974 (FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment); 20 U.S.C. 1232g; and 34 C.F.R. 99. This federal law protects the privacy of student education records and applies to all schools that received U.S. Department of Education funds. The act provides for conditions under which parents of students who are or who have been in attendance at the school may in spect and review the educational records of their children. Subsection (a)(4)(B)(iv) exempts: r ecords on a student who is eighteen years of age or older, or is atte nding an institution of postsecondary education, which are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized pr ofessional or paraprofessional acting in his professional or parapr ofessional capacity, or assisting in that capacity, and which are made maintained, or used only in connection with the provision of tr eatment to the student, and are not available to anyone other than person s providing such treatment, except that such records can be personall y reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student's choice. 20 U.S.C. 1232g Part 34 C.F.R. 99.31 of the federa l regulations allows schools to disclose records without the consent of the parent or eligible student (student over 18 or attending an institution of postsecondary education) to specific parties under certain conditions. HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Pub. L. 104-191, 110 Stat. 1936; 45 C.F.R. 160-164. HIPAA is a federal law that provides for privacy of health care information. HIPAA is organized under five titles. Title II was codified in Parts 160-164 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations and covers notice requirements and when consent is and is not required for health care providers to exchange informati on, such as for routine purposes. Specifically, section 164.506 of the code indicates permitted uses and disclosures except for those that re quire authorizati on (consent) under 164.508(a)(2) [relating to psychothera py notes]. Basically, what is covered and exempt from disclosure without consent is the information doctors, nurses, and other health care providers place in a person's medical record; the conversations a doctor has about an individual's

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37 care with nurses and other health ca re professionals; and information contained on an individual in the person's health insurer's computer system. HIPAA regulations are ex tremely comprehensive: anyone interested in provisions of the act should contact a health care attorney. Open Government In Florida, public records laws and open meetings laws are found in the Florida Statutes and Florida C onstitution, along with enumerated exemptions. Chapter 119, Fla. Stat. (2007), contains provisions relating to public records. Non-compliance is subject to criminal sanctions. Chapter 286, specifically section 286.011, pertains to public meetings and records. Exemptions for part icular agencies are found within provisions pertaining to those entiti es (i.e., for hospitals see Chapter 395, section 395.3036; State Risk Manage ment exemptions are located in Section 284.40(2). However, 768.28(16)(b), Fla. Stat. (2007), states that: Claims files maintain ed by any risk management program administered by the state, its agencies, and its subdivisions are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until termination of all litigation and settlement of all claims arising out of the same incident, although portions of the claims files may remain exempt as otherwise provided by law [emphasis added]. Access to public records and meetings is enumerated in Article I, Section 24 of the Florida Constitution. Outsourcing The academic world defines outsourcing as the transfer of services normally provided by the institution to an outside vendor (Brown & Gamber, 2002). Policy Defined in the Oxford dictionary as a course or pr inciple of action adopted or proposed by a government party, business, or individual etc. (Thompson, 1995, p. 1057). Respondeat Superior A principle of tort law stating that "[a]n employer is subject to liability for torts committed by employees while acting within the scope of their employment" (American Law Institute, 2006, p. 139). Respondeat superior "assigns responsibility to an employer for the legal consequences that result from employ ees' errors of judgment and lapses in attentiveness when the acts or omissions are within the scope of employment" (p. 141). Respondeat superior does not apply "when a principal does not have the right to control the actions of the agent that makes the relationship between pr incipal and agent performing the service one of employment as de fined in 7.07(3). In general, employment contemplates a continui ng relationship and a continuing set of duties that the employer and employ ee owe to each other" (p. 141).

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38 Satellite Campuses For purposes of this study, defined as community college branches located in or near adjacent cities; distinguished from the main campuses in terms of physical geography, course offerings, and available resources. Shepards Service that provides prior a nd subsequent history as well as citing references for authorities us ed in the legal profession. Sovereign Immunity Sovereign immunity prohibits la wsuits against the sovereign (government) without its permission. Sovereign immunity is distinct from Eleventh Amendment immunity and qualified immunity. Scholars commonly trace the sovereign immun ity doctrine back to the maxim "the king can do wrong." (Gifis, 199 1, p. 457). The federal government and individual states have enact ed limited waivers of sovereign immunity in tort claims acts. Sovereign immunity is normally inapplicable in federal civil right s litigation for in dividual government employees, although an entity may be entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. Tort A tort is defined in Barron's Law Di ctionary as "a wrong; a private or civil wrong or injury resulting from a breach of a legal duty that exists by virtue of society's expect ations regarding in terpersonal conduct, rather than by contract or other private relationship" [emphasis added] (Gifis, 1991, p. 493). Vicarious Liability Situation where a "principal is subj ect to liability for a tort committed by an agent, whether or not an employee, when actions taken with apparent authority constituted the to rt or enabled the agent to conceal its commission" (American Law Institute, 2006, p. 140). Design of the Study Grounded theory, an inductive approach that allows for the theory generation through inquiry and the conceptualizati on of core variable s (Glaser & Straus, 1967; Creswell, 2002), was used as the theoretical model. The study explored factors involved in campus safety policy development through analyses of descript ive reports and administrator interviews. The family of policy process frameworks known as in stitutional rational choice (IAD) provided the conceptual model (Sabatier, 2007). Reforms and transitions in government require an operational framework and a family of theo ries that are compatible. Using the IAD framework, the action arena is first identified. Os trom (2007) explains th at the action arena is

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39 a conceptual unit that fa cilitates the analysis, prediction, and explanation of actions within the institutional arrangement. The community college was the action arena in this study and was selected for its size in comparison to four-year institutions, as well as its unique population that includes dual enrollment students. Dual en rollment students are of tentimes under the age of 18. These students are working to comple te both the high school curriculum and the requirements for an associates degree. Most dual enrollment students attend classes on a community college campus. The unit of analysis to ground resulting actions was the April 16, 2007 mass murder at Virginia Tech. Data were collected through various m eans: in-person interviews, telephonic interviews, and written documents. Fellow grad uate students assisted in question design by providing feedback for obtaining more clear and probing responses. A panel of experts comprised of two members of the executive committee of the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges, an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), reviewed the proposed interview questions. The executive committee members are considered experts in community college administration. The expert panel rated the interview questions for va lidity and recommended one change to strengthen the robustness and depth of the interviews. An alysis was conducted on reports, statutes, newspaper articles, and interview answers. Organization and explic ation of the data were accomplished through open and axial coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). S ubsequent to the Virginia Tech tragedy, campus safety planning generated numerous uncertainties for college administrators. Exploring the issues for theme development from the administrative perspective resulted in the explication of emerging concepts : their relationships to campus safety planning provided in Chapter 5.

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40 Methods Content analysis set out in a case study type formula was used because of the latters reported versatility when concentrating on a single group or community (Yin, 1994). Focus was achieved through the aggregate of attitude s and opinions of campus administrators (student affairs deans/assistant deans, academ ic deans/assistant deans, provosts, and vice presidents/directors of informa tional technology) on topics of campus safety planning and any recommended or implemented changes they were aware of or advocating for following the Virginia Tech shootings. The progression from open coding, selective coding, to theoretical codes allowed for concept generation and theory integration (Glaser, 1998; Strauss & Corbin, 1990). A sample of high level administrators with in the population of Floridas 28 community colleges was randomly and purposively selected for the study. Triangulation, described as the process of using multiple methods to measur e a construct (Campbell & Fiske, 1959; Webb et al., 1966), was employed. For the discovery of co re variables, content analysis included interviews and documents, such as commi ssioned reports and newspaper articles. The independent source material expanded the contex tual variables under review and strengthened information received during the interview phase of the study. Researcher Subjectivity The researchers subjective relationship to the research topic deal s only with the legal avenues of liability. As a licen sed attorney in the State of Florida, the researcher has represented plaintiffs and defended government agen cies in civil rights actions, federal torts, and state law negligence suits. Because of ar eas related to practi ce, the researchers perspective perhaps favored the legal signifi cance of findings over that of a lay person.

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41 Limitations Documents and participants from community colleges in the State of Florida were selected for this study. Findings are not generalizable outside of Florida because of the inclusion of legal analysis specific to Florida law. The studys scope was delimited to proactive campus safety measures presently in effect and those being considered for adoption. Reactive measures taken during and after an iden tified human made crisis were looked at only in the context of Clery Act timely reporting. Sel ective coding delimits th e study in that it was not concerned as much with data accur acy as it was with generating concepts. Summary The Virginia Tech Report (2007) prov ides details specifi c to communication breakdowns leading up to the worst campus mass murder in history. Based on the seriousness of the incident, a study was warranted that explored the complex and interwoven variables of law, institutional communication, and other influences relevant to campus safety policy. The facilitation of more considered policy developm ent before protocols are adopted as standards of conduct was necessary for both saving lives and reducing liability. The community college environmentknown to be all things to all students while managing increasing enrollments and decreasing budgets (Roueche & Roueche, 1993)w as selected as the action arena for the study. This section defined policy and illustrated some of the policy processes occurring in other systems. A brief overview of the simila rities and differences noted in the K-12 and higher education settings was provided. This chapter concluded by presenting the three research questions guiding the study, the four clusters of fact ors being explored, definitions, researcher subjectivity, and limitations.

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42 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter is presented in five sections providing a context from which to examine the relevance of the emerging concepts and their re lationship to campus safety policy. The topics were considered theoreti cal realms related to components of the action arena and indicative of the undertakings of campus safety policy follo wing the Virginia Tech tragedy. Section one addresses institutional culture, decision making processes, and organizational effectiveness dimensions. Section two explores organizational effectiveness in the framework of interactional theories and systems model approaches. Secti on three provides an overview of accountability mechanisms and the legal considerations meshed with Clery Act timely reporting. Section four offers a review of the literature on agenda-setting theory and its relevance in shaping the way the public thinks about a particular t opic. Section five situates the studys design within the structure of legal considerations related to the concept of duty and liability. The areas reviewed may provide a basis for future predictive studies whil e one may best explain the state of affairs in campus safety policy as it presently exists. Institutional Culture and Organizational Effectiveness Culture was thought to be an area in the lite rature worth exploring be cause of the lack of information networking between faculty and administ rators at Virginia Tec h, as described in the Virginia Tech Report (2007, pp. 40-52). The term culture was originally used by anthropologists and later adapted by other disciplines to provide a fresh approach to guide inquiry (Smircich, 1983; Gregory, 1983). From characterizations of an organization's goals to characteristics of an organization based on researcher defined criteria, the focus of studies transitioned accordingly. In the 1980s, new management theories gained popul arity. At the same time, studies sought to explain the occurrences within the organization by investigati ng its culture (Tierney, 1988).

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43 Eventually, educational researchers examined the concept of culture and its influence on the effectiveness of higher education instituti ons (Saffold, 1988; Smart & St. John, 1996; Smart, Kuh, & Tierney, 1997). From levels of analysis to degrees of qualities, cultureas a concept assumed various meanings. Tierney, for example, st ated "culture is reflected in what is done, how it is done, and who is involved in doi ng it. It concerns decisions, actions, and communication" (Tierney, 1988, p. 127). The same three principles are relevant to policy development and liability pathways. However, thes e areas have not been adapted or expanded in the literature to explore how efficiently a hi gher education institution communicates within its own ranks or with outside constituents, indicating a gap. In the 1970s, it was apparent th at there was "no well-defin ed nomological network for organizational effectiveness" (Cameron, 1978, p. 622) Studies sought to rectify the situation by determining the dimensions behind the concept of organizational effectiveness specific to colleges and universities. Camer on conducted interviews with admi nistrators at six different colleges in the northeastern part of the United Stat es. From the combination of initial interviews and follow-up interviews, Cameron narrowed the "effectiveness criteria generated [into] nine dimensions [that] represented conceptually different constr ucts" (p. 614). The nine dimensions are: student educational satisfacti on, student academic development, student career development, student personal development, facu lty and administrator employment satisfaction, professional development and quality of the faculty, systems openness and community interaction, ability to acquire res ources, and organizational health. In a later study, Cameron and Tschirhart (1992) surveyed 331 four-year colleges and universities in a stratified national sample to evaluate management strategies and decision processes. Strategies referred to the pattern of resource allocation (external) Decision processes

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44 were specific to information gathering, analys is, and managerial activ ities related thereto (internal). The goal was to determine whether ei ther or both had an impact on organizational effectiveness. The variables were selected because "a great deal of research has confirmed the theoretical propositions of thes e various organization-environmen t models [and their] predictive power" (p. 89). Evidence indicated that these two models were the most predictive of performance over time. The decision-process typology contained the cat egories of participa tive or collegial, rational, bureaucratic, political, and organi zed anarchy. The definitions implemented by Cameron and Tschirhart (1992) we re taken from an earlier st udy by Chaffee (1983). Collegial was defined as being "directed by consensus" ; rational as "directe d by supporting data"; bureaucratic as "directed by structured admini strative patterns"; political as "directed by conflicting self-interest and power "; and organized anarchy as "d irected by accidents" (Cameron & Tschirhart, 1992, p. 91; citing Chafee, 1983, p. 3). Prior research showed mixed results when a ttempting to measure decision processes and effectiveness. Some studies indicated a negative correlation between centralized decision processes (nonparticipative) a nd effectiveness (Singh, 1986; Hoare, 1983; Bibeault, 1982; Rubin, 1979; Huber, 1980). Yet Cameron "found a positiv e relationship between effectiveness and centralization in some functi onal areas in large industrial organizations facing turbulent environments" (Cameron & Tschirhart, 1992, pp. 91-92, quoting Cameron, 1990). Based on the previous literatu re, Cameron and Tschirhart (1992) hypothesized that the collegial style would most posi tively favor effective higher edu cation institutions. The nine dimensions of organization effectiveness (Cameron, 1978) were assesse d using 32 Likert-type items. The researchers claimed that the validity and reliability of the instrument had been tested

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45 and confirmed in numerous studies. The data revealed "[p]articipative decision processes positively correlated to five of the nine dimensions" (p. 99). In general, resource allocation and long-term viability were the foci of the Cameron and Tschirhart (1992) study. The management strate gies and decision processes evaluated were geared specifically to college related business, such as enrollment, market competitiveness, and critical resources. When words such as decline, threat, or turbulence were employed, these terms were not in reference to terrorism attacks, gun wielding perpetrators, or hurricanes but rather competition, decreased revenues, and tenuous polit ical capital. The concept of organizational effectiveness did not include a measure of the organizations health sp ecific to communication relays. Based on their research er-defined criteria, Camer on and Tschirhart found that "[s]tandardized decision processe s are not significantly related to any effectiveness dimensions, contrary to expectation" (p. 99). Whether sta ndardized decision processes are specific to policymaking rather than secondary decision making ( infra p. 143) may be an area worthy of expansion under a new dimension of organizational effectiveness. Culture and Decision Making Decision making has been discussed a great deal in the literature. It is unclear whether particular styles influence or ganizational effectiveness (Smart, Kuh, & Tierney, 1997; Chaffee, 1983; Cohen & March, 1974). Boleman and Deal (1991) centered on four organizational frames: structural, human resource, politic al, and symbolic. The listed fr ames are perspective oriented and designed to help facilitate an appreciation of the dynamics that occur within organizations. Proponents of this model have asserted that more effective problem solving is realized when multiple frames are used to view issues (Sma rt & St. John, 1996). The usefulness of the frames was beyond the scope of this study because a de termination of whether problem solving was

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46 synonymous or distinguishable from either pol icymaking or secondary decision making would be required. Culture-type has also been associated with decision making preferences. Smart and St. John (1996) identified four types of culture: clan, hierarchy/bur eaucratic, adhocracy, and market. Clan culture was defined as having high flex ibility with a mentoring type leader. The hierarchy/bureaucratic culture was stated as having stability and predictability with a coordinator/organizer type leader. The adhocracy cu lture was similar to the clan culture but with a more innovative type leader. The market culture shared elements of adhocracy distinguished by an intense, goal-oriente d leader (pp. 221-221). Smart and St. John (1996) made two predictions : (1) that colleges and universities with congruent values and practices would be more ef fective and (2) that clan and adhocracy culture types are more effective than hierarchy and market culture types. Using the Institutional Performance Survey (IPS) developed at the Na tional Center for Higher Education Management Systems, these researchers analy zed data returned from 334 four-y ear universities that were part of the Krakower and Niwa (1985) national study. The IPS survey is a multipurpose survey targeting the "effectiveness, culture, decision making processes, strate gic orientations, and structural characteristics of colleges and universities" (Smart & St. John, 1996, p. 226). The respondents were trustees, administrators, and de partment chairpersons, as these parties were identified as major decision makers" (p. 226). In addition to the IPS survey, Smart and St. John administered a 32 item Likert-type questionnai re to measure the nine dimensions of organizational effectiveness developed by Came ron (1978). Findings suggested a link between institutional effectiveness and culture type: some cultures reportedly performed better on specific dimensions than others. No single best culture type was identifie d. The effort did not examine

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47 organizational effectiveness as it relates to campus safety issues and combined policymakers with secondary decision makers, revealing openings for future study. Theories of Interaction and Organiz ational Effectiveness Other disciplines have sought ways to examine organizational effectiveness and the even broader term of community effectiveness. Higher education institutions have specifically presented researchers with an array of challenges (Cameron, 1978, 1986). On the one hand, measurable goals and outcomes are fraught with conceptual dilemmas. On the other, the values and beliefs of the participants surveyed impart bias and subjec tivity. Operational definitions of the construct effectiveness have gone through several revision s. At one point, the school of thought was to discontinue organizational eff ectiveness studies because of their numerous conceptual problems (Nord, 1983; Connolly, Conlon, & Deutsch, 1980). Theories of interaction and systems models may help break out the orga nizational effectiveness construct into more manageable and measurable units. Interaction Theory Since communication requires an interaction of som e type, th eories of interaction were reviewed. Interaction theory examines the in teractional fields of social, political, and psychological arenas (or situa tions). The aggregate of the field concept contributes to the notion of community (Kaufman, 1959). The interactional field is distinct from the community field, which "consists of an organization of actions carried on by persons working through various associations or groups" (Kaufman, 1959, pp. 10-11). The community field contains the discernable "patterns of dem ographic, ecological, and physical factors" (1959, p. 11). Kaufman claimed that action (or inaction) is a unit of study at the interac tional level. At the observational level, action is a project, program, activity, or event ( id. ).

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48 Building on interactional theory, W ilkinson (1970) refined the term field in an effort to distinguish the concept from terms used in other disciplines. The overlap between field theory of behavior approaches and theories of social fields blurred the boundaries demarcating social interactions from community fields. Wilkinson accentuated that the social field is the place where the interactions or pro cesses from other arenas manifest, whereas the community field emerges from the social field. From this perspective, the activities that occur within the various fields are critical to comprehending the la rger community. Although directionality was not readily ascertainable for the rese arch problem presented in this study, the interactional fields may prove useful for follow up research on emergent themes. Interaction Systems Models Other studies have attempted to measur e the broader concep t of organizational effectiveness using systems models (Yuchtman & Seashore, 1967). The systems model approach concentrates on the interaction processes occurring between the organization and the environment. There are several noted variants in approaches. Katz a nd Kahn (1966) perceived the relationship as an input-out put modality. Yuchtman and Seas hore's (1967) model interprets the relationship through an analysis specific to ba rgaining for resources. The bargaining-position view shifts the focus away from the goal (or goal s) of the organization and instead looks at the organization's ability to acquire coveted resour ces, which may include reputation, influence, money, and human capital. The organization's re source-getting competence is then measured from its relative bargaining position. This model is believed to accommodate comparisons between dissimilar organizations and their relative ability to co mpete for the same resources. A change in bargaining position would indicate a change in the relationship between the organization and its environment.

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49 The external environment, however, presents challenges for the systems models. For one, the goal approach has been criticized because, more often than not, goals are not set by the organization but instead by the comparative power structures of the environment in which the organization operates (Yuchtman & Seashore, 19 67). In addition to the problems created by multiple publics in the external environment, th is approach leaves unattended the impact of organizational autonomy. The functional systems m odel struggles with shortcomings created by the interdependence of the constituent parts with in the whole and the influence each exerts on the organization's articulated ultimate goal. Yinger (1965), in contrast, formulated a theory of interaction based on the forces that influence soci al behaviors. In Yinger' s theory, the situation and the characteristics of the individual would be the independent vari ables; the individual's reactive behavior would be the dependent variab le. As concepts are derived from this study, these models may be useful in predicting types of organizational effectiveness related to crisis management. Social Networking and Agent-based Modeling Sim ilarly, interaction theory draws attention to the larger social network of information transmission. Since a network is comprised of in dividuals on each end, eith er characteristics of the individual or characteristic s of the job position may interact with the relays required for decision making purposes. Social network analysis (a branch related to network theory) was conceived to denote the pa tterns of ties between va rious actors (Barnes, 1954; Granovetter, 1973; Haythornthwaite, 1996). Network theories shift the focus from the be havior and attributes of the individuals to the network of interactions that occur within and between organizations. In graphical terms, the nodes (actors) are the points and the ties (c onnectors) are the lines or the relays that thread information through the agency. The attributes of the ties are thought to indicate how the organization interacts as a whole. As such, th e ties are more important than the

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50 attributes of the individual acto rs, as these indicate the inform ation input avenues (Barnes, 1954; Granovetter, 1973; Haythornthwaite, 1996). The futu re benefit of these studies in measuring campus communication relevant to crisis manage ment and safety policy design should not be ignored. Studying how well agencies actually netw ork between themselves may be informative as to what obstacles actually exist within the legislative c odes versus those created by poor reporting or institutional confus ion within the network. Social networking process theories may be helpful in determining real impediments from perceived ones and pr ovide the potential for empirical simulations and predictions. Agent-based modeling methodol ogies are another group of ne tworking process theories that could have enormous value in systemically visualizing informational exchanges and safety plans of actions by looking specifically at ag ency and constituent coordination. Computer simulations of information transfer pathways may be achievable. Agent-based models (also known as "grid, network, n-dimensional cubes an d landscape visualizatio n techniques") have developed and matured since th e 1990s (Guerin, 2004, p. 1) and are gaining in popularity for their effectiveness in diagnosis and prediction used in emergency management. Newman (2003) provided a thorough review of network dynamics and brought forth the development of complex interactions, such as agents conferring on mu ltiple networks at any given time. Agent-based modeling "is a toolset that has grown up around the research of complex adaptive systems (CAS)" (Guerin, 2004, p. 3). Guerin states: Both disciplines deal with systems of extrem e numbers of interacti ng components and seek to describe statistical relati onships between the aggregate ma croscopic variab les of these systems. Thermodynamics finds these relatio nships through empirical manipulation and observation while Statistical Mechanics derives the relationships from the interaction rules of the microscopic components. (p. 3)

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51 Research indicates that a "potential for vi sualization could be tracking the degrees of freedom in the behavioral repertoire of agents As a system self-organizes, components of the system are expected to lose degrees of fr eedom through the emergence of context-sensitive constraints" (Guerin, 2004, p. 5; see also Guerin & Kunkle, 2004; Juarrero, 1999; Kuglar & Turvey, 1987). Agent-based modeling was believed an important framework for future predictive studies based on information relays found on a college campus. Multiple informational tracking scenarios may be subseq uently generated and manipulated for efficacy related to situational factors. These models c ould help identify overlaps, deficiencies, and structural problem areas. They might also dis tinguish factors related to process dysfunction versus individual human error al ong the communication pathways. Media Richness Theory Separate from networking models, the c ognitive processes of individuals can be examined through media richness theory. This view focuses on the dependent constructs of information processing and communication eff ectiveness (Galbraith, 1977; Daft & Lengel, 1986). As communication effectiveness increases, un certainty and ambiguity of task decrease (Galbraith, 1977). At first blus h, the media richness theory seemed applicable to the study. The model's two assumptions acknowle dge characteristics unique to organizations, such as the sharing of information and the number of discrete individuals who are re quired to coalesce and agree on a decision (Daft & Lengel, 1986). The theory's first assumption holds that the institution's ability to process information is dependent on its resources to acquire information from the different admini strative agencies located throughout the organization. The second assumption attempts to expand into the mediums of informational exchanges, such as memos and e-mails versus face-to-f ace interactions. Because Florida has open government laws, the models second assumption w ould need to be explored in the context of

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52 public organizations and then compared with pr ivate organizations. Whether mediums selected are significantly influenced by concerns direc tly related to the creation of public documents would require investigation. This ar ea was beyond the scope of the study. Agency Theory The laws of agency are certainly germane to the present research topic. Networking and informational exchanges create liability pathways. The Virginia Tech tragedy indicates enormous potentials for institutional liability in a vari ety of contexts. One way to look at these pathways is through the laws of agency, whic h focus specifically on the relationships of principal, agent, and third party. The Restatement (American Law Institute, 2006) defines agency as: The fiduciary relationship that arises when one person (a "principal") manifests assent to another person (an "agent") that the agent shall act on the principal's behalf and subject to the principal's control, and the agent manifests assent or otherwise consents so to act. (p. 17) Another scenario indicating agency is realized when there is no assent but the actions of an individual make it appear to a third party that this person is acting as a principal's agent. Other considerations are the legal rights and duties that an agent and a third party create, which are then imputed back to the principal. In these instan ces, rights and duties are made between the principal and the third party, as well as between the principal and the agent (American Law Institute, 2006). The relationshi p between a principal and agent is usually defined by an agreement between the parties, but th is is not the case for the relationships that are formed through the agent and a third party and later attached to the principal. An important facet of agency is the imput ation of knowledge. Under certain conditions, it is possible to attach the agent's knowledge to the principal. The a llegations contained in a lawsuit complaint would assert that the principal either knew or should have known some relevant fact.

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53 In the larger campus environment setting, thes e averments may be based on knowledge available on the network although not actually acquired by the defendant. The laws of agency may facilitate discussion related to th e content analysis of the Virginia Tech Report in this study. The worth in reviewing these principles was obvious: information is capable of creating institutional knowledge of decisive legal significance. Accountability Mechanisms Regulations such as the Clery Act serve a public purposesaving lives Colleges are held accountable when breakdowns in co mmunications occur. Im bued within the facts of the Virginia Tech Report (2007) exists a potential Clery Act viol ation. Cited in the past, Virginia Tech is no stranger to Clery Act violations. Security on Campus, Inc., a private non-profit watchdog organization, indicates on its webpage that Virg inia Tech received conf irmation of a violation over a decade ago on June 19, 1997. In an attempt to increase celerity of warnings and allow students the opportunity to be self -vigilant, parameters have been sought that would also raise institutional accountability. Proposed amendments ar e looking at a set time such as 30 minutes from event discovery, for warnings to be timely (Selingo, 2008). Watchdog groups monitor compliance of various acts and seek appropr iate remedies for questionable practices. Roles of Watchdog Groups On March 19, 2007, the United States Departme nt of Education (DOE) received a Clery Act complaint against Eastern Michigan Univer sity. Eastern Michigan University commissioned a private law firm for an independent investig ation. The published findin gs in the Butzel Long Report (2007) indicate the univers ity violated both the crime st atistics reporting section and the timely warning provision of the Clery Act, 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(1)-(15) and 34 C.F.R. 668.46(e). The violations involved an incident where Eastern Mich igan University authorities discovered the lifeless body of a female st udent in her dorm room on December 15, 2006.

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54 Eastern Michigan University was ev entually fined $357,000$27,500 for 13 identified offensesfor violating the Cler y Acts reporting requirements (Brumfield, 2007). The Clery Act does not require warnings of all deaths di scovered on campuses. The university indexed the students death as a suicide, which is a category that does not require a timely warning under the act. The evidence reviewed in the Butzel Long Report (2007) made the classification appear highly suspect. On April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech experien ced the worst campus shooting tragedy in history. The unique circumstances of the two se parate murder scenes discovered on April 16 have brought under review whether Virginia Tech should have issued a timely warning to its students and faculty between the two events. The campus thought it knew who the shooter was and that there was no need for a warning (Vir ginia Tech Report, 2007, p. 79). There exists no language in the Clery Act that releases an inst itution from reporting when a potential suspect is identified. In the end, Virginia Tech had nothing more than an incorrect hunch and wasted valuable time in not alerting the students. On August 20, 2007, Security on Campus, Inc. asked the federal government, through the complaint pro cess, to investigate Virginia Tech's response ( see www.securityoncampus.org). In this study, exam ining Clery Act reporting practices was believed relevant to the implem entation of sound safety policy. Agenda-setting Theory A lack of coherence and issue development in what constitutes campus safety has been observed in the news. Studies found in the literature indicate that the media is capable of setting the agenda, with the added potential of influencing the outcome. McCombs and Shaw discussed agenda-setting theory in their 1972 article: The Agenda-Setting Function of the Mass Media Gitlin (1980), in his book The Whole World is Watching added the concept of framing to the theory and examined the news coverage of th e 1960s student movement. Gitlin observed three

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55 media perspectives, any one of which may be used to present the story to the public: (1) documentation of the social problem; (2) critique s of proposed solutions; or (3) a focus on each side's strategies during a partic ular event, such as the studen ts' actions and the government's reaction. Rogers, Dearing, and Bregman (1993) acknow ledged over 200 articles in the social science literature on the topic of agenda setting. Quoting from an earlier work, McCombs (1993) stated: Agenda setting is considerably more than th e classical assertion th at the news tells us what to think about The news also tells us how to think about it Both the selection of objects for attention and the selection of frames for thinking about thes e objects are powerful agendasetting roles. Central to the news agenda and its daily set of objectsissues, personalities, events, etc.are the perspectiv es that journalists and, subse quently, members of the public employ to think about each object (McCombs, 19 92). These perspectives direct attention toward certain attributes a nd away from others. (p. 62) Determining the role of the media in recen t campus safety policy conversations and the frames the media has selected for issue developm ent were pertinent considerations in this study. Whether the media has shaped the directi on of campus safety planning in a thorough investigative manner or whether it has narrowed the lens and told readers how to think was explored through open-ended interview questions. Cost Containment Policy Resources are hugely implicated through the amount of expenditures on security equipment and law enforcement enhancements encouraged in the state commissioned reports. Cost containment is the catch-term used by colleges that is analogous to corporate down-sizing. The concept suggests a balance between student academic success (matriculation to graduation) and student service packages to achieve that suc cess. Accountability movements have resulted in stricter resource management, meaning the end of some programs and the beginning of others (Cohen, 1998). A negative correlation observe d: when funding goes down, the number of

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56 services goes down. Trying to raise tuition enge nders much criticism. Reported in the 1990s, tuition increases exceeded the average percent increases in inflation (Brown & Gamber, 2002). From faculty compensation to deferred maintenance, community colleges have employed various strategies to manage their budgets ec onomically. Community colleges have particularly sought to keep classes affordable. Their unique mission partially responsible: to serve their communities and to provide open access to all who desire to continue their education, whether for personal enrichment, to transfer to a four-year college, or to ear n a certificate for a particular occupation (Roueche & Roueche, 1993). In efforts to increase student success, community colleges have developed learning frameworks. A commitment to the student in a learning-centered environment is one focus (O'Banion, 1987). Studies that atte mpt to delineate the path to student success and departure is another (Tinto, 1975, 1988, 1993). Research has indicated that the information disseminated by administrators may not be helpful in connecting students to the informal social and intellectual communities available on a college campus (Tinto, 1987, p. 146). Following the Virginia Tech tragedy, Floridas task force recommended that the State University System, the Division of Community Colleges, and the Association of Inde pendent Colleges and Universities of Florida each undertake a study of the level of student involvement in Flor ida colleges and universities and provide recommendations to develop supportive campus climates that will result in strong student participation in daily activities and decisions affecting their cam pus life, particularly safety and security (Task Force Report, 2007, p. iv). Tintos (1984) earlier work, although referring specifically to concer ns of whether students decide to stay or leave a particular institution, might provide a basi s for expansion specific to the encouraged endeavors found in Floridas Task Force Report.

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57 Outsourcing Managing in stitutional costs is also a ccomplished through outsourcing. The academic world defines outsourcing as the transfer of services normally pr ovided by the institution to an outside vendor (Brown & Gamber, 2002). Network pathways both inside and outside the campus are highly relevant, es pecially since one met hod that has gained momentum in controlling expenses is the outsourcing of services (Va ndament, 1989; Hyatt, Shulman & Santiago, 1984). Outsourcing creates a variety of legal relationships between agencies but is a valuable resource to facilitate growth in services. Some examples of outsourcing include printing, food vending, and bookstore suppliers. The nature of the relationship is important to rule applicability, such as government in the sunshine, open records laws, a nd indemnity. If the institutions never had a duty to offer a particular service, then outsourcing is not so probl ematic in terms of delegability and rule compliance unless there is an owners hip interest in the service provider by the institution. Arrangements requ ire legal consideration. In the Virginia Tech Report (2007), crisis management team s were touted as a front end screening mechanism. Local law enforcement agencies may already have teams in place that may be an option for those campuses with budgetary constraints, although the type of information shared would be limited. Because gu bernatorial recommendations are silent on the issue of what happens to a stude nt once he or she is identified as at risk by an institution, outsourcing would more than likely create issues as to what is and is not delegable. This study sought to determine what plans the community co lleges appear to be favoring on these issues. Tabulation Studies A review of the literature on cases looking at institutional ne gligence variables, such as costs and duty, found instead a genre of tabulation efforts. These efforts attempt to quantify the rise and fall in reported case filings but instead illustrate the difficulties in trying to understand a

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58 phenomenon without a working knowledge of the c onstituent parts of what is being explored. For example, a number of educators have spen t a considerable amount of time attempting to count the number and types of lawsuits being filed against schools and school personnel using appellate case reporters (Hogan, 1985; Tyack, James & Benavot, 1987; Lufler, 1988; Zirkel, 1989; Imber & Thompson, 1991). Determining trends, primarily in the K-12 systems, such as whether litigation is increasing or decreasing, is stated as the pr imary purpose. Several appellate counting projects have reported that in the d ecade from the late seventies through the late eighties, school district litiga tion was on the decline (Lufler, 1988; Zirkel, 1989). Other totals showed the potential high costs of litigation remained stable but may be on the increase (Bennett, 1988; Wilke, 1988). While still ot her accounts thought the numbers revealed floods of future litigation woes for school districts (Leary, 1981; Valente, 1987). Because an understanding of the legal system and negligence suits are essential to effective campus safety policies, these studies were reviewed with commentary to illustrate thei r shortcomings and the need for better research on the topic. Imber and Gayler (1988) sought to quantif y developments in appellate educational litigation because they fe lt this was relevant to school distri ct budgeting and planning, as well as to career choice determinations by those considering the field of education. Imber and Gayler stated there were two categor ies of casestorts and negligencewhere "educators are most likely to be held personally liable" (p. 77). Howe ver, negligence is a cate gory of tort (or civil wrong) that allows an injured pa rty to recover damages (Lidsky & Little, 1997). Many states in the 1980s had limited waivers of sovereign immunity that allowed suits on ly against the agency (sometimes styled as suits against the person in hi s or her official capacity) and not the individual employee (e.g., see 768.28, Fla. Stat. (2007)).

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59 Prior to gathering their data from an on line legal database, Imber and Gayler (1988) indicated they looked to other sources; but "although statistics concerning the total amount to litigation by state are av ailable, they are not categorized (citing to National Court Statistics Project, 1983)" (p. 57). In Florida, the State Risk Management Trust Fund provides coverage, as authorized by section 284.33, Fla. Stat. (2007), fo r workers' compensation, general liability, fleet automotive liability, and federal civil rights actio ns, which are each distinct categories. Section 768.28(6)(a), Fla. Stat. (2007), provides that "no action may be institu ted against a state or one of its agencies or subdivisions unless the claimant first presents the claim in writing to the appropriate agency, and also to the Department of Financia l Services, within 3 years after such claim accrues." While the files are confidentia l, statistical information is available. Section 768.28(16)(b), Fla. Stat. (2007), provides that the exemptions exist until termination of all litigation and settlement of all claims arising out of the same incident, although portions of the claims files may remain exempt, as otherwise provided by law. Imber and Gayler (1988) tabulated their re trieved legal opinions and concluded that education related litigation increa sed slightly in the 1960s, then d eclined. In their findings, they stated that it was not possible to determine: the likelihood that individual educators will be involved in litigation during their careers [as the] calculation would require knowing the total number of education-related cases (which cannot be done because the ratio of repo rted appellate cases to total caseload is not known). (1988, p. 76) Although the ratio is available from Floridas Department of Financia l Services, the value of the information is questionable since an educ ator cannot be sued in his or her individual capacity in the State of Florida when acting with in the course and scope of his or her duties unless acting in bad faith, with malicious purpose or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful

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60 disregard of human rights, safety, or property ( 768.28, Fl a. Stat. (2007); see also Teacher Liability Protection Act, 20 U.S.C. 6736, added to Chapter 70 in 2002). Imber and Gayler (1988) further posited that "in the absence of any empirical or theoretical reason to believe othe rwise, it is reasonable to accept the hypothes is that trends in appellate court cases in a particular category are a strong in dicator of trends in trial court caseloads in the same category" (p. 58). No th eoretical basis for their assumption was indicated. A standard textbook in research methods expl ains that hypotheses are statements about relationships that researchers attempt to predict and then set out to test using accepted scientific methods (Dooley, 2001). Available empirical data indicates that appella te cases account for a mere fraction of the total number of cases on the trial court dockets, as most cases are not appealed. Florida state courts are broken down into 20 trial court circuits, five state district courts of appeal (DCAs), and one Supreme Court. Numbers of cases obtained from the Florida Office of the State Courts Administrator, available online at www.flcourts.org indicate over three million suits filed in county and circuit trial courts in the fiscal y ear of 2005-06. The clerk's office of each district court of appeal reported the following total appell ate cases filed in their respective jurisdictions for the 2006 calendar year: First DCA 6,752; Second DCA 5,839; Third DCA 3,229 Fourth DCA 5,084; and Fifth DC A 4,480. In total, the district courts of appeal reported 25,384 filed cases. While the trial court data used fiscal year and the district courts used calendar year, it is clear that district-wide appellate cases accounts fo r less than .8 % of the total number of cases being commenced in the state tr ial courts. Adding th e Florida Supreme Court's 2474 cases in the calendar year of 2006 does not alter the re presentation in any significant manner.

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61 Of those cases that do get appealed, several appeals may ensue before the resolution of an issue is remanded back down to the trial court. The tabulated sample set may have included multiple opinions in the same case, as well as opinions other than appellate court rulings, such as published trial court opinions ( e.g., see Schieszler v. Ferrum Coll. W.D. Va., 236 F. Supp. 2d 602, 233 F. Supp. 2d 796 (2002)). Another consideration is that cases filed in the trial court may allege multiple causes of actions (counts) related to a single event and name numerous different defendants from several distinct agencies. During the course of the litigation, the court may find it has jurisdiction over some partie s but not all the part ies. An appellate court may have grounds to determine whether qualified immunity applie s as a complete defense to a single defendant. Other defendants in the suit could have settled the counts alleged against them while still others may have had their causes previously disposed by the judge in preliminary motions or by a jury after a trial. The case style on the initial co mplaint indicating the parties (plaintiff/s and defendant/s) may not change as the various pa rties file their motions and win dismissals, summary judgments, or settle. A single case migh t close with well over 50 to 100 or more docket entries and contain certain matters subject to appeal before tria l along with other matters that may only be appealed upon conclusion of a tr ial on the merits. A ruling denying qualified immunity is subject to appeal before trial; a ruling denying sovereign immunity on discretionary grounds is not. Thus, a case involving both a sch ool and a law enforcemen t officer may have an appealable issue before trial for the officer but not until after a trial for the school. Attorneys might strategize as to whether to file the appeal before or after the trial since the lawsuit may be going forward on the actions pleaded against co-defendants. As for which party becomes appellan t/petitioner or appellee/respondent, the nomenclature would vary based on who is appeali ng (plaintiff or defendant ). A case could have a

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62 defendant appealing a denial of qualified immunity or a plainti ff appealing a finding of qualified immunity. Other co-defendants, if applicable, might decide to settle or move forward with a trial on the merits. In the latter scenario, the plai ntiff/s or defendant/s may then become the appellant/s seeking a reversal or new trial for various grounds contained in the record. A party who has an appeal granted in his or her favor ma y not necessarily be the party who wins the case. In sum, conclusions from efforts that seek to merely count cases provide little insight into the issues being explored. A single civil action that is zealously de fended could have many docket lines indicating motions filed (some granted, so me denied), demurrers made, writs taken, and may be influenced by multiple rulings from higher courts (appellate and supreme) on an assortment of matters before ever going to trial. Furthermore, the authors of the tabulation st udies do not indicate th e type of jurisdiction, as defined in state and federal rules of appellate procedure, exercised in the opinions they reviewed. For Florida state cases, Fla. R. App. P. 9.030(b) defines th e four categories of jurisdiction of the dist rict courts: appellate jurisdiction, certiorari jurisdiction, original jurisdiction, and discretionary review. In the l iterature, the authors lump the opinions into a broad category identified only as appellate cases. While it is difficult to discern the representativeness of the cases or the appeal of these counting endea vors as they relate to trends in educational litigat ion, they persist. In a subsequent publication, Imber and Thom pson (1991) indicated that educational law textbooks had a tendency to group li tigation topics in a manner that was more conducive to legal experts than to the perspective a nd utility of an educator (p. 22 8). The authors sought to rectify this situation and gathered totals from the West law legal database of published opinions. In an attempt to triangulate their counts, Imber and Th ompson supplemented with data they received

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63 from approximately 300 mailed surveys, returned from school districts across the United States. From their review of the court opinions and ot her collected data, these researchers discovered there were two main categories of litigants: students and employ ees; a third potential litigant was described as outside third-parties ( e.g., parties to contract disputes)all representing the normal parties who would have standing to file suit in the school setting. As for who was filing the lawsuits, the authors found that employees, who outnumbered students by almost ten times, filed three time s as many actions (Imber & Thompson, 1991). They stated that negligence actions comprised the bu lk of their reviewed cases (p. 240), and they predicted that these types of cases would cont inue to increase. How employees, presumably covered under Floridas Workman s Compensation policies, were able to file the bulk of the authors identified negligent suits was not discussed. To confuse matters further, the authors stated that the majority of the reviewed opini ons were federal. The authors do not indicate how the federal courts maintained jurisdiction over th e state law negligence actions being tabulated. Their described sample set was stated as the K12 setting where "teachers or principals [were] named defendants as opposed to suits filed against only the district, school board, central administration, or other personnel" (p. 242). Imbe r and Thompson (1991) forecasted an increase of negligence suits. At the same time, they in dicated a decrease in state suits. The authors attributed the [inconsistent] finding to the [erroneous] assumption that "[f]ederal cases were much more likely to be reported in Westlaw than are state case s" (p. 235). Without additional information, it is difficult to discern what was counted. Other parties have continued the pursuit of counting published court opinions and positing their totals for policy considerations. A later effort used only United States Supreme Court opinions and expressed the belief that "the Supreme Court appears to have shifted away

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64 from a student-hospitable orientation" (Zirkel, 1998, p. 246). Another paper affirmed that the "broad-sweeping characterizations about the trends in the frequency and outcomes of education litigation without an adequate base of empirical research" wa s a regular occurrence (Lupini & Zirkel, 2003, p. 258). On the other hand, Lupini a nd Zirkel (2003) assert ed that proper trend identification was necessary for informed policies and practices. These authors went on to state that other studies ( e.g., Imber & Gayler, 1988; Imber & T hompson, 1991) purporting "claims of an explosion in education litig ation [were] a myth" (p. 258). In a more recent effort, Lupini and Zirkel (2003) sought "to determine whether there is a statistically significant difference between th e overall outcomes of reported, or published, education court decisions from the mid-1970s and those from the mid-1990s"(p. 260). To accomplish this task, the Westlaw legal database was used to establish a population from which a random sample of reported opinions was drawn. Th e authors included opinions from both state and federal courts across multiple jurisdictions and coded the data according to "(a) the category and subcategory for each case, (b) the particular judicial forum, (c) the year of the decision, and (d) the outcome of the case" (p. 262). Lupini and Zirkel (2003) found no statistically significan t difference between outcomes in cases filed in the 70s when compared to those filed in the 90s. The authors concluded that "the data show a continuing propensity of courts in favor of school authorities" (p. 270). The authors based this determination on "untested and, in some cases, untestable assumptions," that [they believed] accounted for the st ability in their results ( id. ). For instance, Lupini and Zirkel claimed the "iceberg effect," [which is according to them] a phenomenon caused by "only using reported court decisions" is "mitigated by the use of a computer database, which extends the target population of cases beyond those published in traditional, bound hard-copy form" ( id. ). Their

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65 [misguided] assumption was based on the "limited amount of research" in this area and their personal beliefs in the "representativ eness of reported court decisions" ( id. ). Lupini and Zirkel additionally surmised an overall favorable school -friendly shift in cour t rulings based on the Columbine school shootings and the fact that "s chools are fighting a war on drugs and violence" (p. 275). They further found that reductions in suits could not be explained by administrators making better decisions because research showed "a low level of legal literacy among school officials (e.g., Stephens, 1983; Zirkel, 1978, 1996)" (p. 274). In short, the value of tabulation efforts as designed was questionable. In Loco Parentis Two additio nal articles (Lake & Tribbensee, 2002; Lake, 1999) are included in the literature review. Both broach the subject of in loco parentis in the setting of higher education litigation and together offe r insights as to why the duty element of a negligence cause of action has been so difficult for admini strators to grasp. The case of Dixon v. Alabama 294 F. 2d 150 (5th Cir. 1961) was cited in one arti cle as standing for the proposition that: [T]he Fifth Circuit determined that a colleges power (including in loco parentis) did not extend to the denial of basic constitutional rights of fair play and process, including procedural due process. Students at public un iversities became constitutional adults with basic constitutional rights. (Lake, 1999, p. 10) In loco parentis was not relevant to the issue decided in Dixon The 14th Amendment [1868] provides that a State may not deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. Dixon v. Alabama is a landmark due process case that enumerated what process was due before a public institution could expel a student: due process requires notice and some opportunity for hearing (294 F. 2d at 158). In short, it appears the power of self-protection has been confused in the literature with the supervis ory capacity to effectively and safely manage an organization.

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66 The following excerpt from Wyatt v. McMullen 350 So. 2d 1115 (Fla. 1st DCA 1977) explains the power of self-protection: [T]he general rule is that a parent may be liab le for the consequences of failure to exercise the power of control which he has over his ch ildren, where he knows, or in the exercise of due care should have known, that injury to another is a probable consequence. Thus, a father may be held liable where he knows th at his children are persisting in a course of conduct likely to result in injury to another. Fa ilure to restrain the ch ild, it is said, amounts to a sanction of or consent to his acts by the pa rent. But ability to c ontrol the child, rather than the relationship as such, is the basis of the parent's liability, and it has accordingly been recognized that, under appropriate circumstances, similar liability might fall on a nonparent who had such ability but negligently failed to exercise it [emphasis added] ( 59 Am.Jur.2d, Parent and Child, 133 citations omitted). (p. 1117) In the college setting, institutions were early on charged with the power to make rules and regulations concerning the physical and moral welfare, and mental training of the pupils, and any rule or regulation for the government, or be tterment of their pupils th at a parent could for the same purpose (Gott v. Berea Coll. 161 S.W. 204, 206 (Ky. 1913)). Case law establishes that these rules and regulatio ns were later afforded due proce ss considerations when punishments were imposed. But there is no case law directly on point that indicates a co rrelative duty existed for colleges as the insurers of student safetya state la w negligence cause of action. Since the late 1970s, the gene ral rule has been that no per se special relationship exists between a college and its students be cause a college is not an insure r of the safety of its students ( Bradshaw v. Rawlings, 612 F.2d 135, 138-41 (3d Cir. 1979) (expl aining that college students are no longer m inors Regulation by the colleg e of student life on and off campus has become limited College administrators no longer control the broad arena of general morals); Booker v. Lehigh Univ., 800 F. Supp. 234, 237-41 (E.D. Pa. 1992) (f inding no special relationship); Nero v. Kan. State Univ. 253 Kan. 567, 861 P. 2d 768, 778 (Kan. 1993) (sam e); Univ. of Denver v. Whitlock 744 P. 2d 54, 59-61 (Colo. 1987) (en banc) (sam e); Eiseman v. State 511 N .E.2d 1128, 1136-37 (N.Y. 1987) (same); Beach v. Univ. of Utah 726 P. 2d 413, 415-16 (Utah 1986)

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67 (same); Rabel v. Illinois Wesleyan Univ. 514 N.E.2d 552, 560-61 (Ill. Ct. App. 1987) (holding that the re sponsibility of a university "is to properly educate" its students, not to act as their custodian); Baldwin v. Zoradi 123 Cal. App. 3d 275, 284-91 (Cal. Ct. App. 1981) (finding no special relationship); cf. Garofalo v. Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity 616 N.W.2d 647, 650 (Iowa 2000) (analogizing the lack of a custodial relationship betwee n a university and its students to the lack of a custodial relationship between a na tional fraternity chapter and its members)). Finding a duty to protect from foreseeable dangers is distinguishable from having the power to make rules and control ones morals. In McLeod v. Grant County School Dist. No. 128 255 P. 2d 360 (Wash. 1953), the Washington Supr eme Court provided a lengthy discussion on the issue illustrating how a school dist rict may be held liable in tort: A school district may be sued "for an injury to the rights of the plaintiff" arising from some act or omission of such district. RCW 4.08.120 (Rem. Rev. Stat., 951) the liability of respondent school dist rict for the alleged tortious acts or om issions of its officers, agents or servants is to be determined accordi ng to the normal rules of tort law. Briscoe v. School Dist. No. 123, supra The tort here charged is negligence In order to state a cause of action for negligence, it is necessary to allege facts which would warra nt a finding that the defendant has committed an unintentional breach of a legal duty, and that such breach was a proximate cause of the harm. See Ullrich v. Columbia & Cowlitz R. Co. 189 W ash. 668, 66 P. (2d) 853; Harvey v. Auto Interurban Co. 36 W n. (2d) 809, 220 P. (2d) 890. (pp. 361362) In order to decide whether respondent committe d an unintentional breach of a legal duty, it is first necessary to determine what respondent's legal duty was, under the circumstances In Briscoe v. School Dist. No. 123, supra, we noted and applied 320 of Restatement of Torts, which reads as follows: "One who is required by law to take or who voluntarily takes the custody of another under circumstances su ch as to deprive the other of his normal power of self-protection or to subject him to association with pe rsons likely to harm him, is under a duty of exercising reasona ble care so to control the co nduct of third persons as to prevent them from intentionally harming the othe r or so conducting themselves as to create an unreasonable risk of harm to him, if the actor "(a) knows or has re ason to know that he has the ability to cont rol the conduct of the third persons and "(b) knows or should know of the necessity and opportunity for exercising such control." 2 Restatement, Torts, 867, 320. (pp. 362-363) The court must first determine in a negligence claim whether a duty exists upon which liability may be predicated. In state law negligence actions, in loco parentis is sometimes

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68 pleaded to assert that a duty to protect existed on the part of the defendant institution. As the Virginia Tech Report (2007) establishes, several of the victims families believe in loco parentis is applicable to at leas t some of the students, even those wh o are legally adults (p. 83). Counsel for a defendant institution would illustrate through legal arguments why reliance on the doctrine to establish a duty in the college setting is misplaced for adult students. Successfully doing so, however, does not provide immunity from suit. Case law shows that institutions are capable of creating special rela tionships with adult students and being held liable under general negligence principles ( e.g., see Coghlan v. Beta Theta Pi Fraternity 987 P. 2d 300, 305 (Idaho 1999); Nova Southeastern Univ., Inc. v. Gross 758 So. 2d 86, 90 (Fla. 2000)). Highe r education administrators n eed to be aware of these developments. An assessment of the particulari zed facts in cases where a duty has been found are instructive: the determinative fa ctor centering on the amount of in stitutional control asserted. In addition, a noticeable gap in the case law was observed specific to the standards of duty for higher education institutions that enroll minor st udents who attend classes on the college campus. What action administrators have taken in these areas was explored in the study. Summary This chapter provided an overview of the l iterature related to the present research problem. To a greater extent, the literature re view illustrated areas in need of expansion regarding crisis management and the ability of administrators to effectively handle dangerous situations that may be developi ng on their campuses. Past studies revealed that measures have been created to examine the concept of organizational effectiveness. Cameron (1978) identified nine dimensions of organizationa l effectiveness specific to the college and university setting; missing from the dimensions was a measure for components of campus safety.

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69 Theories of interaction date back to th e 1960s. These theories proved problematic in terms of the concept of organizational effectiven ess when institutional goals were sought to be identified. For-profit industries were amenable to systems model approaches examining inputoutput modalities (Katz & Kahn, 1966) or resourcebargaining strength (Yuchtman & Seashore, 1967). Although media richness theo ry showed potential for the present study, it was realized that its second assumption involvi ng specific mediums of informational exchanges would have to be tested in organizations s ubject to open government laws. A control group would be required to adequately determine whether there were a ny differences between favored mediums in public and private settings and was beyond the scope of the present study. Yinger (1965) formulated a basic theory of in teraction that looked at the situation and the characteristics of the individuals involved ra ther than focusing on the organization. Yinger's theoretical approach was instructive for its potential to explain actions in times of rapid informational exchanges. Social network theory (Barnes, 1954; Granovetter, 1973; Haythornthwaite, 1996) shows potential for mapping the legal significance of the informational relay paths that occur before, during, and after a crisis event. Because of the imputation of knowledge between actors in an organizational setting, a basic overview of the laws of agency was presented. The reviewed tabulation efforts s how limitations in their design and purpose. Shrinking state budgets reshaped the mana gement of expenditures within public institutions. Cost containment has colleges finding ways to do more with less funding. Accountability movements hover nearby and monitor how funds are spent and the choices that colleges are making. Other groups are monitoring for rule compliance. Watchdog groups file complaints in areas where colleges are defi cient; Clery Act timely warnings being a common complained about shortfall. In the background, agenda-setting theory shows that the media is not

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70 just reporting the news but shapi ng it by actively telli ng the public how to think about certain topics. The literature section established a variet y of interconnected areas that may shape contingencies related to the dynamics of campus safety policy development. In this study, factors influencing the direction of campus safety policy development following the Virginia Tech tragedy were explored, guided by the research topics presented in the literature. Emergent themes may add to the literature base by provi ding workable variable s to expand Camerons (1978) organizational effectivenes s criteria in future studies.

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71 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to contextu alize, understand, and interpret the dynamics related to the advances of campus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy. The specific aim was to identify fact ors that should be considered in policy design. Four areas were considered relevant and structur ed the setup of the explorator y examination: mental health considerations, Clery Act consid erations, litigation concerns, a nd privacy concerns. This study analyzed descriptive content cont ained in state commissioned repor ts, newspaper articles specific to campus shootings, and administra tive interviews in an attempt to determine constructs/themes that transcend the subject of campus safety. Looking at the la rger issue and deconstructing it for review was considered the best mechanism to provide a solid foundati on of considerations specific to campus safety policy development. This chapter details the design of the st udy, including research questions, assumptions, limitations, researcher subjectiv ity, rationale, and methodology. Data collection approaches and data analysis are presented. Chapter 3 concludes with a discussion of the threats to validity and other concerns. Research Questions The central objective was identifying What factors in campus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy create the most problems in design or implementation for Floridas community college system? The following research questions f acilitated the design and scope of the study: 1. What actions concerning campus safety were developed as a result of the Virginia Tech tragedy?

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72 2. What actions concerning student mental health issues were develope d as a result of the Virginia Tech tragedy? 3. What are the benefits and limitations of th e recommendations found in the Task Force Report as they relate to the community college? Rationale and Methodology The Virginia Tech tragedy has generated c onsiderable attention and emotion: college administrators finding themselves at the forefront of the foray. Exploring administrator concerns regarding college safety planni ng was important for the discovery of emerging themes and their relationships to the incident. A qualitative desi gn was considered the most appropriate method because qualitative studies are be st at contributing to a greate r understanding of perceptions, attitudes, and processes (Glesne, 1999, p. 24). Grounded theory is an inductive approach that allows for the theory generation through inquiry (Glaser & Straus, 1967; Creswell, 2002). The literature review provided the sorting stage where a theory may be grounded or a new one generated. Grounded theory was the best fit for th e theoretical model to guide the study because of its workability in explaining how the problem was being framed. The family of policy process frameworks know n as institutional rati onal choice was used as the conceptual model (Sabatier, 2007). A lthough many fields have attempted to develop policy process theories, difficulties present them selves in defining institutions, incentives, and outcomes (Ostrom, 2007). The seminal amalgamation of institutional rational choice theory across various disciplines to divine a general framework was published in The Three Worlds of Action: A Metatheoretical Synthe sis of Institutio nal Approaches (Kiser & Ostrom, 1982). What emerged was the institutional analysis and deve lopment (IAD) framework, which has since gone through numerous revisions and evolutions (Ostrom, 2007). Reforms and transitions in government requir e an operational framework and a family of theories that are compatible with the structure. Using the IAD framework, the action arena is first

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73 identified. Ostrom (2007) explains that the action arena is a con ceptual unit that facilitates the analysis, prediction, and explana tion of actions within the in stitutional arrangement. Ostrom (2007) identifies seven clusters of variable in this arena: (1) participants, (2) positions, (3) outcomes, (4) action-outcomes, (5) the control that par ticipants exercise, (6) information, and (7) the costs and benefits assigned to the outcomes (p. 28). The action arena for this study was the community college. An actor (individual or entity) interacts with: 1. the resources that an actor brings to a situation; 2. the valuation assigned to states of the world and to actions; 3. the way actors acquire, process, retain, and us e knowledge contingenc ies and information; and 4. the process actors use for selection of particular courses of action. (Ostrom, 2007, p. 28) Once the initial action arena is identified, th ere are two additional steps to explore the dynamics more closely. First, th e action arena is conceived as dependent on clustered factors such as (1) the rules used by participants to orde r their relationships, (2) the attributes of states of the world that are acted upon in these arenas, and (3) the st ructure of the more general community within which any pa rticular arena is placed ( id. ). Second, these factors are influenced by shared understandings of rules, states of the world, and nature of the community ( id. ). In sum, there are two variables: the action arena (or the situation) and the actor. Both variables are necessary if the goal is diagnosis, ex planation, and predication as they relate to the actions and results (p. 29). Changing the institutional arrangements may cr eate different outcomes. In order to test these predictions, Ostrom (p. 33) indicates that evaluative criteria such as (1) economic efficiency, (2) equity through fiscal equivalence, (3) redistributional e quity, (4) accountability, (5) conformance to general morality, and (6) adaptability may be employed. Ostrom maintains

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74 that in a democratic polity, officials should be accountab le to citizens concerning the development and use of public facilities and natural resources (p. 34). The IAD framework further provides the tools necessary for testing hypotheses about behavior in diverse situations at multiple levels of analysis (p. 51). Oakers on (1999) applied the framework to the governance of local public economies; Prakash (2000) used it to examine corporate responses to environmental challenges. This study was designed as a means to identif y and contextualize th e variables necessary to make predictions for future research aimed at measuring the efficacy of implemented campus safety policies. Within the community colleg e action arena existed the actors or college administrators. By exploring the action arena through the actors att itudes and perceptions, emerging concepts and their relationship to the Virginia Tech tragedy were possible. Evaluative criteria, such as accountability and agent-base d modeling found in Chapter 2, may be used in later studies to determine the efficacy of adopted policies. The unit of analysis was the Virginia Tech tragedy as it was represented in the Virginia Tech Report (2007). The single group or co mmunity studied was community college administrators and their opinions and attitude s regarding campus safety policies and any recommended or implemented changes followi ng the incident. Merriam (1988) defines a qualitative case study as an intensive, holistic description and analys is of a single entity, phenomenon, or social unit (p. 16). Heuristic refers to a case studys power to illuminate the readers understanding of the phenomenon under study (Merriam, 1988, p. 13). Relying on multiple sources of data collec tion, triangulation of data helps strengthen the findings (Yin, 1994). For this study, data were collected from state commissioned reports, newspaper articles, and administrator interviews.

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75 Content Analysis of Independent Sources Four independent sources were explored for theme explication: administrator interviews, newspaper articles, the Task Force Report, and th e Virginia Tech Report. Content analysis was conducted on various news articles pertaining to campus shootings. The accu racy of the articles was irrelevant. The source was used only as a m eans to identify the general relationship of shooters to the targeted institutions. Content analysis was conducted on portions of two gubernatorial reports for the purpose of illustration and discovery. Administrator Interviews Open-ended interviews were conducted by the researcher in person or by phone. Establishing rapport was thought cr itical to the receipt of insi ghtful and thorough perspectives. The interviews lasted up to 45 minutes and were recorded for later transcription when possible. The interviews were designed to determine the participants knowle dge, beliefs, concerns, experiences, involvement, and perceptions of cam pus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy. Participants were provi ded with written informed cons ent information, confidentiality and anonymity information, and a brief descrip tion of the study before beginning. Interview questions were not provided pr ior to the interviews. Data Analysis Four record ed interviews were transcribed verbatim. Five additional interviews were transcribed from copious note taking. Text from each interview was coded for themes. Open and selective coding for theme expli cation included newspaper articles and sections from two task force reports. The coding process allowed theory development to be grounded in the real world and to evolve through the data gather ing process (Glaser & Straus, 1967).

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76 Sample Prior to beginning the study, the researcher submitted the studys protocol to the universitys Institutional Review Board (IRB). Upon approval, hi gher education administrators employed at Floridas 28 community colleges were randomly and purposively selected for interview. The administrators consisted of deans and assistant deans of student affairs and academic affairs, campus provosts, and vice presiden ts/directors of institutional technology and planning. Although the researcher offered to set aside any hour of the day or night for the interviews (in an effort to increase participation) the majority of the administrators contacted did not wish to participate, citing workloads and deadlines. Of the 74 administrators solicited, nine granted an interview. The nine participants represented five different community colleges and seven distinct campuses. The sample included re presentation from small, medium and large multi-campus settings, in the southern, centr al, and northern districts of Florida. Assumptions Assumptions of this study incl ude the belief (a) that perspectives of the participants were meaningful, (b) that participants answered the interview questions sinc erely and thoroughly, (c) that the participants who were interviewed are de aling with the same or similar issues as other community college administrators elsewhere in th e state and across the c ountry, and (d) that the primary data were accurately transcribed for coding purposes. Limitations Only a small number of respondents with in Floridas community college system participated in the study. Although content analyses of independent sources provided consistencies among the data points, the repr esentativeness of the study was limited to the geographic confines of the State of Florida. Findings are furthe r not generalizable outside the state because of the inclusion of legal discussi on specific to the laws of Florida. The studys

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77 scope was delimited to proactive campus safety measures presently in effect and those being considered for adoption. Selective coding delimits the study in that it was not concerned as much with data accuracy as it was w ith generating concepts. Reactive measures taken during and after an identified human made crisis were looked at only in the co ntext of Clery Act timely reporting. The study was additionally delimited by only inte rviewing active administrators at campus settings based on the conceptual construct guiding the study. The attitudes and opinions of the Florida Board of Education and the community co llege council of presidents risk management consortium were not solicited for information al though their role in future policy development is paramount. The researcher focused on the perc eptions and actions of the identified group selected for the study as it was be lieved that present practices, as certainable thr ough the selected interview strategy, would be more indicative of what was actually occurring in the community college setting since the Virginia Tech tragedy. Threats to Validity and Reliability Validation of the Data Different methods of data collecting in the study allowed the researcher to control for invalidity of the method (Hagan, 2000, p. 289). St ructured interviews were designed to elicit information as to the participan ts thoughts, opinions, and attitude s related to the topic of the study. Berg (2001) indicated that there is a relationship between ones thoughts and actions. Taking this dynamic into consideration, the rese arch questions were designed around specific constructs. When information is drawn from mo re than one source, va lidity is enhanced (Creswell, 2002). Triangulation is the process of using multiple methods to measure a construct (Campbell & Fiske, 1959; Webb et al., 1966). In the study, each thematic representation of the structural components analyzed was triangulated to increase validity through the content analyses of the independent sources.

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78 Reliability and Validity To test reliability, a researcher seeks to determine whether th e instrument yields consistent results on repeated tr ials (Carmines & Zeller, 1979, p. 11). This study did not seek to measure a construct such as intelligence but rather the thoughts and opinions about the development of community college safety policy/ planning following the Virginia Tech tragedy. Preliminary work included pre-testing the st ructured interview questions asked of the respondents. A number of fellow graduate stude nts were used for commentary on achieving clearer responses and developing more probing-type questions capab le of eliciting richer, more detailed responses. Inter-coder reliability was not an issue since a single researcher collected the data used for analyses. Validity, on the other hand, seeks to determ ine the "relationship between concept and indicator" (Carmines & Zeller, 1979, p. 12). By using the grounded theory approach, validity is judged more on the criteria of fit, relevance, wo rkability, and modifiabil ity. The concepts must fit the incident being explored a nd the study must be relevant to the participants concern (Glaser & Straus, 1967; Glesne, 1999; Creswell, 2002). The criteria of fit, relevance, workability, and modifiability were applicable and adaptable to this study. Nevertheless, a discussion of validity in the traditional sense follows. A valid instrument is one that actually measures the phenomenon being studied. The process of measuring a concept in troduces random error, so a researcher attempts to limit the extent of random error. Nonrandom error, how ever, has "a systematic biasing effect on measuring instruments" and "lies at the very he art of validity" (Carmines & Zeller, 1979, p. 14). In these cases, the measuring instrument gauges something other than the concept studied. Using instruments that have been tested for reliability and validity reduces the chances for nonrandom error. The literature review indicated that no prior instrument had attempted to measure the

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79 construct of campus safety policy and planning or its perceived efficacy at a particular location. The rationale behind this study was the desire to f ill gaps in the literature by exploring the topic in a manner that would allow for the iden tification of major themes while providing synthesizable areas for the discove ry of the policy theory that be st explained current practice. Internal validity An unreliable instrument lacks in ternal validity (Ary et al., 2002). Threats to the validity of selected instrume ntation include face validity, content validity, construct validity, and cr iterion-related validity ( id. ). Whether an instrument is facially valid for its intended purpose is a matter of review. In this study, a panel of experts comprised of two members of the executive committee of the National Council of State Directors of Commun ity Colleges, an affilia te of the American Association of Community College s (AACC), agreed to review the proposed interview questions following the researchers preliminary work of pre-testing and modifying the structured interview instrument. The AACC describes itself as a national voice for two-year associate degree granting institutions. The executive co mmittee members are considered experts in community college administration. The expert pane l rated the interview que stions for validity and recommended one change to strengthen the r obustness and depth of the interviews. That recommendation was incorporated into the final instrument (Appendix A). Content validity asks whether the responses generated by the instrument accurately represent the content of what th e instrument had intended to m easure (Gall et al., 1996). Using an expert panel provided control for threats to content validity. Construct validity is relevant when abstr actions that cannot be observed directly are indicated (Ary et al., 2002, p. 32). Common ab stractions include motivation, anxiety, and satisfaction. It is conceded that the term safety can indeed be abstract. However, a campus safety

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80 policy and the behaviors and actions it seeks to influence are obs ervable and concrete. To deal with potential concerns, the us e of an expert panel addres sed construct validity issues. Criterion-related validity seeks to determine whether the studys design was right for the particular construct be ing measured (Ary et al., 2002). Us ing a panel of e xperts dealt with criterion-related validity. External validity. Threats to external validity refer to the generalizability or representativeness of th e studys findings (Ary et al., 2002). This study was not generalizable outside the State of Florida becau se of the inclusion of legal di scussion specific to the laws of Florida. Different agency law appl ications, as well as whether other states have waived sovereign immunity and to what extent, are matters guided solely under the principles of federalism, vary on a state-by-state basis, and invol ve issues left to th e interpretations of the individual state's highest court and have no precedential weight or authority in other jurisdictions outside each state's borders. States would have to be evaluated independently to iden tify similarities and differences to determine whether a researcher could control for variance between jurisdictions and allow for meaningful comparisons. The magn itude of a study to ac complish the latter was beyond the scope of the study. Researcher subjectivity. The researchers subjective relationship to the research topic deals only with the legal avenues of liability. As a licensed attorney in th e State of Florida, the researcher has represented plain tiffs and defended government agencies in civil rights actions, federal torts, and state law neglig ence suits. Because of areas related to practice, the researchers perspective perhaps favored the legal significance of findings over that of a lay person. A focus supporting flexibility over standard ization may also be evident. The researcher has never been employed by the community college system in the State of Florida and has never represented any

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81 of its employees in their official capacity. The researcher offers no legal advice in the following study but does attempt to draw th e readers attention to legal matters that should be explored by policymakers in the community college setting. Research Questions and Operationalization of the Variables What Actions Concerning Campus Safety Were Developed as a Result of the Virginia Tech Tragedy? The concept of community college actions as they relate to campus safety policies and guidelines can be explained in several ways. For the college administrator, they may be written or verbal, new or historical, and relate to how one is instructed or authorized to deal with a particular issue. The study sought to determ ine whether the respons e pattern had shifted following the Virginia Tech shootings, and if so, what each respondent found to be the influential factors behind the change: the subseq uent release of the gubernatorial reports, calls from parents, mandates from the state, statutes a nd laws, or some other va riable. The direction of change, as in whether it was top-down or bottom up, was sought. This question also explored administrative actions related to Clery Act timely reporting and the promulgation of other potential hazard warnings to the campus community. The focus was fourfold. First, are campuses favoring the new control prong observed in recent media reports commenting on the usefulness of the warnings ? Second, do campuses believe that when law enforcement identifies a person of interest the obligation to issue a Clery Act timely warning abates even though there are no prov isions in the Clery Act that in dicate this is the case? Third, do the amount of expenditures being deploye d on cameras and audible sirens under the institutional goal of overall crime reduction in an environment with a statically low rate of crime suggest measurement problems for administrators ? Fourth, do guidelines exist as to how the equipment will be used and are the guideli nes available to the campus community?

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82 What Actions Concerning Student Mental Health Issues Were Developed as a Result of the Virginia Tech Tragedy? This question explored actions related the av ailability of campus resources and mutual aid options for mental health services. An additio nal aim of this question was to probe what the interviewed administrators were most likely to fear on their campuses and whether the growth rate of online classes pr esented novel challenges. Efforts to assemble a centralized unit where information on a particular student can ascend were encouraged in both the Task For ce Report (2007) and the Virginia Tech Report (2007). This question sought to determine what ha ppens to a student once he or is she was identified as at risk on a campus. Examination looked at wh ether guidelines were available for the identification of potential at ri sk behavior, as well as for the referral process and follow up of an individuals progress. How Virginia Tech may have opened itself up to the potential for fines, in addition to state and federal causes of actions, by not effec tively planning for the avoidance of dangerous situations via the lack of information networ king was examined. Plus, based on the devastating consequences of unreasonable acts or omissions related to foreseeable dangers, the study explored what legal representation was being us ed for safety policy issues as they arose. What are the Benefits and Limitations of the Recommendations Found in the Task Force Report as They Relate to the Community College? Attitudes regarding findings and recommenda tions presented in published reports are a crucial part of the study. Respondents were probe d as to their familiari ty with the topics contained within Floridas Task Force Report (2007). Respondents who had not reviewed or been briefed on the report were asked for th eir thoughts and opinions about some of the recommendations after being made aware of th em by the researcher. The underlying relevance

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83 was in discovering whether the participants were actively engaging in conversations related to the recommendations. Responsibilities pursuant to privacy acts in the enumerated recommendations were queried. Whether administrators perceived a need to relay part icular observations regarding students to parents or other agencies was examined. Views on whether law enforcement personnel had a role institutional crisis teams were sought. Areas of interest further included guidelines that allow students due process a nd the means to challenge relayed information. Whether student codes of conduct had been changed was also explored. Data Analysis The analysis for the research was sectione d into two parts: interview documents and written documents. Qualitative content analysis was employed to arrive at a richer understanding of the nature of campus safety policy deve lopment following the Virginia Tech tragedy. Emergent themes were developed from explorat ory interview questions and task force reports. Answers to interview questions provided trails from which additional themes were explored. Table 3-1 ( infra p. 85) outlines the questions used to acquire detailed responses covering the stated research objectives. The fo cal point of each question was di rected at respondents actions and perceptions related to the underlying process of the explored topic. Content analysis, coding, and basic descriptive statis tics provided the means to identify developing themes. Content Analysis of Independent Sources Newspaper Articles on Campus Shootings LexisNexis is a legal research database with search engines that are capable of pulling newspapers articles across the country by topic. A LexisNexis search of newspaper articles pertaining to college shooting incidents was co nducted then supplemen ted with basic Google queries. The search was limited to shooting incidents on higher education campus in the United

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84 States and contiguous provinces The articles had limited info rmation but were useful in exploring several areas: shooters affiliations to targeted institutions, general idea of the number of victims, whether the shooters committed suicid e, ages of the shooters, and the approximate years in which the incidents occurred. It was impor tant to use this source of data to strengthen the evidence contained in findings from the re spondent interviews and also to explore the relationships: employee/employer; student/ins titution; or pure random act of violence by outsiders to the campus community. Task Force Reports Relevant portions of the Virginia Tech Report and Floridas Task Force Report were examined. The simulation of data points containe d within the key topic areas of these sources was considered a means to strengthen findings of emergent themes through constant comparison for overlap and theme consistency. Summary This chapter outlined the procedures and design of the study. A qualitative content analysis design was indicated, providing for ri ch, thick description of the problem being explored. The attributes of the selected design were presented along with the studys assumptions, limitations, and general threats to valid ity. An expert panel was used to control for internal threats to validity. This chapter include d a description of the st udys purpose, rationale, researcher subjectivity, operationa lization of the variables, samp le selection, population, and data analysis.

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85 Table 3-1. Open Ended Questions Question Asked Focal Point of Question What concerns involving the Vi rginia Tech shootings stood out the most in your mind as a college administrator? Perceptions: Attitudes Once the shooters mental health background became known, were there discussions on campus about at risk students? Actions: Preparation Does your institution provide counseling services? Actions: Resources Does your institution use licensed law enforcement officers or security personnel? Actions: Resources Have you read or been briefed on the contents of the Virginia Tech Report or Floridas Gubern atorial Report? Perceptions: Influences Have any policies been review ed, changed, or implemented within the last year? Student conduc t codes? Actions: Preparation Have you requested or do you know whether your college has provided or sought advisory opinions on privacy laws ( e.g., FERPA, HIPAA)? The Clery Act? Ne gligence Actions? Actions: Preparation Following the shootings, have students or their parents expressed any specific concerns that you are aware of? Perceptions: Influences How would you describe your campus culture? Perceptions: Influences How are decision made on your campus? Actions: Influences How would your college stude nts be notified under the timely warning provision of the Clery Act? Actions: Resources Does your institution have crisis intervention teams in place? Actions: Resources Does the increase in online classroom growth raise or lower safety concerns? Perceptions: Attitudes

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86 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS Overview This study sought to extricate themes that are relevant to the development of campus safety policies. Grounded theory methodology was used to guide the study. The community college was selected as the setting. Institutional actions precipitated by the Virginia Tech tragedy were explored. From coding cons iderations to the individual perceptions of the interviewed respondents, the result ing theory was grounded in real lif e experiences. Reviewed actions centered on practices, directives, and policy advan cements that have been implemented on each reviewed campus in the last year. To validate the interviews, othe r data points were introduced. The data points included newspaper articles pertaining to college shooting incidents and relevant portions of the Virginia Tech and Floridas Ta sk Force Reports. This chapter describes the campus setting and provides the themes that emerged from each independent source. Describing the Milieu of the Community College Interviews conducted in person on campus ga ve way to researcher observation. Seven locations we re visited and initia lly appeared to consist of dive rse types of campus arrangements, from sprawling main campuses on considerable acreage to satellite campuses located in buildings in the heart of business districts. The different outward appearances gave way to remarkably similar inward characteristics. Upon a rrival, neither a visitors pass nor sign in was necessary at any location. Classrooms were pres ent everywhere and laid out in a variety of arrangements consistent with the un ique architecture of each setting. Each campus appeared to have private businesses operating on cam pus that provided services to the campus community. One campus ope rated a caf with seating that opened up to an outside area adjacent to multip le businesses; there was a main thoroughfare heavily traveled

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87 with pedestrian traffic unrelated to the cam pus that had full access. On the day of the researchers visit, diners incl uded enrolled students, business peopl e, and a landscape crew. At a snack bar inside a more isolated main cam pus, customers were students, employees, and independent service providers. UPS and Fed Ex drivers were observed on two campuses. The flow of traffic illustrated the multiple roles of each institution; it further detailed the many services a college campus receives. The numerou s community resources and constituents to carry out the overall operations to facilitate the academic mission were of enormous proportions. Open access and open buildings were common denominators of the visited sites, which was not surprising. Open access has embodied th e structure of community colleges throughout the country, and is common at large universities as well. The theme of open access was not the unique component, though. Grocery stores, mall shopping centers, and restaurants each enjoy open access. The distinction was in the number of st ructures and various poi nts of entry and exit. At each Florida community college visited, there were multiple roads in and out; buildings and doors in every direction. Some doors opened to st airways, others opened to classrooms. A few opened to offices, while still others opened to other doors. One building observed had elevators for freight and elevators for people. Each structure provided multiple ways for ingress and egress, meaning there were numerous ways to get out in the event of an emergency. Although not unusual, it was observed that buildings with more than one floor were not architecturally designed with external exit opti ons, such as fire escapes. Building placement and design made it difficult to ascertain where individuals or groups of people were headed to or from unless the beeline was towards or away from numerous parking lots. Each location was also replete w ith nooks and crannies. So while each campus encompassed lots of space, there were many columns, pieces of art, and architectural features

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88 that presented obstructions. While sitting in th e parking lot of each location, the researcher observed people carrying notebooks, boxes, skateboard s, backpacks, luggage, and briefcases. But mostly, people carried books, phones, and I-pods. Packages and vending supplies were delivered in Styrofoam coolers, milk crates, brown boxes, and sealed envelopes. Many people were observed chatting, both on their phones and in sm all groups. People smiled and said hello when greeted and passed. Some of the pedestrian tr affic wore headphones. Cars and buses were observed dropping off and picking up people at tw o of the campuses. At one of the bus stops, people were busy with correspondence: one was r eading a newspaper, two were text-messaging, and one was talking on a cell phone. A small cluster of smokers was seen on one campus, maybe employees on break or students hangi ng out before or after class. Campus security officers were observed at two college campuses: one was seen at the main campus and the other at a satellite bran ch. The officers were very polite and both asked whether the researcher needed assistance. A pparently, standing motionless and gazing about made the researcher look lost. No requests for th e researcher to present identification were made, only kind offers to assist. The interactions highlighted another observa tion: groups were not readily identifiable on the campuses. Delivery driv ers were easy to spot and identify, comprising the only group accurately linked to its purpose. While many of the people were young and stereotyped by the researcher as appearing to be students based on clothing and materials carried, the faculty, staff, and others, such as service providers who may be contracted to work on the campuses, were not visually distinguishable. Peop le believed to be students could have been visitors or staff. Several peopl e were noticed wearing picture id entification cards, but it was not possible to see if the badges were for the inst itution or related to the persons place of employment elsewhere. At one location, there were signs pointi ng to the offices of a private

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89 university operating within the community colleg e; this established merely another way the population on a campus was comingled from multiple sources. At three campuses, colored flyers stapled to large polls advertised upcoming public workshops schedul ed in the days and weeks to come. The researcher was directed to a district administration office for one of the interviews. The office was not located on the colleges campus. The building occupied its own geographic space adjacent to other commercial establishments in a central location of the larger city. The parking lot required a code to rais e a gate arm, but no other security feature, such as fencing or cameras, was observable. With the proximity of other businesses, it appeared the gate allowed for parking by those who were employed in the building. Metered parking along the street was accessible. Upon entering the build ing, there was a sign-in desk; no one was at the desk during the researchers entry or exit. The general setup of the campuses visited was open and inviting. People were friendly; the grounds well maintained. Continuous movement in a variety of directions was observed. Lone people sitting or leaning ag ainst structures were noticed. Other people were seen talking on cell phones and studying in groups. The researchers journal of notes for each site was useful in validating the diversity and magnitude of the college setting. On the whole, the community college campuses were nothing more than moderate sized political subdivisions operating both private and governmental functions within larger political subdivisions (counties) that likewise operate in a terrain filled with both private and government entities. About the only thing missing within th e campus community were jails and various types of entertainment, although sports venues were qu ite prevalent. There were judicial affairs services mostly managed through offices of student affairs from what could be determined from

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90 posted signs; it appeared punishme nt by way of expulsion merely sends a student b ack into the larger community. The citizens of each community were indisti nguishable from one another, comprising the same groups moving about in a free society conducting business with and purchasing products from public and private entities The main theme that emerged from the site visits was the diversity of pedestrian traffic that flows through the comm unity college setting. Describing the Sample of Administrators The sample of administrators was comprised of nine high level college administrators in Floridas community college system. All nine pa rticipants held advanced degrees and were deans, assistant deans, provosts, or vice pres idents/directors; none were new to college administration. Demographic variables on age, sex, and ethnicity of the administrators were not relevant to the study. Each administrator needed only to be actively employed at one of the states 28 indentified campuses as enumerated on the Florida Department of Educations web page (http://www.fldoe.org/cc/colle ges.asp) and employed at the institution at the time of the Virginia Tech tragedy. The sample included representation from the southern, central, and northern parts of the state. The selection process from the described population was both rand om (n=8) and purposive (n=1). The sample was not truly representative of high level administrators working in Floridas community college system since it was not full y random. All of the administrators worked directly within the college co mmunities being examined, and their thoughts and opinions were considered invaluable to the research topic. With the extent of coverage, the group provided meaningful data on an issue that has generated a great deal of discussion: campus safety policy.

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91 Independent Sources Content Analyses of the Interviews The interviews were designed to expl ore the actions and perceptions of the administrators. Actions focused on changes to student codes of conduct, promulgation of guidelines for use of warning equipment, training modules for facu lty, and institutional preparation specific to the use and developmen t of counseling resourcesrelevant to cost containment discussed in the l iterature. Related to percepti ons were broad categories of influences and attitudes, such as views on task force recommendations, decision making styles, and campus culture, also described in the literature. The surveyed topics that generated rich responses from each respondent were assembled alphabetically and are presented below. Accreditation. The topic of whether safety planning should be made an accreditation standard was well received by each respondent. One st ated: institutionally, ab solutely. It is part of the learning process. Each favored some form of campus safety planning in the accreditation process; none detailed any specifics about what it should include. At risk. Respondents had mixed reactions about what services to provide at risk students and how to identify them. One respondent indicated that: Larger universities with medical colleges and student health centers are perhaps better suited to offer specific services, whereas we woul d be better situated to make referrals to the providers located in our community when the need presents itself. Another respondent stated that: Every establishment is vulnerable to abnor mal behavior. Communities have state funded mental health treatment facilities so attemp ting to duplicate efforts on shoestring budgets is problematic. One explained: Issues regarding how to respond to a student like this appropriately without crossing the line, without being invasive or violating a st udents privacy rights ar e being discussed. If

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92 anyone is even remotely concerned about a student, we are addressing the appropriate responses for that information. Heightened awareness of at risk students, or at least those presenting themselves to be at risk, along with appropriate res ponses to these students were c onsistent threads found in eight responses. No respondent found Appendix M in th e Virginia Tech report overly helpful after looking at it during the inte rview. One said it desc ribed every student a f aculty member has ever had and yet no student a faculty member has ever had. Five res pondents commented that Appendix M may be an effective screening tool for individual faculty in the K-12 setting. Concerns basically centered on differences between the K-12 setting and the college environment. From students who were juggling wo rk, classes, and families and the wide variety of course offerings (work force development a nd general academics) to the size and location of the classes and expertise of the faculty, three re spondents felt Appendix M a nd other lists like it were best left to intervention/cris is teams and not individual faculty. Eight of the respondents indicate d some type of apprehension regarding the at risk profile being implemented; fears related to liability that ranged from under reacting to overreacting. Comments ranged from we cant help if we don t there is a problem to do these people even belong in the academic environment, and if not, what grounds do we use to remove them? The availability of counseling resources to be of a ssistance along with how these issues were to be decided presented numerous areas of c oncern from seven of the respondents. As far as identified crisis response scenar ios, three respondents s howed the researcher flip charts; four had binders that contained va rious protocols for action/reaction scenarios. The information was mostly applicable to weathe r hazards and identified crises occurring on a campus opposed to front end identification and a ssistance with potential at risk students or scenarios that may escalate into dangerous situations.

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93 Five respondents (56%) brought up the troub ling information stream between Cho and the Virginia Tech administration that become known to the public after the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy. The majority of the responde nts (78%) expressed some concern over not wanting to unnecessarily pr ofile odd behavior. In contra st, one respondent stated: One concern was that as the Virginia Tech st ory started to unfold, it was clear that there were many warning signs in front of them but there was not enough communication to connect the dots. So what at first seemed like an utter random act of violence that no one could have ever predicated was not the case. There was instead someone who was really significantly troubled and who had demonstrated this throughout his interactions with the educational system from precollege all the way through college. During the interviews, service options for st udents thought to be at risk were explored. One respondent reported a unique arrangement th at the institution had worked out with its employee assistance program (EAP). The respondent stated that really troubled students could be referred to the EAP for assessment. The coll ege would pay the initial screening fee. The EAP arrangement was described as an institutional re sponse for a campus that did not employ mental health trained workers. The respondent indicated that the service had been used only once and that the student declined to fo llow through with treatment. As to the at risk student who chose not to participate in counseli ng, concerns regarding follow up or institutional tr acking of the student were not raised by the respondent. Three other respondents described counseling m odels at their institutions. These centers were described as places wher e students could be seen on any number of matters and provided referrals on others. Again, no criterion for follow-through of prescribed treatment was mentioned. Student codes of conduct appeared to be the guiding framework to advance a student over to judicial affairs when behavior warranted, but changes to conduct codes or updates in student rights for those individua ls identified as at risk had not been implemented since the Virginia Tech tragedy.

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94 Best practices. When asked about best practices related to campus safety, two participants provided examples from other colle ges without specifically recalling the names. One respondents institution had modeled its crisis safety team on the succe sses reported at another institution located out of state and felt the design was working well for student needs. Another indicated that Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York, had a case management team model that was reviewed for design consid erations. Other than a central reporting location, no specifics were provided. Four of the nine in terviewees (44%) indicated that the counseling referral system being used at their institutions wa s in place prior to the Virginia Tech tragedy. Three respondents discussed active classr oom models for more interactive student participation. It was explained that in active classroom settings, student personalities were more observable. One respondent pointed out that creating an active cl assroom environment in a math class was not very realistic. Differences between K-12 teachers and professo rs were also briefly mentioned by three respondents. Th e context centered on best prac tices that would work in one environment but not necessarily the other. K-12 educators were described as receiving considerable pedagogy instruction and training to r ecognize issues (child a buse) to report to the authorities. Professors (mostly ad juncts) were described as subject matter experts. The researcher linked the described respondent views to the differen t duties that exist in th e two settings and did not develop the issue further during the inte rviews. Three respondents openly questioned whether spending money on overlapping warn ing systems was a best practice. Campus culture. Queries related to campus culture engendered a diversity of responses. At the larger campuses with mu ltiple satellite offices, the re spondents at branch locations indicated that each campus had its own culture. Fo r instance, the satellite was viewed as being clannish to one respondent while the main camp us was described as market driven by another

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95 respondent. One respondent felt the local satellit e leaned towards adhocracy whereas the main branch was bureaucratic. Anot her stated it this way: It varies a great deal between each of our cam puses, as each has its own provost/president and each has its own community flavor. Our current president is very goal oriented. Planning is a big feature of what we do, so we lean toward bureaucratic and market driven in the overall context. Another respondent described her institution as consensus building with a commitment to shared governance. Clery Act. A majority of the respondents (n=5) indicated little to no personal knowledge of the mechanics of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, referred to as the Clery Act. On e believed it pertained to crime data and reports on the campus website. Three understood it encompasse d more than crime totals and that it also had a timely warning provision. Responses from those familiar with the act ranged from awareness is the key to do they [students] really need to kn ow? Two of the respondents felt their institutions had an additional obligation to advise recipients on an appropriate course of conduct in connection with the reported events. One respondent answered in the form of a question: Is it the best idea in the worl d to tell everyone there is a shooter on campus? Will everyone run out of the buildings and run to the parking lot headed for cars and off campus like maniacs? Other comments included: Damned if you do and damned if you dont. We want people to know if there is a danger on campus but we feel we are not doing due diligence if we do not have enough information to tell them what to do once they receive the information. Anecdotally, the same respondent explained: We once had an employee killed on campus. It was a domestic violence incident where the perpetrator immediately fled from campus. We called law enforcement and the officers

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96 handled the situation. So who do we tell? We dont want the campus community to unduly panic. So the issue for us is that it seems irresponsible to not provide more information. Committee work or panels. When asked whether committee work or panels had been formed to look into mental health services after the Virginia Tech tragedy, each respondent believed discussions were occurring at the state level. Althou gh not knowing the specifics, one said: I feel certain there have been discussions. Only one re spondent reported being actively engaged in a number of dialogues on the matte r. No respondent made reference to in-house studies of any nature. A respondent at a larger community college believed that growth in one type of service would positively correlate with growth in another and commented: We have recently contracted w ith an external cor poration to provide housing at one of our community college locations. As more of these housing arrangements come into existence, a push for more medical services will be forthc oming. To get any type of service, though, it will have to be a paid service and be budgeted for. Decision making. Questions related to decision making engendered a range of responses. At satellite campuses, each respondent (n=4) again offered two opinions: the way decisions were made locally and the way they were made on main campus. None of the respondents (n=5) located on main campuses qualified their answers in terms of differences in decision making styles at one location compared to the other. One respondent de scribed the directionality of decision making this way: Most major decisions are reviewed by the cabinet so they are top-down decisions that come from these 15 people before it becomes official Certain things need approval by the trustees as well. The gist for the ideas may come from the faculty, staff, and students but would be sent up for review, approval, and implementation. In a legal context, the respondent s description indicated a path way more akin to policymaking than decision making. The importance of the admi nistrative role in decision making as it relates to the operationalization of implemented polic y (specific to the power the sample of administrators engage on a regular basis) was not developed in the responses.

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97 Each respondent was aware of how the ove rall decision making process was organized in case of an emergency on campus. Flip charts provi ded details as to the chain of command and who contacts whom. Only three respondents (33%) knew the name or position of the party or parties who could issue a Clery Ac t timely warning on their campus. Dual enrollment. Community colleges have a small population of dual enrollment students who are working on completing both their high school and associates degrees at the same time. Respondents were probed as to thei r thoughts about having pup ils under the age of 18 on their campuses; the responses varied. One re spondent did not think the dual enrolled youth actually attended college campuses bu t rather the courses were offe red in the high school setting. Another respondent mentioned t echnology concerns and wondered wh ether the college should be filtering content for the under 18 population. A re spondent at a smaller campus indicated a specific resource/contact person who worked directly with the dua l enrollment students and dealt with matters as they arose. Another respondent mentioned the home schooled youth who come in quite young possessing the discipline and aptitude fo r college work and compared those students with a group of very immature dual enrolled students who had to be asked to leave after a series of childish disruptions on campus. Eight of th e nine respondents did not link age to the possibility of varying institutional duties; the one respondent who did make a connection believed the matter was handled through waivers. Forces driving change. Forces that are driving recent campus safety changes following the Virginia Tech trag edy were explored. The media was credited by each respondent in some manner as the most influential contributor. One respondent summed it up this way: There was a huge knee jerk reaction to the even ts at Virginia Tech, which was undeniably a horrific event. But much of the attention was media driven. This was not the first time multiple people were shot and killed on an academ ic campus. There is a time and a place for national attention and exposure wh ere certain events rise to the forefront of the media.

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98 Campuses responded immediately, along with state and national leaders, but there is only so much any of us can do. No respondent had personally received or was aware of any calls from students or parents following the Virginia Tech shooting. Two respondents provided the researcher with names of contact people who may have known more on the subject. The referrals indicated the respondents had not personally followed up or been advised on the matter. Online classes. The online student population is rising. Respondents were asked whether this posed new challenges in the quest to identi fy and support potential at risk students. One of the respondents felt keeping up w ith the technology was a problem. Six respondents raised issues related to difficulties in seeing overt behavior; seven felt studen t writings were revealing and provided something tangible that could be forw arded to appropriate parties. Two respondents referred to an anonymity problem; one of the two felt anonymity exists in either environment. Student conduct codes. No respondent indicated any ch anges in student codes of conduct since the Virginia Tech shootings. One felt certain that her in stitutions Noahs Ark committee and the cabinet were look ing at ways we are going to respond. Three indicated that their policies were being evaluated but had no additional information. One indicated a review was presently underway but that it was precipitated by academic dishonesty and not disruptive behavior. Two respondents believed information on community service options for students was being added. Upon further probing, it was establis hed that these respondents were specifically referring to upgrades to student handbooks as useful reference guides for the student body and had not meant conduct codes were being suppl emented. To date, no changes were shown. Safety officers. Private security with mutual aid agreements for law enforcement backup was the majority arrangement (80%). One multicampus college had its own police department; no advantages to the arrangement were menti oned or explored. Only the two respondents

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99 affiliated with the college with sw orn officers showed support for the control prong view to the Clery Act. No respondent with private security arrangements i ndicated any dissatisfaction or desire to change to sworn officers. One respondent at a campus with priv ate security was aware of a new position that was created in response to concerns raised by the Virginia Tech tragedy. The institutional goal in bringing a security specialist in was to oversee safety functions more closely. The responde nt explained: This new person is to report to the director of risk management and is in charge of parking, security, and safety. The person hired has a str ong safety background. It used to be that all these functions fell under the di rector of risk management who has about 1000 other things to consider. So these services were not getti ng a single-minded approach or the attention felt needed at the time. Each respondent indicated close relationships with local law enforcement agencies, whether having sworn officers or not. The local law enfor cement responses were described as reliable by each respondent. The majority (n=7) indicated the response times were very quick: reasons clustered around speculation of proximity (n=4) to good relations (n=3). No respondent reported anything negative from the use of security pers onnel who do not carry weapons or have arrest powers. Two respondents described community-ori ented type policing approaches and spoke highly of the arrangements. Student records/privacy laws/sharing. When queried about stude nt records and privacy laws, the responses varied considerably in some areas and were uniform in another. For example, eight of the respondents did not believe law enforcement should ha ve access to student records; this opinion was shared by respondents at the college having sworn officers. It should be noted that one respondent was not dir ectly asked this question. Of th e eight who were, no respondent could think of a legitimate educational purpose for law enforcement to have access to student records. Four respondents were aware of FERPA and its emergency disclosure provision; these

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100 respondents believed the acts guidelines were su fficient for them to provide information on a need-to-know basis. One respondent indicated attending legal conferen ces and workshops and believed she has always interpreted FERPA the co rrect way. The responde nt explained that she trains the registrar and student phone operators on the topic and indicated the college provides good information under the mandates of the legi slation. The response appeared limited to information the institution would divulge upon re quest opposed to direct observations regarding a students behavior that the institution could legally disclose to parents and prope r authorities. Concerns were raised by three responde nts who mentioned high school transcripts and counseling services or accommodations that ma y have been provided to a student throughout precollege matriculation. This was an issue ra ised in the Virginia Tech Report. These respondents explained that their in stitutions would not be interest ed in screening out students for admission because of enhancements noted on tran scripts but would desire a coding tool to institutionally spot students who may be candida tes for adjustment issues. The same respondents knew front end information was only available if a student voluntarily disclosed or when a problem arose and the institution later determined the need to request the information after admission. Time, need, and expense were listed as factors that would not allow an institution to be pulling complete records on all students once admitted. One respondent stated: As it stands now, we have to wait until something very te lling or bad happens before we can become interested. Another indicated: the system feeds the problem. The disjunction in records between the precollege and college setting was re ferred to by one respondent as the gap: what happens in K-12 stays in K-12. How the inform ation would be managed was not disclosed. Six respondents referred to information shari ng in the context of providing resources to students. One respondent discussed storage and re trieval, as well as compliance with document

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101 retention, indicating the need for more complete backup systems and integration. Two respondents indicated concerns as to what to do with particular type s of information if it were to become known, such as illegal conduct in a stud ents past. One respondent indicated institutional concerns as to whether the college would beco me liable for information contained in student background checks that were required for clini cal programs. What to do with disqualifying background information for a program was causing angst: indicating confusion between the negligent hiring concerns of employers versus possible omissions on institutional applications. Reports: Strengths and weaknesses. Responses related to the strengths and weaknesses of the two task force reports generated a va riety of themes related to the findings and recommendations. Seven respondents had not personall y read either the Task Force Report or the Virginia Tech Report but had been briefed in some manner on one or both. Two respondents received their information on the reports from th e media entirely. Five indicated that newspaper articles and media clips supplemented their knowle dge of the reports and kept them informed on the issues. Overall, two respondents thought the recommendations in Task Force Report did not apply well to community colleges. Three did not think the Task Force Report was applicable to them at all. Two believed their campus cabin et was still reviewing the information. One respondent clearly knew the re port applied because of a board members concern. One respondent summed it up this way: sometimes when these reports come out, they are not all that helpful. You can help along campus safety, but you cannot insure it. Related to security features discussed in the Task Force Report, all the participants indicated some form of new technology purchase, such as up graded emergency notification systems, following the Virginia Tech tragedy. Comments indicated momentum toward completing blast e-mail capability, text messa ging, installing voice capable sirens, and

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102 revamping web pages with emergency informati on. Three respondents addi tionally talked about door locks; one respondent mentioned that costs for upgraded phone systems were being exploreddescribing the present phone setup as one that al lowed calls out but not in, meaning emergency information could not be forwarde d through the classroom phone system for people located in other parts of a building close to an unfolding event. Another respondent elaborated on numerous features being im plemented and explained: One method being explored is having colleges join forces for the creation of purchasing contracts to obtain security equipment and contracts at reduced rates. This RFI buying power will allow us to secure better technology for our campus es. The services will cost each campus somewhere between a quarter of a million dollars annually to maintain after the initial expenses to instal l the technology. We have audio sirens now but we are looking at installing a new fire alarm system that wi ll allow voice warnings also, which we hope to be able to restrict to particul ar buildings and even specific floors within a particular building when the system is up and running. By having as many tiers as possible, we are hoping to keep the members of our community as safe as possible. The emergency systems are for all types of incidents and occurrences, such as weat her events or distressed students. We have also implemented a full disaster recovery site for our computer data and records that has full backup with triple redundanc y. All files are protected, so we feel well covered. Three respondents felt the equipment was excessive in light of other needs. Another stated: Essentially, what is happening is that we are seeing expenditu res on devices that are used after someone has already been shot or killed on campus rather than dealing with the front end. It would be great if we could get those f unds and try to identify and help these students. One respondent indicated text messaging is no t a particularly eff ective means of getting information to students. No respondent mentioned the development of guidelines for informing the campus community of when warnings throug h the systems would issue; no respondent was aware of any existing lists. On the topic of faculty roles for at risk student identification, each expressed some type of concern. Referral to some entity was viewed by eight of the respondents as the proper faculty role. One respondent described it as a percolation process, explaining the need is to create a place where the information can percolate up beca use low and behold, it usually does turn out

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103 that the student is not just making suicidal thre ats or acting strangely in one class. Getting the information to converge in the institutional envi ronment was the recognized challenge by the majority (n=8). No respondent felt the need fo r special courses and training for faculty; three talked about the logistical improbabilities of implementing such a plan. Eight believed the facultys role should be one of re ferral to the program director or department chair. One summed the matter up as follows: Attempting to provide a program for a faculty of our size, especially th e number of adjuncts and people who teach only one class a semest er and who have absolutely no training in these aspectsno training in behavioral issues, is not something to be engaged in. It would be like giving them a license and letting them arrest people. Referrals up to department chairs who then must provide the information to some type of central crisis team intake mechanism was thought the mo st practical solution by three respondents. Open-coding As the interview data were compared, two emergent themes evolved: legal literacy/responsibility and resources. To validate the interviews themselves, additional data points are introduced in this sec tion consisting of three sections of independent content analyses. Subcategories related to the data points began to illuminate the properties and dimensions of the factors being investigat ed. Creswell (2002) indicates that [ p]roperties are subcategories in grounded theory of open codes that serve to provide more detail about each category (p. 441). Content Analysis of Newspaper Articl es Pertaining to Campus Shootings The interviews revealed th e belief that the Virginia Tech tragedy was not the only campus mass shooting event on record. A search of articles pertaini ng to higher education campus shooting incidents in th e United States and Canada was conducted for purposes of analysis. The articles provided information on th e (a) perpetrators gender and age, (b) their affiliations to the institutions where the shootings occurred, (c) types of weapons used, (d)

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104 whether suicide followed, and (e) the approximate year of the incidents. These articles were not meant to be an exhaustive representation nor were they used for their accuracy or reliability. The main purpose in reviewing them was to determine the most common relationship between the shooter and the campus. The articles further validated th at the Virginia Tech tragedy was not the first time multiple deaths had occurred on a college campus from a shooter. Listing the events chronologically, the most recent campus shooting reviewed occurred at Northern Illinois University (NIU) of Febr uary 14, 2008. Including himself, Stephen P. Kazmierczak took the lives of seven people. Repo rts indicate that Kazmierczak was a Caucasian, 27-year-old, NIU graduate student who began havi ng difficulty in some classes, failing two and receiving an incomplete in another. He reporte dly left NIU in the spring 2007 semester to attend the University of Illinois (Heinzmann, Zorn, & Long, 2008). Personal information confirmed by authorities indicated that Kazmierczak was pr escribed Prozac and had stopped taking it two weeks before he walked into a crowded lecture hall, dressed in black, and began firing at the students in attendance (Illinois Shooting, 2008). On February 8, 2008, Latina Williams walked into a second-floor nursing class at a Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge, fired six rounds, killed two students, reloaded her .357 revolver and killed herself. Reports indica te that Williams was a 23-years-old, African American student at the college. No additional information was availabl e other than speculation about whether the two victims in a room of 20 were targeted (W oman Kills, 2008). The Virginia Tech Report (2007) indicates that on April 16, 2007, Seung Hui Cho, a 23year-old, undergraduate senior of Korean decent attending Vi rginia Tech, murdered Emily Hilscher in her dorm room at West Ambler Johnst on residential hall at 7:15 a.m. Seconds later, Cho also murdered Ryan Clark, who may have responded to the noise. At 9:01 a.m., Cho mailed

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105 a package to NBC News. From 9:40 a.m. until approximately 9:51 a.m., Cho began shooting inside classrooms in another location, Norri s Hall, after he had s ecured three downstairs entranceways with locks and chains. Cho placed a bomb threat in one of the sets of chains (p. 90). By the time Cho took his own life at 9:51 a. m., he had killed 30 people in Norris Hall and wounded 17 others. Thirty-one bodie s were left to be identified once law enforcement made its way to the second floor classrooms where Cho had ope ned fire and later killed himself. The total loss of human life was 33 people including Cho. Mu ltiple news sources and the Virginia Tech Report (2007, pp. 89-91) state that Cho had been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in his youth, received special services throughout his el ementary and secondary education, and was court ordered for a mental evaluation in 2005 following a report of stalking. In Montreal, Quebec, 25-year-old Kimveer G ill, described with a Mohawk hairstyle and wearing a black trench coat, opened fire on students at Dawson College on September 13, 2006. Gill wounded 19 people and amazingl y only killed one victim alt hough others received multiple gunshot wounds. Gill carried a suicide note and took his own life after being hit by police gunfire. Gill was not a student at Dawson College and no explanation was provided as to why he was at the institution. Plans found in Gills personal effects allegedly indicat ed he planned to kill at other institutions (n.d., http://en.w ikipedia.org/wiki/Daw son_College_shooting). A male nursing student killed three instruct ors on October 28, 2002 at the University of Arizona then committed suicide. Robert S. Flor es, Jr. was described as a 40-year-old veteran who had numerous problems ranging from a failed marriage, failing health, and failing grades. He left a suicide note and sent a 22-page list of grievances to a newspaper, arriving the day after his deadly event, which began Greetings from the dead (nytimes.com, 2002).

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106 On January 16, 2002, Peter Odighizuwa, a 43-ye ar-old, Nigerian law student opened fire with a .38 caliber pistol at the Appalachian Sc hool of Law. When the rampage was over, the despondent law student had taken the lives of two professors and a student (Beach, 2002, p. 32). Fellow students are reported to have jumped hi m to end the siege. Odighizuwa received multiple life sentences for his actions (n.d., ht tp://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/01/16/ law.school.shooting/). In a random act of violence, Donald Cowan, 55 years of age, killed an associate music professor of Pacific Lutheran University on May 17, 2001. The professor was on a walkway outside of one of the universitys dorms, wher e he was shot four times by an assailant unknown to him (Professor Slain, 2001). A 37-year-old male doctoral student shot and killed an English professor before taking his own life on the University of Arkansas campus in August 2000 (Professor Shot, 2000). No additional information was provided. San Diego State University was the scene of a triple homicide on August 15, 1996. In this event, a disgruntled graduate student, 36-year-o ld Frederick Davidson, killed three engineering professors during his thesis defense (Rose, 1996). Davidson received a life sentence. In a separate shooting episode, an e ngineering professor was killed wh ile administering a final exam in the fall of 1998 (Professor Shot, 1998). In 1995, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported that a 45-year-old ex-research assistant, John Costalupes, opened fire at poin t blank range on a professor who managed to survive the attack. The motivation for the attack was listed as an unspecified grudge. Costalupes was allegedly vocal in his inst itutional dissatisfacti on and enumerated his grievances in a 1994 Start Tribune article where he complained that the overall academic medioc rity of the university

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107 is not so much a problem as it is th e consequence of misman agement by a top-heavy, Byzantine bureaucracy (Duchschere, 1995, p. 2B). On August 24, 1993, a 53-year-old former mech anical engineering a ssociate professor, Valery Fabrikant, was charged with four counts of first degree murder. Fabrikant shot and killed his department chair and thr ee colleagues/professors as he strolled through Concordia Universitys Hall building armed with a gun (Mennie, 1993). It was indicated that Fabrikant had been denied tenure and was angry at the faculty. Fabrikant now allegedly publishes and continues his research from prison (n.d., http: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valery_Fabrikant). A graduated doctoral student at the University of Iowa returned the next semester and on November 1, 1999, killed five people before turn ing a gun on himself. Gang Lu, a 28-year-old from China, armed with two revolvers, a .38 a nd a .22, proceeded to Van Allen Hall where he shot members of his dissertation committee for al legedly failing to accord his dissertation the prestigious honors he believed it deserved (n.d., http://en.wikiped ia.org/wiki/Gang_Lu). In 1989, a shooting quite similar in many resp ects to the Virginia Tech massacre occurred at the Ecole Polytechnique College in Montreal, Quebec. On December 6, Marc Lpine, 25 years of age, armed himself with a semi-automatic rifle and a hunting knife then went on a rampage that killed 14 women (12 engineering stude nts, one nursing student, and one university employee) and injured 14 other people (4 ma le students and 10 female students) before committing suicide. Lpine started his slaughter in a second floor mechanical engineering class, moved down stairs to the cafeteria where he kill ed and injured more people, then made his way up to the third floor to kill and injure others. He left a suicide note cl aiming political motives, mentioning also that feminists had ruined his life The police released information on Lpine that indicated he began his studies in a pre-university program in th e pure sciences in 1982, switching

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108 a year later to a three year vocational electronics technol ogy program, abandoning the program in his final semester. In 1986, Lpine was provi sionally admitted to Ecole Polytechnique; he completed one of two required science prep co urses (n.d., http://archives.radio-canada.ca/IDD-013-382/desastres_tragedies/pol ytechnique/; n.d., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89cole _Polytechnique_massacre). In the years since the s hootings, several students in attendance at the time have committed suicide. Others advocated for more stringent gun control legislation: Canadas Firearms Act passed in 1995 (n.d., http://archives.cbc.ca/IDC-1-70-3982241/disasters_tragedies/montreal_massacre/clip7). California State University, Fullerton, was the scene of a mass murder on July 12, 1976. Edward Charles Allaway, a 37-year-old Caucasia n male and university custodian, opened fire with a .22 caliber rifle. Roaming the halls of th e library, he killed seve n people and injured two others. Allaway was apprehended by police an d found not guilty by reason of insanity (n.d., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Charles_Alla way). In a petition for release, Allaways experts indicated that his para noid schizophrenia was in remissi on; the Fourth District held Allaway still posed a danger to society. The Calif ornia Supreme Court deni ed Allaways petition for review in 1998 (CA Supreme Court Minutes, March 18, 1998, Dkt. S067722). He remains at Patton State Hospital in San Bern adino County where he is eligib le to apply for release every year (2006, http://media.www.dailytitan.com /media/storage/paper861/news/2006/05/15/ News/History.Of.A.Cal.State. Fullerton.Killer-1996812.shtml). The University of Texas tower shooti ngs occurred on August 1, 1966. Charles Joseph Whitman, a 25-year-old University of Texas, Austin, student killed 14 people and wounded 31 others after he had killed his wife and mother at home earli er that morning. Armed with a hunting rifle and a rented hand truck filled with supplies, Whitman met with campus security and

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109 obtained a parking pass, claiming he had a delivery to make. Whitman made his way to the observation deck of the universitys 32 story administration building, referred to as the tower. He engaged in fire for 96 minutes. Although carrying a suicide note, Whitman was eventually killed by law enforcement: the buildings design provin g problematic. An autopsy confirmed Whitman had a brain tumor; reports indicate d he was in declining health (n.d., http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious _murders/mass/whitman/index_1.html.). The list of campus shooters was not comprehensive, but it was revealing. Table 4-1 ( infra p. 119) provides an overview of the 16 shooters found in the search. Removed from the data were reports of deaths li nked directly to domestic violen ce and individual suicides. The remaining events show that shooters (mass or ot herwise) come from all walks of life: students (n=11), employees (n=2), and the general public/r andom (n=1). The majority of shooters (94%) were male (n=15), one was female (n=1). All used a firearm, although some, such as Cho and Lpine, also brought knives. Most we re educated at an advanced level. The styles of the killings resembled executions. Only the female shooter wa s identified as African American; the majority (67%) were Caucasian (n=9), French (n=2), unsp ecified (n=2), Nigerian (n=1), Korean (n=1), and Chinese (n=1). The majority (71%) committe d suicide (n=10). The mean age was 32.6 years; the mode was 25; the range 23 to 55. Socioecono mic disadvantage did not appear relevant. No gang connections or drug problems were reference d. Five of the shooters were stated as having biological infirmities ranging from a brain tumor to psychological disorders. The increase in the frequency of multiple shootings reported in the news over the last decade was notable. Half of the shootings covered a 32-year time span (1966-1998) while the other half occurred in an eight year period (2000-2008).

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110 The emergent theme was the internal rela tionship between the s hooter and the campus. The majority of the shooters had some connection to the campus as students or former students (n=11) and employees (n=2). In sp ite of the diversity of pedestri an traffic noted in the campus milieu section, only one event in the media repor ts described an external, random shooter. Content Analysis of Virginia Tech Report In June 2007, Virginias governor commissione d a panel to review the Virginia Tech shooting incident (Va. Exec. Order No. 53). By August 2007, the Virginia Tech Report was completed. The report contains 11 chapters and 14 appendixes. Of the 25 sections examined, seven were believed relevant to the focus of this study: chap ter two university setting and security; chapter four mental health history of Seung Hui Cho; chapter five information privacy laws; chapter six gun purchase and campus policies; chapter seven double murder at West Ambler Johnston; chapter eight mass murd er at Norris Hall; and appendix H explanation of FERPA and HIPAA laws. These sections varied in emphasis, but two modes of presentation were apparent: descriptive and informational. Chapter two: University setting and security. The reports basic details provide a picture of the universitys setting, including buildi ng and security features that existed at the college at the time of the mass murder on April 16, 2007. The chapter concludes with recommendations that were informational a nd emphasized only opinions as to what the university did right and wrong. The report showed that Virginia Tech did not train staff or students for emergency situations (p. 17). The report also indicated that Virginia Techs response plan did not include provisions for a shooting scenario and did not place police high enough in the emergency decision-making hierarchy ( id. ): the first assertion was presented as a discovered fact while the second portion of the statement was pr esented as an opinion. In Florida, the type of decision making indicated could be considered operational and subject to liability (i nfra, p. 143;

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111 Trianon Park Condo. Assoc., Inc., v. City of Hialeah 468 So. 2d 912 (Fla. 1985); Kaisner v. Kolb 543 So. 2d 732 (Fla. 1989)). Thus, legal literacy and the role of law enforcement were the emergent themes. Chapter four: Mental health history of Seung Hui Cho. Three themes evolved in this section. The first theme was familial support. Chos elementary and secondary educational experiences described active family and instit utional support to help Cho overcome numerous obstacles. With special accommodations and co unseling services thr oughout his high school curriculum, Cho graduated with a 3.52 grade poi nt average and did well on his SAT exams. The reports authors believing that C hos grades and test scores were substantially modified for Cho due to the legally mandated accommodations for hi s emotional disability, his grades appeared higher than they otherwise would have been ( p. 37). This view revealed the second theme: educational records. The report focused on the re dacted K-12 school records that are forwarded to prospective colleges upon app lication although Virginia Tech had more than enough time to pull complete records had it been so inclined. Th e report also initially sought to explore the relevance of a sudden change of major; however, the authors were led to believe this was not a red flag based on the number of students w ho change majors (stated as over 40%). The third identified theme was communica tion. Chos higher educ ation career began exhibiting a pattern of troublesome behavior. Facu lty explored class disruption in the student handbook but never filed any written reports. The universitys care team was aware of Chos behavior but felt hampered by overly strict inte rpretations of federal a nd state privacy laws (p. 52). Deans, student affair personnel, and a provost were all apprised of Chos angry writings and troubling nature but did nothing. Residence Life was info rmed of multiple reports and concerns expressed over Chos behavior in the dorm (p. 52). On Nov. 27 and Dec. 12, 2005, the

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112 Virginia Tech police received calls indicating Cho had bothered/ harassed two female students. Other than speaking with him, no charges or referrals to judicial affairs resulted. Cho sent a suicidal message and was taken by Virginia Tech police for assessment. Chos parents were not contacted. At his commitment hearing, Cho chose not to divulge information about himself. The report claims psychiatrists were unable to gather collateral inform ation because of privacy laws (yet for what use or from where they would ha ve gathered the information was not provided in the report). The intake evaluato r found Cho mentally ill but not a present and imminent danger to himself or others. The special justice ruled Cho prese nted an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness and ordered him to outpatient treatment (p. 48). Cho was accepted as a voluntary patient at Cook Counseling Center, m eaning no notice to the court was required for failure to attend sessions or to make follow up appointments. Upon return to campus, Virginia Tech did not arrange for follow up or tracking of Chos progress or condition. Chos family was never apprised of any of thes e events (pp. 31-53). Communication within the institution and to Chos parents was demonstrated as being severely flawed. Chapter five: Information privacy laws. Four categories of record s were identified: law enforcement records, court records, medical in formation records, and educational records. HIPAA, FERPA, and Virginia state law privacy provisions were examined in the report. The report found widespread lack of understanding, conflicting practi ce, and laws that were poorly designed to accomplish their goals (p. 63). In cont rast, the report went on to state that the university had interpreted provisions too narrowly and confus ed observable actions with educational records (pp. 49-60). The reports fi ndings invalidate its proffered conclusory statement that the reviewed laws were poorly designed to accomplish their goals. The report

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113 summarizes conflicting practices, le gal literacy deficits, and nume rous management errors. The single theme of legal literacy emerged. Chapter six: Gun purchase and campus policies. The report indicates that there are firearm transactions that require no backgr ound checks under Virginia law. Transactions by collectors at gun shows, sales by pr ivate collectors, and personal gifts of weapons are exempted (p. 72). There are no restrictions on who can purchase ammunition (p. 74). Forms related to gun purchases ask applicants to answ er certain questions regarding mental health (assumes people intent on killing will answer truthfully). The Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE), a division of Virginias state poli ce, coordinates criminal background checks (p. 72). Court clerks are required to certify a form regarding involuntary mental health admission dispositions, but ambiguity existed as to who actually completes the form. Without a certified form, information could not be forwarded to CCRE. Employees not ta king the initiative to br ing process flaws to the courts or a supervisors a ttention were revealed. The import ance of this section does not relate to gun availability sin ce one can easily be acquired with out filling out any forms. The general process errors and lack of communication between internal constituents in a government agency were significant. Proce ss within government agencies was the theme that repeated. Chapter seven: Double murder at West Ambler Johnston. This section details the initial two murders that were discovered in West Ambler Johnston hours before the Norris Hall mass murder. One victim had a boyfriend who wa s known to own a gun and practice with it on a range, so he became the person of interest Law enforcement told the universitys Policy Group that they had a good lead and that the person of interest was probably not on campus (p. 79). Without having any suspect in custody, a Clery Act timely warning was not issued to the universitys population. Two hours af ter the first murders, the agencys premature conclusion

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114 proved wrong and devastating. The Clery Acts timely warning provision and legal literacy emerged as themes. Chapter eight: Mass murder at Norris Hall. This section provides an overview of a methodical and well planned execution. Cho killed hi s first two victims, mailed a video tape to a local news agency, locked and chained three se ts of doors on the buildi ng he targeted. With a light coat covering a shooting vest and a backpa ck filled with ammunition and supplies (p. 89), Cho did not stand out during any of his prepar ations. Cho placed a bomb threat note at one entrance indicating a bomb would detonate if the chain was removed (p. 89). The note was removed by a faculty member and ta ken to a third floor deans office. Before authorities were contacted about the bomb threat, Cho began his rampage (p. 90). The doors to the classrooms did not have locks; the design of second floor window s was not conducive to easy escape (p. 93). No ledges or outside ladders existe d. Barricading, jumping, and play ing dead were the victims options as Cho wandered through rooms and down halls firing his weapons: a 9 mm Glock and a .22 caliber Walther (p. 92). Outside, police struggled to get in. Unsuccessful at the three chained entrances, they moved to a fourth door and shot it open. Exiting the building appeared equally troublesome: survivors were sent down stairway s leading to the chaine d doors while the police swept for a second shooter (p. 97). The emergent theme was again pro cess within government agencies. Appendix H: Explanation of FERPA and HIPAA laws. This section explains that FERPA applies to all education records, and HIPAA governs health information. The summary offers some bullets on what can a nd cannot be disclosed and to whom. The report attempts to clarify confusion as to what information the fe deral acts include and exclude for sharing along an institutions information network. The appendix is an attempt to explain some of the mechanics

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115 of the legislation, indicating th at medical privacy laws govern written and oral information related to and gained during th e course of treatment but ex clude personal observations and conversations between a student and a faculty member. The report states that neither HIPAA nor FERPA prevents a faculty member, administra tor, or member of law enforcement from contacting an adult students pa rents and reporting troubling behavi ors that they have witnessed. FERPA also allows schools to release educat ional information to parents who claim adult students as dependents for tax purposes (p. 70). FERPA does not apply to law enforcement records created for law enforcement purposes (p 66). According to the overview, a copy of a police report shared with the schoo l would be subject to FERPA, but the original maintained by the law enforcement agency would not (p. 66). As such, Virginia Techs law enforcement personnel were not prevented from contacting Chos parents and informing them of the complaints female students had made about hi s behavior during the fall 2005 semester (2007, p. 66). Emergent themes were legal literacy, communication, and process within government agencies. Content Analysis of Floridas Task Force Report In response to the Virginia Tech trag edy, Floridas governor promulgated Executive Order No. 07-77 and commissioned a task forc e: (A) to improve communication and collaboration between educati on, mental health, law enforcem ent and emergency management agencies; and (B) specifically to (1) identify students who pose a risk, (2) identify methods of notification during emergency situations, (3) id entify strategies for improving cross-agency communications, and (4) identify necessary im provements for training of law enforcement officials and first responders to crisis situations (2007). Florida Executive Order No. 07-78 (2007) designated the committee membership of the task force. Members were as follows: the Secretary of the Department of Children and Families;

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116 the Director of the Office of Drug Control Policy; the Commissi oner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; the Director of the Department of Emergency Management; the Chancellor for the State University System; Florida State University Chief of Po lice; a designee of the Attorney General of Florida; a nd two students representatives, one from a two-year college and one from a four-year co llege or university. After numerous public hearings on the issue of campus safety, the task force grouped the responses and concerns into the following four break-out categories: p revention, intervention, response, and aftermath (pp. 2-3). On May 24, 2007, the task force presented its written findings and recommendations. For the most part, the task force delegated to the State University system, the Division of Community Colleges, and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida th e undertaking of determining ways to increase the funding dedicated to campus mental health and wellness needs, incl uding community education (p. iii). The report suggested that these agencies examine the f easibility of mutual aid agreements between campuses to provide or augment mental health se rvices (p. iii). The Sta te University System [was] charged with establishing a legal working group to provide guidelines and best practices for the sharing of mental health information c oncerning at risk students (p. iv) and campus mental health centers [were instructed to] deve lop a protocol for the exchange of information with local mental health provide rs regarding individuals who mi ght pose a danger to themselves or others (p. v). Each college and university was encouraged to develop a multidisciplinary crisis management team, integrating and ensuri ng communication between the university law enforcement or campus security agency, student affairs, residential hous ing, counseling center, health center, legal counsel, a nd any other appropriate campus enti ties to review individuals and

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117 incidents which indicate at risk behavior (p. v). Furthermore, upon the addition of any emergency notification systems or devices, the individual institution [was encouraged] to undertake an extensive awareness campaign to educate the campus community about its use ( id .). Other recommendations in cluded the addition of an Introduction to Mental Health course as part of the undergraduate curriculum for all students and programs targeting everything from suicide prevention to date rape ( id .). The Department of Children and Families, the agency responsible for mental health care pursuant to Floridas Mental He alth Act Florida Mental Health Act or Baker Act, Chapter 394, Fla. Stat. (2007), was charged with improving mental health servic es and to particularly target K-12, college, and university initiatives in pr eventing underage drinki ng, substance abuse, suicide, bullying, domestic and dating violence, and other violent or destructive behavior (p. ix). The agency was to further develop a long-te rm strategy to reduce the gap in available treatment (id .). Rather than a coordinated effort without overlap, the task force allocated its charge to multiple agencies and committees to develop prot ocols to identify students who pose a risk and to identify strategies for improving cross-agen cy communications. No theory or structured guidelines were provided. Each agency was left free to develop its own definition of at risk, which begets confusion, and its own protocols for information re lays. No indication of what other agencies were permitted to do with the encouraged transfers of information was provided. In sum, the overarching themes of the re port were communication and process within government agencies. Triangulation: Finding Consistencies in the Data In order to validate the interviews and the i ssues raised in them, three other data points were used for content analysis and consisted of (1) newspaper articles pertaining to college

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118 shooting incidents; (2) the Virginia Tech Repor t (2007); and (3) the Floridas Task Force Report (2007). The high level administrators who participated in the study supplied the foundation for understanding the larger issue of campus safety planning. By interviewing only those at the practitioner leveladministrators actually on a campus dealing with the day to day issues that ariserich description was provide d of not only their opinions and attitudes of the campus safety planning considerations but also of the building setting and th e population that moves through it and around it on a regular basis. Because respond ents attitudes and opinions on the topic as a single data point may be considered invalid, other data points used for exploring unknown factors and their influences on th e situation were critical. These descriptive avenues provided the framework from which the themes emerged. Summary Consistent them es emerged from analyzing the c ontent of selected data sources relative to campus shootings and campus safety planning. Emer gent main themes were: legal literacy and communication. Supplemental themes identified in no particular order included: (1) the role of law enforcement, (2) familial support, (3) educational records, (4) process within government agencies, (5) Clery Act timely warnings, (6) resour ces, (7) relationship of shooter to campus, and (8) the diversity of pedestrian traffic. Examining the topic from multiple angles allowed for the discovery of divergence and overlap. The addition al data points selected for the study provided details of the policy process, validated findings from the interviews, and supplied the base to ground the emergent theory discussed in Chapter 5.

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119 Table 4-1. Campus Shooters Year Age Gender Weapon Affiliation Deaths Suicide 2008 27 Male Firearm Student 6 Yes 2008 23 Female Firearm Student 2 Yes 2007 23 Male Firearm Student 32 Yes 2006 25 Male Firearm None 1 Yes 2002 43 Male Firearm Student 3 No 2002 40 Male Firearm Student 3 Yes 2001 55 Male Firearm Not Indicated 1 No 2000 37 Male Firearm Student 1 Yes 1998 --Firearm -1 No 1996 36 Male Firearm Student 3 No 1995 45 Male Firearm Student 1 No 1993 53 Male Firearm Professor 4 No 1991 28 Male Firearm Graduate 5 Yes 1989 25 Male Firearm Student 14 Yes 1976 37 Male Firearm Custodian 7 No 1966 25 Male Firearm Student 14 Yes/ by cop

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120 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS The purpose of this study was to contextu alize, understand, and interpret the dynamics related to the advances of campus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy. The specific aim was to identify practice areas and fact ors that are in need of policymaker attention. The researcher sought to explicate themes that transcend the subject of campus safety as indicated in interviews and recent gubernat orial reports and link them with operational considerations concentrated in the three res earch questions that structured the study: (1) What actions concerning campus safety we re developed as a result of the Virginia Tech tragedy? (2) What actions concerning st udent mental health issues we re developed as a result of the Virginia Tech tragedy? (3) What are the benefits and limitations of the recommendations found in the Task Force Report as they relate to the community college? Four areas were considered relevant and gui ded the setup of the exploratory examination: mental health considerations, Clery Act cons iderations, litigation concerns, and privacy concerns. The central question framing the study was What factors in campus safety policy following the Virginia Tech tragedy create the most problems in design or implementation for Floridas community college system? The results of each question were shaped by the conceptual model of the institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework (Ost rom, 2007) and are addressed individually in this chapter. The studys design accommodated the community coll ege as the action arena; the administrators as the actors. Actions and pe rceptions were examined through clusters of variables that described the pa rticipants, action-outcomes, info rmation, and control. Themes specific to these variables were explored in rela tion to the unit of anal ysis: the Virginia Tech tragedy.

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121 The lack of theory driven practice and the nonexistence of measurable goals stood out as the major factors in need of po licymaker attention. Related factors creating problems in campus safety policy design and implementation at th e community college level were found in the interplay between the general deficit of actions focused toward dangerous situation avoidance and the administrative actors level of legal liter acy as to how liability attaches, as well as an appreciation of the harms that can be reasonably prevented o pposed to those that cannot. Back end emergency response mechanisms were the favored policy action. Proactive initiatives more specific to the avoidance of da ngerous situations that emerge from within the campus community were scarce and found only with in crisis management teams, which several respondents indicated existe d prior to the Virginia Tech tragedy. The cris is teams appeared to have no follow through responsib ilities, yet the review of campus mass murders found in the media indicated that the majority of shooters had some type of relationship with their targeted institutions. This section cont ains a discussion of the findings along with noted limitations, implications for policy and practice, a nd recommendations for future research. Discussion of the Findings The findings of the study were based on the de scriptive content contained in adm inistrative interviews, state commissioned reports, and ne wspaper articles specific to campus shootings. Sorting potential campus safety conc erns into the four identified cl usters of factors presented in Chapter 1 (mental health considerations, Cler y Act considerations, li tigation concerns, and privacy concerns) allowed the researcher to establish a foundation fr om which to develop themes. The conceptual framework outlined in Ch apter 3 provided the structure for exploring the significance of the findings.

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122 Grounded Theory: Agenda Setting The researcher sought to determ ine what theory was driving the present policy planning process and how success or failure of plans was to be determined. The literature review in Chapter 2 indicated numerous studie s have delved into the topic of organizational effectiveness. Missing from the studies was a dimension specific to crisis management or efforts to measure the quality of informational relays across the campus environment. Meanwhile, the direction of numerous recommendations found in state commi ssioned reports appeared more illusory than functional. One possible reason for this state of affairs was found in the study: the data showed that agenda-setting theory best explains the pro cesses that have occurred in Floridas college safety planning venues. Agenda setting was prevalent in the majority of topics explored. In the context of the Virginia Tech shootings, newspapers first drew attention to ho w a South Korean English major once declared to be a danger to himself and orde red to receive outpatient mental health treatment in 2005 later purchased weapons from a licen sed gun dealer (Luo, 2007). Missteps in Chos gun application process were a hot topic in numerous media outlets. Conversely, a once popular topic of investigative reporting wa s how easily weapons could be acquired on the black market, through straw purchases, or on street corners where crack is sold ( e.g., see Noyes, n.d.; Cork, 1999). Information on how many crimes out of repor ted total crime figures occur with legally acquired guns was not discussed. The Virginia Tech Report (2007) pointed out that personnel gifts and sales by private collectors did not require background checks in Virginia (p. 72). Another media focus was students rally ing to carry handguns on campus. A public session at the University of North Florida s howed advocacy for allowing concealed weapon permit holders to carry a con cealed handgun on Floridas college campuses (p. 20). Floridas Task Force Report (2007) drew attention to the fact that case law allows narrowly tailored

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123 restrictions of gun carrying in the campus environment (p. 5). As for Floridas concealed weapons statute, dialogue was not found indicati ng that the statute allows the carrying of nonprojectile stun guns or nonlet hal electric weapons (as cla ssified by the manufacturers) by registered students, employees, or faculty provid ed the person is licensed to carry a weapon as per 790.06(12), Fla. Stat. (2007). The stun gun provisi on does not apply to pr ofessional athletic events or inside the passenger terminal area in any airport ( id. ). And in some states, these devices are banned from public use entirely ( e.g., NY, NJ, MA, MI). It would appear that students in Florida have more options for self-protection on college campuses than students in other states, but news articles discussing whether college regulations ar e allowing or disallowing these devices were not located, nor was coverage on st udents thoughts and atti tudes on the issue. In contrast to what has been mentioned in news outlets are other matters that have not received equal coverage: this finding linke d to policy considerations be cause the majority (n=5) of interviewed respondents indicated that the media was keeping them informed of the issues. The handling of at risk students also app eared media developed. As media attention focused on mentally ill college students, stat e educational representatives responded back. Florida's State University System Chancello r Mark Rosenberg started a dialogue focused primarily on profiling and ways to identify troubled students "and remove them when necessary" (Emerson, 2007). Recognizing problems with the direction being asserted, Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) is sued warnings through the media for educators to not ove rreact and engage in unnecessary profiling (Shern, 2007). One possible way to interpret findings associat ed with the direction news coverage has taken would be to assert that it was alarming. Rosenbergs alleged statements were reminiscent of the dialogue that ensued following the establishment of the 1956 Florida Legislative

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124 Investigative Committee, also known as the John s Committeenamed after Senator Charley E. Johns of Starke. The Johns Committee went fr om a focus of ferreting out those who supported civil rights to one of detecting and removi ng lesbian or gay indivi duals from state funded schools, such as the University of Florida, Florida State University, and the University of South Florida (Sanlo, 1999). Sanlo (1999) revealed that several suicides were associated with the committees activitiesindi cating the serious, long term consequences of bad practice. Although placing Floridas college students in fear for havi ng a mental illness should not be the legacy of the Virginia Tech tragedy in Fl oridas institutions of higher education, the path that unchecked agenda setting may cause state legislatures to proceed down should not be ignored. The data showed there have been no dialogues as to actual rehabilitative treatment models for continued enrollment eligibility for college students: the goal appearing only to be the removal of people subjectively determined to be at risk Based on due process consid erations, this area requires policymaker attention. The studys data further showed that the news has been telling readers how to think about campus safety ( see McCombs, 1992). Gitlin (1980) i ndicated three theoretical media perspectives that may be used to present the st ory to the public. Findings indicated the media has focused on institutional actions and countervailing views to engender response. Institutions have reacted in droves, purchasing redundant securi ty technologies not know ing how much is enough. Respondents in the study indicated no authority to activate the systems and showed only a basic understanding of when a warning sh ould issue, such as for an identified weather or emergency response scenario. Meanwhile, the Task Force Re port can be interprete d as indicating that Florida has tendered the state law matter of campus safety planning to accreditation agencies and

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125 federal authorities, su ch as the United States Departme nt of Educationperhaps hoping the federal government will attach financ ial incentives to recommendations. Data from the study showed that the rights of students have not been updated to include guidelines on when the warning systems will be activated even though the Task Force Report (2007) encouraged institutions to undertake an extensive awareness ca mpaign to educate the campus community about [their] use (p. v). Rath er, what warning and when the warning shall issue remain unspecified. The lack of lists may be because administrators are trying to issue warnings on a case by case basis. As shown in the media, administrators have been busy defending the way they issue timely warnings: Under Pressure to Give Speedy Crime Alerts, Campus Officials Worry About the Informations Usefulness (Hoover & Lipka, 2007); College Leaders Wrestle with how to Prepare for Unknown Threats (Selingo, 2008). However, instead of implicating discretionary acts, these actions argu ably may be operational and subject to liability ( e.g., see Trianon Park Condo. Assoc., Inc. v. City of Hialeah, 468 So. 2d 912 (Fla. 1985). The new administrative view on notification l eans toward the creation of some type of control prong to dangerous situations. The views prevalence may be growing, but curiously only on campuses that have sworn police departme nts as indicated in the following respondents answer: We feel we are not doing due diligence if we do not have enough information to tell them what to do once they receive the informa tion. This prong could not only engender Clery Act fines but also state and federal tort claims, th e latter situated outside of immunity caps. The need for policymaker attention in this area was established in the study. Findings further demonstrated that the overall campus safety plan ning that has occurred ov er the last year has been fragmented and frustratedwedged in th e action/reaction mode w ith no clearly defined mission or theory driving the polic y actions other than the agenda setting capacity of the media.

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126 Question One: What Policy Actions Were Deve loped as a Result of th e Virginia Tech Tragedy? The researcher sought to answer what policy actions were developed. The findings showed there were no definitive policy actions a dopted at any of the selected campuses other than the procurement of warning equipment and the employment of one new security manager. Respondents indicated multiple notification features that were available on their campuses with upgrades and modifications sin ce the Virginia Tech tragedy. Favored mechanisms included audible/voice warning devices, te xt-messaging, and blast e-mails. One respondent indicated that the equipment will cost each campus somewhere between a quarter of a million dollars annually to maintain. Procedures for the reporting of hazards related to weathe r events and back end crisis management were all that existed in the data. No respondent was authorized to issue a timely warning, and clarity as to what cons titutes a timely warning was nonexistent. The findings further revealed that plans fo r using the purchased emergency notification equipment were not available even though the Task Force Report (2007) recommended that intended usage be promulgated on each campus th rough awareness campaigns (p. v). Guidelines were not available that explained what warnings students should expect to receive. While the Clery Act enumerates the crimes that require timely warnings under its provisions, college policies may include other types of crimes or poten tial hazards, such as bomb threats, that merit application of a timely warning. Respondents neith er mentioned an enumeration of Clery Act identified crimes nor indicated other dangerous situations where warnings might result in a warning to students on a consiste nt basis. No respondent provided a document from which to ascertain the types of events that students coul d be assured notification. Efforts at making text messaging features operational were in progress at severa l campuses. The institutional ability to route information across campus networks for ti mely warning consideration was wanting with

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127 little guidance on what qualified for a warni ng and only 1/3 of the respondents having knowledge of the party who could issue a timely warning on their campuses. In addition to multiple tiers of warning systems, campuses app eared to favor multiple tiers of information routing. The importance of understanding timely warnings was revealed in the literature review. Brought forward by a complaint, Eastern Michigan University was fined $357,000$27,500 for 13 identified offensesfor violating the Cler y Acts reporting requirements (Brumfield, 2007). The Office of Student Affairs at Eastern Michigan University play ed a role in the non-reporting violations. The Butzel Long Report (2007) revealed that Eastern Michigan University classified a murder as a suicide. Student affairs administrators dispatched preliminary information to the campus community but failed to update information as it became known. The Virginia Tech Report (2007) shows that police officers incorrectly thought they had identified a person of interest. The fact that st udents were not be provided the opportunity to be vigilant in their self-p rotection conflicts with the intent of the Clery Act. The studys findings indicated that campus cultures ar e continuing the pattern of openl y denying students the right of self-protection. As illustrated in the interviews, one respondent stated: Is it the best idea in the worl d to tell everyone there is a shooter on campus? Will everyone run out of the buildings and run to the parking lot headed for cars and off campus like maniacs? However, it is the law. A law that was written exactly for the failed logic described in the following recorded interview response: We once had an employee killed on campus. It was a domestic violence incident where the perpetrator immediately fled from campus We called law enforcement and the officers handled the situation. So who do we tell? We dont want the campus community to unduly panic. So the issue for us is that it seems irresponsible to not provide more information.

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128 The response showed considerati on was not given to the fact th at the killer could have easily returned to the campus upon hear ing sirens and seeing approachi ng red lights: any student who stood in his way, a potential vic tim. The local law enforcement responses were described as reliable by each respondent. The majority (n=7 ) stated the response times were very quick. Additionally, the belief that iden tifying persons of interest reliev es an agency from the timely notice provision was not supported. Campuses have explored best practices for crisis management teams. A marked inadequacy was revealed when no respondent ha d any standards to explain what would happen to students who refused evaluation or treatment options. Student codes of conduct had not been updated since the Virginia Tech tragedy. The majo rity of respondents indicated the ability to ascend reports of troubling behavior from faculty to either department deans or offices of student affairs. A noted shortcoming wa s indicated: training for faculty was not favored. Manuals were specific to administrative acti ons for weather hazards and identified emergency response scenarios. The term safety appeared to be defined as back end readiness to deal with discovered criminal elements on campuses and weather phenomena. In the multi-campus settings, respondents answers indicated that each believ ed that the campuses were communicating in some manner; a social networking model would be helpful in demonstrating the belief. The studys respondents indica ted that the use of campus general counsel when issues arose was the preferred practice for understand ing legal considerations Based on this finding, one could assume that attorneys from programs of risk management are not being consulted. Since consequences for bad practice may be de vastating, the situati on merits policymaker attention. While it may appear to administrators that federal law is specific to Clery Act violations, which provides only fines for the nonissuance of a warning and contains no cause of

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129 action for a party, other legal act ions could conceivably attach based on the actions of campus constituents. Case law shows that a federal 1983 claim, which is not subj ect to state sovereign immunity waivers, might be applicable in limited circumstances, such as where (1) a government entity inadequately trains or supervises its em ployees, (2) the failure to adequately train or supervise is the policy of the ent ity, and (3) the policy causes the entitys employees to violate a citizens constitutional rights ( Doe v. Faerber 446 F. Supp. 2d 1311, 1316-17 (2006)). Additionally, state law negligence actions predicated on actions that result from the secondary decision making powers of government acto rs may subject the entity to suit ( infra p. 143; Kaisner v. Kolb, 543 So. 2d 732 (Fla. 1989)). Another possible way to inte rpret these finding would be to assume that the campus culture has not explored the link between actions training, and lawsuits. As illustrated in the Virginia Tech Report (2007), a faculty member retrieved a bomb threat note and did not immediately act on it. Although the failure to repo rt a bomb threat note may seem like a Clery Act violation, bomb threats do not re quire a warning under the provision ( see 34 C.F.R. 668.46). However, whether a 1983 tort could be established based on the faculty members retrieval and handling of the bomb threat note left by the shooter, Cho, requires review ( e.g., see City of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 387 (1989)). What the da ta in the Virginia Tech Report and the administrator responses demonstrated was th at training of faculty and staff in areas of dangerous situation avoidance was lacking. Base d on the legal liability that may attach in situations where dangerous situa tions are not avoided in a reas onable manner or where deliberate indifference may be shown, the need for policymaker attentio n was established.

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130 Question Two: What Policy Actions Con cerning Student Mental Hea lth Issues Were Developed as a Result of the Virginia Tech Tragedy? The Task Force Report (2007) recommended that colleges and universities develop a multidisciplinary crisis management team, inte grating and ensuring communication between the university law enforcement or campus security agency, student affairs, residential housing, counseling center, health center, legal counsel, and any other appropriate campus entities to review individuals and in cidents which indicate at risk behavior (p. v). The data revealed that percolation and ascension of re ports on potentially troubling beha vior existed although training modules for faculty and staff on the issue did not. Also missing were what to do with the information, student rights, and institutiona l process for follow through of referrals. The Task Force Report (2007) recommended th at campus mental health centers develop a protocol for the exchange of information wi th local mental health providers regarding individuals who might pose a danger to themselves or others (p. v). Inundating multiple agencies with information or personal observatio ns that cannot be used for a lawful purpose suggests the potential for lawsuits in one respect and the lack of identified goals in another. The findings in the study indicated that no legitimat e purpose for the encouraged information relays across agencies has been recognized. Data revealed that the re spondents were aware of FERPAs guidelines and its emergency provisions. Exchange s were not relevant to Baker Act intake certification as per 394.463(2), Fl a. Stat. (2007). Respondents o ffered no opinions as to what campus mental health professionals should do with received information or what the institutions role was once the information was delegated. Referrals for Baker Act certificates ma y be based on observation. A law enforcement officer need only execute a written report deta iling the circumstances under which the person was taken into custody ( 394.462(2)2, Fla. Stat. (2007)). The report must indicate the grounds

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131 establishing the officers belief that the person transported has a mental illness and because of the condition, one of the enumerated provision s pursuant to 394.462(1), Fla. Stat. (2007), was established. There is no requirement under Flor ida law that grounds in the certificates be supplemented with documents or records. More importantly, a voluntar y patient may refuse treatment pursuant to the Baker Act. In doing so, the person is to be di scharged within 24 hours unless transferred to involuntar y status as per 394.4625(2)(b), Fla. Stat. (2007). Criteria for involuntary status are provided in 394.4625(5). Notificatio n of a parent or family member is authorized under the act as per 394.4597, Fla. Stat. (2007). No respondent discussed the development of guidelines as to how to deal with students who refuse treatment, but who have not been diso rderly and subsequently return to campus. The study revealed that there were no actions or mechanisms on each campus that would inform crisis management teams (or the designated point person) of those students who refused voluntary treatment or who discontinued counse ling visits. One respondents comment showed no follow up concerns regarding a student who re fused treatment after an EAP referral for a really troubled student. For the students who are disruptive, one respondent indicated: Presently, we trespass students with issues and this is basica lly angering someone who already has problems. One possible way to interpret thes e findings would be to assume that dangerous situation avoidance is not a priority. The findings further showed a preference for incarceration over therapeutic options. The latter would be cons istent with practices i ndicated in the larger political subdivisions in which colleges operate. The Mental Health Report (2007) indictes that failing to adequately respond to the needs of people with serious mental illness and serious emotional disorders has resulted in increased arrest, incarceration, and cr iminalization of people with mental illnesses (p. 39). Because an instit utions ability to follow up and track the progress

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132 of identified and referred at risk students (and employees) would link to whether it acted reasonably under the circumstances, the need for the development of more comprehensive roles of crisis management teams was shown. As for privacy codes, the data showed th at administrators ex pressed concerns over content redacted from high school records during the admissions process, as illustrated in the responses: What happens in K-12 stays in K-12; and The system feed s the problem. Without guidelines as to what to do with the information or procedures for the follow up and tracking of identified or potential at risk students, the need for coding on stude nt high school records prior to admission was not supported in the findings. Inst ead, the theme of pro cess within government agencies was highlighted. The Virginia Tech Re port (2007) demonstrated the inability of the campus community to follow through on a seri es of ongoing witnessed observations, the institution having ample time to request records. Respondents in the study pointed to no follow up criteria for percolation efforts or students who refused treatment following a referral. One possible was to interpret these findings would be to assume that guidelines must provide exacting details for any type of process to result. The Vi rginia Tech Report (2007) references widespread lack of understanding [and] conf licting practice (p. 63); privacy pr ovisions that were interpreted too narrowly; and administrative confusion betw een observable actions a nd educational records (pp. 49-60). The pattern was further demonstrated in the report w ith reference to court clerks failing to fill out forms (or at the very least, pr ovide them to the party who could) so information could be certified and forwarde d to Virginias Central Crimin al Records Exchange (p. 72). Floridas Task Force Report (2007) recomm ended that each university and college establish/expand its formal working relations hip with local mental health systems and community-based organizations in order to ensure adequate support for and communication

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133 about campus mental health issues (p. 22). Th is suggestion also high lighted the theme of process within government agencies. The data in the study showed that respondents articulated no perceived problems with the provisions or co nstraints found within HIPAA or FERPA. Yet the determination of which agency should be provid ing what type of information to the other was nonexistent. For example, should local mental hea lth agencies and servi ce providers be required to notify campuses of missed a ppointments by students or should the university be required to send reports over to referral agen cies for verification of student attendance at appointments? In the alternative, should students be required to provide receipts to campuses in which they attend of their compliance with referrals and verification of release from care if treatment is no longer indicated? Without providing opera tional procedures, the findings in dicate a low probability of informational relays actually taking place. The findings further showed that no res pondent believed there was a valid purpose for law enforcement to have access to student records or to be on the institutional crisis teams. This finding could be interpreted as skewed since th e majority of institutions had campus security officers. The Virginia Tech Report (2007, p. 19) recommended placing law enforcement officers on crisis management teams. However, the Vi rginia Tech Reports position may prove ill advised in terms of privacy considerations si nce student educational records are not public documents. FERPA specifically mandates that the release of educational records must comply with a judicial order or lawf ully issued subpoena (34 C.F. R. 99.31(a)(9)(i)). Although the Virginia Tech Report (2007, p. 13) intimated the desire to get around FERPA, provisions within Florida laws, separation of powers issues, and liability based on operational actions and duties may be implicated upon the placement of law enforcement in this realm ( Trianon Park Condo. Assoc., Inc. v. City of Hialeah 468 So. 2d 912 (Fla. 1985)).

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134 Section 1002.22(1), Fla. Stat. (2007), states that it is the intent of the Florida Legislature that students and their parents shall have righ ts of access, rights of challenge, and rights of privacy with respect to such r ecords and reports. The statute goes on to enumerate the rules that guide the exercise of the rights. Thus, payi ng specific attention to the information law enforcement officers have available to them if they are placed on institutional crisis management teams is an important consideration that implicat es both state and federal concerns. Pursuant to 34 C.F.R. 99.31(a)(9)(ii): The educational agency or in stitution may disclose information under paragraph (a)(9)(i) of this section only if the agency or institution makes a reasonable effort to notify the parent or eligible student of the order or subpoena in advance of compli ance, so that the parent or eligible student may seek protec tive action, unless the disclosure is in compliance with. (B) Any other subpoena issued for a law enforcement purpose and the court or other issuing agency has ordered that the existence or the contents of the subpoena or the information furnished in response to the subpoena not be disclosed. A health and safety exception is found in se ction 34 C.F.R. 99.31(a)(10), which states that records may be released when disclosure is in connection with a health or safety emergency, under the conditions described in 99.36. Section 99.36(a) provides: An educational agency or inst itution may disclose personally id entifiable information from an education record to appropr iate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect health or safety of the student or other individuals. The regulations allow education in stitutions to provide the names of contact information for next of kin in emergency situations pursuant to 34 C.F.R. 99.36(a). These findings are pertinent to safety policy guidelines and furthe r draw attention to the theme of familial support in those cases where persons are taken for commitment evaluation, such as involuntary scre ening pursuant to 394.4597(2), Fla. Stat. (2007), of the FMHA or Ba ker Act. The Baker Act specifically requires that the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the patient s guardian or guardian advocate, or representative be entered in the patients clinic al record. This provision does not imply that the

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135 institution that initiated eval uation under the act would not ha ve to follow up on students who later return to campus. The data revealed that each community college studied had some type of counseling model in place that related to the earlier commun ity college definition of at risk students, which was defined as those students who were underpre pared for college, work over 20 hours a week, lack family support, are first-generation colleg e goers, and who experience low academic success at the beginning of the postsecondary expe rience (Roueche & Roue che, 1993, p. 1). Other services included referrals for students needing assistance or counseling. Respondents indicated that information was available on each campus to students interested in community resources for a variety of issues. Respondents also made refe rence to consent forms th at students could avail themselves that would allow administrators to discuss student progress and healthcare concerns with parents. The directionality of interactio ns was ambiguous as to whether students had to actively seek out the information or whether faculty and advisors brought it to the students attention. This finding was indicative of resear ch found in the literature that indicated the information disseminated by administrators may not be helpful in connecting students to the informal social and intellectua l communities available on a college campus (Tinto, 1987, p. 146). A socio-economic disadvantage may also ex ist for students without private healthcare coverage. The Task Force Report (2 007) indicated that in comparis on to all states, Florida ranked th in per capita mental health spending; 47th in Medicaid spe nding per child beneficiary; and 43rd in Medicaid spending per adult beneficiary (p. 22). It was fu rther noted in the report that: [T]here was usually a delay in receiving services because demand for services remains high, and available mental hea lth practitioners are not able to handle the workload. To further complicate the matter, it is difficult for students without insurance to receive needed mental health services in the community. ( Id. )

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136 Although the task force deferred to the State Un iversity system, the Division of Community Colleges, and the Association of Independent Colleg es and Universities of Florida to determine ways to increase the funding dedicated to campus mental health and wellness needs, including community education (p. iii) and to examine the feasibility of mutual aid agreements between campuses to provide or augment mental health se rvices (p. iii), the Department of Children and Families (DCF) has the responsibil ity to carry out mental hea lth services under the Florida Mental Health Act. DCF has the statutory author ity to contract with un iversities and community colleges for facilities and serv ices pursuant to 394.457(3), Fl a. Stat. (2007). No respondent mentioned the development of mutual aid agreements with DCF. One respondent specifically felt these arrangements were not allowed since th e colleges budget was separate from other agencies. Considerations for subsidized private health care coverage also were not indicated. Specific to familial support networking, talk ing with family was discussed on a case by case basisfrom invitations to the student to sit down with a student affairs dean for a conference call with a parent to filling out a form a student co uld sign for parental access to information. An appreciation of information that could be provided to parents without consent, other than directory information, was not found. In sum, the findings showed that the ascension of potential at risk student information to the appropriate resource center on campus, such as the office of student affairs, desi gnated dean, or crisis management team was the only front end mechanism in place. Training for faculty and guidelin es as to what to do with the information, as well as mechanisms for tracking student co mpliance with referrals, were absent. Question Three: What Recommendations from the Florida Task Force Report Were Relevant to the Commu nity College in the Participants View? The data revealed only the generalized vi ew that the report was helpful in raising awareness. The majority of respondents indica ted waiting on top-down directives. Only one

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137 respondent reported involvement in committees and di scussions on the issues raised in the report but felt the report was not overly helpful. Other respondents were active in the procurement of security features and database management more specific to the alerting of developing hazards and weather events and the retrieval of electronic information during outages. It could be assumed that redundant tiers of no tification systems at least make it appear as if institutions are making campuses safer. Besi des purchases, installations, and test messages, protocols for the use of the equipment were ab sent, indicating that community colleges in the state may indeed believe the report does not pertain to them. The position was further supported when no respondent indicated that studies of st udent involvement had been undertaken on his or her respective campus. Each respondent believed the media influencedto some degreethe issuance of the gubernatorial re port and the direction of pr esent campus safety planning. Central Question: What Factors in Campus Sa fety Policy Follow ing the Virginia Tech Tragedy Create the Most Problems in Design or Implementation for Floridas Community College System? The factors that are creating the most problems in campus safety policy design are the lack of theory driving present cons iderations and the unstipulated term safety The data revealed there are no criteria to measure the successes or fa ilures of present strategies. The Virginia Tech Report (2007) offers the greatest insights into the relevance of key factors. The lack of communication and legal literacy were the overarching identified themes in the report. Understanding the significance of the emergent themes was believed important to policy development and the dynamic of actions betwee n constituents. For inst ance, notification of parents or family members by campus counseling cen ters of students seeki ng services would not nullify an institutions responsibili ties for students the institution identified as at risk or knew or should have know was at risk. The Virginia Tech tr agedy stands as a lesson in the importance of dangerous situation avoidance: the event prov ides a backdrop of co mmunication and training

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138 deficits and offers insights as to where appropriations might be better spent to protect campus communities. The basic details provided in the Virg inia Tech Report should be reviewed by policymakers. A random act of violence with no el ements of foreseeability is distinguishable from a violent act by a person linked to the ca mpus and identified as exhibiting troubling behavior. The relationship of the shooter to the campus community becomes a necessary component for determining liability pathways when dangerous situations are not avoided ( e.g ., Coghlan v. Beta Theta Pi Fraternity 987 P. 2d 300, 305 (Idaho 1999); Bradshaw v. Rawlings, 612 F.2d 135 (3d Cir. 1979); Nova Southeastern Univ., Inc. v. Gross 758 So. 2d 86, 90 (Fla. 2000)). While the data showed a diversity of pede strian traffic in the descriptive milieu of the community college, the content analysis of ne wspaper articles pertaining to campus shooting indicated that the majority of the shooters (n= 11) in mass shooting incidents were either students or former students. The Virginia Tech shooter, C ho, was a residential student at Virginia Tech. Was a Special Relationship Created Between the Institution and Cho? Answered in the affirm ative, Chos next of kin could move forward in a wrongful death suit on behalf of their son. A finding of negligence requires a legal duty owed to the plaintiff, a breach of that duty, proximate cause, and damages. The threshold element, the existence of a duty of care, is a ques tion of law properly resolved by the court ( Garofalo v. Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity 616 N.W.2d 647, 650 (Iowa 2000)). In general, the law imposes no affirmative duty upon individuals to act for th e protection of others ( Garofalo p. 652 citing Restatement 2d of Torts 314, 1965, p. 116). In cases where the plaintiff alleges that the injury resulted from a failure to act, the law requires the existence of a special relationship between the injured party and the alleged negligent party. Common speci al relationships include innkeeper/guest, landlord/invitee, peace officer/arres tee, and common carrier/passenger ( Restatement 2d of Torts

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139 314A, 1965, p. 118). However, special relation ships may be created and assumed by institutions based on partic ular factual scenarios ( Coghlan v. Beta Theta Pi Fraternity 987 P. 2d 300, 305 (Idaho 1999); Bradshaw v. Rawlings, 612 F.2d 135 (3d Cir. 1979); Nova Southeastern Univ., Inc. v. Gross 758 So. 2d 86, 90 (Fla. 2000)). The facts of interest in th e Virginia Tech Report (2007) ar e these: Cho was a full time student living in a dorm located on campus where most of his erratic behavior occurred (pp. 41-43). Cho had numerous, troubling interactions with faculty and with female students. Residence Life was aware of multiple reports and concerns expressed over Chos behavior in the dorm (p. 52). The institutions care team was informed of problems involving Cho. Cho was taken for psych evaluation by the institutions law enforcement agency. Chos progress after being released from evaluation was not fo llowed up on or tracked by the university. Causation and damages aside, the family mi ght allege that a sp ecial relationship was created. A plaintiffs attorney supporting this position could conceivably argue that Virginia Tech created a special relationship based on ho w each institutional actor responded to and took charge of Chos progressively distressing behaviors. Institutional actors talked with him, advised him, and transported him for mental health evaluation. Averring this position, one could assert control based on the pattern of interactions; that th e institution knew or should have known that Cho was a danger to himself or others; and that it breached its duty in failing to not only connect the dots but also in failing to follow up on Cho, who lived in a dorm, once he returned to campus after his psychological evaluation. Was a Duty Owed to the Victims? If a duty was owed to Cho, then the estate s of 32 people, along with numerous harm ed survivors to the incident, would meet the thre shold requirement to go forward with lawsuits. There are several potential avenues for attaching liability indicated in the Restatement of Torts

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140 and case law that should be considered by policymakers. As per Nova Univ. v. Wagner 491 So. 2d 1116, 1117 (Fla. 1986)), the Florida Supreme C ourt quoted the basic negligent principle found in the Restatement 2d of Torts 319 (1965): One who takes charge of a third person wh om he knows or should know to be likely to cause bodily harm to others if not controlled is under a duty to exer cise reasonable care to control the third person to preven t him from doing such harm. ( Nova 1986, p. 1118) Thus, a Florida court would first determin e whether the defendants conduct created a foreseeably broader zone of risk that posed a general threat of harm to the plaintiff (Creamer v. Sampson, 700 S. 2d 711, 713 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997)). Answered in the affirmative, the plaintiff has established a duty between the parties and satisfied the lega l threshold "for opening the courthouse doors" ( Creamer p. 713). It should be noted that respondeat superior "assigns responsibility to an employer for the legal consequences that re sult from employees' errors of judgment and lapses in attentiveness when the acts or omissions are within the scope of employment" (American Law Institute, 2006, p. 141). The Virginia Tech Report (2007) provides a second scenario for discussion. The report indicates a faculty member discovered a bomb threat (p. 90); the door the note was removed from was chained, which was not normally the case ; the note particularly made reference to the chains; the faculty member made no effort to warn the people inside the building or attempt to determine other avenues of ingre ss; and the faculty member proceeded to a third floor office without contacting anyone along th e way regarding the note. The report further indicated that faculty members were not trained for emergency situations (p. 17). It is the class of people who were harmed a nd not the type of harm that actually occurs that establishes the duty element. If a court we re to find that discovery of a bomb threat note made it foreseeable that some type of harm c ould occur, a duty would be established. Judge

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141 Cordozo explains the concept of duty to embr ace only those persons or classes of persons to whom harm of some type might reasonably have been foreseen as a result of the particular tortious conduct [emphasis added] ( Henley v. Prince Georges County 503 A. 2d 1333, 1340 (Md. 1986)(citing Palsgraf v. Long Island R. Co., 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E. 99 (N.Y. 1928)). A possible avenue for attaching a duty in similar cases may exist through premise liability. The Restatement 2d of Torts provides: A possessor of land who holds it open to the public for entry for his business purposes is subject to liability to members of the public while they are upon the land for such a purpose, for physical harm caused by the acciden tal, negligent, or intentionally harmful acts of third persons or animals, and by failure of the possessor to exercise reasonable care to (a) discover that such acts are be ing done or are likely to be done, or (b) give a warning adequate to enable th e visitors to avoid the harm, or otherwise protect them against it. (1965, 344) The comment section in the Restatement indicates that the rule applies to independent contractors who are permitted to carry on act ivities upon the land. The facts surrounding the bomb threat note may support a cause of acti on under common law grounds. The possessor is required to exercise reasonable care for the protection of th e public who enter ( id. comment C). In addition, the Restatement acknowledges that the public entity is not an insurer of the safety of such visitors against the acts of third persons but is under a duty to exercise reasonable care to give them protection ( id ., comment D). General exceptions to the independent contractor rule which attach liability to the employer include (1) Negligence of the employer in selecting, instructing, or supervisi ng the contractor, and (2) Non-delegable duties of the employer arising out of some relation toward the publi c or the particular plaintiff ( Restatement 2d of Torts 1965, 409 comments 1 & 2).

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142 The significance of other avenues of institut ional liability was revealed in the study when interviewed respondents discussed th e impracticalities of providing training to large numbers of adjunct faculty who may only teach one semest er. Grounds for a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action should be considered by policymakers. These actions ar e not subject to sovereign immunity caps and have been indicated in limited circumstances where (1) a government entity inadequately trains or supervises its employees, (2) the failure to ad equately train or superv ise is the policy of the entity, and (3) the policy causes the entitys employees to violate a citizens constitutional rights ( Doe v. Faerber 446 F. Supp. 2d 1311, 1316-17 (2006)). Negligent Hiring, Training, and Supervision Em ployers are responsible for the negligent hiring, training, and supervision of their employees. Floridas case law indicates that n egligent, hiring, supervision, or retention is identical to the duty upon private employers wh o hire, retain, or supe rvise employees whose negligent or intentional acts in positions of em ployment can foreseeably cause injuries to third parties ( School Bd. of Orange County. v. Coffey 524 So. 2d 1052, 1053 (Fla. 5th DCA 1988). The content analysis of the newspaper ar ticles on campus shooters found that a small minority of the campus shooters were employees (n=2). In the reviewed shooting scenarios found in the newspaper search, one shooter was described as a f aculty member recently denied tenure; another was described as a custodia n. A party would be looking for any facts ( e.g., carrying a gun to work, making threats, etc.) to indicate the employer knew or should have known of the employee's unfitness but failed to take action ( Doe v. Malicki 814 So. 2d 347, 362 (Fla. 2002); Garcia v. Duffy 492 So. 2d 435, 438-439 (Fla. 2d DCA 1986)). The importance of training and the need to percolat e information about faculty, staff, and students to the appropriate epicenter for consideration were shown.

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143 Policymakers Versus Decision Makers The literature review rev ealed that studies have comingled the role of decision makers and policymakers. The data also showed administrators use the terms interchangeably. In the law, the terms have legal significance. The confus ion could be a factor creating problems in the design or implementation of co mmunity college safety policy, especially since a notable distinction exists between the states universities and community colleges. Section 1004.67, Fla. Stat. (2007), establishes that co mmunity colleges are political subdi visions of the state. Thus, the community college is not an arm of the state th at has traditionally enjoyed Eleventh Amendment immunity: both its employees and the entity are subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Qualified immunity exists for government actors performing discretionary functions unless their conduct violated clear ly established federal statutor y or constitutional rights ( Harlow v. Fitzgerald 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982)). Agencies may be liable in respondeat superior for non discretionary duties in the exer cise of governmental authority (e.g., see Howlettt v. Rose 496 U.S. 356 (1990)). To determine whether liability atta ches when an agency is sued in its official capacity, the Florida Supreme Court has created four categories that place particular acts within discretionary (categories I and II) or operational (categories III and IV) functions. As explained by the Florida Supreme Court in Trianon Park Condo. Assoc., Inc. v. City of Hialeah, 468 So. 2d 912 (Fla. 1985), category I relates to legisla tive, permitting, licensing, and executive officer functions; category II the enforcement of laws a nd protection of the public safety; category III capital improvement and property control func tions; and category IV providing professional, educational, and general services (pp. 919-921). If a Florida court finds the alleged act falls within the realm of discretionary functions contained in categories I and II, then there is no state law liability because there has never been a common law duty of care with respect to these ac tions or inactions. The discretionary function

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144 exception is grounded in the doctrin e of separation of powers ( Pollock v. Fla. Dept of Highway Patrol 882 So. 2d 928 (Fla. 2004)). On the othe r hand, "there may be substantial governmental liability under categories III and IV. because there is a common law duty of care regarding how property is maintained and operated and how professional and general services are performed" [emphasis added] (Pollock 882 So. 2d at 921). Defining a duty as operational, however, does not make an agency liable per se. Operationally defined functions may still be covered under sovereign immunity when a plainti ff fails to establish the existence of either a common law or statutory duty (p. 938). Because the terms discretiona ry and operational are susceptible to broad definitions, case law has evolved to help clarify the distinction. In Kaisner v. Kolb 543 So. 2d 732 (Fla. 1989), the Florida Supreme Court stated that ev ery act involves a degr ee of discretion, and every exercise of discretion invol ves a physical operation or act (p. 736). Therefore, the court further explained that operational functions are acts that are not necessary to or inherent in policy or planning (p. 737). Operational functions merely reflect a secondary decision as to how those policies or plans will be implemented ( id. ). The courts may inte rvene by way of tort law in these contexts as they are not entangling themselves in fundamental questions of policy or planning involved in the exercise of executive or legislative power ( id. ). Accordingly, the data revealed these areas are important to community college safety planning. Implications for Policy and Practice Revisit Training for Faculty and Staff It is the resp onsibility of the institution to adequately train its faculty and staff on issues of dangerous situation avoida nce and the proper reporting of suspect conditions noticed on campus. Failure to train may implicate not only st ate law negligence actions but also federal tort actions, which are not subject to sovereign immunity caps. Tr aining modules might consider

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145 content that directs the campus community on the types of inform ation and to whom (as well as the time frame) it should be reported. The cam pus community should receive instruction on when and where to report concerns or signs of potential at risk behavior. Redefine Crisis Management Teams and the Aim of Sharing Information First, campuses should conceptualize the making of referrals as the beginning of the dangerous situation avoidance process. Follow up and tracking of students identified and deemed at risk should be an attendant circumstance. Base d on the ease of student tr ansfers, legislatures should consider providing a Registrar code for students deemed at risk and who voluntary leave an institution prior to showing ad equate progress. Rules for the clearance/removal of the code should be clear. Legislatures shoul d also distinguish mandatorily requiring counseling centers to notify family members of adult students who seek counseling at the direction of campus crisis management referrals from the notification of family members in those cases where students seek services without campus referrals or the signing of waivers. The former implies the continuing duty of the institution to facilitate campus safety while the latter implies the potential for discouragement in adult students s eeking professional services altogether. Second, colleges should consider structuring crisis management teams in a manner that allows for audits specific to recommendations for improvement of internal procedures and methods on a periodic basis. Accountability measurements should include coordination, adequacy, and timeliness of team actions. For stud ents identified as at risk, measurements should include effectiveness of tracking and program successes or failures. The need for reform was implied since an institution that knows or should have known that a student posed a risk of harm to self or others and that doe s not act reasonably may be held liable for tragic consequences. Reasonable action does not imply colleges must pr event all possible harms. It simply means an institution must act reasonably on information that becomes available to a party within the

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146 organizations network. An example of unreasonable action by a dean of student affairs, which went as far as qualifying for punitive damages, wa s found in the preliminary motions in the case of Schieszler v. Ferrum Coll (W.D. Va., Case No.: 7:02CV00131, 2002). In the Schieszler case, the trial court determined a special duty was created between student affairs personnel and a student who committed suicide in a dorm room (236 F. Supp. 2d 602). The case is instructive to attorneys seeking to open the courthouse doors. Third, the aim of sharing information with outside mental health agencies should be explained. Whether outside agen cies are capable of doing anything with the information was unclear. Institutions may want to discuss the pos sibility and feasibility of adding institutional crisis management teams that meet certain criteri a as a group capable of issuing Baker Act intake certificates. Section 394.463(2), Fla. Stat. (2007), allows the execu tion of a certificate by a court (a1), law enforcement officer (a2), or a physician, clinical psychologist, psychiatric nurse, mental health counselor marriage and family therapist, or clinical soci al worker (a3). Since community colleges often do not hire any of the above, this expansion may provide an effective use of resources and sharing capabilities without having to alter privacy rights. It also provides an avenue of information that may be acted upon by the recipient. Fourth, the new label of students being at ri sk of harming themselves or others may not be mutually exclusive of the traditional at ri sk definition used in the community college and defined as those who were underprepared for college, work over 20 hours a week, lack family support, are first-generation college goers, a nd who experience low academic success at the beginning of the postsecondary experience (Roueche & Roueche, 1993, p. 1). Modified community college counseling models for the latter may be applicable to the former. A review of this consideration was implied based on the emergent theme of familial support.

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147 Adopt Revisions of Student Codes of Co nduct that Explain At-risk Referrals Responsibilities for students identified as at risk should be clearly i ndicated in student codes of conduct. If a student refuses voluntary treatm ent options, then the institution should determine what the refusal means in terms of c ontinued enrollment elig ibility. Upon receipt of multiple avenues of information on a particular student, the institution should consider deciding on a course of action that is made known to th e student. Procedures outlined in the college handbook should include guidelines for students to ch allenge the adequacy of the information, as well as the consequences to student s who refuse voluntary examination. Contract With Risk Ma nagement Legal Counsel Policym akers should consider contracting for advisory opinions from community college risk management legal firms, independent private firms, and even those firms that contract with the Sheriffs self-insurance fund, for campus safety policy development where multiple agencies and the sharing of data are involved. These firms routinely handle claims in applicable state and federal courts and are well equipped to advise on policy implications. Advisory opinions as to the providence of newly created administrative interpretations of adding a control prong to the Clery Act should be contemplated. A review of this consideration was implied based on the emergent themes of legal literacy, communi cation, and process of government agencies. Revisit Dual Enrollment Community colleges have a small populat ion of dual enrollment students who are working on completing both their high school and associates degrees concu rrently. A select few four-year institutions have cr eated high schools on their main campuses and commingled populations ( i.e. California State University, Fresno). Interviewed respondents were probed about their thoughts about having pupils under the age of 18 on their campuses. Only one respondent made a connection to th e possibility of variant levels of institutional responsibilities

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148 between the two groups (minors v. adults). The re spondent believed that waivers resolved any potential problems. Policymakers should consider whether a distinction in the duty analysis between the under 18 versus the 18 and over grou ps in the college setting exists. FERPA explains who has access to the students records but has no application in a state law negligence claim. The literature review in Chapter 2 showed a gap in the case law on the matter. Policymakers should also consider the validity of waivers. A question was certified to the Florida Supreme Court regarding negligence waivers for youth in Fields v. Kirton 961 So. 2d 1127 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007), with oral arguments set for June 11, 2008 (2007 Fla. LEXIS 2500). Whether the decision in the Fields case or the doctrine of in loco parentis has applicability in the dual enrollment context was an ope n question. If the K-12 analysis applies to students under the age of 18 who are attending college campuses, then special training of faculty and staff specific to this area would be implicated. Expand Organization Effectiveness Criteria Ca meron (1978) enumerated nine dimensions to measure organizati onal effectiveness. Missing from the criteria were measures rela ted to front end and back end campus safety initiatives or measures related to institutiona l networking abilities and the timeliness of moving information among and between campus constit uents. Expanded dimensions should include subcategories specific to themes identified in Chapter 4. The operational abilities of crisis management teams may be worthy of comprising a separate dimension. Limitations Only high level administrators in the co mmunity college system were selected for participation in the study. A broader approach might have included law enforcement personnel and representation from Floridas Department of Education. However, including a content analysis of Floridas Task Force Report was a means to bring in each of their respective

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149 perspectives. Missing from the task forces me mbership was representation from the group sampled in this study. Of Floridas 28 community colleges, the sample included representation from five different community colleges and seven distin ct campuses. However, the sample size of administrators was small and not fully random One member was purposively selected. The decision for this was based on past rapport with the administrator and the belief that the rapport would generate more open and considered resp onses of the subject matter being studied. The proper role of law enforcement in timely warni ng considerations was not fully developed in the sample as the majority used private security and had no complaints regarding the arrangements. Researcher subjectivity may be biased toward the legal implications of practice. Also, legal reporters should be consulted to Shepardi ze citations after publi cation of the study to determine whether each case or specific points with in each case have been overruled. Case law evolves and statutes are subject to repeal and modification. Recommendations for Future Research Several questions remain in the college sa fety planning venue. One significant question yet to be answered was how co lleges and the public are defining safety If definitions favor equipment purchases that announce warnings, then some institutions are performing well. On the other hand, how the equipment is to be used a nd whether increased tech nology purchases will actually reduce crime in general or mass shooti ngs in particular on college campuses remain open questions. Future research should: 1. Investigate whether other states have theories driving the development of their campus safety policies that are providing instruments to meas ure the efficacy of implemented actions. In the alternative, determine whether campus safety policies without theory driven practice are measuring the coordination, adequacy, and timeliness of crisis team ac tions for a range of

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150 suspect behaviors from potential suicides to underage drinking and making recommendations for the improvement of internal procedures based on audit findings. 2. Examine whether state statutes mandating that campus counse ling centers notify the parents or family members of adult students seeking treatment without campus referrals affects the number of students who would have othe rwise voluntarily sought services. 3. Determine the value of each layer of redunda nt notification and th e circumstances for implementing it. The data revealed consider able cost to each cam pus to maintain it: somewhere between a quarter of a million dol lars annually, according to one respondent. The study also showed disagreement as to the utility of the equipment. 4. Examine the social and financial ramifications of policies focused on back end reactive crisis management in comparison with those focuse d on front end preventative and interventional strategies. 5. Investigate the differences in public and priv ate campus settings as to whether there is a link to open government laws and media richness th eory to determine whether private campuses have more effective percolation methods alrea dy in place. The content analysis of shooting incidents hinted that mass murder occurs more frequently on public campuses. 6. Study whether the development of sound campus safety policies is being undermined by the political process. The heavy focus toward law en forcement services and salaries in the Task Force Report stands in stark cont rast to the recommendations c ontained in the Mental Health Report. The judiciary appears to have taken on the role of representation reinforcement in dealing with the states mental health crisis: the dynamic of the process warranting exploration. 7. Study the effectiveness of training for faculty and staff in crisis avoidance through social networking models (Barnes, 1954; Granovetter 1973; Haythornthwaite, 1996) and agentbased modeling (Guerin, 2004). Simulation mode ls are situated to measure coordination, adequacy, and timeliness of information flows for improvement of in ternal processes. 8. Examine the policies of college crisis manageme nt teams in other states that already include mechanisms to hold students accountable for failure to follow through on recommended treatments and determine the strengths and weaknesses of the procedures. 9. Study whether there is a need to alter statut ory privacy protections. Government agencies have shown a pattern of communication deficits and other internal process problems. The interaction of civil commitment criteria and c onstitutional protections, as well as enumerated privacy rights contained in stat e and federal statutes, should be examined and compared with how an institution communicates within itself and with its constituents. Whether impediments exist within the codes themse lves versus problems of poor ascension mechanisms or institutional c onfusion within the network should be determined through social networking theories.

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151 10. Explore the guidelines used in the K-12 setting for providing warnings in the institutional setting and compare and contrast these with concerns raised for reporting in the college setting in an effort to determine philosophica l differences in safety planning in the two locations, which are described by the le gislature as a seamless system. 11. Expand institutional culture studies reviewed in the literature with a focus that distinguishes policymakers from secondary decision makers and include a focus aimed at actions rather than opinions to determine whether decision making styles are perhaps relevant in specific contexts. 12. Investigate whether a paradigm shift is occurring in the realm of campus safety planning specific to cost containment polices and the accountability they sought to achieve. Costcontainment sought to do more with less while ca mpus security features appear to attempt to do less with more. 13. Explore the patterns of shooters identified in campus mass murders with a multidisciplinary approach that includes psychologi sts and criminologists. The data showed that the majority of shooters committed suicide, implicating a possible link. Whether crisis hotlines can be permitted to forward information to college cris is management teams should be explored. 14. Examine the feasibility of a longitudinal study on return ing veterans who enroll in institutions of higher education to determine wh ether indicators of post traumatic stress might enable more timely proactive service options to support their needs and goals, as well as whether federal funds might attach. Summary The medias ability to set the agenda has campuses purchasing redundant warning systems but doing little else. Trai ning modules for the reporting of suspicio us circumstances and troubling behavior should be forthcoming, al ong with guidelines indi cating to the campus community when warning devices will be activat ed. Implicated in the study was the need for guidelines that instruct the campus comm unity as to what the imposition of an at risk label actually means in terms of continued enrollment eligibility. Ongoing assessment of crisis management teams should include audits to r ecommend improvement of internal procedures related to coordination, adequacy, and timeliness of actions, as well as the units efficiency in the follow up and tracking of students designated at risk. Agent-based modeling and social networking theories provide avenues for de termining where dysfunction in communication

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152 relays exist. Policymaker should define safety and the goals sought to be achieved. The studys emergent themes provide expansive areas fo r Camerons (1978) organizational effectiveness dimensions. Bromley and Territo (1990) urged senior admi nistrators to provide leadership and policy guidance related to security is sues (p. 17). Yet colleges have continued to grow in size and numberasserting the educational mission over the institutional ability to effectively manage information streams that flow from student to fa culty, faculty to administration, administration to student. From problems in reporting pursuant to the Clery Act to incorrect interpretations of privacy acts, the need for reform was shown. Cam pus administrators must be required to adopt information transfer and dissemination abilities to reduce foreseeable harms known to someone along the organizations network for which know ledge may be imputed to the organization. Working to divine considered a nd appropriate front end approaches specific to those situations that develop and intensify on a college campus does not make colleges the insurers of student safety. Rather, it holds colleges accountable, like any other entity, in those situations where it knew or should have known of the danger, or where it created the danger. The operative word being foreseeable opposed to utter and truly random acts of violence that no one within the campus community could have predicted. This chapter presented the studys conclu sions, implications for policy and practice, limitations, and recommendations for future research. By identifying multiple themes and linking them to practice and theory relevant to campus safety, the study contributed to the design and implementation of more considered policies.

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153 APPENDIX OPEN-ENDED QUESTION GUIDE Based on your own personal thoughts of the Virginia Tech shootings and the m edia coverage that followed, what concerns (regiona lly or nationally) involving the shootings stood out the most in your mind as a college administrator? Following the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, several committees with legislative authority were formed. Two of the main reports are the Virginia Tech Report, commissioned by Virginias governor, and Floridas Gubernatorial Task Force for University Campus Safety Report on Fi ndings and Recommendations, commissioned by Floridas governor. Have you read or been briefed on these reports? If so, have these reports influenced your institutions discussions on how to address campus safety and security issues following the Virginia Tech tragedy? What do you believe are the benefits and limitations of the findings and recommendations as they relate to your community college? Have there been any policies reviewe d, changed, or implemented on your campus following the Virginia Tech tragedy? Have there been changes to the student code of conduct that you are aware of? Once the details of the shooters mental he alth background became available, were discussions of mental health issues and iden tifying at risk students engaged in on your campus? Were the criteria set forth in the Virg inia Tech Reports Appendix M discussed? Broadly speaking, a person who may be c onsidered a danger to him/herself or others is considered at risk in the Virginia Tech Report. Do you have any thought regarding the definition? If given the opportunity, how would you like to see at risk indi viduals (students, faculty, or staff) identified and helped? What services does your institution presently provide? To your knowledge, have student mental health issues and student records been discussed on your campus since the shootings? What areas are you aware of that crea te administrative problems for your institution?

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154 Do you believe these areas are unique to your institution? Does your institute have a counseling m odel to deal with student attrition? Does your college use cr isis intervention teams? Floridas Task Force charged the community co llege system with several tasks. Are you aware of whether any of the recommendatio ns are being explored at this time? Have any committees been formed on campus or through other initiatives to review specific campus safety and security practices or to create new ones? How would changes in a students beha vior be brought to light on your campus? Can you summarize the forces you feel are drivi ng change within and outside the college system in light of Virginia Techs tragedy? Should campus safety planning and policies be come part of the accreditation process? Have you requested or do you know whether your college has provided or sought any advisory opinions on privacy laws ( e.g ., FERPA, HIPAA)? The Clery Act? State law civil actions? Are any committees internal or external to th e college actively reviewing these matters to your knowledge? If so, please expl ain how they were formed. Do you know what the Clery Act requires an institution to do? How would a timely warning be issued on your campus? Who can issue a warning? What would you consider timely? Community colleges have a unique mission. Has any thought been given by you or your office on how better quality service options could be engendered for mental health services in the community or on your campus? Community colleges in the state serve a dive rse group of students. Do you see any special considerations that should be explored in relation to having a population of dual enrollment students on your campus who are under the age of 18?

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155 Have parents, students, or faculty expre ssed specific safety c oncerns that you are aware of? How would you describe your campus culture? [clanhighly flexible, mentoring leader; hierarchy/bureaucraticstabl e/predictable; adhocracycla n with more innovative-type leader; or marketgoal oriented leader] Do you feel your campus culture is open to change or resistant to change? How are decision made on your campus? [discussion and consensus; top-down; other; it depends] Please explain. In terms of campus safety policy and being pr oactive in identifyi ng troubled students and intervening on their behalf, communications be tween the faculty, department heads, and crisis intervention are some of the areas discussed in the reports. Are you aware of any logistical problem s unique to a multi-campus setting that should be explored? Does your institution have security or law enforcement officers? Are mutual aid agreements established? Are there easy to locate hot line numbers where students/faculty staff/visitors can relay information regarding events they may percei ve as odd, such as a building being chained or a package left on a bench? Are students, faculty, or bot h offered awareness workshops? Should law enforcement have access to student records? If so, why? As campuses continue to serve increasing numbe rs of students in the online environment, do you feel this will help or hinder the design and implementation of campus safety policies related to prevention and intervention? Is the growth in online courses raising or lowering campus safety concerns? Are you aware of any best practi ces either here or at another institution that may foster supportive campus climates and increased st udent participation in campus activities? Do you have any thoughts on the factors that have been most useful in creating engagement? Do you have any thoughts or concerns on the topic of campus safety policy related to prevention or intervention that you think needs further exploration?

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156 LIST OF REFERENCES Am erican law Institute (ALI). (2006). Restatement of the law: Agency (3rd ed.). St. Paul, MN: American Law Institute Publishers. Anderson, J. (1975). Public policy-making New York: Praeger. Ary, D., Jacobs, L., & Razavieh, A. (2002). Introduction to research in education (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning. Bailey, W. (1984). Poverty, inequality and city homicide rates. Criminology 22, 531-550. Barnes, J. (1954). Class and committees in a Norwegian Island Parish. Human Relations 7, 3958. Beach, M. (2002, Jan. 18). Law school killer. Herald Sun, p. 32. Beckett, K., & Sasson, T. (2000). The politics of injustice: Cr ime and punishment in America. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press, Sage. Bennett, W. J. (1988, February 22). Ex cessive legalization in education. Chicago Daily Law Bulletin p. 2. Berg, B.L. (2001). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Bibeault, D. B. (1982). Corporate turnaround New York: McGraw-Hill. Blau, J., & Blau, P. (1982). The cost of inequa lity: Metropolitan struct ure and violent crime. American Sociological Review 47, 114-129. Boleman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (1991). Leadership and management effectiveness: A multi-frame, multi-sector analysis. Human Resource Management 30, 509-534. Boleman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (1997). Reframing organizations: Ar tistry, choice, leadership (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Brewer, G. & deLeon, P. (1983). The foundations of policy analysis Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole. Bromley, M., & Territo, L. (1990). College crime prevention and personal safety awareness. Sringfield: Charles C. Thomas. Brown, W. A., & Gamber, C. 2002 Cost containment in higher education: Issues and recommendations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Brumfield, C. (2007, Dec. 20). Eastern Michigan University receives record Clery Act fine. American Association of Collegiate Regi strars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).

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164 Task Force Report. Floridas gubernatorial task force for university campus safety: Report on findings and recommendations (2007, May 24). State of Florida. Retrieved Nov. 20, 2007, from http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/campusSecurity/docs/finalReport052407.pdf. Thompson, D. (Ed.). (1995). The concise Oxford dictionary of current English (9th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. Tierney, W. G. (1988). Organization culture in higher education: Defining the essentials. Journal of Higher Education 59 (1), 2-21. Tinto, V. (1975). Dropout from higher education: A theoretical synthesis of recent research. Review of Educational Research 45, 89-125. Tinto, V. (1987). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Tinto, V. (1988). Stages of student departure: Reflections on the l ongitudinal character of student leaving. The Journal of Higher Education 59 (4), 438-455. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed.). Chicago: The Univer sity of Chicago Press. Tyack, D. B., James, T., & Benavot, A., (1987). Law and the shaping of public education 17851954. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Valente, W. D. (1987). Law in the schools Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill. Vandament, W. (1989). Finance management in higher education San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Virginia Tech Report. (2007, Aug.). Mass shootings at Virginia Tech April 16, 2007: Report of the Virginia Tech review panel Commonwealth of Virginia. Retrieved Nov. 2007, from http://www.governor.virginia.gov/T empContent/techPanelReport.cfm. Virginia Tech Review Panel Calls for Reform of Mental Health Trea tment Law. (2007, August 31). PR Newswire: New York. Retrieved December 14, 2007, from http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/ prnewswire/access/1328550091.html?dids=1328550091:132 8550091&FMT=CITE&FMTS=CITE:FT&type=c urrent&date=Aug+31%2C+2007&auth or=Anonymous&pub=PR+Newswire&edition= &startpage=n%2Fa&desc=Virginia+Tech +Review+Panel+Calls+For+Reform+of+Mental+Health+Treatment+Law. Webb, E., Campbell, D., & Schwartz, R. (1966). Unobtrusive measures: Non reactive research in the social sciences Chicago: Rand McNally. Wexler, D. (2000a). Just some juvenile thi nking about delinquent be havior: A therapeutic jurisprudence approach to relapse prev ention planning and youth advisory juries. Kansas City Law Review 69, 93-114.

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165 Wexler, D. (2000b). Therapeutic jurisprudence: An overview. Thomas M. Cooley Law Review 17, 125-137. Wilke, P. (1988, May 25). The "overregulation" of schooling. Education Week, p. 24. Wilkinson, K. P. (1970). The community as a social field. Social Forces 48 (3), 311-322. Winick, B. (2003). Therapeutic jurisprudence and problem solving courts. Fordham Urban Law Journal 1055-1076. Woman kills 2 students in Louisiana college classroom, takes own life. (2008, February 8). Associated Press. Retrieved February 17, 2008, from www.foxnews.com/ printer_friendly_story/0,3566,329908,00.html. Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research: Design and methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Yinger, J. M. (1965). Toward a field theory of behavio r: Personality and social structure. New York: McGraw-Hill. Yuchtman, E., & Seashore, S. E. (1967). A sy stem resource approach to organizational effectiveness. American Sociological Review 32 (6), 891-903. Zirkel, P. A. (1978). A test of Supreme Court decisions affecting education. Phi Delta Kappan 20, 522-525. Zirkel, P. A. (1989). Is ther e a liability insurance crisis? Phi Delta Kappan 71, 80-81. Zirkel, P. A. (1996). The law or the lore? Phi Delta Kappan 77, 579. Zirkel, P. A. (1998). National tre nds in education litigation: Supr eme Court decisions concerning students. Journal of Law and Education, 27, 235-248. List of Cases Baldwin v. Zoradi, 123 Cal. App. 3d 275 (Cal. Ct. App. 1981) Beach v. Univ. of Utah 726 P. 2d 413 (Utah 1986) Booker v. Lehigh Univ ., 800 F. Supp. 234 (E.D. Pa. 1992) Bradshaw v. Rawlings, 612 F.2d 135 (3d Cir. 1979) City of Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378 (1989) City of Jacksonville v. D eRay 418 So. 2d 1035 (Fla. 1st DCA 1982)

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166 Coghlan v. Beta Theta Pi Fraternity 987 P. 2d 300, 305 (Idaho 1999) Creamer v. Sampson, 700 S. 2d 711, 713 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997) Dept of Children and Families, Svcs. v. Leons 948 So. 2d 988, 990 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007) Dixon v. Alabama 294 F. 2d 150 (5th Cir. 1961) Dixon v. Whitfield 654 So. 2d 1230 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995) Doe v. Faerber 446 F. Supp. 2d 1311 (M.D. Fla. 2006) Doe v. Malicki, 814 So. 2d 347 (Fla. 2002) Eiseman v. State, 511 N.E.2d 1128 (N.Y. 1987) Fields v. Kirton 961 So. 2d 1127 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007) & 2007 Fla. LEXIS 2500 Fla. Dept of Highway Patrol v. Pollock 745 So. 2d 446 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1999) Garcia v. Duffy, 492 So. 2d 435 (Fla. 2d DCA 1986) Garofalo v. Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity 616 N.W.2d 647 (Iowa 2000) Gott v. Berea Coll. 161 S.W. 204 (Ky. 1913) Harlow v. Fitzgerald 457 U.S. 800 (1982) Howlett v. Rose 496 U.S. 356 (1990) Henley v. Prince Georges County 503 A.2d 1333 (Md. 1986) Kaisner v. Kolb 543 So. 2d 732 (Fla. 1989) King v. Dade County Bd. of Public Instruction 286 So. 2d 256 (Fla. 3d DCA 1973) McLeod v. Grant County School Dist. No. 128, 255 P. 2d 360 (Wash. 1953) Nero v. Kan. State Univ., 253 Kan. 567, 861 P. 2d 768 (Kan. 1993) Nova Southeastern Univ., Inc. v. Gross, 758 So. 2d 86 (Fla. 2000) Nova Univ. v. Wagner, 491 So. 2d 1116, 1117 (Fla. 1986) Palsgraf v. Long Island R. Co., 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E. 99 (N.Y. 1928)

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167 Pensacola Junior Coll. v. Montgomery 539 S. 2d 1153 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989) Pollock v. Fla. Dept. of Highway Patrol 882 So. 2d 928 (Fla. 2004) Rabel v. Illinois Wesleyan Univ. 514 N.E.2d 552 (Ill. Ct. App. 1987) Rupp v. Bryant, 717 So. 2d 658 (Fla. 1982) Schieszler v. Ferrum Coll., W.D. Va., 236 F. Supp. 2d 602; 233 F. Supp. 2d 796 (2002) Sch. Bd. of Orange County v. Coffey, 524 So. 2d 1052 (Fla. 5th DCA 1988) Trianon Park Condo. Assoc., Inc. v. City of Hialeah 468 So. 2d 912 (Fla. 1985) Univ. of Denver v. Whitlock 744 P. 2d 54 (Colo. 1987) Wyatt v. McMullen 350 So. 2d 1115 (Fla. 1st DCA 1977) List of Statutes and Other Sources 34 C.F.R. 99.31 34 C.F.R. 99.36 34 C.F.R. 668.46 42 U.S.C. 1983 45 C.F.R. 160-164 59 Am .Jur.2d Parent and Child, 133 Art. I, 23, Fla. Const. (1998) CA Supreme Court Minutes, Dkt. S067722 (1998, March 18) Chpater 119, Fla. Stat. (2007) Chapter 284, Fla. Stat. (2007) Chapter 286, Fla. Stat. (2007) Chapter 394, Fla. Stat. (2007) Chapter 395, Fla. Stat. (2007)

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168 Chapter 768, Fla. Stat. (2007) Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (F ERPA); 20 U.S.C. 1232g; Buckley Amendment; and 34 C.F.R. 99 Fla. Exec. Order No. 07-77 (2007) Fla. Exec. Order No. 07-78 (2007) Fla. R. App. P. 9.030(b) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Pub. L. 104-191, 110 Stat. 1936; 45 C.F.R. 160-164 Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Po licy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, U.S.C. (15) Restatement 2d of Torts 314A (1965) Restatement 2d of Torts 319 (1965) Section 790.06(12), Fl a. Stat. (2007) Section 1001.43, Fla. Stat. (2007) Section 1004.67, Fla. Stat. (2007) Teacher Liability Protection Act, 20 U.S.C. 6736 U.S. Const. amend. IV, 12 Wash. H. R. Rep. No. 2648, 60th Leg. (2008) Wash. S. H. B. No. 2648, 60th Leg. (2008) Va. Exec. Order No. 53 (2007)

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169 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jennifer L. Kerkhoff holds a B achelor of Arts in crim inology, summa cum laude, from the University of South Florida, along with the King ONeal Award. She rece ived her Juris Doctor with honors from the University of Floridas Levin College of Law, and Master of Science in criminal justice from Sam Houston State Univer sity in Texas. Throughout the course of her educational achievements, Ms. Kerkhoff has been i nvolved in grant projects, as well as college research and teaching. Ms. Kerkhoff is a practicing attorney in the State of Florida. She is licensed in the Federal Middle District of Florida, the Fe deral Northern District of Florid a, and the Eleventh Circuit. Ms. Kerkhoffs case load has included civil right s claims, 42 U.S.C. 1983 actions, state law negligence claims against government entities, go vernment in the sunshine violations, and a variety of business transactions. She has served as a consultant on ag ency matters and police practices and was the interim Assistant Dean for Students at the University of Floridas Levin College of Law for the 2005-2006 academic year.