As public safety continues to be a leading topic nationwide and locally, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents will discuss how the University is investing in safety on its Twin Cities campus, as well as with partners off-campus in the neighborhoods where students, faculty and staff live and work.
University President Joan Gabel, Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations Myron Frans and University of Minnesota Police Chief Matt Clark will discuss new and ongoing actions, including community outreach, new infrastructure investments and efforts to advance the work of the M Safe initiative that began last fall.
The area under the University’s direct control—limited to its campus properties in the Twin Cities—has largely experienced a stable number of reported incidents in recent years. However, both the administration and the Board have prioritized safety of the broader campus community and recognize this requires strong investment and partnership in the safety of nearby, off-campus neighborhoods. Discussion will note specific ways the University is investing more public safety resources in these neighborhoods than ever before.
For example, leaders will highlight:
- The University hiring of three additional UMPD officers, a Hennepin County social worker and a community liaison in recent weeks;
- Providing overtime UMPD patrols to the Dinkytown/Marcy Holmes neighborhood and coordinating with the City of Minneapolis to provide increased patrols in the same area;
- Partnership with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office to provide additional visible patrols on and near campus;
- Working with the city, power utilities, public works, Dinkytown leaders and University departments to develop a cohesive plan for improved lighting in the neighborhood, as well as litter and graffiti removal;
- Beginning a community ambassadors program to engage Dinkytown businesses and neighbors in ongoing conversations and partnership;
- Making the RAVE Escort app available to all students, faculty and staff to provide users a virtual walking buddy and a direct connection to the campus 911 center as they walk across campus.
- Installing four blue light safety kiosks adjacent to Dinkytown that provide 24/7 video surveillance, a one-stop connection to 911 dispatchers and a reassuring visible presence. Additional kiosks are planned in the coming months.
Additional work is underway by the M Safe Summer Implementation Team, which is accelerating implementation of the latest round of recommendations presented to the Board in January 2021 by the administration and Dr. Cedric Alexander, an expert in law enforcement with over 40 years experience in public safety. This work includes conducting review of policies and processes related to mutual aid and multi-agency responses, advanced UMPD officer training and other items.
As part of its September meetings, the Board is also expected to:
- Discuss work plans for all Board committees for the coming year.
- Receive the annual update on academic program changes detailing programs that were launched, discontinued or significantly modified this past year.
- Review the President’s recommended six-year capital plan and 2022 state capital request.
- Discuss principles for strategic acquisition and sales of University property.
- Receive an update on ongoing operational impacts related to COVID-19.
- Review a conceptual overview and consultation plan for building naming policy amendments.
- Receive the annual report from Gopher Athletics.
- Discuss the latest updates on the Positioned for Excellence, Alignment and Knowledge (PEAK) Initiative, a systemwide effort to identify opportunities across non-academic functions and increase efficiency or gain capacity to advance the University’s teaching, research and outreach mission.
- Receive a report on private giving from the University of Minnesota Foundation, including an update of the Driven campaign.
For more information, including future meeting times, visit regents.umn.edu.
- Campus Affairs