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New emergency warning system to be tested May 20

Project team seeks OHIO community participation

Following September's high wind events near Ohio University, a team was formed under the executive sponsorship of the Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPFA) to explore vendors that could provide a comprehensive ability to rapidly notify the campus of an emergency (through texts, emails, outdoor sirens, web pages, phone notification, and other means).

The team conducted reviews of 12 vendor proposals and received two days of presentations by the top four vendors. Blackboard Connect presented themselves as the strongest vendor. 

As a next step, on May 18 currently registered users will receive a system initialization text message. On Friday, May 20, Ohio University will conduct a performance validation test. A text message will be sent to those same users and it will ask the users to acknowledge the message.

"Blackboard Connect is an industry leader in providing emergency notifications," said Joe Adams, associate vice president for risk management and safety. "It is separate from the other Blackboard systems on campus and should provide us with an improved ability to rapidly notify the campus of an emergency."

The project team will evaluate the results of the test before making the final recommendation to the Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPFA) Stephen Golding. The target date for providing this recommendation is the end of May. 

Members of the project team include:

Chad Barnhardt, Coordinator of Parent Outreach & Special Projects
Joshua Bodnar, Asst. Director of Sales/Promo/Communication
Matthew Dalton, Director, Information Technology Security
Mike Elliott, Telephone Engineer
Jill Harris, Manager Emergency Programs
Andrew Powers, Chief of Police
Todd Stone, Senior Manager Internal Communication
Rusty Thomas, Business Services Manager