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A safety message from President McDavis

On Monday, Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis sent this email to all faculty, staff and students:

December 17, 2012
Dear Colleagues and Students:
On Friday, December 14th, responding to a report of threats, the Ohio University Police Department (OUPD) arrested one of our employees, who, according to eyewitness reports, allegedly made threatening remarks to coworkers about bringing a shotgun to work. After speaking with the employee and eyewitnesses, officers obtained a search warrant for the employee's residence. Working with Athens Police Department (APD), officers executed a search of his property, seizing firearms, along with ammunition for each weapon.
This recent arrest of an Ohio University employee who allegedly made workplace violence threats provides an important reminder of the need to be aware of our surroundings and to alert officials to suspicious comments or behaviors by coworkers or others in the University community. Thanks to a concerned employee, who reported threatening comments made by a coworker, swift action was taken to ensure campus safety. The response by University Human Resources, OUPD, the APD, and the Athens County Prosecutor's Office demonstrated their ability to thoroughly and quickly coordinate efforts to deal with potential threats. I want to thank them for their work.
There is an ongoing need for each one of us to be vigilant in promoting and preparing for threatening situations. For safety’s sake, threatening comments or suspicious actions must be taken seriously and reported immediately to appropriate authorities.
If you are concerned that an individual may do violence to himself or others, contact OUPD immediately. Our community responders are prepared and trained to handle, assess, and respond to concerning and threatening situations as well as evaluate the potential for future violence. If you are beginning to see signs that a coworker is having escalating difficulties coping with professional or personal issues, please contact University Human Resources. Likewise in the case of students, the Dean of Student’s Office can provide assistance through the Student Review and Consultation Committee.
I also want to remind you that the university’s weapons policy prohibits anyone from bringing or threatening to bring firearms onto our campuses or into any of our buildings.

If you have questions about our policies relating to this issue or any others connected to workplace violence or student conduct, please contact OUPD, University Human Resources, or the Dean of Student’s Office.
Again, I want to thank the employee who raised the concern, our first responders for their swift action, and all involved in the appropriate handling of this situation.


Roderick J. McDavis