Campus security is not normally an issue that is discussed in conjunction with faculty members. Typically, campus safety is relegated to the purview of administrators and campus police. Few professors receive substantial training on ways to enhance campus safety through what occurs in their classrooms. This view needs to change in order to respond to current realities and to incorporate the recommendations of the latest research on campus safety.
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Consider the following scenario: A student, clearly upset about receiving a failing grade on the midterm, comes up to you after class and says he wants to retake it. You reply that, as stated in the syllabus, there are no make-up exams. You also remind him of his spotty attendance record. He becomes angry, knocks your papers off the front table, and yells “You’re a terrible professor! The whole class hates you!”
A new online course designed to help higher education faculty and staff recognize and mitigate disruptive and potentially dangerous student behavior is now available from
During the past 10-15 years, incidents of disruptive behavior have increased on colleges campuses nationwide. For college administrators, choosing the appropriate response can make a big difference in the outcome of the situation and the student’s future at your institution.
Campus tragedies, like those at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University, served as a wake-up call for the need to refocus efforts and attention to campus safety issues, and the role that everyone plays in recognizing potential red flag behaviors among students and others on campus.