A 16-point security plan will go a long way toward repairing Eastern Michigan University's image and returning the focus to education, the school's interim chief says.
One strategy will be to communicate often with the university community, Donald Loppnow, provost and executive vice president, told The Detroit News. The school also plans to provide biweekly incident reports to students, faculty and staff, and establish a formal crisis communications policy.
"Going forward, we are committed to the safety of our students and will, as I say, be an exemplary institution in that area," Loppnow said. "And we will redouble efforts to return to elevating our core enterprise, which is the teaching and learning of our students."
Three university administrators, including President John Fallon, were forced out last week after the Ypsilanti school was accused of covering up the dorm room rape and killing of a student.
Fallon last month announced the 16 strategies now under way to more effectively respond in emergencies and more accurately report crimes.
The cover-up allegations surfaced several weeks after the Dec. 15 death of student Laura Dickinson, 22. At the time of Dickinson's death, university officials told her parents and the media that there was no sign of foul play, despite evidence to the contrary.
An independent law firm investigation and U.S. Department of Education report both found that Eastern Michigan violated the federal Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities to disclose campus security information.
Loppnow, a 34-year veteran of Eastern Michigan, sees spending time with various groups as a key factor in helping the campus turn the corner.
"Healing can only take place as groups of people relate more effectively to each other, and as we in leadership roles make it very clear that we are committed to moving forward together," he told The Ann Arbor News.