Faculty report underutilization of emergency preparedness training offered by University

In the wake of the Aug. 28 shooting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that left one faculty member dead, UNC’s media relations office told the News & Observer that there is no mandated emergency response training for faculty. 

Duke Emergency Management offers annual training to all students, faculty and staff and requires training for all Duke Health employees, wrote Chloe Hallberg, executive director for Duke’s emergency management system in an email to The Chronicle. 

However, Duke Emergency Management does not require emergency preparedness training for all University-side employees, and some faculty members remain unaware of what to do in the event of an emergency. 

“I can say there is no faculty training on this in my department,” wrote Mark Hansen, James B. Duke distinguished professor of literature. “We have received the emails sent to all faculty, and have had the issue raised by our graduate students, but that’s about it.”

“To my recollection, we’ve never received any such training,” wrote Professor of History Jocelyn Olcott.

Lynn Smith-Lovin, Robert L. Wilson professor distinguished professor of sociology, agreed. 

“I’m not aware of any special training or information that we faculty have had, although I know that they are making some available now,” she wrote.

Hallberg wrote that Duke Emergency Management reviews “all emergency processes and procedures after incidents such as the tragedy at UNC to ensure we are always doing everything possible to prevent and communicate about maintaining safety on our campus.”

She added that Duke provides emergency preparedness training to those who wish to complete it, both online and on-site, and provides educational campaigns to “promote awareness and understanding of our services.” 

Duke Emergency Management website offers both written guidelines and videos to prepare the viewer in the event of an armed intruder. To watch the videos, the user needs a Duke-affiliated NetID. 

The Emergency Management Department also provides departmental-level training. 

“One example is a recent full day of safety training we ran for OIT with participation from Duke Police, Duke Fire Safety, Duke EMS, Duke Life Flight and Durham EMS,” Hallberg wrote. 

“We are here to help the institution and everyone in the Duke community be prepared for whatever may come,” Hallberg wrote. 


Kate Haver

Kate Haver is a Trinity first-year and a staff reporter for the news department.       

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