Academics and Research

Reader’s Digest gives DU an ‘A’ for safety-preparedness

The University of Denver scored well in a national report on safety preparedness released Feb. 7 by Reader’s Digest. The magazine surveyed 135 universities nationwide for its article “Safe at School?” and assigned letter grades of A, B and C based on their readiness to handle on-campus threats to safety and security. Only 45 schools, including DU, received an “A” from the magazine.

The survey considered many variables including campus size and location. The full survey results can be found at, along with the methodology used.

“We’re very pleased to have been recognized for the work we do to safeguard our students, faculty, staff and visitors,” says Craig Woody, vice chancellor for business and financial affairs, whose office oversees many of the departments charged with safety preparedness at DU. “Obviously, we can’t guarantee safety 100 percent of the time, but I feel our proactive approach to preparedness allows us to anticipate, and then react to, potential problems or threats.”

In 2007, DU became one of the first universities in Colorado to launch a Critical Incident Notification System. Students, faculty and staff can register to receive text and voice mail messages from the Department of Campus Safety in the event of an emergency on campus.

The Reader’s Digest report also features questions that parents and students should ask when first visiting a college, including whether the school is monitored — in real time, 24/7 — by video cameras, whether the school use electronic-access card keys and newer campus-alert systems, and whether there are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in campus buildings.

Survey questions were prepared in consultation with Matthew Kahn, UCLA; Safety on Campus, Inc.; and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.

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