Institutional Threat Assessment Teams

Mandate, Organization, and Operation

Topics: Student Health and Wellness, Student Affairs, Alcohol and Drug Use, Mental Health and Counseling, Sexual Health and Conduct, Student Health Centers, Campus Safety, Risk Management, Administration and Finance

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Summary

As administrators seek to increase the safety of their universities, many institutions establish small, interdisciplinary threat assessment teams as a low-cost and effective way to identify concerning behaviors with the goal of preventing violence on campus. This study explores the structures and procedures of institutional threat assessment teams. Specifically, it identifies team organization, membership, services, procedures, and policies. It also explores the relationship between threat assessment and behavioral intervention teams on campuses.

  • Key observations from our research:


    1. Universities establish threat assessment teams as a low-cost and effective way to help prevent harm and violence on campus.

    2. Threat assessment teams typically consist of five to eight core members from various campus units.

    3. Although contacts do not report formal training requirements for team members, experts recommend basic threat assessment training.

    4. Threat assessment teams should establish formal threat assessment procedures that align with university policies.

    5. Teams establish multiple reporting channels to maximize the likelihood the team receives reports of concerning behavior.