March 1, 2005 | 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Clipper Room, Shriver Hall
The Steering Committee:
Dr. Matthew Roller (Chair) - present
Dr. Hilary Bok (Vice Chair) - regrets
Dr. Kevin Hemker (Secretary) - present
Meeting called to order by Steering Committee Chair Dr. Matthew Roller at 3:30 p.m. who welcomed all faculty and introduced Dr. Hemker. Dr. Roller then called for a review of previous minutes — those of Dec. 8th, 2004. Hearing no corrections he entertained a motion to accept the minutes; the motion was seconded and approved. 2. JHU President Dr. William Brody
Dr. Roller introduced President William Brody and announced that Dr. Brody would be talking about the general security concerns on campus, the new initiatives the university would be taking to improve security, and speak to the concerns raised by faculty on how the individual JHU schools would contribute to the funding of said initiatives.
President Brody started his address by referring to the "three tragic events that have occurred on Homewood campus" — namely the recent the suicide of Dominic Ferrara, the murder of Linda Trihn, and the murder of Christopher Elser. Dr. Brody pointed out that the three cases, to date, have no connection to one another.
Dr. Brody said that Ferrara appears to have had substance abuse problems dating back to high school which, for some reason, JHU was unaware of. Dr. Brody said that the police continue to remain "tight-lipped" regarding the Linda Trihn murder and continually reiterate that they have a "suspect in mind". Dr. Brody referred to student rumors that claim the suspect "frequented the university" and knew Trihn through a sorority sister.
Dr. Brody also commented on the death of Chris Elser, whose murder he said was the result of a "burglary gone bad." Dr. Brody explained that Elser confronted an intruder who entered through a side door of a fraternity house which, despite having working locks, was left open after a fraternity party. Elser was stabbed in the heart and died as a result of that wound.
Dr Brody spoke of the "hysteria and wrath" of the students and parents in response to the recent deaths. Dr. Brody said that the student population appears to be recovering and dealing with the events recounting the 200+ student forum held following the death of Trihn, where the administration took direct hits from the kids who were angry at that point, but have since calmed down. Dr Brody went on to recount the recent reactions of parents, which he said have been less understandable, stronger and at times mean-spirited.
Dr. Brody said that following Elser's death, the university began taking measures to increase security. Dr. Brody pointed out that campus crime statistics show a marked drop in on-campus violent crime in past years. Dr. Brody also said that compared to other universities — even those located in "pastoral" settings such as Northwestern University — JHU is "not that far out of whack." He also acknowledged that statistics do not lessen personal loss.
Based on his conversations with members of the student body, Dr. Brody said the student's feel reasonably safe on campus, but they don't feel safe off campus. Dr. Brody pointed out that students leaving the Eisenhower Library at night might not feel safe even walking the few short blocks to Charles Village or the Homewood apartments. Dr. Brody also said that students who live on St. Paul or Guilford streets have recounted stories of friends who have been the victims of robbery or harassment by strangers in those neighborhoods.
Brody said that despite the fact that these events take place off campus, it is the university's responsibility to do whatever is "reasonably possible" to make students feels safe and provide a safe living environment.
Dr Brody indicated that all three deans from the Homewood schools have "stepped up and realize that not to respond and not to respond very definitively would significantly risk our standing in recruiting students to this campus."
As an example of lax security, Dr. Brody recounted a story of a graduate student who was recently robbed at gunpoint while leaving his lab in the Wyman Park building. The student lived across the street from the building. Dr. Brody said that the student — whose field is computer security — claimed that the university has "theatre security"; security intended to make students and staff feel safe, but in reality providing little actual security. Dr. Brody visited Wyman Park with the student and noted that the building only has one guarded entrance at which visitors must simply provide a J-card or sign in — no photo id is checked. The student also demonstrated that access could easily be gained through two unguarded entrances.
Dr. Brody said the university clearly has a number of things to accomplish to beef up security, including stronger ID controls and checkpoints in the dorms. In response to all of these issues, Dr. Brody said the university has come up with a 15 point comprehensive plan which includes short intermediate and long term goals. The details of this plan have been emailed to the JHU community. These new initiatives would result in operating costs for guard houses and fences, and technology purchases including a 32 camera campus-wide monitoring system.
Dr. Brody said the university must strive to change and adapt as different security issues arise. As an example, Dr. Brody pointed out that that Charles Village, as an increasingly upscale neighborhood, has been experiencing far more noise pollution calls than security calls, which take up a large amount of JHU security personnel's time. These financial changes to the area, said Dr. Brody would ultimately cause even more problems as students are forced to move further from the campus to find affordable housing. In response to these concerns, the university has been looking into more affordable student housing for the area, Dr. Brody said.
Dr. Brody said that the university must "own up" to the security of all students, regardless of whether they live on campus or off campus (as many Peabody, SOM, Bloomberg, and other graduate students do). Dr. Brody also pointed out that students are preferred targets — noting the dramatic drop in criminal complaints during the summer months.
Dr. Brody said the university has put together an external review group made of law enforcements officials and members of other universities. The new initiatives are based on both cost efficiency and the promotion of a safe environment. Dr. Brody said that a one-time capital expense will be used to add more lighting to the residence halls, improve access controls to buildings, install non-invasive fencing and guard stations at the AMR's, and to install a 32 camera video surveillance system and monitoring center.
Dr. Brody said the capital costs for the initial investment will be shared by Homewood Student Affairs (through room and board charges) and a "significant amount" from the President's discretionary fund. The ongoing operating expenses will cover the increase of both Hopkins and contract security guards as well as armed, off duty Baltimore police officers, who will patrol the campus and Charles Village communities, an enhanced university escort services, tightened security in the Bradford apartments, and putting 3 manned guard posts around the AMR.
These operating costs, said Dr. Brody, will be shared through the universities "usual allocation mechanism" that examines how each school will be using the services. Dr Brody said there is a space charge for all Homewood divisions, including the university administration, since "all members of the JHU community (including students from other campuses that use Homewood's resources) will benefit from these measures".
Dr. Brody reiterated that the each of the three deans of the Homewood Campus schools have agreed to "step up" and support the new security measures despite the fact that the initiative is "very costly." Dr. Brody said that public response to the announcement of the new measures has been very positive, especially from parents and members of the local community.
Dr. Joseph Katz of Chemical Engineering asked whether the closing of the Charles Street "death lane" has to go to City Council. Dr. Brody said he did not think it has to go to the City Council based on recent information from the mayor's office. Dr. Brody also said that the lane closure has been an issue for years and has been earnestly pursued by the university for at least six years.
Dr. Alan Goldman of the Applied Mathematic Department asked if the university might look into measures that would make students more aware of security issues. Dr. Brody said that most important determinate in security is "personal behavior" and cited alcohol use among students as a serious concern. Dr. Brody said that 50-75% of all security issues involve alcohol and noted that a large number of incidents occur between midnight and 6 a.m. with students who are not in full control of their faculties. Dr. Brody reiterated that alcohol did not play a part in Linda Trihn's death or in the recent Wyman Park mugging.
Dr. John Bagger, of the Physics and Astronomy Department asked if all measures have been considered to ease the financial shock on both KSAS and WSE, such as taking out a five year bond against the JHU endowment, etc. Dr. Brody said that the university doesn't have the choice to phase in the costs and has to pass the costs to the schools. He also pointed out that ongoing operating costs will be as significant as the initial costs. Dr. Brody indicated that the Deans of KSAS and WSE have agreed to take on the immediate costs. Dean Dr. Daniel Weiss of KSAS seconded that commitment and said that the resolution to spread the costs among the schools has been "very smartly" distributed amongst all the schools.
Dr. Bob Green of the Material Science Department asked about the possibility of setting up cell phone emergency alarms for students to use. Dr. Brody responded by saying the technology exists for panic alarms that students could possibly use in Charles Village, but questioned the feasibility of initiating it campus-wide due to problems associated with false alarms, etc.
Dr. Charles Meneveau of Mechanical Engineering asked whether the Charles Village neighborhood has established a neighborhood watch or similar patrol program as was discussed in recent years. Dr. Brody said they had and indicated that JHU puts four times as many patrols in Charles Village as the City of Baltimore and said that the university tries to "deal with the area strategically" by mapping where all the students live and where crimes are being committed.
In conclusion, Dr. Brody said that "in the end, we have to get everyone not only the students to recognize that each of us is responsible for security" and welcomed all suggestions regarding security from the university community.
3. Dean Daniel Weiss, KSAS
Dr. Daniel Weiss, Dean of KSAS spoke on the recent rumors surrounding the planned merging of the German language and Romance languages departments in KSAS.
Dr. Weiss said that the rumors are a result of an article that appeared in JHU magazine "immediately after the first phase of this decision was made" and clarified that the printing of the article was "very regrettable." Dr Weiss said that "nothing is more important to us at the Dean's office than to maintain credibility with the faculty."
The timing of the publication, Dr. Weiss said, was very unfortunate and he stressed that his office has been working with the faculty from both the German and Romance Language Departments since the merger was first proposed. Dr Weiss also stressed that neither he nor any member of the administration was involved in the publication of the article and noted that the decision to merge the departments had actually not been made before the article was printed.
Dr Weiss said that great many criteria are considered when considering the viability of a department and size is not always the determining factor. Dr Weiss said that the nature and structures of departments at JHU has changed and will continue to change over the years and stressed that the administration does not have a "grand plan" regarding the future of departments.
Dr. Raymond Westbrook of the department of Near Eastern Studies asked about the criteria the administration uses in decisions to merge departments or to decide when departments are not viable. Dr. Weiss said that the university has to consider how smaller departments compete with larger ones. He also said that university has to consider fields "we want to do work in" and must pay attention both to how smaller departments compete with each other at JHU and stand up to national and regional scrutiny.
4. Larry Kilduff, Executive Director of Facilities Management
Larry Kilduff, Executive Director of Facilities Management, presented the plans for the new large-scale south quad development.
Mr. Kilduff and Mr. Jim Miller, Sr. Director of Design & Construction presented a PowerPoint presentation of the project which showed the layout of the new quad including the new computational sciences building, a new visitors center/admissions office off of Wyman Park drive and a 600+ space underground parking garage that will be situated beneath the central lawn of the quad.
Mr. Kilduff said that in the long term the new quad will provide opportunity for 250,000 square feet of new space in this area of the campus.
Mr. Kilduff said that the new entrance will prominently feature a high-end building that will house both the visitor's center and admissions office. The new building will be 27,000 square feet and will feature many of the classic architectural elements found in other campus buildings.
Mr. Kilduff said the new computational science building, to be located across from Clark hall, will be a 75,000 square foot add on to Barton Hall and will feature a large thoroughfare through the center of the building to allow for foot traffic and access to the interior of the new quad and a 'pass-thru' to the Lower Quad. The landscaping for the quad, said Mr. Kilduff, will be consistent with the campus-wide landscape plans that were implemented in 2000.
Mr. Miller pointed out the key features of the maps, including the layout of the new Computational Science building and parking garage and noted that there is the potential for the university to add to Clark Hall in the future. Mr. Miller said the new Computational Sciences building will be joined to Barton on three levels and will include a large robotics lab with flexible, open laboratory space.
Mr. Miller said that, while the "Beach" entry to the university represents the ceremonial entrance, the new Wyman Park Drive entrance will provide better access for vehicular traffic. The new quad, said Mr. Miller, will be a little wider than the current upper and lower quads but a little shorter than the upper campus quad. Mr. Miller said the designers envisioned the new quad to be a place where students can congregate. "We'd like to see students out there throwing Frisbees and kicking soccer balls around," Mr. Miller said. Mr. Miller also said that the quad will not have the more formal cross pathways found in the other quads and will sport a smoother architecture, with curving footpaths and softer architectural lines.
Mr. Kilduff said the new 3 story underground garage will feature two pedestrian exits — one in the southwest corner near the main garage entrance and one in the northeast near the new Computational Sciences building. Mr. Kilduff also said that some of the spaces may be leased out to the BMA for use as backup parking; thereby providing revenue for the university.
Dr. Bagger, asked about the level of security in the new garage. Mr Kilduff said the garage would include video surveillance and would likely close between 10-11 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. to control access.
Mr. Miller said the project will begin this summer. The parking lot will be taken out of service staring in August or September to begin excavating 100,000 cubic yards of soil for the parking garage hole and installing utility work. The garage is expected to be open for business in the summer of 2007. Mr. Kilduff said that in the interim, shuttle service from JHU's Eastern campus would be provided and noted that spaces in the new St. Martin garage will also come on-line in late April of this year. Mr. Kilduff also noted that 50-60 additional spaces would open once the Carnegie Institute moves from its current location to their new building.
Dr. Kevin Hemker of the Mechanical Engineering Department asked if faculty spaces would be provided in the new south quad garage. Mr. Kilduff said that the new garage would increase the overall campus parking by over 100 spaces, allowing for more faculty parking than the campus currently has. Dr. Hemker asked how priority was to be distributed between faculty, BMA and visitors spaces and Mr. Kilduff indicated that was not his decision to make.
Dr. Paul Dagdigian of the Chemistry Department asked about the insufficient plowing and salting of San Martin Drive. Mr. Kilduff indicated that JHU has had a hard time getting the city to repair San Martin Drive, but that the street is slated to be repaved by the university in April 2005.
Dr. Alan Goldman of the Applied Mathematics Department asked how the flow of traffic through the new visitor's center would be controlled. Mr. Kilduff said that Dr. Paula Berger, Associate Dean of KSAS will be coordinating the staff of the new center, which will include staff from the JHU Office of Public Information.
Dr. Roller asked how the expansion project will be funded. Mr. Kilduff said that the money is coming from a "multitude of sources" including a large anonymous donation to "backstop" the project and a plurality of fundraising efforts. He also indicated that the parking garage would be supported with a bond and revenues from increased parking fees.
Dr. Roller called for a close of the meeting. The call was seconded at 4:55 p.m.
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