Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Presidents of Chicago Southland College Association Sign Mutual Aid Agreement

Unique Pact Ensures Cooperation between Institutions during a Campus Crisis

Seated from left: Dr. John Avendano-President, Kankakee Community College, Dr. Gena Proulx, President, Joliet Junior College, Dr. Michael Vinciguerra, President, University of St. Francis, Dr. Eric Radtke, President, Prairie State College, Brother James Gaffney, President, Lewis University. Standing from Left: Dr. Jamal Scott, President, DeVry University-Tinley Park campus and centers, Ms. Christine Wiseman, J.D. President, Saint Xavier University, Mr. Larry Schumacher, President, Northwestern College, Dr. Sylvia Jenkins, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Moraine Valley Community College, Mr. David Baker, Vice President of External Affairs, Illinois Institute of Technology, Mr. George Dammer, President, South Suburban College, Dr. Terry Allison, Provost, Governors State University.

Chicago (July 20, 2010) For college administrators, preparing for a tragedy like the Northern Illinois University shootings is an unfortunate reality. That’s why the presidents of the twelve institutions in the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium, a partnership of colleges and universities in the Chicago southland, have agreed to provide assistance to one another during a campus crisis.

On July 19, the consortium presidents signed a mutual aid agreement, which is designed to help a member institution maintain operations and business continuity in the aftermath of a crisis. The agreement is believed to be the first of its kind nationally.

“This agreement acknowledges that one institution may not have all of the resources needed to respond to an emergency and provides a framework for our institutions to cooperate with and assist each other in a time of crisis,” said Dr. Eric Radtke, president of Prairie State College and chairman of the consortium’s Presidents Committee.

As part of the pact, an institution could request facilities, equipment or personnel in a variety of disciplines, including police, human resources, and crisis communications.

“While we know of a number of colleges and universities that have mutual aid agreements between their campus public safety department and the local police agency, and several individual campuses with agreements with the local fire department or EMS, we believe this is the first mutual aid agreement amongst a group of both public and private higher education institutions,” said John E. Watson, executive director for higher education practice at Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, who assisted in the agreement.

The South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium members are: DeVry University, Governors State University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Joliet Junior College, Kankakee Community College, Lewis University, Moraine Valley Community College, Northwestern College, Prairie State College, Saint Xavier University, South Suburban College, and University of St. Francis. The consortium was formed in 1992.

For more information on the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium or the mutual aid agreement, contact Genevieve Boesen, executive director, at 708-534-4984 or g-boesen@govst.edu.



Jay Foot, Executive Director of Media Relations
O: (773) 298-3937
C: (773) 617-3632

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