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Statement from the Oregon University System on Northern Illinois University Tragedy

Di Saunders –Office: 503-725-5714; Cell: 971-219-6869

PORTLAND, February 15, 2008 – On behalf of the State Board of Higher Education and the Oregon University System, Chancellor George Pernsteiner today expressed his concern and sympathy for the students, faculty, staff, families and campus community at Northern Illinois University for the tragic shootings that occurred yesterday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those students and the entire community affected by this terrible incident at Northern Illinois University,” said Pernsteiner. “When these incidents occur, it naturally raises concerns for everyone about student and community safety at our schools and educational institutions. Each of the seven Oregon University System campuses has in place emergency preparedness plans, regularly updated, for student and campus community safety in the event of any type of crisis. Most recently, campus safety forums have been completed in January and February, or are scheduled, at all of the universities. The Governor’s Task Force on Campus Safety in Oregon is charged with reviewing current safety mechanisms and incident readiness at Oregon’s colleges and universities.”

Pernsteiner noted that public safety agencies and the universities continue to participate with community partners to encourage the prompt reporting of suspicious activity or information regarding on campus concerns that students and staff may have.  “Our public safety partners remind us that everyone needs to work cooperatively, whether in our communities or on our campuses, to prevent these tragic incidents from occurring, including reporting any information regarding planned acts of violence which students, campus community members, or the public may learn about.”
More information on the Governor’s Task Force on Campus Safety can be found at: http://governor.oregon.gov/Gov/docs/executive_orders/eo0805.pdf

Oregon University System comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu

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