Policy Memorandum from President Charles Steger

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Policy Memorandum from President Charles Steger

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Presidential Policy Memorandum No. 241

TO: All Virginia Tech Employees

FROM: Charles W. Steger

DATE: May 16, 2007

SUBJECT: Handling Information Requests About Events of April 16, 2007

Approved by the President: May 16, 2007
Effective Date: Immediately
Expiration Date: Indefinite - to be determined

As you know, Governor Kaine has appointed an independent Virginia Tech Review Panel ("the Massengill Panel") to review the events of April 16 and the surrounding circumstances. The Panel has retained the assistance of a private consulting company, TriData Corporation, in conducting the review.

As I stated in my comments to the Panel last week in Richmond, the university will provide all information requested to assure a comprehensive review. To accomplish this, your assistance is needed.

In order to ensure an orderly and complete response to requests for information from the Panel, I have appointed Lenwood McCoy to serve as the university's liaison with the Panel. Mr. McCoy is a very experienced retired employee who is highly respected and very knowledgeable about the university. Mr. McCoy will clear and coordinate all responses to requests for information relative to the events of April 16, including those that originate from individuals or groups other than the Panel.

Most requests to you or your unit for information about the events of April 16 will come from Mr. McCoy, and you should respond fully to his requests. However, if you receive a request from elsewhere, do not respond directly; rather, forward the request to Mr. McCoy. You may contact Mr. McCoy at mccoy@vt.edu or 540-231-0066. There are to be no exceptions to this process.

As you can well appreciate, there are a number of federal and state laws, as well as other legal considerations, associated with what information the university can provide and under what circumstances. Regrettably, we expect that there will also be individuals pretending to be associated with the review who may attempt to get information from you. Mr. McCoy can ensure that the university complies with applicable laws relative to the release of information and can also verify the identities of those making legitimate requests.

Finally, I want to advise you of three internal working groups that I have established to help us determine what steps the university can take to lessen the risk of such tragedies in the future. They are:

Telecommunications
Infrastructure -- locking systems, surveillance, etc.
Interface between Counseling, Judicial Affairs, Academic Affairs, and the legal system.

Let me reiterate that Mr. McCoy will clear and coordinate all responses to requests for information relative to the events of April 16, including those that originate from these working groups, the Panel, or any other individuals or groups.

Further, let me also take this opportunity to remind you that:

All requests for information made under the Freedom of Information laws should be referred immediately to University Legal Counsel: Kay Heidbreder, heidbred@vt.edu, 231-6293.

As standard practice, all media requests for information should continue to be referred to University Relations: Larry Hincker (Hincker@vt.edu, 231-5396) or Mark Owczarski (maowczar@vt.edu, 231-5223).

Most importantly, thank you for your assistance and support during these difficult times.

Creator

Charles W. Steger

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2007-05-20

Contributor

Brent Jesiek

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eng

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Citation

Charles W. Steger, "Policy Memorandum from President Charles Steger," in The April 16 Archive, Item #171, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/171 (accessed July 23, 2014).