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During this special 90-minute Q&A session, registered participants had the opportunity to submit questions and hear answers on campus threat assessment issues. Experts Marisa Randazzo, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of SIGMA Threat Management Associates, LLC and Jeffrey J. Nolan, J.D., attorney with Dinse P.C., provided responses. The questions fell into the following basic categories: assessment tools and practice, buy-in, information sharing (e.g., FERPA, HIPPA), outreach, and behavioral intervention and threat assessment teams.
Campus Threat Assessment Overview
• Threat assessment is an objective, fact-ﬁnding process. Recommended
as a standard of care for preventing campus violence.
• Purpose is to gather and analyze information, assess whether someone
poses a threat, and then implement risk-reduction strategies if needed.
• Campus threat assessment programs include:
• Multi-disciplinary team
• Threat assessment training
• Procedures to follow
• Reporting mechanisms
• Efforts to encourage reporting
Assessment Tools & Practice - 1
• What, if any, is the best assessment for determining pathway
• Is there one assessment over another that is good for both
students and staff of concern?
• Would you ever recommend using more than one
assessment to make a decision regarding a person of
Assessment Tools & Practice - 2
• Are there any published guidelines for conducting a threat
assessment interview with a person of concern?
Assessment Tools & Practice - 3
• What makes or constitutes an “expert” in the ﬁeld of threat
• What kinds of training, education and/or experience would
be important – whether for hiring a case consultant or a
Assessment Tools & Practice - 4
• During a bona ﬁde threat assessment process of an
employee, is there any line or type of questioning that is
Buy-In - 1
• What strategies would be best for helping convince an
otherwise reluctant campus administrator or stakeholder as
to the beneﬁts of a trained and certiﬁed threat assessment
Buy-In - 2
• How to change a culture where threat assessment is new
and violence prevention is downplayed
Buy-In - 3
• How does Georgetown value and utilize Marisa in her role as
Director of Threat Assessment?
Info Sharing, e.g., FERPA, HIPAA - 1
• Related to digital documentation:
• How can you collect, track, and analyze student level data related to
mental health, threat assessment, behaviors, that is protected under
FERPA and HIPAA and not subject to Open Records Requests?
Info Sharing, e.g., FERPA, HIPAA - 2
• Is there any guidance, legal or otherwise, to help determine
when it would be reasonable or unreasonable to share
information among and between various groups? (To include
secondary education to higher education, to non-TAT
members, general law enforcement, from counseling services
or those who have a component of conﬁdentiality)
Info Sharing, e.g., FERPA, HIPAA - 3
• Can a secondary school communicate to a campus about an
individual’s previous threat behavior? What and how?
• What is the best way to advertise a college’s threat
assessment team to faculty and staff, so that they don't
receive attendance issues or matters that do not reach the
• How frequently to report TAT’s activities? To what campus
groups? Off-campus outreach?
The Team(s) - 1
• Is it beneﬁcial and/or best practice for campuses to have
separate Behavioral Intervention Teams and Threat
Assessment Teams? If so, how do they coordinate info
sharing? If not, why?
• Should there be a different team that assesses threats from a
Title IX perspective than other conduct perspectives? What
if the person in charge of sanctioning is the lead on the
traditional threat assessment team?
The Team(s) - 2
• What campus departments/entities do you recommend as
regular sitting members of a campus threat assessment
• What are your thoughts on a threat assessment team being
co-chaired by a Student Affairs representative and a Human
• Do you feel the best location for a threat assessment chair/
director be part of the police department? If so why? If not
The Team(s) - 3
• Do you see value in outside organizations performing Threat
Assessments as opposed to the in house experts?
• What are best practices for smaller, under-resourced
schools, that perhaps could be working with very limited
security staff and no mental health staff. Should they try to
include law enforcement and the local mental health agency,
and if so what does that relationship look like?