October 5, 2022

Dear UD Community,

I write to share with you an important update on enhancements we have made to make the University of Delaware a safe place to live, learn, and work. It is work that will always be ongoing, and our efforts focus on campus safety measures, enhancing resources, and a refinement of programs and processes. We have engaged many individuals across campus in these activities, and we have sought guidance from national experts. This is a critical priority for us, so that together, we can create an environment in which each member of our community feels supported and can thrive. Today I share steps the University has taken over the past several months, which we will continue to build on.

For more detailed information, please visit udel.edu/safety.

Enhancing campus safety

Improved protocols and resources to support campus safety include:

  • Refreshed campus safety website
  • Enhanced Rideshare Program with two additional vehicles
  • Enhanced campus lighting and conducted a campus-wide lighting study
  • Testing a new silent alarm functionality in the LiveSafe app
  • Expanded crime updates to provide timely information and important resources
  • Improved communication between UD Police and Newark Police

Preventing and responding to sexual and relationship violence

We have established additional resources to educate our community and better support survivors of sexual and relationship violence. These efforts include:

  • Added two new full-time, on-campus staff positions to support Title IX-related work
  • Retained additional expert consultant who will serve as a deputy Title IX coordinator to help with caseload and improve students’ experience with the Title IX office
  • Increased education/training programs in partnership with the Center for the Study and Prevention of Gender Based Violence and Sexual Offense Support (SOS)
  • Increased education and prevention training in Athletics and Greek Life
  • Planned launch of a Coordinated Campus Response Team this fall to assess, plan, and monitor campus efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence

Strengthening our response to concerning incidents

We are focused on improving our ability to respond rapidly and consistently to incidents that affect the wellbeing of our campus community. In addition to refining our information-sharing processes, new actions also include:

  • The establishment of an Incident Response Team that will have consistent protocols
  • Approval for new staffing in Communications and Marketing to support internal and external communication in a crisis and when important issues emerge on campus

Increasing engagement with students

Working closely with Vice President for Student Life José-Luis Riera, we have instituted a Presidential Student Advisory Council to ensure we are enlisting students as partners and benefiting from additional student input. The Council, which consists of 16 students including the presidents of the Student Government Association and Graduate Student Government, will meet regularly with me and other University leaders. We have already met once in September, and I enjoyed every minute of this helpful discussion. You can learn more about the Council’s charge and membership here.

While these are all positive steps in the right direction, we will always have more work ahead to advance campus safety, wellbeing and trust. I count these as among our institution’s highest priorities. If you have additional ideas, please email me at president@udel.edu so we can continue to collaborate on strengthening the UD community for everyone.


Dennis Assanis

University of Delaware   •   Newark, DE   •   udel.edu/president