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UPPS 04.05.15 - Public Safety and Health

Public Safety and Health

UPPS No. 04.05.15
Issue No. 2
Revised: 4/22/2024
Effective Date: 2/21/2020
Next Review Date: 10/01/2024 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Director, Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management


    1. Texas State University is committed to promoting the safety and security of the university community within a supportive and accessible living, learning, and working environment. It is further committed to safeguarding physical resources and identifying conditions or circumstances that may pose risks to the safety and security of the university. Restoring the university’s ability to serve the needs of the state of Texas in a timely manner should a disaster strike is of the utmost importance.

    2. University facilities must be used in a safe and appropriate manner so as not to endanger the university community or the general public. All faculty, staff, students, and other members of the Texas State community share responsibility for the safety and security of the institution and must conduct university activities and operations in compliance with applicable federal and state regulations and university policies.

    3. Texas State is committed to the safety and welfare of students, faculty, staff, and visitors through the establishment of reasonable practices that:

      1. support a safe and secure environment in all buildings and grounds owned, leased, or operated by Texas State;

      2. promote safety through university policies and programs;

      3. provide an appropriate level of security at university activities;

      4. safeguard the university’s property and physical assets; and

      5. provide for the prompt restoration of essential university services in the event of a disaster.

    4. Texas State’s public safety policy provides an overview of existing university safety and security policies and programs that demonstrate compliance with Texas Education Code Sec. 51.217, as amended, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), in accordance with Texas Administrative Code (TAC) 202 requirements, and all other applicable state and federal regulations or guidance pertaining to public safety.

    5. This policy describes the authorities and responsibilities to carry out programs and operations that promote safety and security of individuals and property, as well as continuity of operations. This policy also outlines the roles and responsibilities of existing committees and departments for coordination and oversight of university safety and security policies and procedures.

    6. This policy applies at all university locations including the San Marcos and Round Rock campuses, jointly-owned facilities, all other university-owned property, university-leased space, and temporary field operations and field trips that are under the control of university operations and staff.

    7. This policy also applies to large-scale special events and dignitary activities that take place on university property that have the potential to impact the normal business operations of the institution.


    1. The director of the University Police Department (UPD) will serve as the director of Emergency Operations as appointed by the president. The Emergency Management coordinator will assist the director of Emergency Operations. In the director of UPD’s absence, the president will authorize the senior police officer on duty to perform the director’s duties.

    2. The director of Emergency Operations, or designee, will implement all plans and procedures needed to direct emergency operations. The director of Emergency Operations has the authority to utilize Texas State property and may commit university resources to assist in emergency operations, including those occurring off-campus.

    3. As part of an institution-wide commitment to a safe and secure campus, the university has established offices specifically charged with security and safety responsibilities, and created a committee structure to provide general oversight and leadership for the university’s security, safety, violence prevention efforts, and continuity of operations.

    4. Committees

      1. University Safety Committee (USC)

        1. The committee is responsible for the overall safety and security of the university, oversees developing and approving safety policies, and advises the university administration in promoting an environment that is safe from recognized hazards for faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

        2. The committee serves as an umbrella organization for three safety committees: Environmental Health and Safety Committee, Research Safety Committee, and Security and Personal Safety Committee.

      2. Environmental Health and Safety Committee

        1. The committee focuses on occupational, physical, health, and environmental and risk management issues.

        2. The committee serves as the umbrella organization for five safety committees: the Occupational Safety and Health Committee, the Construction Safety Committee, the Indoor Air Quality Committee, the Insurance Committee, and the Stormwater and Environmental Management Committee.

      3. Research Safety Committee

        1. The committee focuses on research safety issues.

        2. The committee serves as the umbrella organization for six safety committees: the Institutional Review Board, the Animal Care and Use Committee, the Institutional Biosafety Committee, the Laboratory Safety Committee, the Radiation and Laser Safety Committee, and the Chemical Safety Committee.

      4. Security and Personal Safety Committee

        1. The committee focuses on crime and personal safety issues.

        2. The committee serves as the umbrella organization for three safety committees: the Clery Compliance Committee, the Emergency Management Committee, and the Campus Lighting Committee.

      5. The Executive Management Group (Rapid Response Team)

        1. The Rapid Response Team is the executive level oversight and policy decision-making body during a crises. The Rapid Response Team is responsible for making policy decisions, approving communications strategies, and providing policy guidance and leadership both during and after crisis. This group will identify, forecast, and manage key issues, consequences, and lead recovery efforts, and provide strategic direction, and has the authority to respond to the emergency to the Incident Command Staff (ICS).

        2. In time-sensitive, high-risk situations, any of the Rapid Response Team members may call a group meeting.

      6. An Incident Management Team (IMT) provides on-scene, incident management support during incidents or events that exceed the university’s capability or capacity. An IMT is a rostered group of ICS-qualified personnel consisting of an incident commander, command and general staff, and personnel assigned to other key ICS positions. The level of training and experience of the IMT members, coupled with the identified formal response requirements and responsibilities of the IMT, are factors in determining type or level of IMT.

      7. The Information Security Team coordinates the response to information security incidents to ensure that they are thoroughly investigated and documented, as well as minimizes the immediate damage and subsequent exposure. The Information Security team ensures that all reporting requirements and notifications are timely and legally compliant. Further information can be found in UPPS No. 04.01.10, Information Security Incident Management, and IT/PPS No. 04.15, Risk Management.

      8. Disaster Recovery Coordinators

        1. Disaster Recovery coordinators will be selected by the Executive Management Group and the Emergency Management Committee based on the specific needs and expertise.

        2. The Executive Management Group and the Emergency Management Committee have the responsibility to provide the strategic implementation of the university’s response and recovery efforts and direction as stated below:

          1. assign each department a response or recovery role based on that department’s expertise;

          2. provide coordinating efforts to collaborate, participate, and provide direction in campus-wide emergency response and recovery emergency operations;

          3. ensure immediate actions are taken among the different departments and assigned in response to save and sustain lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs during an incident; and

          4. response will also include the execution of plans and actions to support short-term recovery.

    5. Departments

      1. * UPD

        1. UPD is committed to safeguarding the welfare of its community members, as well as its intellectual property and facilities. UPD provides professional services and resources to facilitate a safe and secure learning and working environment while being prepared to respond to the emergency service needs of the community.

        2. UPD will develop and maintain plans and procedures to provide life safety, security, incident stabilization, and property preservation for the entire university community. These procedures and plans shall be developed and implemented in accordance with local, state, and federal requirements.

      2. Office of Emergency Management (OEM)

        OEM provides expertise and leadership for the university’s emergency management responsibilities through the integration of emergency management programs, functions, and supporting activities to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from all hazards. This is accomplished by adopting the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5), which enhances the ability of the United States (U.S) to manage domestic incidents by establishing a single, comprehensive national incident management system (NIMS), and the Homeland Security Presidential Policy Directive, (HSPD-8), which is aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the U.S. through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber-attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters.

      3. Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management (EHS&RM)

        1. EHS&RM has primary responsibility for promulgating policies and procedures to assure that the university complies with federal, state, and local guidelines, as well as best practices related to environmental and occupational safety and health requirements. Agencies with applicable regulations, standards, and best practices include, but are not limited to, Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

        2. EHS&RM is charged with the responsibility of maintaining the protection of university property in accordance with regulations and standards promulgated by applicable state agencies, which include: State Office of Risk Management (SORM), and Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).

        3. EHS&RM shall develop and maintain all procedures and plans involving the fire prevention and protection of all university properties and personnel. These procedures and plans shall be developed and implemented in accordance with local, state, and federal requirements. Regulations and standards promulgated by applicable state agencies include TDI and the state Fire Marshal’s Office.

      4. Information Technology (IT)

        1. Information resources that support the operations of Texas State are strategic and vital assets belonging to the people of Texas. These assets must be available when needed and protected commensurate with their value. All members of the university community, regardless of position or role, share responsibility for protecting the university’s information resources.

        2. The Division of Information Technology shall develop and maintain all procedures and policies involving the protection of university information resources, as referenced in UPPS No. 04.01.01, Security of Texas State Information Resources.

  3. Emergency Preparedness and Response PROCEDURES

    1. The Texas State University System’s (TSUS) Disaster Management Guide, establishes the framework for a comprehensive All-Hazards Emergency Management Program at Texas State. Texas State has adopted the NIMS as its emergency response organizational model and supports the employment of the ICS concepts and operational constructs through training and exercises. These plans and programs establish a single, comprehensive NIMS which is intended to address any emergency or disaster situation that may arise on campus and is based on a set of planning assumptions or assumed operational conditions that provide a foundation for establishing protocols and procedures.

    2. To provide a continuous and more coordinated presence among university departments, the following plans have been developed to bolster connections, cooperation, and communication necessary to enhance the university’s overall shared readiness before, during, and after the impacts of a disaster.

      1. Business Continuity Program (BCP) – BCP provides guidelines to ensure financial integrity and continuity of service to the community in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. BCP is an all emergency planning and response program that documents and tracks any incidents that are in effect. This BCP and unit plans all address the four phases of emergency planning (mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery), but the BCP has special emphasis on the recovery phase.

      2. UPPS No. 05.04.03, Emergency Operations – This policy is designed to establish official guidelines and procedures to make every effort to minimize the impact of emergencies and maximize the effectiveness of the community’s ability to respond and recover. To support the university community by working together to build, sustain, and improve the university’s capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards from their inevitable occurrence.


    1. Texas State’s safety, health, information security, and operational plans and programs are designed to address daily activities to ensure a safe, healthy work and study environment.

    2. The following plans, policies, and manuals have been developed to provide direction to maintain a safe and healthy work and study environment:

      1. EHS&RM Policy – It is the policy of Texas State to protect the physical, human, fiscal, and environmental resources of the university, and to minimize the total costs of risk to the university. The Texas State Safety Manual and various Texas State policies contain the university’s EHS&RM policy. EHS&RM has primary responsibility for promulgating policies and procedures to assure that the university complies with federal, state, and local guidelines, regulations, and best practices related to environmental, health, safety, and risk management issues.

      2. Fire Safety Policy – The Fire Safety Program is designed to prevent or reduce property loss and injury from fire and explosions arising from storage, handling, and use of flammable and combustible substances, materials, and devices. The procedures incorporated into this policy are essential in promoting fire and life safety and enhancing university compliance with applicable state, local, and national fire and life safety standards.

      3. Fire Alarms, Fire Drills, and Facilities Evacuations Policy – This policy establishes procedures for the response to fire alarms and conduct of fire exit drills for university facilities. The evacuation procedures outlined in this policy apply to activation of any alarm, including fire, fire exit drill, or other non-fire emergency. Evacuation procedures are applicable to university buildings and include other university facilities. EHS&RM is assigned administrative responsibility for facilities evacuation training.

      4. Hazard Communication Policy (HCP) – The HCP is designed to comply with Chapters 502 (Hazard Communication Act) and 506 (Public Employer Community Right-To-Know Act) of the Texas Health and Safety Code.

      5. Hazardous Materials and Hazardous Waste Management Policy – EHS&RM has primary responsibility for the university’s hazardous materials and hazardous waste management program. The director of EHS&RM, or designee, is authorized to take action to assure compliance with applicable regulations and policies and to minimize physical and environmental threats on university property (whether owned or leased). This includes having delegated authority from the university president to order the cessation of activities or operations, as needed, to administer this policy.

      6. Radiation Safety Policy – Texas State will use radiation-producing devices and radioactive materials according to the Radiation Control Act, the TDSHS regulations contained in Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 289, Texas Administrative Code (TAC), and pursuant to a current Radioactive Material License (RAML) or Certificate of Registration (COR).

      7. Laser Safety Policy – Texas State will use Class 3b and Class 4 lasers in accordance with law and the regulations of the TDSHS contained in Title 25, Part 1, Section 289.301, Texas Administrative Code, Texas Regulations for the Control of Laser Radiation Hazards.

      8. Asbestos Abatement Policy – In a good faith effort to comply with federal and state regulations, and in consideration of the health and safety of the campus community and its visitors, Facilities must assess and authorize all facility modifications, remodeling, renovations, demolition, and new construction contracts related to buildings, structures, or furnishings, and any repairs to existing facilities or furnishings at Texas State. A published asbestos policy is a required condition to meet Texas Asbestos Health Protection Rules promulgated by TDSHS and comply with all federal standards referenced in Section 01.04. This policy describes standard operating procedures with which Facilities must comply when accomplishing abatement projects. An Asbestos Operations and Maintenance Contractor-Restricted license is required to conduct asbestos abatement activities with Facilities staff.

      9. Animals on University Property Policy – The purpose of this policy is to promote safety, health, and hygiene on university property, including its buildings. The objective of this policy is to communicate to the Texas State community, the guidelines and restrictions regarding animals on university property, including its buildings. This policy applies to all property owned, operated, or maintained by the university. Animals on university property can potentially pose a significant risk to the university and its community. This policy standardizes the university’s position on the management of animals on campus.

      10. Food Safety and Sanitation – The university recognizes the role of food in the activities of student organizations and campus departments. In an effort to support student organizations, campus departments, and to ensure the safety of food provided on campus, all organizations and departments shall adhere to this policy. The purpose of this policy is to establish standards for those involved in preparing or handling food to prevent disease, pr otect health, and promote safe food practices for food served to the general public. This policy does not apply to purchases of food and beverage for personal consumption or closed events such as those hosted privately by a department or student organization, private tailgate parties, cook-outs, picnics, or potluck dinners that are not open for consumption by the general public.

      11. UPPS No. 04.05.02, Tobacco and Smoking Policy – Texas State is committed to maintaining healthy and safe campuses in San Marcos and in Round Rock. The primary purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines prohibiting smoking and the use of all tobacco products at the Texas State campuses in San Marcos and in Round Rock. Tobacco products include cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, hookahs, and all other tobacco products. The university expects all faculty, staff, students, employees of contractors and subcontractors, and visitors to comply with this policy’s spirit and intent.

      12. UPPS No. 05.05.02, Driver Selection – This establishes policy for determining eligibility of employees (regular, non-regular, faculty, and student) to drive state-owned or rented vehicles and the responsibilities associated with this screening process. Unscreened university employees or those who fail to meet the minimum criteria outlined in this policy may not drive a university vehicle based on Section 521.459 of the Transportation Code.

      13. Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for the Spring Lake Dam – The purpose of this plan is to describe procedures to be followed in an actual or potential emergency associated with the Spring Lake Dam caused by an unusually large flood, an earthquake, a structural malfunction, or malicious human activity causing failure or compromise of the dam itself. The EAP defines protocols to identify unusual and unlikely conditions that may endanger the integrity of the dam and emergency protocols to warn downstream residents of its impending or actual failure.

      14. Campus Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan – The purpose of this SPCC plan is to describe measures implemented by the university to prevent oil discharges from occurring, and to prepare Texas State to respond in a safe, effective, and timely manner to mitigate the impacts of a discharge from the campus. This plan was prepared by the EHS&RM office.


    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Director, Environmental Health, Safety and Risk ManagementOct 1 E4Y
      Director, University Police DepartmentOct 1 E4Y
      Coordinator, Emergency ManagementOct 1 E4Y
      Special Assistant to the Vice President for Information TechnologyOct 1 E4Y
      Director, Student Health CenterOct 1 E4Y

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Director, Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management; senior reviewer of this UPPS

    Vice President for Finance and Support Services