Notre Dame Speeds Launch of Crisis Notification System

The University of Notre Dame will launch a mass notification system this fall to enable administrators to notify students of a campus emergency via e-mail, text message, and voice mail. Notre Dame's Office of Information Technologies had originally planned to conduct a pilot project of the system but sped up its plans following April's shootings at Virginia Tech.

Notre Dame will use the Connect-ED service from the NTI Group, which uses Web-based technology to help users send messages to large numbers of people in a short period of time.

The university registrar sent students an e-mail in August asking them to submit a cell phone number and a non-Notre Dame e-mail address when enrolling for the semester. The contact information will be kept private and will be used only for emergency notifications.

With Connect-ED, the University can upload contact information for students, faculty, and staff onto a Web portal. The system allows information to be sent in several ways, including text messages, voice mail messages, and e-mails.

The university's Office of News and Information has already pre-loaded messages for potential emergencies, such as tornadoes, lightening, a gunman on campus, and a gas leak, among others. That office will most likely send out the notifications, said Micki Kidder, the vice chair of the emergency planning committee at Notre Dame.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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