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Campus Awareness Update: Return to Campus

Dec 13, 2023 | Campus News, News

Dear Nevada State Campus Community,

In the aftermath of the tragic events at UNLV, our hearts are heavy with grief. We mourn the loss of our colleagues Professors Patricia Navarro-Velez, Cha-Jan Chang and Naoko Takemaru. We stand in support of the UNLV faculty member who remains hospitalized. These trying times challenge the fabric of our community, and I am deeply moved by the solidarity and support that has emerged. I am grateful for your grace, commitment, and compassion—all of which are so emblematic of the Nevada State University culture.

Moments of sorrow make our collective strength evident. We extend heartfelt sympathies and healing energy to the affected families, colleagues, and friends, and our gratitude goes to the unwavering dedication of University Police Services. Their swift and courageous response is commendable, and we recognize their role in ensuring our safety and well-being.

Thank you to our administrative faculty and staff for your critical role in supporting our campus community. Thank you to our instructors for your flexibility and responsiveness in adjusting your classes in response to the campus closure. We know how challenging it may be to adjust your curriculum or assessments right at the end of term and respond to the grief of your students, all while you are experiencing your own emotions in this tough time.



There was not a life-threatening emergency on the Nevada State University campus.

As we navigate the aftermath of the UNLV tragedy, it is imperative that we come together to review, reflect, and learn. This incident compels us to scrutinize our safety protocols, identify areas of improvement, and take decisive actions to fortify the security of our campus. A comprehensive review of our security measures has been initiated, and engagement in open dialogues to address concerns will continue to implement necessary changes and ensure the well-being of our university. A recap of the facts as we know them is critical to this process.

According to University Police Services Southern Command, an Emergency Notification System (ENS) alert was sent to Nevada State University on December 6th, 2023, at 12:56 pm. The alert aimed to ensure the continued safety of the Nevada State campus community while public safety agencies responded to the UNLV emergency. The ENS endpoints utilized included various channels such as email, text message, Facebook, and the website. While some endpoints experienced partial success or failure, know that the ENS system is designed to be multi-modal, for which in cases of such failure of one endpoint, users are able to receive the messages through another endpoint. We have confirmed that corrective measures are actively being taken.

The ENS message sent to the StateSafe app faced an issue due to a system error. University Police Services is diligently working to address this. We remain committed to the effectiveness of our Emergency Notification System and will conduct thorough testing to confirm its resolution.

Additionally, we have identified and addressed issues with desktop alerts, ensuring that our systems are robust and reliable. Updates to the desktop alerts will take place this week. Our commitment to the safety of our university community remains unwavering, and we are implementing necessary updates to enhance our emergency communication infrastructure.

The ENS system is an opt-out-system, which means that all students and staff are automatically included in the system, University Police Services recommends contact information be updated regularly, click here for instructions.

For students: 

  1. Log into MyNSU using your NSHE/NSU ID.
  2. Using the drop-down menu at the top left corner, click the student center tab and continue to your student center where you can review your email address(es) and phone number(s) via the drop-down menu under Personal Information.

For staff: 

  1. Log into Workday.
  2. In the top right corner, click on your profile picture or name and then click View Profile.
  3. From the top left-hand corner of your Profile page, click Actions (under your name), scroll down and hover over Personal Data, click Change Contact Information.
  4. Under the Additional Phone section, add or edit your cellular telephone number. Make sure to select mobile or the Device.
  5. Click the Submit button, located in the lower left corner, to save your changes.



The Leadership Team, through its Conduct & Safety Report released in May 2023, has prioritized key elements of comprehensive campus safety. This proactive approach involves assigning projects and timelines to subcommittees, addressing critical needs such as aligning processes, providing strategic training, establishing robust feedback mechanisms, and enhancing data management and reporting. Composed of faculty, staff, student, and administrative leaders, the Leadership Team has worked diligently over the last several months to better understand how the University can best meet current needs and anticipate emerging expectations.

To that end, working groups are actively making progress on various projects, including moving reporting forms to Maxient, requesting campus-specific data from UPD, framing budget decisions, evaluating the organizational structure, updating documentation related to University Police Services, standardizing a Student Conduct Sanctions Matrix, aligning student conduct processes, and designing a 3-year Strategic Safety Training Plan.

Working with the Finance and Business Operations team and the Budget Committee, the Executive Team will carefully assess the institution’s evolving needs to determine the prioritization of funding for positions and initiatives. This approach ensures financial resources are strategically and responsively allocated, directing funding towards areas that require immediate attention and align with the organization’s overarching goals and sustainability.

We value and welcome community input on planning the NS 3-year Safety Training Plan. Your questions, ideas, and suggestions are vital as we move forward. Please share your thoughts at The Leadership Team will continue its efforts to identify resources and institutionally align all projects when they meet in January.

I encourage each of you to get involved. The Nevada State Safety Committee, comprised of key partners including University Police Services, UPD Emergency Management, and Risk Management and Safety, plays a crucial role in advising on campus safety issues. Learn more about the committee and stay informed about recent developments by emailing

Similarly, the University Police Services and the Southern Command (UPD) Public Safety Advisory Board, with representatives from all Southern Nevada institutions, provides recommendations to Adam Garcia, Vice President for Public Safety Services & Director, University Police Services. Opportunities for Spring 2024 engagement will be communicated to the campus community by UPD.



In times of challenge, our unity and commitment to the well-being of our community are paramount. Let us commit ourselves to this cause with a collective effort and sustained dedication. The safety of our campus is a shared responsibility, and together, we can create an environment that fosters security, resilience, and support.

I have always been deeply moved by the sacredness of our culture that defines Nevada State University as a truly special place. While this tragedy should never become normative, what is both exceptional and expected is the visceral fidelity members of this community have towards our mission, our students, our colleagues, and our community.  We are Nevada State University—supporting one another and working collectively to ensure the safety, security, and resilience of Nevada State University.


Be well,

DeRionne Pollard, Ph.D.
Nevada State University