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Meeting Summary

Communicable Disease Preparedness Committee
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February 10, 2009

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Meeting Agenda        Meeting Summary(pdf)

Members Present: Angela Arvizo; Angela Throneberry (for L. Gobble), Rene Yoder, Amy Collins, Michael Abernethy, Manuela Quezada-Aragon, Katrina Doolittle, Teresa Burgin, John Balog, Mike O’Larey, Nancy Baptiste, Alfred Valdez, Albert Parra ( for L. McKee), Sidney Webb, Julie Weber

New Member: Scott Southward representing University Communications

Members Absent: Ida Baca, Randey Bamford, Stephen Lopez, Ronald Fisher, Connie DeBlieck Anne Hubbell, Joe Plamer; Benjamin Diven; Darrell Smith; Jeff Witte; Hugo Vilchis; Carmen Gonzales; Tammy Anthony.

The meeting began at 3:08 PM.

1.      K. Doolittle thanked everyone for attending.

2.      There were no comments or corrections and the December 2008 meeting summary was unanimously accepted.

3.      B. Dictson distributed a publication entitled “Executive Seminar: Prevention of, Response to, and Recovery from Campus Emergencies” from the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training (NCBRT), and Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education at Louisiana State University.  He stated that 6 or 7 training modules are available.  The training is presented without charge to groups of 20-50 persons over two days.  Attendees are awarded a certificate upon completion of the entire two day program.  The training is scheduled through the NM Dept of Homeland Security.  NMSU has been associated with the DHS program for two years.  If the committee is interested, he and J. Witte can assist with scheduling the training but need a commitment of 20 individuals.

4.      Draft Telecommuting Policy; R. Yoder distributed the final draft of the telecommuting policy.  The policy, in it’s entirely states: “In the event of a state of emergency, the President may direct departments to offer telecommuting as an alternative work arrangement on a case-by-case basis”.  K. Doolittle asked for comments or discussion on this final draft.

a.       T. Burgin asked if we have the capability to “flag” essential persons or volunteers in existing databases, primarily Banner.  R. Yoder said yes, but it would be better to delay doing so until these contingencies are codified in updated job descriptions.  K. Doolittle reminded the committee that essential persons are identified in CoOPs. 

b.      There being no further discussions, T. Burgin motioned for approval of the policy draft and K. Doolittle seconded the motion.  The committee voted unanimously to approve the draft.  R. Yoder will forward the policy to the appropriate persons (D’Anne Stuart, Jennifer Taylor) and subsequently for review by committees (ACAP, Faculty Senate) and Admin. Council who is authorized to approve university policy.

5.      Human Resource Practice in a University State of Emergency, R. Yoder said this committee may make recommendations on HR policy matters. 

a.       A. Throneberry stated that some functions must continue during a state of emergency – like Business and Finance.  She asked if the CoOP listed essential positions that must telecommute to continue operations.  K. Doolittle stated that we should add this specifically. 

b.      Katrina added that the electronic CoOPlanning program (from Berkeley) should be implemented at NMSU to manage this information.  Currently, we only have paper copy of individual documents.   K. Doolittle requested Budget Office allow the $10K allocated for emergency planning software to be used to customize the Berkeley CoOP software, but this request was not approved by Budget Committee and the funds reverted to the central pool.   A new request will have to be submitted.

c.       There being no further discussions, A. Valdez motioned for approval of the policy draft and M. O’Larey seconded the motion.  The committee voted unanimously to approve the draft.  R. Yoder will forward the policy to the appropriate persons and subsequently for review by committees authorized to approve university policy.

6.      Update on Continuity of Operation Plans; K. Doolittle said she has received updated plans from University and Student Health Centers.  She asked that everyone submit an electronic copy after they review and update their plans with their respective dean or vice president. 

7.      New Business: K. Doolittle distributed information detailing an outbreak of norovirus at the University of Southern California in October of 2008.  She presented a timeline of events, and the number of reported cases, that a fact sheet on norovirus was made available, and when the campus community was provided with an update on the outbreak.  She noted that cleaning supplies, hand sanitizers and masks were available.  M. Abernethy noted that the supply route to USC, in urban Los Angeles is shorter than here in New Mexico.  K. Doolittle commented that 725 persons were documented ill and the total cost of the crisis was $85, 000.00 .  She said that NMSU plans to conduct a table-top exercise in April and that the USC experience demonstrates the importance of good communication.  S. Webb asked how UHC would notify senior administration of a similar event here at NMSU.  K. Doolittle responded that the UHC would notify the Central Administration Response Team (CART).


K. Doolittle reminded everyone that the next meeting would be on Tuesday April 14, 2009.

The meeting adjourned at 3:45 PM

Feb Meeting rft

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