SUNY New Paltz has announced the appointment of Scott Schulte as its first Emergency Manager. The new position will be housed within the University Police Department (UPD), and will call on Schulte to work with campus stakeholders to oversee the College’s planning and response to disasters that may occur on or near campus, in order to reduce the community’s vulnerability to hazards and cope with possible crises.
Schulte joined the College’s Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) in 2007, and has since served as associate director and fire safety officer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in emergency management from SUNY Empire State College, is a graduate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Emergency Management Academy and is certified by the International Association of Emergency Managers.
The new position expands his role from a focus on fire safety to include a variety of situations that could affect campus life and the College community, including weather events and other natural and man-made threats that cause service disruptions.
Schulte says that the key to this work is anticipation and preparation on a campus-wide scale.
“The long-term goal is to work with individual instructional and staff departments to focus on the particular hazards they identify, and the role they play in preserving a safe campus environment,” Schulte said. “We want to maintain a whole-community approach to safety and threat preparedness.”
To that end one of Schulte’s first tasks will be to expand the College’s Emergency Response Plan, a process most recently co-managed by UPD Chief David Dugatkin and EHS Director Mike Malloy.
“We want to work with the materials we already have in place to get them in line not only with SUNY policy, but with FEMA and Homeland Security standards and best practices,” Schulte said. “Once we’ve identified a complete set of hazards and risks and established a plan for managing them, we can move into exercising and drilling to make sure our planning has been accurate.”
Other tasks Schulte will oversee as Emergency Manager include the development of a continuity of operations plan to ensure continuation of vital services and facilities’ functions in the event of potential crises, and the implementation of global emergency management policies.
“We want to look at things we can do to prepare and protect faculty, staff or students travelling in another country, should an incident occur,” Schulte said.