University of Arkansas rolls out emergency notification solution

The University of Arkansas issued the following news release:

Ensuring the safety of students on the University of Arkansas campus is a top priority for the institution. University officials have been working on a method to quickly inform all people in the university community of emergency situations as they occur, and the answer is RazALERT.

RazALERT is the name of the emergency communication service that gives University of Arkansas administrators the ability to reach students, faculty and staff with time-sensitive information within minutes via cell phone, text message, home phone, and even e-mail within minutes. The service enables campus leaders to schedule, send, and track personalized voice messages at up to six phone numbers, two e-mail addresses, and one SMS device per student.

RazALERT is part of the Connect-ED communication service from Blackboard Connect Inc.

"Today we must be prepared for situations that years ago we never could have anticipated happening," said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. "We know the important role that immediate communication plays in safety and have selected the Connect-ED service because of its successful track record and multi-modal capabilities that will allow us to keep students informed whether they are in their residence halls, sitting in a computer lab or on their way to class."

Students, faculty and staff are automatically enrolled in the emergency notification system. Students can add information to their profiles through ISIS. University staff and faculty will have that option through BASIS beginning in February 2009.

"It's crucial that we are able to notify students quickly in time-sensitive situations because up-to-date communication helps minimize the spread of misinformation, restore order and provide direction," Gearhart, said.

RazALERT will be launched by Thursday, Sept. 25. More information is available at