In the wake of the murder of a University professor last Fall, University of Arizona is outlining more of its safety plans. Two senior leaders resigned in a shake up earlier this week. UA is working to improve communications and help students and staff prepare for future threats.

At the University of Arizona people have their minds on exams and graduation but an incident from back in October is not in the background. Its the murder of a University professor and how the University has responded to it.

An expelled graduate student is awaiting trial in the murder of Professor Thomas Meixner. Faculty, family and friends say they warned the university well in advance that the murder suspect had a history of threats. He was expelled and barred from campus but an independent review concluded the university missed several chances to defuse the threat.

Monday University President Doctor Robert Robbins announced the University Police Chief Paula Balafas had left the university, and Provost Liesl Folks, second in command of the administration, was stepping down and returning to research.

Doctor Robbins says a senior Oro Valley Police Officer will be interim chief while UA holds a national search for a replacement.

Theres also an effort to have mental health specialists who are not police, on call to calm down tense situations before they become violent.

UA professor and former U.S. Surgeon General Doctor Richard Carmona says, People who are difficult to manage, people who are causing problems, and police have often have to step up to be if you will, almost psychologists and counselors in these type of situations not using force, but being able to talk somebody down and calm a very volatile situation so that it can be adjudicated very quickly and safely for everybody’s best interest.

Interim Public Safety director and retired FBI agent Steve Patterson says students, faculty, and staff will have guides on how to respond to a wide range of emergencies, and have information on the best way to evacuate if required.

We asked students about the new safety efforts.

Cortney Arrasmith says, I think it’s definitely needed. It was really shocking to campus. I think a lot of people were kind of scared when that happened. And so seeing that there has been a response has been nice that like they obviously care and are trying to do something. So I think that’s a positive change.

Though the murder of a professor sparked the new efforts, some students say theyre hoping for help on more routine safety concerns.

Yusief Bility says I would say like I put more cops around, like at nighttime because like, there’s like, a lot of homeless people roaming around and stuff like that. So we decided to at least not push them away or anything but just make sure that the students don’t walk around at night unsafe. That’s like my only problem I have right now.