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Survey Says Only 18 Percent of Colleges Believe Their Security Access Control Is Effective

September 9, 2011
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 Data from independent research, Effective Management of Safe & Secure Openings & Identities, shows 82 percent of public, private and 2-year specialized colleges and universities believe they are not very effective at managing safe and secure openings or identities. Only 18 percent believe they are very effective at granting or denying access to appropriate individuals or knowing who goes where.

“We found there are very differing mentalities on how access control systems are designed and managed,” reports Beverly Vigue, vice president of education markets at Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies. “Facilities and Public Safety, the key stakeholders in 57 percent of colleges, are more traditional in their approach while IT, One Card and Housing departments are more customer-/student-oriented. The focus is evolving from the former to the latter.”

According to Vigue, if the IT, One Card or Housing departments are the key stakeholders, the solutions are more innovative.  For instance, the One Card department considers convenience, customer service, improving customer experiences and including the students’ perceptions in the access control decision as primary concerns. IT’s major focus is measuring the return on investment to the higher education institution to improve options for upgrading.

In general, access control on campus is evolving from the traditional security/product-oriented focus of the Facilities and Public Safety departments to the broader definition of the IT, One Card and Housing departments. Differing mentalities typically do not occur on the same campus as colleges tend to be solely one or the other in their focus.

Respective of the way access control is viewed, the five leading concerns on college campuses are:

  1. Minimizing the occurrence of tailgating/piggy-backing.
  2. Maximizing the likelihood the students can comply with the intended access design.
  3. Maximizing real-time notification when problems occur.
  4. Minimizing the time it takes to lockdown a campus.
  5. Maximizing the ability to locate building occupants in an emergency.

The study was conducted among more than 140 colleges and universities, including leading institutions such as the University of Michigan, MIT, UCLA and Columbia.

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