August 10, 2016

Dear Campus Community,

During the summer, the MSU Campus Carry Implementation Task Force worked to implement the requirements of Senate Bill 11 before the Campus Carry law went into effect August 1.  I want to thank this eight-member group of faculty and staff, led by MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins, for their work.  Specifically, this group determined appropriate signage that you now see in various campus locations, worked with the academic deans and Provost Stewart to identify campus laboratories that met the criteria for exclusion, vetted the Housing and Residence Life policy regarding campus carry in residence halls, recommended a procedure by which the concealed carry of handguns on MSU property could be temporarily suspended due to unforeseen circumstances that may pose a threat to the campus, and recommended the formal policy governing concealed carry at MSU.  This formal policy was approved by the MSU Board of Regents at their August meeting.

Chief Coggins is developing on-line Safe Campus training that will be available to faculty, staff, and students in the near future.  Orientation sessions with new students, faculty, and staff included information regarding the new law.  A permanent Campus Carry Implementation Committee will be appointed in the coming weeks so that we can address any issues that might arise as we fully implement the policy.  Updated information will be available on the MSU Campus Carry web page (, which includes the university policy and many frequently asked questions. 

I appreciate the open dialogue we have engaged in on our campus throughout this process.  Thank you for your continued cooperation and recommendation as we implement this new law.


Suzanne Shipley


Communication from President Shipley to Campus Community
April 4, 2016

Dear Campus Community,

I have received recommendations from the MSU Campus Carry Task Force for the implementation of Senate Bill 11. These recommendations are shown in the attached. I want to thank this 18-member group of campus and community representatives for their work this year. This group, ably led by Dr. Laura Fidelie, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, has worked since the early fall to develop an open and inclusive process that included input from faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents.

I appreciate the Task Force recommending opportunities for education and training for the campus community, and support their recommendation that Safe Campus training be provided. Additionally, I plan to appoint a small Campus Carry Implementation Task Force to direct the implementation of the final policy, including appropriate campus signage and notifications for the campus community and visitors.

While I am not only appreciative, but also supportive of the majority of the Task Force’s recommendations, there are a few modifications I will propose, which I have outlined below.

  1. Task Force General Policy Recommendations

    I do not recommend any changes to the Task Force’s policy recommendations. However, we plan to look at the wording to make certain everyone understands that while no gun storage will be provided, students living in a campus housing facility will have the opportunity to rent storage safes through the Campus Housing department should they wish to store a handgun in their room. I believe it is important also to state that any student assigned to a residence hall room where a firearm is stored and is concerned about his or her well-being may request a transfer to another room through the regular Campus Housing process.
  2. Task Force Recommended Exclusionary Areas
    1. Exclusion of Areas Primarily Used for Sporting Events – I plan to insert a definition to note that this inclusion relates to campus locations used for intercollegiate, club, and intramural athletics activities.
    2. Exclusion of Science Laboratories – Following my review of the recommendation with the Cabinet and Provost Stewart’s discussions with Dean Brown Marsden and Dean Johnston, I plan to recommend the wording of the exclusion be changed as follows:

      Concealed handguns will be prohibited in designated laboratories – any laboratory, room, or storage area with extremely dangerous chemicals, biologic agents, or explosive agents, and areas with equipment that is incompatible with metallic objects.

    3. Exclusion of Theatre Areas (on stage and shop) – From our review of generally accepted, Actors’ Equity, safety rules, live ammunition should not be brought into the theatre by actors or stage crew, and firearms must be secured when not in use for a production, whether they are real, simulated, or dummy weapons. Additionally, the theatre scene shop, where power tools, paint solvents, and, at times, welding equipment is used, has its set of rules and regulations related to safety. I believe the special circumstances of these areas will provide an appropriate teaching opportunity, but I do not believe they rise to the level of exclusion unless the shop meets the definition shown above related to science laboratories.
    4. Exclusion of First Floor of Hardin Administration Building During Polling Times – I plan to remove this exclusion from my recommendations since the Texas Penal Code §46.03 specifically prohibits a handgun from being carried on the premises of a polling place. There will be no attempt to single out the Hardin Building for any special exclusion.
    5. Exclusion of Board of Regents Meeting Locations – Individuals are prohibited from carrying a handgun in the room where the Board of Regents, or any other body subject to the Open Meetings Act, is meeting (Texas Penal Code §46.035). For this reason, I do not plan to forward this item in my recommendations to the MSU Board of Regents.

I will meet with the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, and Student Senate in the coming weeks to receive feedback on my response to the Task Force recommendations before I determine my final recommendations to the Board of Regents in May.


Thank you for participating in this important process.

Suzanne Shipley