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Threat Assessment Team Members

Originally established by Presidential Policy Memorandum 251 in December 2007, each member of the Threat Assessment Team is individually appointed by the president of the university:

Major Tony Haga serves as Deputy Chief and Assistant Director of Security of the Virginia Tech Police Department. He chairs the Threat Assessment Team and oversees the management of the team as a whole.  This position is important to the team because it helps facilitate discussion and reviewing cases.  Major Haga has served as a member of the Threat Assessment Team since its creation in 2007 and has led the team since December 2014.  His historical knowledge and experience allows the team to review and create individualized management plans while remaining consistent with case precedent.  Haga's established connections across the university, regional and nation regularly assists the Threat Assessment Team work through situations to reach a favorable conclusion.

Rachel Holloway serves as the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. In this position she influences the academic vision for undergraduate education, advocates for its role in the university's mission, and advances the contributions of undergraduate education in the university's strategic plan. This position is important to the team because the person in it has intimate knowledge of the educational experience and serves as a liaison with academic departments on issues affecting students and faculty. Dr. Holloway offers the team a broad view of the potential impacts of a decision and partners with appropriate administrators to create solutions.

Kay Heidbreder serves as Legal Counsel for the university. In this position she advises senior administrators, offers guidance on relevant federal and state laws, and defends the university in court. This position is important to the team because it insures that all team decisions fall within legal guidelines. Legal Counsel, if available, is one of the positions required by state code to be on a threat assessment team. Heidbreder offers a broad perspective on cases and considers the wider implications of possible decisions.

Rodney Irvin is the Director of Employee Relations in the Department of Human Resources. Human Resources provides employment policy information, assistance to employees, makes referrals to on- and off-campus service providers, and supports the partnership between  employees and the university. Human Resources staff interact with employees and supervisors daily and assist in facilitating solutions for issues that may arise. Irvin ensures that employees are offered the services they might need.

Kelly Oaks serves as the Associate Vice President for Equity and Accessibility.  In this position, Dr. Oaks oversees the university's affirmative action, equal opportunity and accessibility efforts, including the Title IX process.  This position is important to the team because Oaks serves as an advocate and provides guidance on creating an inclusive, accessible and discrimination/harassment-free environment with every decision.

Robert Ritchey, LPC serves as the Coordinator for Emergency Services for Cook Counseling Center. He works as a liaison with various mental health providers and agencies in the community in order to assist with the provision of comprehensive mental health services for students.  Ritchey also works as an advocate by assisting students with significant mental health needs in accessing available campus resources. This position is important to the team since counseling services can serve as an important part of a management plan for students. Ritchey also provides his clinical judgment for cases as necessary and provides the team with consultation about mental health issues, needs, and concerns. A mental health professional is one of the positions required by state code to be on a Threat Assessment Team.

Rick Sparks serves as the Associate Vice Provost and University Registrar. The Office of the University Registrar manages academic records, interfaces with faculty and department administrators, and serves as the university’s FERPA compliance officer. The University Registrar is important to the threat assessment team because of his access to student records and his relationship with academic departments. Sparks also provides significant knowledge of university policies and procedures and ensures that student privacy is protected in all cases.

Mark Sikes serves as the Dean of Students and his office provides advocacy to students on a wide range of issues. His office chairs the university’s Care Team, is responsible for case management of student advocacy cases, cultivates relationships with academic departments, advises and consults with employees, and serves as the university connection for parents and family members. Both parents and academic departments can provide valuable insight into student behavior. Sikes also serves as a student advocate and works to ensure that students are receiving the resources necessary to be successful at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Sikes also supervises the Student Conduct office and assists in processes that address behavior that is inconsistent with university expectations. The Student Conduct team also helps resolve interpersonal, organizational and community conflicts.

Rebecca Caldwell serves as the Director of Residential Well-Being.  In this role, she provides leadership in advancing student well-being, inclusion and belonging, and academic success in the Virginia Tech residential community.  Dr. Caldwell closely collaborates with many departments within Student Affairs and at the overall university. Her enthusiasm for holistic support and developmental interventions make her a natural fit for the Threat Assessment Team.

Mac Babb serves as the Chief of Police and Director of Security for the Virginia Tech Police Department.  In this position, Chief Babb leads safety and security services for all Virginia Tech campuses and programs, including those overseas.  He also has the authority to ban an individual from all Virginia Tech properties, a specific building or area.  This position is important to the team because Babb's 30 year law enforcement career helps him provide administrative and operational guidance to Threat Assessment Team safety and welfare concerns. 

Lt. Kendrah Cline serves as detective lieutenant with the Virginia Tech Police Department and primary case agent for most threat assessment cases. As Investigations Lieutenant and primary case agent, she communicates with reporting parties, departmental representatives, faculty members, victims, subjects, and relevant offices across campus. This position is important to the team because it allows for centralized fact gathering and consistent communication with members of the Virginia Tech community.

Caroline Newell serves as Threat Assessment Team coordinator. In her role, she records case information, organizes team meetings and trainings, manages case data, and provides outreach presentations. This position is important to team operations as a whole because it ensures cases are effectively managed and reviewed in a timely manner. The Threat Assessment Team coordinator continually works towards addressing gaps in process and creates ways for the threat assessment process run more efficiently.