University of Iowa

Threat Assessment Team

Threat Assessment Team

Logo, UI Threat Assessment Team


The Threat Assessment Program is dedicated to the early identification, assessment and management of incidents and behaviors that threaten the safety and well-being of the university community.

The University of Iowa established the Threat Assessment Program in 2008 in response to the Iowa Board of Regents’ Comprehensive Safety and Security Policy (Chapter 11), which includes a charge to provide comprehensive threat assessment and management services. The program is managed through a partnership with Human Resources and UI Public Safety. The TA combines expertise in the areas of law enforcement, mental health, student services, faculty/staff services, legal services and organizational effectiveness.

Warning Signs

Outlined below are some warning signs to become aware of and look out for. If you have concerns or observe any of these warning signs, they should be discussed with a Threat Manager.

Verbal Clues

  • Direct and indirect threats
  • Verbalizing a violent plan
  • Recurrent suicide threats or statements
  • Verbal wishes to kill, be killed or die
  • Threatens to bring weapon to school/work
  • Brags about having weapons
  • Threatening/harassing phone calls or e-mails
  • Statements of hopelessness
  • Bragging of violent behavior/fantasies
  • Challenging or intimidating statements
  • Excessive profanity (contextually inappropriate)
  • Name calling or abusive language
  • Bizarre Thoughts
  • Persecutory delusions with self as victim
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions in general
  • Command hallucinations
  • Grandiose delusions that involve power, control and/or destruction
  • Significantly deteriorated thought processes

Behavioral/Physical Cues

  • Physical altercation/assault upon others – frequent fighting
  • Inappropriate weapons possession or use
  • Writings/drawings with intense violent themes
  • Following/surveillance of targeted individuals
  • Short fuse, loss of emotional control
  • Bullying or victim of bullying
  • Deteriorating physical appearance/self-care
  • Isolating and withdrawn
  • Signs or history of substance abuse/dependence
  • Signs of depression/severe mood swings
  • Inappropriate displays of emotion

Reporting Threats

If you see any suspicious or threatening behavior, please contact a Threat Manager:

Threat Assessment Team