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Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment (BETA)

If you need to report a present, imminent threat, please contact Campus Safety
Salem: 503-370-6911; Portland: 503-621-2061

Willamette is committed to providing a safe and welcoming campus environment for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. The Willamette Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment Team–BETA–is a multi-disciplinary group charged with developing comprehensive fact-based assessments of individuals who may present a threat or disruption to the university or members of the community.

Through a collaborative and proactive approach, the BETA team is committed to identifying, preventing, assessing, intervening, and reducing threats to the safety of and fostering the wellbeing of the Willamette community.

What is Threat Assessment?

Threats are communications or indications of intent to harm others or disrupt the safety and security of a campus. Threats can be communicated directly to intended individuals or indirectly to third parties. They may also be expressed in private or public statements, such as in journals or on social media.

The Threat Assessment process is designed to identify and address threatening or concerning behaviors before they lead to harm.

The threat assessment process centers on the analysis of actions, communications, and specific circumstances that might suggest that an individual intends to engage in violence and is planning or preparing for that event.

Willamette’s Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment process is an extension of the University CARE response as it relates to students. The BETA Team should be notified when a concern for an individual rises to a threatening nature via the reporting process.

Reporting Behavioral Incidents or Threats

We depend on the campus community to report information about behaviors and incidents that may put the safety of members of the community at risk.

Any immediate threat to physical safety that is happening in real time or a present danger, contact emergency — 911 or Campus Safety in Salem: 503-370-6911; Portland: 503-621-2061

If the situation is not imminent and a concerned community member wants to consult about a situation they think may constitute a threat, concerned parties should:

  1. Submit a community concern/incident report; or
  2. Contact the Office of Student Affairs Salem: 503-647-6447; Portland: 503-821-8925

Community members can consult and provide information as the first step in a supportive, iterative process. If a threat is identified, a formal threat assessment with members of the BETA team will likely occur.

When to Report

Student academic concerns and concerns for students experiencing difficulty related to their general well-being that are not of a threatening nature should be reported via the CARE report.

Behaviors that should be reported to BETA include but are not limited to:

  • Threats of harming others or the community
  • Threatening words or actions toward faculty, students, staff or university operations
  • Online posting in social media or journals that are threatening or concerning
  • Uncharacteristic and/or extreme aggression toward others
  • Projects or papers that convey clear intentions to harm self or others
  • Knowledge or reports of person possessing a weapon on campus


The core membership of the Threat Assessment Team includes members from:

  • The Office of Student Affairs
  • Campus Safety
  • Bishop Wellness Center
  • Provost Office
  • Residence Life and Housing
  • Risk Management
  • Human Resources

Other university members are included in the threat assessment process depending on the nature of the information/incident(s).

BETA Team Responsibilities

  1. Consult with members of the Willamette community about concerning behaviors or perceived threats or disruptions of university operations and provide a mechanism for reporting concerns
  2. Receive, review and maintain records about concerns about behavior that is potentially harmful and/or disruptive to the Willamette community
  3. Perform assessment of risk and develop a support plan, within existing university policies and resources, to mitigate risk and support individuals impacted
  4. Provide follow-up and recommendations for actions as appropriate, to assist with managing potentially harmful or disruptive behavior
  5. Educate the Willamette community on the Behavior Evaluation and Threat Assessment (BETA) process and how to identify and report behaviors of concern
  6. Review BETA procedures and protocols, and university policies and processes to ensure effectiveness of the process, and opportunities to ensure the community is protected from harm

Approach to Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment

The University uses a single BETA Team and protocols to ensure all vital decision makers are included and that all information is funneled directly to those decision makers.

The team uses the Salem-Keizer Threat Assessment System for each formal threat assessment that was developed by Dr. John VanDreal and used by schools and agencies throughout the country. This approach uses a set of assessment protocols and safety planning procedures overseen and administered by the Marion County Threat Advisory Team, a collaborative team of schools, law enforcement, public mental health, the judiciary and juvenile corrections to promote safe school environments. A member of the Willamette University team serves on the Marion County Threat Advisory Team.

Guiding Principles

  • Prevention is possible;
  • Focus on behavior, not traits or profiles;
  • Determine if someone poses a threat, not whether they made a threat;
  • Keep victims in mind;
  • Early identification and intervention helps everyone;
  • Multiple reporting mechanisms enhance early identification;
  • Multi-faceted resources can provide effective intervention;
  • Safety is a primary focus; and
Cooperating systems are critical for identifying, gathering information, evaluating, and managing. (© Sigma Threat Management Associates)

For More Information

Questions about the Willamette University’s Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment process should be directed to:

Willamette University

Campus Safety

Salem Campus

University Services Building
Office Hours:
7:30 am–4 pm (M-F)
Officer available 24/7/365 at

Portland Campus

Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design
Office Hours:
8 am–4 pm (M-F)
Officer available 24/7/365 at