It took nearly an hour after the fatal shootings at the University of Alabama at Huntsville on Friday for administrators to send an alert via the emergency-notification system. Some people on the campus say word should have been sent much sooner.
On Monday the university's president, David B. Williams, sent an e-mail message to students and staff, and faculty members saying that administrators would examine the emergency response and consider improvements. "Some of you are understandably troubled about the speed with which a text message alert was sent following the shootings," said the message. "How to more effectively use the university's text message system in the midst of a fast-moving, life-threatening situation will certainly be part of that review."
Ray Garner, a university spokesman, said in an interview with The Chronicle that the system had been used many times for weather alerts since it was set up "some time ago," but that he did not know why it had not been used more quickly in this case. "I don't know if there was some technical snag," he said. "We haven't analyzed that yet."
University officials quickly dealt with the emergency, Mr. Garner emphasized. "Our campus police responded in a very quick time frame," he said. "They had the suspect apprehended within minutes of the 911 call, and it was contained to one building, so there was no threat to the rest of campus."