Stanford Report Online

Stanford Report, October 23, 2001
Updated at 4:30 p.m.

A letter from Provost John Etchemendy

We have received initial laboratory results on the suspicious substance discovered Monday morning in a threatening letter sent to the Risk Management Office at 651 Serra. The laboratory has determined that the substance is not a biological or chemical hazard and suspects it is a food product. We will conduct further tests in an effort to determine its specific identity.

Stanford's Environmental Health and Safety department has ascertained there is no danger to employees who work at 651 Serra. As an additional precaution, EH&S has sanitized air ducts in the office in which the envelope was opened and facilities staff are replacing HVAC filters. The building will be reopened at noon Wednesday; building employees should return to work at that time.

Deplorable incidents like these are meant to inhibit the sense of peace and free inquiry that universities and other institutions in our country value so highly. I am proud that both the employees who work in 651 Serra and the staff who responded to the incident Monday reacted with tremendous care, professionalism and presence of mind. I understand that these are trying times for all members of our community, and I want to assure you that the safety of our staff, faculty and students continues to be of the utmost importance to President Hennessy and me.

Staff members with continuing concerns about this incident should feel free to contact Susan Hoerger in Human Resources at 3-1743.

Those who have questions about the appropriate procedures for handling suspicious mail should consult with a supervisor or see the document with safety instructions for biological threats received by mail.

For continuing updates, please consult the Stanford Report web pages or call the emergency message line at 5-5555.

Thank you for your support through this time.

John Etchemendy

More information will be posted on this website as it becomes available.