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Utah State University officials say they are taking steps to deal with any repetition of last week's campus bomb threat and prevent further disruption of classes and school business.

The university is placing devices on campus telephones to trace the source of calls. It is also refining procedures to evaluate and deal with threats or natural disasters, said Provost Karen Morse.Last week, after a caller said bombs had been set to go off hourly on campus, President Stanford Cazier ordered the campus evacuated until buildings could be checked. No bombs were found.

A number of other schools and businesses in the state have received similar threats.

USU's main purpose is to protect the mission of the university and the well-being of staff and students, including international students, the provost said. The school also wants appropriate action taken against lawbreakers, she added.

A committee headed by Brian L. Pitcher, associate provost, is refining the university's response plan for emergencies.

Pitcher said Thursday that the most likely source of disruptive action such as a bombing is people who have some grievance against the university or other entities and who use the war emergency as a cover for their activities.

Terrorists from outside the area are a much less likely source of threats, he said.

Least likely is that international students in the area would be responsible for threats, he said - so it is also important that foreign students be shielded from improper actions or accusations.

The USU administration and its institutional council (the governing board made up of citizens from all over the state) issued a joint statement Thursday, reaffirming their commitment "to provide a free and untrammeled environment for all of its students and faculty to engage in their academic pursuits."

"The council and administration particularly emphasize their responsibility to extend understanding, tolerance, rationality and the appreciation of diversity, including the freedom to express divergent opinions within the necessary limitations of time, place and manner of expression to assure that the university can conduct its proper business without disruption," it continues.

The statement goes on to say that USU welcomes students from all over the world in the spirit of a commitment to improve conditions for life in the developing parts of the world, and that the presence of such students has enriched the learning environment for all students.