Missing Student Notification Policy

It is the policy of NYU Shanghai, through the collaboration of the Office of Student Affairs and the Department of Public Safety, to investigate any report of a missing student who is enrolled and attending classes at NYU Shanghai. This policy, with its accompanying procedures, establishes a framework for cooperation among members of the NYU Shanghai community aimed at locating and assisting students who are reported missing.

NYU Shanghai is committed to creating and preserving a safe and secure environment for its students. The purpose of this policy is to support this commitment by setting forth rules and procedures to be followed in the event a student of the University is missing or believed to be missing.

A “missing student” is defined as any student enrolled and attending classes at NYU Shanghai whose location and safety are unknown. All reports of missing students must be directed to the NYU Shanghai Department of Public Safety at +86-21-2059-5500, which will investigate every report of a missing student anywhere in the world and make a determination whether the student is missing in accordance with this policy.

Each student has the option to identify a confidential contact person or persons who will be notified within 24 hours in the event that a determination is made by NYU Shanghai Public Safety that the student is missing. This contact information may be added through Albert, the portal to NYU’s student information system. Only authorized campus officials and law enforcement officers in furtherance of a missing person investigation may have access to this information.

If a missing student is under 18 years of age, and not an emancipated individual, NYU Shanghai will notify a custodial parent or guardian of the missing student no later than 24 hours after the determination by NYU Shanghai Public Safety that the student is missing. NYU Shanghai Public Safety will contact local police and other law enforcement agencies or other authorities deemed appropriate no later than 24 hours after it determines that any student is missing.

In the NYU Shanghai residence hall, there is no formal procedure or prescribed timelines for monitoring whether students are present in their assigned student housing. Student welfare and safety is paramount to NYU Shanghai; however, NYU Shanghai recognizes and makes known its limitations in obtaining accurate and timely information on the whereabouts of students.

The NYU Shanghai Office of Student Affairs shall have the responsibility to make the provisions of this policy and the procedures set forth below available to students.


Any report of a missing student, from whatever source, must immediately be directed to the NYU Shanghai Department of Public Safety.

Receiving a Missing Student Report

  • The first public safety representative to receive a report of a missing student will immediately complete the Missing Student Report form.
  • The completed Missing Student Report form is transmitted from the field to the New York Public Safety Command Center (NYPSCC) or may be transmitted from the NYPSCC to the appropriate field personnel, depending on where the first report was received.
  • Public Safety in Shanghai and in the New York Command Center will each designate their respective lead investigators. The lead investigators will coordinate all search activities between the field, NYPSCC, Student Affairs, and others to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the search.

Searching for the Missing Student

  • The lead investigator/NYPSCC will immediately direct simultaneous on-site and remote searches.
  • If the on-site and remote searches are not successful in locating the student, the lead investigator/NYPSCC will contact the Office of Residential Life and Student Affairs to coordinate a search of the student’s room using the protocol for Conducting Searches and Preserving Evidence, and interviews of roommates, friends, and faculty.

Notifications: if the searches are not successful in locating the student within 24 hours from the time of the first report, the following notifications will be made:

  • The assistant dean of students will notify the missing student’s designated emergency contact and parents as appropriate.
  • The assistant dean of students will notify other university units, the missing student’s dean, and others as necessary and appropriate.
  • Shanghai Public Safety will notify local law enforcement and other agencies, including the Shanghai Coast Guard (as relevant to the student’s last known location) and file official requests for assistance.

Upon determining the student’s whereabouts, the investigation report will be updated with the search results and the investigation will be closed. The lead investigator/NYPSCC will initiate an after-action review with all involved in the search to review all steps taken, their efficacy, any lessons learned and

  • Will work with the security manager to update NYU Shanghai’s Missing Student Notification Policy, Public Safety Missing Student Response Protocol, and accompanying training materials
  • Will review findings with the crime prevention manager to identify new prevention strategies that may help to improve future student safety

Student Contact Information

In addition to having the option to identify a confidential contact person, as provided in this policy, all students will complete a Contact Information Form at NYU Shanghai. The Office of the Registrar and Public Safety have worked together to add a feature in Albert, the student information syste, to ask students to update their contact information on a semiannual basis. It is the responsibility of the student to regularly update any changes to their contact information.

Student Notification of This Policy

  • Included on NYU Shanghai Public Safety web pages and on the NYU Policy Database website (nyu.edu/about/policies-guidelines-compliance/policies-and-guidelines.html)
  • Included in student and parent enrollment communications
  • Discussed during beginning semester, mandatory housing meetings
  • Included in the annual NYU Shanghai Campus Security Report