Dan Graney: Behavioral Threat Assessment: Managing the Pathway to Violence

Dr. Dan Graney, URI’s Dean of Students, has been at URI for 19 years. With his former career as the director of a Forensic/Addictions unit at a community mental health center, and being a Certified Threat Manager (CTM) awarded through the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP), he is uniquely qualified to teach his course, “Behavioral Threat Assessment: Managing the Pathway to Violence”. He explains why this course is so important and how it equips students to better understand the nuances of threat assessment.  

Describe “Behavioral Threat Assessment: Managing the Pathway to Violence” and what makes it “honors experience”.

This class takes a multidisciplinary approach in examining the key concepts and techniques of threat assessment processes. Topics include theoretical threat assessment and management approaches; Pathway Behaviors; principles of information gathering; mental health and violence; intimate partner violence and stalking; legal considerations; workplace and insider threat; K-12 and Higher Education; Extremists and Conspiracy Theories. We look deeply into fact patterns of targeted violence, mass casualty attacks and cases of stalking and intimate partner violence. The course is not designed to create threat assessment experts; however, it will equip students to participate effectively in real-time group threat assessment discussions.

What do you hope students take away from your course?

Safety and security in school or in the workplace is a major concern. My hope is that students will feel equipped to bring an understanding of threat assessment regardless of academic major or career path. Being able to recognize the signs and behaviors of people who intend to commit violence can help mitigate those threats and prevent further tragedies.

What do you like about working with students in the Honors Program?

My favorite thing about working with students in the Honors Program is that they come from all different backgrounds and academic majors. The level of participation is really incredible and I have continually been impressed by every student that has taken this course.

Will this class be offered again? If so, when?

Hopefully, Fall 2024.

If this class will be offered again, who should register for your course? 

Anyone can register for the class. I think people interested in psychology, sociology, neuroscience, criminal justice, education, health care, or business can all get something from the class.

Is there anything more you’d like to add about yourself, your class or your time at URI?

I have been at URI for 19 years, and teaching this class has been a highlight of my time here.