A message from UI leaders on the shooting of Jacob Blake

We once again find ourselves dealing with anger, sadness, frustration, and fear after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the violence that has followed.

The shooting of Jacob Blake and the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others again reinforce the need for swift, systemic change. The pain felt by our community, and specifically Black communities here and across the nation, is justified. It is real. And it is exhausting.

It is necessary and important to reinforce what we said after the George Floyd killing: No one should feel their race or any aspect of their identity makes them a target for violence. Addressing inequality requires changing hearts, minds, and systems, and the University of Iowa will continue to work toward that goal through actions.

In June, we announced the creation of the Reimagining Campus Safety Action Committee. Led by Vice President for Student Life Sarah Hansen, this committee is charged with developing a new future for public safety on the UI campus.

The committee, composed of 24 campus community members, has met weekly since July 15 and has engaged in thoughtful discussions around diversity, equity, and inclusion; systemic racism and white supremacy; campus-community relations; and disproportionate policing of communities of color. Committee members have reviewed research on policing and models of community-based safety interventions and have conducted 1:1 interviews with individuals about their experiences with policing and needs for safety. 

 

The committee has identified six possible models for addressing campus safety needs while aligning with the UI’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Once the models are refined, a series of campus dialogue sessions will be announced so the campus community can take part in the process. The committee will submit its final recommendations in December 2020 with implementation to begin in early 2021.

On our campus and within our community:

  • We will not tolerate anything but a safe and inclusive campus for people of all backgrounds regardless of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, ancestry, or disability.
  • We value the First Amendment and freedom of expression and believe civil discourse and the respectful exchange of ideas are the cornerstones of higher education and this great institution.

As an institute of higher education, we welcome and encourage thoughtful discussion. We also have many resources available, and we encourage you to reach out and ask for help.

Campus resources

Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 319-335-0705

Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 319-335-3555

Office of the Ombudsperson, 319-335-3608

Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC), 319-335-1486

Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP), 319-335-6000

UI Libraries Anti-Racism Guide

Student resources
University Counseling Service, 319-335-7294               
Office of the Dean of Students, 319-335-1162  
Campus Inclusion Team, 319-335-1162             
Center for Diversity and Enrichment, 319-335-3555
Graduate College Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 319-335-2144
Academic Support and Retention, 319-335-1497
Student Disability Services, 319-335-1462, TTY 319-335-1498       

Faculty and staff resources
UI Employee Assistance Program, 319-335-2085
Faculty and Staff Disability Services, 319-335-2660, TTY 319-335-3495

Progress and change on the UI campus and in our community will require our intentional focus. By working together, we will create a better future.

Bruce Harreld, president

Kevin Kregel, interim executive vice president and provost

Liz Tovar, interim associate vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion

Dan Clay, College of Education

John Culshaw, Jack B. King University Librarian

Russ Ganim, International Programs

J. Brooks Jackson, Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine

David Johnsen, College of Dentistry

John Keller, Graduate College

Amy Kristof-Brown, Tippie College of Business

Don Letendre, College of Pharmacy

Harriett Nembhard, College of Engineering

Edith Parker, College of Public Health

Sara Sanders, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Tanya Uden-Holman, University College

Kevin Washburn, College of Law

Julie Zerwic, College of Nursing

Gary Barta, athletics director

Sarah Hansen, vice president for student life

Terry Johnson, chief financial officer and treasurer

Rod Lehnertz, senior vice president for Finance and Operations

Lynette Marshall, president and CEO, UI Center for Advancement

Peter Matthes, senior advisor to the president and vice president for external relations

Laura McLeran, senior advisor to the president and associate vice president for external relations

Carroll Reasoner, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel

Marty Scholtz, vice president for research