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Release: Oct. 20, 1999


The following is provided in response to statements made on behalf of University of Iowa Professor Terence Williams at a press conference held on Oct. 18:

It has been the University of Iowa’s consistent practice not to use the news media to address matters of faculty misbehavior. We believe our faculty support that position, and with more than lip service. Matters of faculty misbehavior are dealt with through the Faculty Judicial Commission, whose members devote very substantial time ensuring due process for their colleagues. That was the process involved here with respect to ethics charges filed against Dr. Williams.

After a week-long evidentiary hearing, a faculty panel issued its final findings and recommendations concerning Dr. Williams on June 15, 1999. In that report, the panel found three violations by Dr. Williams of the University’s Faculty Ethics Policy. In particular, with respect to Dr. Mary Hendrix:

"The Panel finds that there is clear and convincing evidence that Dr. Williams did engage in behavior that threatened, vilified, and verbally abused the chair of the department, Mary Hendrix. Further, the panel found clear and convincing evidence that Professor Hendrix could have perceived this behavior as either physically or professionally threatening."

President Coleman issued her written decision on July 8, 1999, accepting the findings of the faculty panel and directing the move of Dr. Williams’ office a few hundred yards from the Bowen Science Building to the Medical Laboratory Building. The move was intended as a remedial measure to minimize the likelihood of provocative contacts or painful re-enactments.

The University of Iowa faculty maintain high ethical and professional standards. Maintenance of those standards requires that appropriate action be taken when they are breached.

Dr. Williams had a right under the Regents Procedural Guide to appeal President Coleman’s July 8 decision to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. He did not do so; the time for such an appeal has long since passed; and the decision is now final. In fact, for a number of weeks, Dr. Williams has been working with College of Medicine personnel on numerous details relating to his renovated office and laboratory space.

We will provide such further details concerning this personnel matter to the Board of Regents as necessary.