CONTACT: ANN RHODES
307 E College
Iowa City IA 52242
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 Iowas 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 Universitys 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 Colemans 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.