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Release: Nov. 6, 2002

Boyd asks Board in Control of Athletics to Review Policies and Procedures

In the face of recent concerns, University of Iowa Interim President Willard L. "Sandy" Boyd has asked the Board in Control of Athletics to review policies and procedures as applied in the Athletics Department. Here is the text of Boyd's letter to Professor Nicholas Colangelo, chair of the Board in Control of Athletics:

Professor Nicholas Colangelo
Chair
Board in Control of Athletics

Dear Nick:

Many people have expressed concern about the University's involvement in the settlement of criminal charges against Pierre Pierce.

A settlement was negotiated by the lawyers for the two private parties to the criminal proceedings, Mr. Pierce and the victim. That settlement was agreed to by County Attorney Patrick White. During this process, the General Counsel and Coach Alford did respond to inquiries from the parties' lawyers, who wished to know if Athletics could work with proposed agreements between the parties.

It is critical to remember that it has been made clear to all concerned from the beginning that resolution of the criminal charges would not affect the University's ability to investigate and make judgments under the Code of Student Life and the University policies concerning allegations of sexual violence and harassment.

We must come to grips with what transpired here and with how allegations of violence, sexual harassment, and other violations of the Code of Student Life are handled in the future in the Athletic Department in the context of University policies and procedures. I hereby ask the Board in Control of Athletics, the body charged with responsibility for safeguarding the academic and educational interests of student athletes, to take this situation very, very seriously, and to consider steps that should be taken to insure that similar situations are resolved in the interests of the entire University. Specifically, I instruct the Board to recommend any changes it deems advisable in order to assure that resolutions in the future protect the interests of the University as a whole and the interests of students. I also instruct the Board to insure, at a minimum, that the same policies and procedures regarding violence, sexual harassment, and student conduct that apply to all other aspects of the University must be applicable in the Department of Athletics, including policies regarding oversight and training.

I am specifically requesting that Charlotte Westerhaus, Assistant to the President and Director of Affirmative Action; Phillip Jones, Vice President for Student Services; and Linda McGuire, special counsel to the president, work with you in developing these recommendations. Ultimately, these will need to be approved by the University president.

I appreciate your attention to these important matters, and look forward to hearing from you and the Board.

Sincerely yours,

Willard L. Boyd
Interim President