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University of Iowa News Release

May 2, 2006

UI Supports Principles Of 'Designated Suppliers Program'

University of Iowa President David Skorton today accepted the recommendation of an ad hoc evaluation committee to adopt the underlying principles of a "designated suppliers program" for the manufacture and sale of apparel with UI logos and trademarks.

At the committee's recommendation, the UI will participate in a working group of peer universities planning the implementation of a designated suppliers program. The UI's participation in the program will be re-evaluated in one year.

"Adopting the underlying principles of the designated suppliers program represents an important step in our continuing efforts to ensure that no products bearing the university's name or logos are manufactured under conditions that exploit workers," Skorton said. "The goals of the designated suppliers program are consistent with the licensee code of conduct that we adopted in 2000."

The designated suppliers program is an attempt to consolidate the production of collegiate logo apparel in factories that agree to pay workers a living wage and allow them to be represented by labor unions in exchange for stable orders at fair prices.

University of Iowa Students Against Sweatshops recommended the adoption of the designated suppliers program in a letter to Skorton dated Oct. 17, 2005. UI administrators and the UI Committee on Human Rights reviewed the proposed program before Skorton appointed an ad hoc evaluation committee. He asked the committee to review what other similar universities are doing on the issue; to examine antitrust and other legal issues; to investigate how apparel industry licensees, manufacturers and workers would be affected; and to suggest how the plan would be implemented, monitored and enforced. The ad hoc committee presented its recommendations to Skorton Monday, May 1.

"I applaud the members of the University of Iowa Students Against Sweatshops for their tireless devotion to this important human rights issue, and I thank the members of the ad hoc committee for a reasoned and thoughtful report," Skorton said.

Members of the ad hoc evaluation committee were Mark Abbott, assistant to the UI Director of Athletics; Lon Moeller, clinical associate professor of management and organizations in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business and UI representative to the WRC; David Grady, associate vice president for student services; Gay Pelzer, senior associate counsel in the Office of the General Counsel; Mary Jane Beach, assistant vice president for finance; Robin Paetzold, chair of the UI Committee on Human Rights; and Salome Raheim, senior associate to the president and associate professor of social work.

The complete text of the committee's report is available at this web link: http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2006/may/050206designated-suppliers.pdf

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott, Director of University Relations, steven-parrott@uiowa.edu, phone 319-335-0552, cell 319-530-6972