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Email from IU President Sally Mason to Campus Community

-----Original Message-----
From: President Sally Mason []
Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2014 12:48 PM
To: Students, Faculty and Staff :
Subject: [UnivAdm] University Response to Pentacrest Art Display

Dear Members of the University Community:

The goal of the University of Iowa, as a higher-education institution, has
always been to provide an environment where all members of our campus
community feel safe and today, we failed. On the morning of December 5,
2014, a 7-foot tall Ku Klux Klan effigy with a camera affixed to the display
was installed without permission on our campus. The effects of the display
were felt throughout the Iowa City community. That display immediately
caused Black students and community members to feel terrorized and to fear
for their safety.

The university's response was not adequate, nor did that response occur soon
enough. Our students tell us that this portrayal made them feel unwelcomed
and that they lost trust in the University of Iowa. For failing to meet our
goal of providing a respectful, all-inclusive, educational environment, the
university apologizes. All of us need to work together to take preventive
action and do everything we can to be sure that everyone feels welcome,
respected, and protected on our campus and in our community.

I urge any student who was negatively affected by this incident who feels a
need for support to consider contacting the University Counseling Service at

I will meet with students and others when I return next Wednesday to prepare
a detailed plan of action that will include input from people who were
impacted by today's incident about how the UI can better meet its
responsibility to ensure that all students, faculty, staff, and visitors are
respected and safe. I intend to move quickly to form a committee of students
and community members to advise me on options including strengthening
cultural competency training and reviewing our implicit bias training, as we
move forward.

Please join me in the important work ahead.

Sally Mason
University of Iowa

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