Iowa Regents Discuss Sex Assault Policy, Advance $47 Million Carver Renovation

This story was written by Brian Stewart, The Daily Iowan
The state Board of Regents met in closed session for more than 45 minutes on Thursday to discuss the University of Iowa's handling of an alleged sexual assault in October 2007, asking all regent institutions to use the review to scrutinize their own procedures on investigating and reporting sexual assaults by the regents' September meeting.

In addition, the regents also gave the UI permission to proceed with planning a 20-acre UI Hospitals and Clinics ambulatory/outpatient clinic in Coralville and approved the design and budget for a $47 million addition and renovation project at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Several regents expressed concern with the lack of clarity regarding options for reporting sex assaults on campus and the involvement of several university departments during the investigation.

"Under the stress of the moment, this type of information should be available," said Thomas Evans, the general counsel for the board. "[UI officials] are making an extraordinary effort; it just seemed that there were issues and concerns that we identified."

Regent Ruth Harkin asked the board to present the review to county attorneys in the home counties of the regent institutions.

She said the regents wouldn't want to adopt a resolution that could interfere with any legal investigations.

Hawkeye Athletics Director Gary Barta asked for the regents' approval to continue with a $47 million project at Carver-Hawkeye Arena that would add a four-story addition to the north of the complex and renovate much of the existing arena.

Regent President David Miles asked Barta about some specifics to a proposed fundraising option - courtside and club seating.

Barta said he was confident that the university would sell the suggested 600 seats after discussions with several donors.

"We have a few thousand people who have made a decision to sit premium in Kinnick," Barta said. "We're looking at 600 seats [at Carver], which means around 200 or 300 people. That's what gives me comfort - it's a very small number of people."

Discussion over a UI policy that would modify duties for faculty who are new parents included UI interim Provost Lola Lopes apologizing to the regents for approving the plans without first bringing them before the board.

Miles asked Lopes to resubmit the proposal later, and the representatives from the other regent institutions - Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa - to consider similar policies. He asked Lopes to present the UI policy at the regents' August meeting.

The regents addressed several other topics at the meeting, including allowing the UI to hire nontenured research-track faculty and giving the university permission to buy a $2 million continuing education center in Des Moines.

For full coverage of the Thursday meeting of the state Board of Regents, please visit us at dailyiowan.com.

E-mail DI reporter Brian Stewart at:

brian-stewart@uiowa.edu
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