Iowa universities review policies after Penn State

2012-02-07T10:15:00Z 2012-02-07T16:43:46Z Iowa universities review policies after Penn StateBy EMILY CHRISTENSEN, emily.christensen@wcfcourier.com Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

AMES, Iowa --- Many University of Northern Iowa employees are required by state or federal law to report suspected cases of child abuse.

But, UNI President Benjamin Allen said all employees are expected to report criminal activity or suspected criminal activity, whether it involved a minor or not, to the proper authorities.

"Safety has long been one of the guiding principles at the University of Northern Iowa," Allen said.

Allen and the presidents and superintendents of the other state universities and special schools Tuesday updated the Board of Regents on a requested review of their school's policies regarding the safety of minors on campus.

The request, which originated from Gov. Terry Branstad, followed allegations of repeated sexual abuse on the Penn State University campus last year.

Allen, University of Iowa President Sally Mason and University of Iowa State President Steven Leath said the reviews are ongoing.

Regent President Craig Lang said it appeared that the schools were "on top of it."

"As a grandfather it is even more important than it was as a parent, but maybe that is just me maturing," Lang said.

A new task force at UNI was established to review the school's current policies and develop a complete database of all university programs that involve minor students.

"We have many programs involving children. These are good and rewarding programs and activities for the university, the community the state and each of the program participants," Allen said, mentioning academic and athletic camps as well as fine arts programs.

"Programs such as these connect young people to the university," he added. "It is important we continue to offer such program yet recognize our responsibility to inventory all programs in order to ensure the proper measures are in place to ensure the safety of all participants."

Allen said once the inventory is complete they will better be able to identify any issues that merit review. UNI police have also launched a new training effort for individuals identified as campus security authorities.

The university will also implement a comprehensive communication plan so they can effectively share information related to training, guidelines and best practices.

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(1) Comments

  1. Justfortoday
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    Justfortoday - February 07, 2012 3:08 pm
    lololol they need a task force to organize and recognize programs involving children? Why should ANY institution have to REVIEW their policies concerning child abuse, etc? These policies have been in place for Years and if you fail to report, you should be held just as accountable as the perp. period.
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