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Independent Review Panel | Nov. 30, 2011

Download the full report (pdf)

November 30, 2011

To the University of Idaho Community:

The independent panel I convened to review our safety and security systems following the tragic death of graduate student Katy Benoit has submitted its report to me. Today, we are publicly releasing that report.

I asked the panel to review and assess our relevant safety and security policies and procedures as they relate to the safety of students, faculty and staff, and determine whether those meet or exceed “community standards” or “best practices” for similar institutions. I also asked the panel to outline recommendations for improvements.

The report notes that our plans and procedures for campus safety and security “are complete, comprehensive and technically strong.” It compliments us for having “worked diligently to adopt policies and procedures, which have been mandated by legislation or recommended as best practices in the areas of personal safety for faculty, staff and students.”

The panel also made recommendations in three areas: emergency management, student safety, and faculty and staff safety.

In the spirit of my pledge for transparency and full disclosure in this matter, the full report (pdf) is available on my website.

In addition, I am directing the creation of a task force to review and implement the panel’s recommendations. I have appointed Ron Smith, vice president for finance and administration, to chair this group and I expect it to complete its work by the end of the academic year.

I extend thanks to the review panel members -- Linda Copple Trout, former chief justice of our state Supreme Court; Bob Duringer, vice president of administration and finance at the University of Montana; and Larry Roper, vice provost for student affairs at Oregon State University -- for their thoughtful fulfillment of their work. And additional thanks to Gary Margolis, managing partner of Margolis and Healy, who served as a consultant for the panel.

The report and its recommendations -- and our work that follows -- will help to ensure that our safe campus becomes even safer for our students, faculty, staff and visitors.


M. Duane Nellis