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President Watkins’ message to campus

Two independent reviews announced.

Campus Community,

It has been nearly two weeks since our campus experienced the tragic loss of Lauren McCluskey, an outstanding athlete and scholar. I want to again express my deepest sympathy to Lauren’s family and to all of those who knew and loved Lauren.

We’re committed to learning, taking actions that enhance safety and security and, in every possible way, preventing something like this from happening again on our campus.

To that end, I’ll be updating the media this morning on the two independent reviews that will begin immediately. I also want you to have this information. You can watch a video of the press conference here once it has concluded.

The first review will focus on the University Police Department’s handling of this case. The second will focus comprehensively on safety and security here on campus. A broad overview of the reviews is available here.

I want to assure you that these reviews are independent, and I have every confidence in the individuals who will lead these efforts. You can read my letter to the review team members here.

I’ve committed to the review team that nothing is off limits and that the university will cooperate fully and provide all resources necessary to carry out its work.

That said, we do not need to wait for the outcome of these reviews to take action. I’ve asked our campus leaders to work within their areas to review policies, procedures and training related to safety so we can make immediate changes if needed.

This event has shaken us, but it will not deter us from our mission to promote an excellent and safe environment for our students to study and learn, and for our staff and faculty to work.

Again, we’re committed to learning all we can from this tragic event and doing what we can to make the University of Utah as safe as possible. Our campus community deserves nothing less.


— Ruth V. Watkins
President, University of Utah