Higher Education

University of Arizona missed chances to stop professor’s fatal shooting on campus, review finds

Dive Temporary:

  • The College of Arizona missed a number of possibilities to intervene earlier than a professor was shot and killed final yr, in accordance with an independent review carried out for the college.
  • An expelled graduate scholar, is accused of killing Thomas Meixner, a hydrology professor and chair of his division, on the Tucson campus in October. Shortly after the incident, the college commissioned a assessment of its response by PAX Group, a safety consulting agency.
  • The audit, which analyzed over 1,200 paperwork together with college workers’ emails and textual content messages, discovered systemic points across the college’s capability to know and handle threats, in addition to an absence of communication amongst departments.

Dive Perception:

Starting in November 2021, college in Meixner’s division alerted a number of departments about repeated harassment and threats from the suspect.

Each the College of Arizona police division and the Dean of College students’ workplace directed the alleged assailant to campus psychological well being sources however the two workplaces failed to speak with one another, in accordance with the report. The campus police additionally failed to collect extra details about the suspect from regional regulation enforcement departments.

“It seems that the considerations raised ought to have led to a sequence of regulation enforcement investigative steps — particularly when mixed with the information of different regarding behaviors equivalent to estrangement from household and previous prison historical past,” the report stated.

College President Robert Robbins introduced a number of modifications being enacted on account of the report in a campus video message on Monday.

Steve Patterson, chief of the college’s Risk Evaluation Administration Group and a veteran of the FBI, will take over as interim chief security officer starting in Could. He’ll implement the report’s suggestions with the help of a newly created Campus Security Advisory Fee whereas the college hires for the place completely.

The college will even proceed to work with the Pax Group to place in place a campuswide facility security plan.

“I settle for accountability on behalf of the College and commit — as soon as once more — to all of you and to the Meixner household that we’ll do all that we are able to to stop one other tragedy,” Robbins stated.

Meixner’s household has filed a discover of a $9 million declare in opposition to the Arizona Board of Regents, saying the college’s lackluster response to the suspect’s violent threats led to Meixner’s loss of life, according to AZPM.

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