Message from President Robbins on campus security

old main in the evening

Below is a message sent to University of Arizona students and employees on Monday, Oct. 10, by President Robert C. Robbins regarding campus security following the tragic shooting death of Thomas Meixner, professor and head of the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences.  

Meixner was shot and killed by a former student in the university's John W. Harshbarger Building on Oct. 5.

Dear Students and Colleagues,

In the days following last week’s tragic murder of Professor Tom Meixner, the University community has come together to honor his memory, to comfort one another, and, for some, to ask important questions about how this could happen on our campus. Since last Wednesday, while the University Police Department and the Tucson Police Department have continued their joint investigation, our senior leadership team has been engaged in meaningful and transparent dialogue about what we must do for our students, faculty, and staff. As I shared on Friday, your safety is critically important to me.

As many of you know, over the past two years, we have experienced other tragic incidents, both on campus and off, that have shaken our community and challenged our notion of safety. While I take great pride in our ongoing efforts to protect our community, we must ask ourselves if there is more that we and our public safety partners can do.

We have begun the work to retain recognized independent external experts in security and threat assessments to begin a comprehensive review of all aspects of our campus safety, violence prevention, and public safety response, with an initial report, including recommendations, due to me within 75 days. While the charge to the external experts will include a review of how the University handled threats in advance of the murder of Professor Meixner, it also will encompass the safety and security of our buildings, our threat assessment approach, our UAlert system, and any area of campus security they determine relevant to campus safety.

I expect the full and complete cooperation of all University employees and staff, as this is our priority.

I also am committed to working with Faculty Senate leadership and our broader network of faculty and staff to ensure that, working together, we can receive, review, and address concerns raised from all of our campus colleagues.

My promise to our students, faculty, staff, parents, and visitors to campus: we will thoroughly review our campus safety response, particularly as it relates to Professor Meixner; we will vigorously pursue necessary and prudent avenues to enhance community safety, relying on experts to advise us; and we will remain steadfast in our commitment to all of you.


Robert C. Robbins, M.D.

The University of Arizona​


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