CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0552; fax (319) 335-0558
email : email@example.com
Release: June 11, 1999
The following is a statement from Mary Sue Coleman,
University of Iowa president, regarding the International Writing Program:
As public discussion of the future of our International
Writing Program continues, I want to remind our whole community of the larger
context in which this discussion should take place: that is, the overarching
framework of our core values and institutional goals and processes.
Issues relating to the decision to modify the International
Writing Program for 1999-2000, pending further review, are both substantive
and procedural. I regret the acrimony generated by the procedural abruptness
but this must not be allowed to spill over into the debate on substantivematters.
I am convinced that the procedure which has been put
in place for the further review of the program will alleviate many of the
procedural concerns, so that we may turn our full attention to issues of substance.
Provost Whitmore and Dean Maxson recognize that the program review must be
thoughtful, thorough, and considerate of the variety of
opinions within the university community. It is my understanding that the
committee will hold one or more public fora at which all points of view can
be fully and openly considered.
Our obligation to be good stewards of our limited
fiscal resources often means that we must make difficult choices among competing
needs. I am aware that there are strongly-held views, some of which now appear
irreconcilable, on the merits and future direction of the IWP. The review
committee will seek an imaginative and fiscally responsible solution that
both honors our heritage as a center of international writing and brings visiting
writers into closer association with our degree-granting programs. In the
end, it may not be possible to arrive at an arrangement that satisfies everyone.
Nevertheless, I call upon the university community to do its best to conduct
the discussion in an open process that respects our core values. Let us keep
in mind that the University of Iowa "vigilantly protects free expression of
thought, respects difference and diversity, and fosters opportunities for
all members of the community to generate and discuss ideas and contribute
to the vitality of the educational environment," and that it offers "a supportive
and humane environment in which people from a wide variety of backgrounds
and traditions may encounter each other in a spirit of cooperation, openness,
and mutual respect."
I hope any of you who have ideas concerning how we
might best facilitate a discussion in that spirit will feel free to share
them with me, Provost Whitmore, or Dean Maxson.