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Release: April 20, 2000

UI Vice President Rhodes apologizes for comment at news briefing

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Ann Rhodes, University of Iowa vice president for university relations, apologized this afternoon for a comment she made at an earlier news briefing to announce the arrest of a person in connection with racist e-mails and a bomb threat at the UI College of Dentistry.

During the news briefing, when asked by a reporter if she was surprised that the person arrested was an African-American female student in the College of Dentistry, Rhodes jokingly replied, "I figured it was going to be a white guy between 25 and 55 because they're the root of most evil ... but what do I know?"

"I'm very sorry for what I said," Rhodes said later. "It was a poor attempt at humor. I certainly do not literally believe that because it just reinforces the kinds of stereotypes we have been working to dispel. It was inappropriate to joke about such a sensitive issue. I apologize."