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Release: Jan 16, 2001

UI apparel licensees disclose factory locations

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Almost 60 percent of companies licensed to produce apparel and other items with University of Iowa logos have disclosed the locations of their manufacturing facilities, as required by a new UI Licensee Code of Conduct, UI officials announced today. The Code of Conduct was drafted by an ad hoc committee and approved by University of Iowa President Mary Sue Coleman in June 2000. The factory location information will be used to help monitor working conditions in factories that produce clothing and other products with UI's name, trademarks or images.

As of Tuesday, 297 of the University's 520 apparel licensees had provided information on the locations of their factories. The remaining companies will be given until Feb.1 to provide that information. Companies that fail to provide the information by that date will have their licenses revoked.

"So far, none of the responding UI licensees has declined to disclose factory locations," said Mark Abbott, director of the UI licensing program. "Some companies have cancelled their contracts, but many of those appear to be low-volume licensees," he noted. Licenses will not be extended for former licensees who have failed to provide factory location information by Feb. 1. However, the door for renewal is not closed if licensees subsequently provide factory location disclosures. A list of all UI licensees and the location of their manufacturing facilities will be posted on the University of Iowa website by March 1.

President Coleman announced the appointment of new co-chairs of the UI Charter Committee on Human Rights, which has been charged with monitoring the UI's progress on the collegiate apparel issue. They are Randy Hirokawa, UI professor of communication studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Dan Teets, a staff member in University Libraries. They replace Laraine Carmichael-Nelson, a program associate in the UI College of Nursing, who is retiring from the University of Iowa.

The UI Charter Committee on Human Rights will play an important role in addressing issues emerging from the contract renewal discussions. As a requirement of having their contracts renewed, all UI licensees were asked to sign a contract addendum agreeing to abide by the new code of conduct. So far, 244 of the licensees have signed the contract addendum. Coleman and her senior staff will ask the Committee for advice on dealing with licensees who have asked for clarification of or expressed concerns with particular provisions of the Code. The Committee on Human Rights is scheduled to meet Jan. 24. That meeting will be open to the University community and the public.

In addition, Coleman announced the appointment of Lon Moeller, professor of management and organizations in the Tippie College of Business, as the UI's representative to the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), replacing Carmichael-Nelson. Marcella David, UI professor of law, will remain active in the WRC as well. She currently serves as WRC treasurer and member of the WRC board of directors.