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Release: Oct. 30, 2001

UI announces new security practices for Oakdale Hall, Hygienic Lab

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa employees working in Oakdale Hall and the UI Hygienic Laboratory, which is located in Oakdale Hall, will be required to wear identification badges beginning Nov. 8. The badges are part of new security practices that will be implemented based on recommendations from federal and state government officials because of heightened concerns about biological agents being used by terrorists.

Other security practices are being considered as part of a more comprehensive plan for the security of the Hygienic Lab, which is the state's public health and environmental laboratory. Those plans will likely include reducing the number of doors through which employees and visitors can gain access to Oakdale Hall and the Hygienic Lab.

Affected employees were notified last Friday during a "town meeting" at Oakdale Hall with David Skorton, UI vice president for research and interim vice president for external relations. Also providing information and answering questions at the meeting were Phillip Jones, vice president for student services; Charles Green, director of UI Public Safety; Sue Buckley, interim director of Human Resources; and Bruce Wheaton, director of the Oakdale Research Park. More detailed written information was sent to the employees Monday, Oct. 29.

"All of us recognize that this practice is out of the ordinary and new to the Oakdale Campus," Skorton said. "The practice is not new to the UI, however, since health care providers in University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics have for many years worn identification badges. Bringing this level of security to Oakdale Hall reflects the changing circumstances in which we find ourselves. As you will understand, the concern for the security of Oakdale Hall reflects special concern for the University Hygienic Laboratory."

Badges will be issued in the Gold Room of Oakdale Hall on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 and in Room 30 of Calvin Hall on Nov. 6 and 7. Employees to be issued badges should present their current University ID card and one additional photo ID card.