Arizona Admits Failings in Murder of Professor, Faces Suit
University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins admitted failings in the October murder of a professor, Thomas Meixner, on the campus.
“There were systemic issues across our university that should’ve been identified and corrected. I’m angry at myself that I did not do more to prevent this tragedy and most of all I’m angry at this man that took from us our loved one, friend and colleague,” said Robbins at a press briefing, 13 News reported.
He also released a report by the PAX Group, which the university hired to complete a review of Meixner’s death.
The review found “systemic issues across three main themes: understanding and managing threats, providing a consistent and compassionate response, and the decentralization of communications. For those failures, I accept responsibility on behalf of the university and commit—once again—to all of you and to the Meixner family that we will do all that we can to prevent another tragedy.”
The family of Meixner announced a $9 million suit against Arizona Monday. “The university had a chance to save Tom and did not act,” said the family’s lawyer, Larry Wulkan. “Nothing the university can do can bring Tom back. Now it has a chance to ensure that Tom’s family does not live with financial uncertainty because of the university’s failures. Hopefully, the university will do the right thing this time.”
Authorities said Meixner was killed by former student Murad Dervish, who had a history of violence.
A faculty panel released a report in February with many of the same conclusions as the outside panel. The report noted Meixner’s dying words were “I knew you were going to do this!”