- The University of Arizona missed multiple chances to intervene before a professor was shot and killed last year, according to an independent review conducted for the university.
- An expelled graduate student, is accused of killing Thomas Meixner, a hydrology professor and chair of his department, on the Tucson campus in October. Shortly after the incident, the university commissioned a review of its response by PAX Group, a security consulting firm.
- The audit, which analyzed over 1,200 documents including university employees' emails and text messages, found systemic issues around the university's ability to understand and manage threats, as well as a lack of communication among departments.
Beginning in November 2021, faculty in Meixner's department alerted multiple departments about repeated harassment and threats from the suspect.
Both the University of Arizona police department and the Dean of Students' office directed the alleged assailant to campus mental health resources but the two offices failed to communicate with each other, according to the report. The campus police also failed to gather more information about the suspect from regional law enforcement departments.
“It appears that the concerns raised should have led to a series of law enforcement investigative steps — especially when combined with the knowledge of other concerning behaviors such as estrangement from family and past criminal history,” the report said.
University President Robert Robbins announced several changes being enacted as a result of the report in a campus video message on Monday.
Steve Patterson, leader of the university's Threat Assessment Management Team and a veteran of the FBI, will take over as interim chief safety officer beginning in May. He will implement the report's recommendations with the assistance of a newly created Campus Safety Advisory Commission while the university hires for the position permanently.
The university will also continue to work with the Pax Group to put in place a campuswide facility safety plan.
"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," Robbins said.
Meixner's family has filed a notice of a $9 million claim against the Arizona Board of Regents, saying the university's lackluster response to the suspect's violent threats led to Meixner's death, according to AZPM.