University of Arkansas News Conference

1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001

Opening Statement by Chancellor John A. White

Thank you for joining us on one of the most terrible days in American history.

In the aftermath of the unprecedented attacks in New York and Washington, we wanted to call you together to discuss what the University of Arkansas is doing to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff and to otherwise deal with these unprecedented events that may still be unfolding.

To provide the information and insight you need, I have asked the UA administrators seated at this table to take part in this news conference. Let me introduce them to you at this time:

  • Dr. Johnetta Cross Brazzell, vice chancellor, Student Affairs
  • Dr. Jonathan Perry, director, Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Dr. Randall Woods, dean, Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Vince Cornell, director, Middle East Studies Program
  • Dr. Najib Ghadbian, assistant professor of Political Science
  • Mr. Frank Broyles, director, Men’s Athletics
  • Mr. Larry Slamons, chief, UAPD

I want to say, first of all, that this is a terrible day for America and the world. The entire University of Arkansas family extends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims, and to everyone else affected by these barbaric acts.

To ensure the safety and well-being of the University of Arkansas community, I have asked that we do a number of things. And in a minute, I will ask my colleagues at this table to elaborate and answer your questions.

First, we are making counseling services available to our University family. This morning, we deployed counselors to residence halls and other housing facilities when we learned that our students were deeply traumatized by these events. Of course, our Counseling and Psychological Services is also offering counseling to anyone who needs it at the University Health Center, 600 Razorback Road

In addition, counselors and University Housing staff have continued to work their way through the residence halls all day, checking up on students.

In addition, we asked the University’s Employee Assistance program to offer counseling for faculty and staff in room 222 of the Administration Building.

Second, we have been working to track down whether we have any students, faculty or staff in New York and Washington, particularly near the affected areas. All of our international students have been accounted for, and we have checked on students and faculty in internships or on field trips in those cities. Our predominant travel agency reports that there were no University of Arkansas people on any of the downed flights. To the best of our knowledge, at this point, no UA people have been injured by these acts.

Third, we have decided not to cancel classes. We believe it is more important for our students to remain in close contact with faculty members. In addition, classes will provide the opportunity for our students to discuss these events with people they know well. It may be comforting to parents to know that we are encouraging students to meet their classes and stay in close contact with faculty and fellow students. Should parents wish to contact students, the may call the Office of Student Affairs at 1-800-774-0809,

Fourth, we are offering assistance to students who are trying to ascertain the whereabouts of family and friends in New York and Washington.

Fifth, we are asking everyone in the University community to go out of their way in offering understanding and support to fellow students, faculty, and staff. We are concerned for every single person in the University of Arkansas family. We are particularly concerned with the safety and well-being of our Middle Eastern and Muslim students, faculty and staff who are valued members of the University of Arkansas family.

Sixth, we have deployed extra UAPD officers across campus, to help anyone who might need it and to generally keep an eye on things.

Seventh, we are reviewing plans for our athletic events this coming weekend, particularly the football game with North Texas. The Southeastern Conference has been in touch with us and all member institutions and Coach Broyles will speak to that in a few minutes.

Eighth, we are in the process of organizing a campus blood drive. This is something all of us can do to provide urgently needed blood plasma for the injured.

That is a rough outline of some of the things we are doing as we speak, and we will continue do whatever is necessary as the situation unfolds. At this time, I would like to turn to Dr. Brazzell and Dr. Perry to talk about the situation with our students and with counseling services





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