University of Utah announces independent reviews of Lauren McCluskey murder, campus safety

SALT LAKE CITY -- University of Utah President Ruth V. Watkins gave details on two independent reviews into the Lauren McCluskey shooting and the overall safety of campus Friday.

During Friday's press conference, Watkins said the two reviews will be completely independent and have until spring of 2019 to complete their findings.

“We want to do our best to share in an open and transparent way all that we can related to this tragic event,” Watkins stated.

She said that in the meantime they will be making several changes immediately.

Those changes include an evaluation of policies and practices at student housing and more training for routine and emergency situations, as well as more communication from the Dean of Students Office regarding the resources available to students.

Watkins also said the school will continue a "robust investment" into lighting and security cameras on campus.

The reviews will be headed by John T. Nielsen, a retired attorney and former commissioner of  the Utah Department of Public Safety, and he will be joined by Keith D. Squires, another former DPS Commissioner, and Sue Riseling, executive director of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.

No members of the review team are employed by the U of U.

The school has also set up two confidential email addresses where anyone may submit information or feedback.

For the McCluskey case use: ansr.me/UDeptPSReview

For the campus safety review use: ansr.me/CampusSafety

Nielsen said during the press conference that the investigations will begin immediately, saying that he and Squires have an appointment Friday with University Police to begin their work.

Nielsen said he is grateful for Watkins' insistence on the independence of these reviews, and he said the team will do "everything that is necessary to learn what occurred and why. We must do that to honor Lauren and to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening in the future."

One of the reviews will focus specifically on the McCluskey murder and the events leading up to it, while the other will take a longer view and focus on campus safety in general.