Court's Ruling Requires UW to Allow Ayers to Appear
n the wake of the decision by U.S. District Judge William Downes issued today in federal court in Casper, the University of Wyoming released this statement.
"For several weeks the University of Wyoming has been at the center of controversy regarding a possible visit by William Ayers to our campus," UW President Tom Buchanan says.
"Litigation resulted from my decision to deny the use of the university multi-purpose gymnasium. This occurred during a period of increasingly volatile and threatening communication to the university community. The heart of the issue was whether as president of the university, I can cancel a speaking engagement if I believe there are overriding safety concerns for the university community," Buchanan says. "Let me be clear, the safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus will always remain a paramount concern at UW."
The University of Wyoming will fully comply with the court's order and will provide appropriate security.
The court's order requires UW to allow Ayers to appear on Wednesday, April 28, in the multi-purpose gymnasium at the Uniwyo Sports Complex on the UW campus in Laramie.
"We will do everything in our power to provide a safe and secure environment for his visit," Buchanan says.
Media accounts of this issue have contained many inaccuracies. Professor Francisco Rios withdrew his invitation to Professor Ayers of his own accord, and the university continues to support that action.
The UW administration did not bar Ayers from campus, but denied permission to rent space for a large event on university property because of serious security concerns.
The University of Wyoming has experienced violence of one kind or another in the past, and the university's first priority is the safety and security of students, faculty, staff and campus facilities, Buchanan says.