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UW-Madison update on Beau Solomon case

July 5, 2016

Statement from Guido Podesta, Vice Provost and Dean of the International Division:

The University of Wisconsin–Madison continues to provide support and assistance to the family of Beau Solomon, our colleagues at John Cabot University in Rome and members of our own campus community. We are dedicated to helping the Solomon family through this difficult time.

The investigation into Beau’s death remains active and we are unable to share additional information about the circumstances around his disappearance late last week.

More than 2,200 UW–Madison students studied abroad in 2013-14, according to our most recent data from the Institute of International Education. We believe that study abroad has numerous benefits for a student’s college career and positively influences the rest of the student’s life.

The safety of our students is our top priority. While all risks cannot be eliminated, UW–Madison takes numerous steps to ensure that our programs operate in safe environments. We also provide significant resources to students, including a combination of online and in-person orientation resources before departure, often with additional orientations provided upon arrival.

UW-Madison recently added the full-time position of international safety and security director to act in a coordinating role between the university’s study abroad programming offices, the UW–Madison International Division, counterpart colleges and universities, U.S. State Department Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), U.S. embassy staff abroad, and our international insurers and their contracted agencies.

There are more attention and resources being given to safety and security issues for UW–Madison students going abroad than at any time in the past. Anecdotally, our returning students tell us that they generally feel safe and well-supported by their preparation for the experience.

At UW–Madison, we continue to believe that the overwhelmingly positive educational experiences provided by study abroad programs are an important part of a college education. We also believe that we’re applying the right resources and working together with public agencies to mitigate risks to our students abroad.