University of Iowa President Sally Mason, criticized after saying that ending campus sexual assaults is "probably not a realistic goal, just given human nature," opened a public forum Thursday by sharing her own experience of being assaulted when she was a college student.
Mason told a group of about 200 at the Iowa Memorial Union that a man groped her as she walked to class in Lexington, Kentucky in 1970 before she was able to get away. Growing emotional, she said she wants young women on campus "to know where to go if something like that happens to them."
Mason has apologized for the comment she made earlier this month, saying she was "very, very sorry for any pain that my words might have caused" and pledged to use her power "to end this terrible crime on our campus."
The Iowa Board of Regents is scheduled to meet with Mason Friday afternoon. She told reporters she looks forward to telling the regents about her plans to combat sexual assault on campus and is glad "they are engaged and interested."
The board has shown unhappiness with Mason in the past. In 2012, regents took the unusual step of not renewing her contract and letting her work without one.