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AdrienIt gives me great pleasure to have been the Director of UICHR during its first three years under the College of Law. I have been involved as a board member since the founding of the Center and feel honored to follow in the footsteps of Professors Burns Weston, Ken Cmiel, and Greg Hamot, all of whom were extremely effective and dedicated to the Center and the cause of human rights around the world.

All of us on staff are excited that a way was found to continue the important multidisciplinary work of the Center, while basing it within the College of Law. We are delighted that we have maintained the office at the Old Capitol Centre as well as a new one at the College of Law. We have built upon the Center’s heightened capacities in personnel and resources and encourage you to contact us with your ideas as we move forward in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and public engagement.

Adrien K. Wing
Director, UICHR

Mission and Values 

The work of the UICHR attends to all categories of human rights, including “first generation” civil and political rights, “second generation” economic, social, and cultural rights, and “third generation” community or group rights. Our work is guided by the basic tenets of a free society to which The University of Iowa is committed. In fulfilling its mission, UICHR therefore continuously revisits even the most fundamental aspects of human rights, treating them not as a corpus of fixed thought and action, but as a set of assumptions and choices that are open to constant rethinking because of ever-evolving ideas, conditions, and needs.

Following this approach, the UICHR:

  • Engages in a diverse array of research, teaching, and other activities that are designed to highlight and consider, constructively and critically, the problems and prospects of human rights worldwide;
  • Nurtures trans-disciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration that seeks, among other things, to integrate artistic and literary viewpoints with legal, political, and socioeconomic human rights discourse;
  • Encourages the active participation of faculty, students, and others both within and beyond the UI campus in the conception and execution of its diverse activities; and
  • Shares information with both human rights specialists and the general public about its activities and about human rights issues and developments generally.

Through the support of its friends, the UICHR also awards prizes for human rights scholarships to deserving students. The UICHR makes a self-conscious effort to involve students in its activities and to reach out to local citizens and citizen groups not officially affiliated with The University of Iowa to facilitate its mission.

Finally, believing that the broad dissemination of human rights information is central to the advancement of human dignity, the UICHR makes every effort to report human rights news and views and to respond to informational inquiries and requests from its neighbors near and far.