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Family of UA professor killed on campus reaches multimillion-dollar deal with school

The family of a University of Arizona professor who was fatally shot on campus in the fall of 2022 has reached a multimillion-dollar agreement with the school, attorneys for the man's wife and sons said Tuesday.

A statement by the law firm representing Kathleen Meixner, wife of professor Thomas Meixner, and their two sons, said that the family agreed not to sue the university as part of the agreement. The family in March filed a claim against the university as a precursor to a lawsuit, seeking $9 million.

In addition to an unspecified amount of money, the agreement includes “non-monetary commitments that affirm the university’s continuing support for the well-being of those most affected by these events,” the university and the Arizona Board of Regents said in a statement. It added that the family would continue to have a voice in the planning and implementation of safety measures on campus.

Thomas Meixner was shot on Oct. 5, 2022, inside the building where he headed the school’s Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences. House later, police arrested Murad Dervish, a 46-year-old former graduate student later charged in Meixner’s killing.

An independent review released last March showed there were multiple missed opportunities to investigate and possibly arrest Dervish. The company contracted to conduct the review interviewed nearly 140 people.

Dervish faces a first-degree murder charge when he goes on trial later this year. He had been expelled from the school and barred from campus after being accused of sending threatening text messages and emails to Meixner and other professors.

Kathleen Meixner said the family welcomed the increased security measures instituted on campus after the report came out.

“We must look to the future, and with urgency, ensuring that tragedies like ours do not happen to others,” she said in her statement.

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Associated Press