- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Associated Press obtained a 52-page report compiled by a Republican pollster that warned University of Iowa officials more than a year ago that its public standing was suffering from an image as a party school. The university won’t publicly release the report compiled by Washington-based pollster Chris Perkins that was prepared following a statewide poll of 1,000 residents in December 2014.

Here are some findings and recommendations from the report:

- Respondents said the two primary issues facing the school were “tuition assistance and financial aid” and “improving the academic reputation.”

- The university’s key strength was its reputation as a strong medical school, and the best message for the university to improve its image was that it produces health care professionals who “offer the best care in the state.”

- In the Des Moines media market, emphasizing the university’s outreach that makes “arts and culture to become more prominent in Iowa’s society” was an effective message.

- Hawkeye sports programs, especially the football team, drive both positive and negative impressions of the university.

- The best message tested among Iowans who aren’t alumni was that “graduates from the University of Iowa are the top lawyers in the state.”

- The report suggested two themes for ads to improve the school’s academic reputation and clean up its reputation as a party school: “Our university is working to crack down on underage drinking and drug problems to ensure the safety and well-being of its students,” and, “The University of Iowa is committed to prosecuting sexual assault and harassment criminals to safeguard our student body.”

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