The head of the University of Iowa’s Presidential Committee on Athletics said Wednesday the athletic student adviser now accused of sexual harassment was rehired to the university in 2002 after an extensive national search.
“I know that a national search was conducted at that time and that Dr. Gray was hired in competition with some other fairly outstanding people,” said PCA chairman N. William Hines, who was not a member of the PCA in 2002.
Typical procedure is for a PCA member to participate in the on-campus interview process for athletic department hires, Hines said.
Hines, a law professor, said he doesn’t know which PCA member participated in the interview with Peter Gray, who stepped down last week from his post as associate director of Athletic Student Services.
An internal UI investigative report obtained by the Press-Citizen found that Gray, 59, violated the university’s sexual harassment policy. Among the allegations against Gray: He traded football tickets and money in exchange for sexual favors and touched a student’s genitals and offered to perform oral sex on the student.
Iowa state Board of Regents member Bob Downer has questioned the university’s decision to rehire Gray after co-workers questioned his behavior during his first stint of employment between 1993 and 1995.
Hines, however, said his understanding is that Gray left the university for a better job.
“There wasn’t some problem that required him to leave,” he said.
Aside from the allegations against Gray, Hines said accounts from many student athletes show he performed the job he was employed to do, which was to provide one-on-one academic counseling to students, very well.
“I think this group had a hard time finding students who would actually step forward and be complainants,” Hines said.
Reach Tara Bannow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 887-5418.
Category: Hawkeye news