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Mason announces changes in student-athlete advising and compliance

[ 0 ] November 16, 2012 |

The University of Iowa on Friday morning announced changes in its handling of student-athlete advising and compliance in the Department of Athletics in the wake of a sexual harassment investigation.

In a news release, UI President Sally Mason said she has completed her inquiry into the matter and spelled out a series of changes, effective immediately:

• The university will conduct a detailed review of all hiring processes, starting with the department of athletics, to ensure units are being compliant with accepted practices for the vetting and hiring of job applicants;
• The university will launch an internal audit that will be charged with closely examining processes in the areas of student-athlete advising services and compliance;
• Supervision for student-athlete advising services in the department of athletics will report to the provost and athletic director for at least two years;
• Supervision of the compliance operations in the department of athletics will report to the general counsel and athletic director for at least two years;
• All individuals in advising service and compliance operations will be required to take additional sexual harassment training. Such training is mandated for all UI employees.

“Our ultimate role as a university is to protect our students, faculty, and staff,” Mason said in the news release. “The University of Iowa owes an apology to everyone affected by this avoidable incident. We cannot afford to allow even an isolated breakdown in our system to compromise that fundamental commitment.

“As a result, I immediately started gathering facts about this situation. I very much appreciate the assistance of many senior administrators, especially Athletic Director Gary Barta, as we worked to get a better understanding of facts. I have completed my extensive inquiry and am confident we have developed remedies addressing the breakdowns that occurred.”

An internal UI investigation obtained by the Press-Citizen included a long list of allegations against former senior athletics department employee Peter Gray, an academics advisor, including that he had traded football tickets and money for sexual favors, touched a student’s genitals and had been observed for years touching students in an unprofessional manner. Gray resigned Nov. 5.

UI said in the news release it will not publicly discuss the disciplinary actions taken against Gray.

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