Six months after announcing a review of the University of Iowa’s employment policies and practices would be conducted following allegations of discrimination — the UI settled the claims in May — the university announced on Nov. 9 that the Employment Practices Committee has selected a Des Moines law firm to conduct the review.
The UI signed an agreement with Fredrikson & Byron P.A., on Nov. 6 to evaluate policies and practices related to hiring, promotion, documentation, compensation, and termination of faculty and staff.
“Determining the scope of the review and selecting the appropriate firm took time, but the committee felt it was important to be thorough,” UI Faculty Senate President Peter Snyder, a co-chair of the Employment Practices Committee, said in a statement.
UI President Bruce Harreld announced May 5 that the UI would hire a firm to conduct an external review of the university’s employment practices. The announcement came a day after Jane Meyer, a former UI senior associate athletics director, was awarded $1.43 million in a case in which the jury ruled Meyer had been discriminated against by the UI for her gender and her sexual orientation.
Meyer was compensated for lost wages and emotional distress, past and future. Former field-hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum, Meyer’s partner, filed a similar lawsuit in 2016; after the jury reached a verdict in Meyer’s case, the UI settled both cases for $6.5 million.
The review will begin with the UI Athletics Department and will include the university’s academic and operational units, as well as UI Health Care, according to the university. The agreement will not extend beyond Nov. 2, 2018, unless amended.
The cost of the initial review will not exceed $95,000. Remaining steps will be negotiated upon the successful completion of the initial review.
— Elianna Novitch