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Iowa Regent concerned with 2002 rehiring of Peter Gray

BY ERIC CLARK | NOVEMBER 13, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa Regent Robert Downer is concerned about the process involving the rehiring of Peter Gray in 2002.

Peter Gray, formerly an associate director of athletics student services at the University of Iowa, resigned Nov. 5 amid allegations that he had inappropriate sexual contact with student-athletes and exhibited sexual and non-professional behavior in the workplace.

A report obtained by the Iowa City Press-Citizen detailed the allegations, citing several individuals, including UI employees and student-athletes who felt uncomfortable or violated by Gray’s alleged actions.

The report detailed a UI investigation that concluded Gray had violated the UI’s Policy of Sexual Harassment on numerous occasions. In numerous alleged instances, Gray reportedly touched student-athletes inappropriately and exhibited workplace behavior that was considered nonprofessional, according to the report.

Gray also allegedly exchanged football tickets for sexual favors with an individual not associated with the UI.

According to the document, several individuals reported that the inappropriate touching and inappropriate sexual behavior was present in Gray’s first stint with the UI from 1993 to 1995.

Despite the alleged behavior, Gray was rehired by the UI in 2002.

“My concern is from the regent-policy standpoint,” Downer said. “In my view, this is something the Board of Regents has to look into for all the institutions for which we have responsibility.”

While Gray’s case may be dominating local news reports, one UI official says sexual harassment involving employees of higher-education institutions are not necessarily uncommon.

From April 1 to June 30 of this year, seven reports of sexual harassment in which a UI faculty or staff member were identified as the perpetrator were made to the Rape Victim Advocacy Program.

“I wouldn’t say that they’re rare, but I am speaking in general,” said Karla Miller, the director of the Rape Victim Advocacy Program. “We encourage anyone who feels they are being harassed to come talk with us.”

Miller was unable to comment on any specific information regarding Gray’s resignation amid alleged sexual misconduct in the workplace.

UI spokesman Tom Moore said the investigative reports were not supposed to be released and are not of public record.

“I have no knowledge of how that occurred,” Moore said regarding the release of the records Sunday evening.

The Daily Iowan requested copies of recorded correspondence — emails, for example — between a number of UI officials in the case.  But UI public-records custodian Steve Parrott said some top UI officials, including President Sally Mason, “have no responsive records” regarding the sexual-harassment allegations against Gray.

The DI requested to speak with Monique DiCarlo, the UI sexual-misconduct coordinator, but was forwarded to Moore. Moore said there was nothing more to add to the lack of public documents or recorded communications regarding Gray.

While the UI has yet to release a formal statement on Gray or the leaking of the report, Downer was not overly concerned.

“My assumption is that they’re not talking because it’s a personnel matter, and that there are ongoing investigative activities,” he said. “However, those are only assumptions; I haven’t talked to anyone with the university.”


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