Mason presents goals following audit of Peter Gray situation


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In response to the Athletics Department’s internal audit regarding Peter Gray, University of Iowa President Sally Mason has outlined specific goals.

Gray, a former associate director of Athletic Student Services at the UI, resigned Nov. 5 after allegations that he had inappropriate sexual contact with student athletes and exhibited sexual behavior in the workplace.

The audit’s results were presented at the state Board of Regents meeting Feb. 5. Though the audit found the university followed policies for reporting allegations and hiring processes, it suggested the university improve personnel evaluations and compliance with sexual harassment training. The audit reported an 81.6 percent university-wide compliance rate with the training.

“The two things to come from that particular audit that we are going to work on very closely and very carefully is to make sure and follow up on personnel evaluations so that evaluations are done in a timely way and evaluations are included in personnel files,” Mason said an interview with The Daily Iowan Thursday. “And second, we have mandatory training. We need to get the [compliance] numbers there up.”

One official within the university believes these are promising goals.

“I think that both of these areas of focus will have an impact on making the campus safer,” said Monique DiCarlo, the UI’s sexual-misconduct-resonse officer.

Regent Robert Downer is also satisfied with Mason’s vision moving forward.

“I do think that there needs to be some tightening of the rules and administration,” he said. “I think President Mason has a good plan in place to see that happen.”

In fiscal 2012, the audit found that 24 of the 183 Athletics Department employees did not have a performance review. That is a 13.1 percent noncompliance rate, compared with the university-wide noncompliance rate of 8.4 percent.

Mason is hoping to improve the 81.6 percent to 100 percent compliance among faculty and staff in regards to the sexual harassment training.

“At one time we had better than 95 percent compliance on that, but we’ve had turnover and new personnel coming,” she said. “We need to follow up and make sure we get that compliance back up to 100 percent. We will.”

Complete compliance is hard to achieve, though.

“It’s just unusual to be right at 100 percent because you’re always going to have people that haven’t yet completed the obligation,” said Mary Curtis, the associate athletics director for compliance and human resources at the UI. “On any given day, you might be at 100 percent or not, depending on if you have new staff or not.”

However, Curtis does believe it is a good goal to strive for.

When it comes to achieving that compliance, Mason hopes the variety in training mediums will help.

“People just need to be reminded of the training opportunities,” she said. “They can do them in person, they can do them online. There are several different ways in which they can get training.”

DiCarlo believes training is especially important.

“I think training is essential because it helps clarify what the problem is and how to respond to purported misconduct and ensures employees know how to act on their responsibilities,” she said.

Downer stressed the need for training for those who have the responsibility to report alleged misconduct.

“Certainly those who are mandatory reporters should have training that tell those persons clearly what to do in regards to reporting,” he said.

DiCarlo is also focusing on guaranteeing that the variety of training methods all line up.

“We’re not invested in one method or another; we’re invested in coordinating our education efforts across campus and ensuring that both the methods and content are research informed,” she said.

And Mason said she will continue to look for new methods that can help educate employees and students.

“We are always looking for new ones that can be useful to faculty, staff and students,” she said.

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