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Mason's plans after audit adequate

BY DI EDITORIAL BOARD | FEBRUARY 15, 2013 5:00 AM

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At a meeting with the state Board of Regents on Feb. 6, the University of Iowa presented an internal audit discussing allegations concerning former Athletics Department staff member Peter Gray.

An audit of the department revealed the allegations against Gray were brought to the UI Provost’s Office and the sexual-misconduct-response coordinator on Sept. 25, 2012. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity and UI Human Resources agreed on an investigation into complaints, and Gray was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 8.

“I know now what work we have to do,” UI President Sally Mason said following the release of the audit in an interview with The Daily Iowan.

In light of recent interviews and investigations of our own, the Daily Iowan Editorial Board finds Mason’s plans to address the “work” her administration has to do to be adequate.

Before any plans were specifically discussed with the media, the audit revealed that 100 percent of the Athletics Department personnel attended sexual-harassment training; university-wide compliance rate was 81.6 percent, as of Nov. 30, 2012.

Further, the audit affirmed that when the UI rehired Gray in 2002, it followed its hiring policy and procedures. The auditor found no irregularities or exposed any controversy of any kind pertaining to the rehiring of Gray.

However, the audit disclosed that 24 of the 183 employees did not have a performance review in fiscal 2012, which policy states should occur “no less than annually.” Added to that, it also found that three of the 10 performance reviews did not have the necessary signatures to validate the reviews.

However, none of the performance reviews reported any reasonable accusations of sexual harassment.

To correct the obvious shortcomings, such as the absence of one performance review entirely, the audit suggested the requisition of supervisors to perform reviews of employees at the mandated time.

Additionally, the audit suggested that officials obtain more training pertaining to the pertinent issues at hand, such as the proper management of performance reviews, including conducting performance reviews, managing the signing of said performance reviews, and completing them on time.

In a recent interview with the DI, Mason agreed with the audit’s suggestions, and she has decided to act upon them.

She said the administration is going to work on making sure to follow up on personnel evaluations so that evaluations are done in a timely way and evaluations are included in personnel files.

One of the best ways to achieve this goal is through specialized training, and university officials recognize its importance.

“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,” said Monique Dicarlo, the UI sexual misconduct officer, in an interview with the DI. “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.”

This thinking will surely lead the university away from further allegations of sexual misconduct and the like.

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

With such confidence from the university administration, the Editorial Board is optimistic about the UI officials’ abilities to handle the shortcomings of this audit further.


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