Former Dean for Student Services Sues University of Iowa for Wrongful Termination

According to The Daily Iowan, a former University of Iowa vice president for Student Services is asking a judge to add racial discrimination to his wrongful termination lawsuit against the university. Philip Jones filed a lawsuit after he was fired in fall 2008. The University of Iowa president accused Jones and former General Counsel Marcus Mills of mishandling a 2007 investigation into a student’s claim she was sexually assaulted by two football players in one of the university’s door room’s.

Jones added defamation to his wrongful termination suit, Mills filed a similar lawsuit more than a year later. According to a UI law professor, proving racial discrimination depends on two factors: evidence the accused party admitted he or she discriminated against the accuser or patter of discriminatory behavior based on hiring or firing practices.

According to the plaintiff, the school hired Saundra Schuster as an independent investigator to evaluate the university’s sexual-assault procedures. The defense argued that she would be an irrelevant witness. Jones’ attorney claims questioning Schuster would provide information if the university’s sexual assault policy was consistent with best practices. The judge in this case is yet to rule on the motion but has agreed to review the request.

Marc Mills’ lawsuit against the University of Iowa was dismissed. A judge dismissed Mills’ claims that he was blacklisted from other university jobs. His wrongful termination claims were dismissed against the university and the Iowa state Board of Regents. The judge ruled that Mills can continue those claims in individual or official capacity against the school’s president Sally Mason and Regent Bonnie Campbell.