Embattled U. Iowa Officials Will Not Attend Regent Review With Mason

This story was written by Olivia Moran, The Daily Iowan


The two University of Iowa officials whom Iowa lawmakers severely criticized for the handling of an alleged sexual assault on campus will not attend a special meeting Thursday to discuss the situation.

UI President Sally Mason will travel to Des Moines to meet with the state Board of Regents and comment on a report detailing the university's response to the alleged assault, but she will not be accompanied by UI Vice President for Student Services Phillip Jones and UI General Counsel Marcus Mills, UI spokesman Steve Parrott said.

Jones and Mills were named in a meeting on Sept. 19 during which the Stolar Partnership law firm presented its findings to the Legislature's Oversight Committee. Lawmakers called for immediate action regarding what officials labeled an inadequate response to allegations made by a UI student at the time, who claimed she was raped by two then-Iowa football players.

Parrott said, even considering the special circumstances, the absence of Mills and Jones is not surprising.

"They typically don't go to regents' meetings," he said.

The Thursday meeting will conclude Mason's evaluation and allow her to comment on the report on behalf of all university officials, Parrott said.

Neither Mills nor Jones returned calls Monday afternoon seeking comment.

Regent Robert Downer said he assumed Mills and Jones would be absent from the meeting.

"My interpretation of the reason we're meeting is to conclude her evaluation and not to get into a comprehensive discussion of the Stolar report," he said.

Downer added that he doesn't anticipate the regents will discuss any officials named in Stolar's conclusions.

The law firm revealed the findings of a six-week investigation on Sept. 18. The UI's handling of the allegations was "simply not adequate," Stolar attorney James Bryant said that day.

Bryant said Jones did not efficiently or effectively punish Hawkeye athletes who reportedly harassed and threatened the accuser after the alleged Oct. 14, 2007 incident. The attorneys also concluded that Mills was wrong in attempting to represent the alleged victim while serving the UI as well.

Former football players Abe Satterfield and Cedric Everson are both accused of raping the woman. They are each facing a charge of second-degree sexual abuse, and Satterfield is also facing one count of third-degree sexual abuse.

Both pleaded not guilty. Trial is scheduled for Nov. 3.
  • CBSNews

Comments