Sally Mason talks Peter Gray, transparency, and no contract - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sally Mason talks Peter Gray, transparency, and working without a contract


University of Iowa President Sally Mason spoke to reporters about a number of topics on Wednesday.

This comes after no contract extension from the Board of Regents as well as allegations of sexual harassment against a former athletics department academic advisor.

In August the board did not extend Mason's contract.  She's currently serving as an at-will employee.  Mason says that doesn't worry her.

"Iowa is a little interesting in terms of what is a contract here is really a letter," said Mason.  "Some might argue that that's not really a contract. So, I still have a letter."

The president also discussed issues at the College of Education and accusations by Governor Branstad that she isn't transparent enough.  She said if she were in the same room with the governor she would invite him for a cup of coffee to discuss the issue. 

"Let me find out what your concerns are so I can clarify for you what is going on," said Mason.  "There's no reason for you not to have as much information as you feel you need."

At this point Mason has not reached out to Branstad, saying that's the job of the Board of Regents.

Branstad isn't the only one concerned about a lack of transparency.  At the press conference several questions were asked regarding why more information hasn't been released regarding Peter Gray, the former athletics department academic advisor who resigned following allegations of sexual harassment.

Mason said that the university has released all it can on the Peter Gray incident and giving out further information would put the university at risk for a lawsuit.

"I can only go so far in terms of sharing information, based on the laws I need to uphold," said Mason.  "With 25,000 employees and 31,000 students, I have to take into consideration that I have responsibilities to all of them."

Under law, Mason said she can't allow the public to see personnel records.  That's why Gray's letter of resignation and some other documents have been withheld.

"You've seen what there is to see," said Mason.

However, there is an audit currently being conducted.  More information regarding school policies surrounding the case may be released when the audit is finished.

Mason also said issues like this are common at large institutions.

The 62-year-old has been leading the University of Iowa since 2007.


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