The day following the decision by a Polk County jury to award $1.43 million to former University of Iowa athletics administrator Jane Meyer for discrimination, retaliation and unequal pay, the school announced its intention to undergo an external review of its employment practices.
In a press release Friday, university president Bruce Harreld said the review process will begin within the athletics department. "Iowa will hire an independent firm to conduct an external review of university employment practices as defined by the Iowa Civil Rights Act," he said.
A committee composed of UI students, faculty, staff and administration will convene to choose a firm to conduct the investigation. However, in an interview with The Des Moines Register, Meyer’s legal counsel called the announcement "a PR response to a serious problem."
Attorney Thomas Newkirk, one of Meyer's lawyers, called the university’s response a waste of public funds, saying, "They're not really going to dig into it. They just effectively paid our firm almost three-quarters of a million dollars to do the investigation. We're glad to share that knowledge with them.”
Meyer’s legal counsel is still seeking a court-ordered investigation of UI athletics, as well as Meyer’s reinstatement and an additional $2 million in legal fees and back pay. The University of Iowa will wait to appeal the court’s ruling until all post-trial motions are concluded.
The University of Iowa will have to defend themselves in court yet again when the trial begins on June 5 for the wrongful termination suit brought against the school by Meyer’s partner, former field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum.