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Heads roll at UI: Mason fires Jones, Mills over handling of sexual assault case
The handwriting on the wall did not look promising for Phillip Jones, UI vice president for student services, and Marcus Mills, UI vice president of legal affairs and general counsel, when it was announced earlier this week that they planned on skipping this week’s meeting with UI President Sally Mason and the Iowa Board of Regents.
Feeling the heat from the Regents who put a hold on her performance report, Mason announced the termination of employment of Jones and Mills. Recent findings from an independent report chronicling UI’s response to an alleged sexual assault on campus involving two Hawkeye football players focused the brunt of criticism on Jones and Mills.
The Regents hired a St. Louis law firm, the Stolar Partnership, to conduct an independent review of the UI’s response to the alleged sexual assault that took place on campus at the Hillcrest Residence Hall on Oct. 14, 2007. The review found “numerous and substantial flaws in not only the response of the University of Iowa to the alleged sexual assault at issue, but also in its policies, procedures and practices regarding the same.”
Mason had requested resignations from Jones and Mills earlier this week, but when her requests were declined, she terminated their employment.
Moreover, Mason announced two interim appointments. Carroll J. Reasoner, a shareholder and senior vice president with the Cedar Rapids law firm of Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, will serve as interim vice president of legal affairs and general counsel. Tom Rocklin, UI vice provost, will serve as interim vice president for student services.
“Carroll Reasoner and Tom Rocklin are exemplary leaders, and I am certain that they will help restore confidence in the university,” Mason said in a statement. “I am grateful that they have agreed to serve the university at this critical time.”
Despite the recent firings, Mason is still scheduled to appear Thursday before the Board of Regents to provide specific responses to the recommendations in the Stolar report.