Higher education

University of Iowa may dismiss Jane Meyer, judge rules

Former athletics official has pending discrimination lawsuit

(File photo/The Gazette) Senior Associate Director of Athletics Jane Meyer gives a tour of the new Indoor Practice and Recreation Facility Wednesday, June 27, 2012 on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City.
(File photo/The Gazette) Senior Associate Director of Athletics Jane Meyer gives a tour of the new Indoor Practice and Recreation Facility Wednesday, June 27, 2012 on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City.

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa may terminate a former athletics official suing the school for discrimination, a judge has ruled.

Polk County Judge Michael Huppert late Friday dismissed an injunction request from Jane Meyer asking the court to halt the UI’s plans to eliminate her $176,617-a-year job with the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Huppert said in the order Meyer was seeking to use Iowa’s whistleblower law to stop her termination, but had not cited a specific violation of that law in her underlying lawsuit.

“In the absence of an action alleging a violation of Iowa Code 70A.28(2), this court does not have the authority to entertain a request for injunctive relief pursuant to Iowa Code 70A.28(5),” the order states.

Meyer asserted in December 2014 the UI transferred her out of her job as a senior associate athletics director as retaliation for her complaints about gender discrimination in the department after her partner, Tracey Griesbaum, was fired Aug. 4, 2014, from her position as head field hockey coach.

UI Athletics Director Gary Barta reassigned Meyer in December 2014 because of an anticipated wrongful termination suit by Griesbaum. Barta said the Iowa Attorney General’s Office advised him to shift Meyer out of the department until the matters are resolved.

Meyer was moved to UI Facilities Management to “assist with construction contract quality and project compliance management” of non-athletic building projects, the UI said then.

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In April 2015, Meyer was shifted to become project manager and logistical strategist for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Meyer got a letter June 9 saying her position would be eliminated Sept. 9.

Meyer sued the UI, Iowa Board of Regents and the state in November, alleging gender and sexual orientation discrimination. A trial is scheduled for April 17.

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