Education

University of Iowa settles with local author over disability claims

Staffer resigns, receives $11,339

(File photo) The dome of the Old Capitol Building on the Pentacrest on campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
(File photo) The dome of the Old Capitol Building on the Pentacrest on campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR FALLS — The University of Iowa has agreed to pay a local author and former staffer at its campus publishing house $11,339 after she accused the institution of failing to accommodate her disability.

Details of the claim weren’t made public in a settlement finalized this week when signed by Board of Regents Executive Director Mark Braun. But it indicates Gemma de Choisy, who was working at University of Iowa Press, would resign immediately.

In a Nov. 8 letter to UI Press Director James McCoy, de Choisy tendered her resignation in exchange for the payout of $11,339.34 “in wages and benefits” to settle all claims in the case.

On social networking profiles and UI websites, de Choisy reports earning a master’s of fine arts degree in non-fiction writing from the UI in 2015 and teaching rhetoric there before writing and editing for publications including UI Press and The Iowa Review.

She also freelanced pieces for the Huffington Post, Jezebel and BuzzFeed.

UI Press, established in 1969, is an academic publisher serving scholars, students and others with works of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, according to its website.

As part of the settlement, de Choisy agreed not to disparage any UI Press authors. She could not be reached Thursday by The Gazette.

The deal also stipulates the UI doesn’t admit guilt or wrongdoing.

The Board of Regents at its regular meetings frequently discusses personnel matters and claims in closed sessions.

The board, which is meeting this week in Cedar Falls, is scheduled to discuss several matters in private including confidential records related to an employee appeal; collective bargaining strategy; and ongoing legal matters “where litigation is imminent and premature disclosure would likely prejudice or disadvantage the position of the board.”

l Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

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