Education

University of Iowa lecturer being paid but not teaching following harassment accusations

After police warning, he's banned for now from campus rec centers

Jeffrey Nock, lecturer at the University of Iowa’s Henry B. Tippie College of Business. (University of Iowa photo)
Jeffrey Nock, lecturer at the University of Iowa’s Henry B. Tippie College of Business. (University of Iowa photo)

IOWA CITY — A University of Iowa lecturer earning $83,100 a year won’t teach this fall as planned following accusations that led to a police warning, a six-month ban from the campus rec center and a shaming campaign that began on social media.

Jeffrey B. Nock, hired in 2012 as an adjunct lecturer in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, received a warning for criminal trespass and harassment from UI police April 25 following reports he was taking pictures of women working out in the UI Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Those reports did not result in charges.

But they did lead to a ban from all campus rec buildings for six months, according to UI spokeswoman Hayley Bruce.

Weeks after that incident, the university on May 10 offered Nock an extra $20,776 to teach a summer entrepreneurship course and lead the summer accelerator program. A few weeks after that, on May 29, the university offered to extend Nock’s previous three-year contract for another three years — from August 2018 through May 2021 — starting with a fall entrepreneurship course, Managing the Growth Business.

But Nock is not teaching that course this fall. Instead, David Hensley, his supervisor and executive director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, is teaching it, according to the university’s online course catalog.

The university confirmed the reassignment but did not explain a reason for the change.

When asked what Nock would be doing this fall instead, Bruce pointed to the position description for lecturers, which provides for “the ability to perform administrative and/or service functions.”

Bruce said the UI police investigation of the incident is “inactive” as a warning by itself doesn’t carry legal consequence. If it’s violated, though, the investigation would be active again.

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Nock’s attorney, Leon Spies, said his client is “cooperating fully with the university process and looking forward to again putting his professional skills to work in ways that he and the university administration see fit.”

But some on campus are protesting Nock’s continued employment with the UI. The campaign started in June with the creation of a Facebook page entitled, “Speak Out Against the University of Iowa and Jeffrey B. Nock.”

Notices also began appearing in public places around town demanding “FIRE THIS MAN!” over a photo of Nock. One woman stood on campus with a poster board.

Earlier this week, a larger group gathered on the T. Anne Cleary Walkway holding signs demanding the university “protect women, not predators.” They then marched to UI President Bruce Harreld’s office.

“Keep this momentum going,” a Facebook post said.

UI officials would not say if the institution has or is conducting any internal review.

Spies said the UI’s decision to replace his client in the classroom this fall “lies somewhere between ‘shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later’ and affording a valued employee the benefit of the doubt before the facts are in.”

He also condemned “defamatory accusations being spread through social media” and opposed publication of a “non-criminal investigation of a confidential personnel matter.”

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

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