IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld University of Iowa President Sally Mason’s decision to fire the school’s longtime dean of students for mishandling a high-profile sexual assault case.
The court today rejected claims by Phillip Jones that he was wrongly terminated and defamed by Mason and an outside law firm that investigated the assault and sharply criticized his response.
Justice Bruce Zager says that Jones was terminated in 2008 because Mason had lost confidence in his abilities. He says the evidence shows Jones responded inadequately to secure the rights and safety of a female athlete who was assaulted by two football players in 2007 in a dorm room.
Zager says that was a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for Mason to fire him.
A judge had dismissed the lawsuit last year.