Univ. of Iowa Athletics Official Reassigned in Wake of Sexual Harassment Case

By Diane Heldt, Reporter

University of Iowa Associate Athletic Director Fred Mims, right, listens as former UI Athletic Director Bump Elliott speaks during a panel discussion about the experience of African Americans in Iowa athletics on Monday, March 24, 2008, at the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame in Iowa City. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)


By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY, Iowa - University of Iowa Athletics Department official Fred Mims has been reassigned, and two department units have been reorganized, officials announced Friday.

Athletics Director Gary Barta said in a statement the department’s compliance and student services units will become separate departments under the leadership of interim directors, effective immediately.

The statement said Mims, the UI’s long-time associate athletics director for student services and compliance, is being reassigned, though it did not specify his new duties.

According to the release:

The compliance office is responsible for making certain the UI Athletics Department is operating its 24 sports programs within the rules set for by the UI, Big Ten Conference, and NCAA. The student services unit is responsible for providing academic and personal support services to the UI’s more than 650 student-athletes to ensure that they make timely and satisfactory progress toward their degree.

Barta said the reorganization of the compliance and student services units has been a topic of discussion among his senior staff for the past few years as many of the UI’s peer institutions transitioned in that direction administratively.

“The growth in scope and responsibilities in these two areas has increased significantly over the years. In response to that reality and the issues experienced in our student services area recently, I believe it is in the best interest of our student-athletes to make this transition today. While many of the details of the reorganization are yet to be finalized, the changes will take effect immediately,” Barta said.

Barta said the reorganization of the student services and compliance units will maintain the dual reporting responsibilities outlined earlier this month by UI President Sally Mason. Specifically, the individual responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the compliance staff will report to both Barta and a member of the staff of the Office of the General Counsel for the next two years; the individual responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the student services staff will report to both Barta and a member of the staff of the Office of the Provost for the same period of time.

Mason earlier this month also called for internal audits of the processes in the student services and compliance units. The changes announced by Mason came in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against former department adviser Peter Gray, who resigned in early November.

Barta said he will be eager to review the audit results when completed in early 2013.

“Clearly, we are entering a new day in two extremely important areas of our department, but our highest priority remains our ongoing commitment to overall student-welfare. The audits, along with the expertise of our current staff, the interim directors and, eventually, the full-time directors, will provide us an excellent foundation to build upon our past successes in these areas,” Barta said.
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