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Records: Ex-Univ. of Iowa Official Had Been Fired in South Carolina
By Diane Heldt & Erin Jordan, Reporters
IOWA CITY, Iowa — A University of Iowa staffer who resigned last week after being investigated for sexual harassment was fired from an academic advising job at Coastal Carolina University in 1999, according to documents from that school.
Personnel records related to the employment of Peter V. Gray at Coastal Carolina University from July 1, 1998 to June 30, 1999 were released by the school Wednesday in response to an open records request from The Gazette.
Gray, 59, was associate director of athletic student services at the UI from 2002 until last week, when he resigned amid accusations that he provided football tickets in exchange for sexual favors and inappropriately touched student-athletes. He also previously worked in the UI Athletics Department from 1993 to 1995.
At Coastal Carolina University, Gray was dismissed from his position in 1999 as director of advisement and retention in the school’s Academic Center before his one-year probationary period ended, according to documents from the school. The reason given for the dismissal on the notice of separation form was “employment not in the best interest of this institution.”
Also, under a “would not rehire employee” section of that form, dated April 28, 1999, his supervisor checked the line that read “unsatisfactory working results.”
The documents include letters, position descriptions, personnel action forms and a notice of separation. BJ Landrum, associate university counsel for Coastal Carolina, said “there is no record of a resignation letter or disciplinary action in the personnel file,” from Gray’s time at the school, located in Conway, South Carolina.
A letter from Gray’s supervisor dated Feb. 22, 1999 says it is to “confirm our conversation of January 19 regarding your employment,” that his employment as director of advisement and retention would end May 15, 1999, before the original end of his one-year probationary period on June 30, 1999.
Another document shows the school then hired Gray as a paraprofessional temporary staff member in the recreation department, from May 16, 1999 to June 30, 1999. In that temporary role, his duties included developing a training manual for the aquatics staff, setting up hazardous chemical training for that staff, helping with marketing efforts and supervising student staff, according to the documents.
A letter shows Gray was offered the position of director of advisement and retention in Coastal Carolina’s Academic Center in May 1998. That letter said school officials “feel most fortunate in having an individual with your background and talent joining us.”
Another personnel form shows Gray also was hired during his time there as an official scorer for the athletics department for men’s and women’s basketball games.
Officials at the University of Mississippi, where Gray worked from 1995 to 1998 as director of academic support, this week said he resigned from that position on June 29, 1998, but they provided no other details about his resignation.
Before rejoining the UI staff in 2002, Gray worked at Indiana University from 1999 to 2002. Officials there said this week they were checking on any available employment records in response to a request from The Gazette.
UI President Sally Mason on Tuesday said university officials are reviewing how the Gray incident was handled, and state regents also said they will follow-up on the situation. But UI officials have said little else about Gray’s resignation or the internal investigation, calling them confidential personnel matters.
An internal UI document leaked to the Iowa City Press-Citizen last week, after Gray resigned, shows the UI investigated sexual harassment claims against Gray. The internal report, dated Oct. 24, says the investigation turned up a “reasonable basis to conclude that he violated the UI’s policy on sexual harassment.”
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