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IOWA CITY, Iowa - A University of Iowa professor claims university officials are trying to force him out after he raised complaints about discrimination. And he was given a deadline of Friday to reach a deal that would keep details from being made public.
Dr. Malik Juweid, a U of I Professor of Radiology, said he was put on administrative leave from that department January 12th. And the doctor said he was specifically told not to return to his office or university property without an escort. Dr. Juweid had earlier filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission based on his claims of racist and discriminatory comments made in his university department.
Dr. Juweid has claimed the university made threats to take information about him "public" unless he agreed to a resignation offer.
The radiology professor insisted the department is retaliating against him for sticking up for both himself and other foreign-born doctors practicing at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). And he said the whole issue actually began with him asking questions about smaller salaries for foreign-born doctors at Iowa.
But Dr. Juweid's complaints went public when he raised the issue of so-called racial comments. He described how one leader in the department "would say to me 'academic terrorist' and about another physician (of Pakistani origin)...how's Osama today?"
University of Iowa spokesperson Tom Moore would not comment about any of the radiology professor's claims and would only say he remains a university employee.
The doctor said after he was placed on leave, the university offered to give him a full salary, $241,000 per year, for a "no-show" research job away from the university. That would be in exchange for him resigning no later than June 1, 2012 and seeking employment elsewhere in the meantime.
Dr. Juweid said the deal was put to him this way. "If you agree, that's fine. If you don't agree then we will proceed with an investigation against you for disruptive behavior and harassment," he said.
Dr. Juweid said the "disruptive" behavior was a claims he approached people to see who would testify for him in a civil rights action. Dr. Juweid provided an e-mail from a university counsel to his attorney setting some conditions and deadlines for an agreement.
The e-mail from U of I lawyer Rob Porter warning that no deal meant the university could talk about "...the finding of no probable cause relating to his complaint , the nature of allegations that have been lodged against Dr. Juweid and the fact that University administrators placed Dr. Juweid on administrative leave based upon advice from the University's Threat Assessment Team."
The e-mail went on to say if no deal was in place, ..."these discussions will cease and the University will proceed to investigate the violations of University policy that have been alleged..."
On Friday afternoon, Dr. Juweid said the university was still talking with him about a possible compromise. As a tenured professor, Dr. Juweid said any investigation against him would probably take one to two years and he would remain on paid administrative leave during that time.