University of Iowa to lay off Meyer


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By Lily Abromeit

[email protected]

A former University of Iowa top Athletic Department administrator will be laid off in September following her reassignment a few years ago and a lawsuit against the UI.

Court documents filed Wednesday said Jane Meyer, the logistical strategist and project manager in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, will no longer be employed by the UI effective Sept. 9.

Meyer sued the university on Nov. 4, 2015, after she was reassigned from her former position as senior associate director of athletics.

Meyer was assigned to her new position after it was publicly disclosed that she was in a relationship with former field-hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum.

Griesbaum was terminated from her coaching position in August 2014. In March, Griesbaum sued the UI over the termination.

A statement from the UI said the Meyer reassignment was made because leaving her “in her at-will position as senior associate director of athletics presented many challenges for the department and the university’s defense of Ms. Griesbaum’s litigation.”

According to the UI operations manual, an at-will status refers to “a staff member whose administrative, policymaking, leadership, or other responsibilities make it inappropriate to confer career status in the position … Staff members who are appointed at-will may be terminated at any time unless as specified …”

In her new position, Meyer has been coordinating moving and equipping the Studio Arts Division in the new Visual Arts Building, set to open this summer. She has also worked on coordinating moving and equipping the School of Music into the new Voxman Music Building, set to open in the fall.

The statement from the UI said Meyer has had more than 14 years of experience in facilities development, which qualified her for the new position.

According to the UI statement, “throughout this reassignment, the university has paid Ms. Meyer the same salary and has maintained her in the same job classification and at-will status as before.” 

The statement went on to say that since the flood-recovery projects Meyer has been involved in are coming to an end, per UI policy, she has been given “three months’ notice in written communication advising Ms. Meyer of the end of her at-will position.”

The letter allegedly encourages Meyer to apply for a different position at the UI and says the UI will offer assistance that is offered to all employees at the end of a position.

“The university did not retaliate against Ms. Meyer with her reassignment nor with her notice of termination,” according to the statement. “The university received the request for an injunction this morning and will be resisting.”

Griesbaum’s case is set for trial on June 5, 2017, and Meyer’s is set for April 17, 2017.

Meyer was unavailable for comment.

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