Friday, October 19, 2012
Iowa Law Prof: School Retaliated Against Me for Testifying That Liberal Bias 'Corrupts Everything School Touches'
Following up on Monday's post, Federal Trial Begins Today in Unsuccessful Republican Faculty Candidate's Discrimination Complaint Against Iowa Law School:
A University of Iowa law professor who testified on behalf of a conservative colleague alleging she wasn't hired because of her conservative viewpoints says the school is retaliating by falsely suggesting he was under investigation for sexual misconduct.
Mark Osiel [Aliber Family Chair in Law], a 20-year veteran of the university, testified Tuesday at the federal trial of law school writing center employee Teresa Wagner, a Republican who says she was repeatedly passed over for teaching jobs because of her conservative views and activism. ...
While Osiel was on the witness stand, assistant attorney General George Carroll said that Osiel had recently faced a misconduct investigation after someone complained about hearing sexual grunting noises coming from his office at the law school. Carroll argued that information was relevant because it went to Osiel's credibility.
Osiel, 57, testified that the noises were from him taking part in exercises suggested by doctors to treat medical ailments. ... "Raising this issue, which is legally irrelevant to the testimony that I was providing, shows how low the university will stoop in retaliating against its employees of 20 years," said Osiel. ...
In an email Thursday, Osiel said he has been subjected to "unwarranted, unsubstantiated accusations of harassment" by the university. He said he was considering legal options, including a lawsuit for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He said his medical records would prove that he had arthritis in his hip and that physical therapists at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics required him to perform certain exercises.
Des Moines Register: U of I Concedes at Trial Key Evidence Was Erased:
The University of Iowa erased a video that would have been key to resolving a dispute between it and an employee who believes she was illegally passed over for promotion because of her conservative political views, it admitted in federal court here on Tuesday.
The school hired Teresa Wagner as a part-time staffer at the Iowa College of Law Writing Resource Center in 2006. She applied for a full-time instructor’s position in the fall of that year, but claims the job went to a lesser qualified candidate with liberal views.
Wagner, an Iowa law school graduate, has previously worked for the National Right to Life Committee and the Family Research Council. The committee opposes abortion and the council opposes same-sex marriage.
The university denies politics played a part in the decision. It says Wagner didn’t get the job largely because she said during a presentation to faculty in January 2007 that she was unwilling to teach legal analysis, which was included in the job description. Testifying before a jury here on Tuesday, Wagner denied making that statement.
A video of her presentation would have resolved the issue, both sides acknowledged. However, the university erased the video shortly after Wagner was denied the job. ...
Also testifying Tuesday was Mark Osiel, a U of I law professor who hired Wagner to help edit two research projects. Osiel called Wagner a “superlative writer” and compared her to tenured professors.
Osiel said he believes the university was disabled by liberal bias. “It corrupts everything it touches,” he said of the school’s liberal leanings, calling them “unconstitutional and morally indefensible.”