Jischke discusses OJA hearings on radio show

Jennifer Dostal

On WOI-Radio’s “Talk of Iowa,” President Martin Jischke publicly discussed the controversy surrounding the closed judicial hearings for eight members of The September 29th Movement.

Members of The Movement and several faculty, staff and students have blasted university officials for the actions of the Office of Judicial Affairs, saying that the university is trying to silence those who spoke out against the university in a Nov. 5 unauthorized town meeting.

“I don’t agree that it’s muzzling them, quite frankly they’re speaking out pretty strongly,” Jischke said Tuesday on the show.

On Thursday, two students who were involved in the town meeting were given conduct probation. Two more students received reprimands Tuesday.

Four students are awaiting decisions, and one other is pending a decision concerning an appeal.

Jischke said the students have every right to speak out and to appeal the sanctions to the All-University Judiciary. After being heard by the AUJ, the students, he said, should try to prove the merits of their claims to Dan Robinson, interim vice president for student affairs, and then to Jischke himself.

Jischke said that he didn’t want to prejudge the issue and “in that way interfere with the process.”

“Talk of Iowa” is a talk radio show on 640 AM. The topic of the show was “Trends in Research at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine,” but any topic related to ISU could be discussed.

The financial settlement for the former Director of Research Park Leonard Goldman, whose termination generated some interest, was the subject of an editorial in the Des Moines Register.

“Goldman received $200,000 from the university to leave his position at the ISU Research Park after sexual harassment charges had been filed against him. It was my judgment and the judgment of the Attorney General’s office and other attorneys in the case that it was in the university’s interest to terminate the relationship,” Jischke said.

“Once the suit was settled it was appropriate for the university and Research Park to sever the relationship with Mr. Goldman,” Jischke said. The university is now finding private funding to minimize the impact of Goldman’s departure on the taxpayers and state-funded resources.

When a caller questioned Jischke about new contracts, including financial settlements if an employee is terminated, Jischke answered, “It’s been an expensive lesson.”

“We will be, I personally will be, much more careful about such arrangements,” he added.