U. Of Iowa, Fondled Ex-Student Settle

Ann McClure's picture

The University of Iowa has agreed to a $130,000 settlement with a former student who was pressured to let a troubled political science professor fondle her in exchange for a higher grade, her lawyer told The Associated Press Wednesday.

The settlement avoids a potentially embarrassing and painful trial over the university's handling of misconduct allegations against Arthur H. Miller, who committed suicide in 2008 after he was charged with trying to trade higher grades for sexual favors from the plaintiff and three other female students.

The plaintiff's attorney, Sara Riley, said Tuesday the settlement required her and her client not to disclose the terms, including the amount to be paid. But after AP reported on the deal Wednesday, Riley said a state lawyer dropped the confidentiality clause and she revealed the $130,000 payment for damages and attorneys' fees.

She said that amount was 130 times what the university's general counsel offered to settle the case in December 2009 -- a $1,000 tuition refund, an amount her client found insulting. She may have been willing to settle at that point for $25,000, Riley said, but is now glad to have the case over.

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