State Board of Education fires UI athletic director

Image courtesy University of Idaho
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(KMVT/KSVT) — Idaho State Board of Education voted Thursday to fire University of Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear during a meeting at Idaho State University.

The termination comes as a “convenience” after months of investigation into alleged mishandling of sexual abuse reports at the university, according to a SBOE news release.

As part of his contract with the university, Spear will be compensated for the remainder of his employment agreement, which ends Feb. 17, 2020.

A statement from board member Emma Atchley before the vote summarized that the university’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct in 2012 and 2013 may have been due to lack of understanding and education of university policies in handling such situations. An investigation revealed the university failed to provide proper notice and education of Title IX policy changes.

Here is the full statement from Atchley:
“We’re involved in consideration of Dr. (Rob) Spear’s employment status as a result of President (Chuck) Staben’s disclosure of a conflict of interest and at President Staben’s request to recuse himself. As a result of the President’s recusal, the Board is not considering or giving any weight to information or opinions he may have provided. The independent report commissioned by the University to review the University’s response to 2012 and 2013 allegations of sexual misconduct identified in a number of ways the University failed to respond appropriately to allegations of sexual misconduct. The investigators concluded that the University failed to provide proper notice and education to the University community of significant changes to its policies regarding sexual misconduct. The report said “[t]he result of the failures to provide proper notice of policy changes and education regarding Title IX resulted in those in the Athletics Department (as well as in other departments), lacking an understanding of the appropriate processes to address allegations of misconduct.” We’ve considered the report, comments received from the public and the university community, information received from the University’s counsel, and information received from Dr. Spear and his legal counsel. After considering this information and what’s in the University’s and the students’ best interest, I move to terminate for convenience pursuant to Dr. Spear’s employment agreement with the University.”

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