Within the same month, the University of Arizona found itself at the center of two legal dilemmas, both filed by women who separately made harassment and discrimination claims.
The first was a notice of claim seeking $8.5 million filed by a former assistant against fired football coach Rich Rodriguez over sexual harassment and assault allegations, which the former coach denies. The notice of claim names the UA, Rodriguez and his wife. It is a precursor to a lawsuit.
In the second, former UA Honors Dean Patricia MacCorquodale filed suit against the Arizona Board of Regents for "systematic discrimination" against female deans at the university. The former dean accused the university of paying her less than her male colleagues.
To explore the issues facing the university, we asked labor attorney Don Awerkamp about the process for coming forward with these types of cases. While he's not involved with either case, his law firm has frequently helped UA employees with discrimination-related claims.
Oftentimes with legal filings and cases, the most salacious allegations dominate the headlines. Susan Swanberg is a former attorney and teaches media law at the UA School of Journalism. She discussed the ethics that should help guide journalists as they decide how much detail to publish when they don't necessarily have all the facts.