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Former Employee Sues WSU Over Title IX Violations

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Jimmy Everson, DVM, flickr Creative Commons
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flickr Creative Commons

A former Wichita State University employee is suing the university and its president, John Bardo, for alleged violations of Title IX, a federal law that deals with discrimination on the basis of sex.

A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City states that Wade Robinson, who held several executive positions at Wichita State starting in 2009, was threatened and eventually fired for looking into claims of sexual assault tied to university athletic programs.

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Credit wichita.edu
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Former WSU Vice President Wade Robinson

The suit outlines two separate rape allegations, both made by women. One involved a men’s basketball player in April 2013, and another involved a men’s track athlete in January 2014.

The suit claims that part of Robinson’s role as vice president for Campus Life and University Relations was to spur Title IX investigations into allegations of sexual assault on campus.

It goes on to say that university officials, specifically Bardo and athletic director Eric Sexton, neglected to inform Robinson of the rape allegation involving a men’s basketball player.

Robinson says he found out when it was made public.

The suit also claims that when Robinson asked university officials for help in investigating these rape allegations, his job was threatened. Robinson was eventually demoted, and in June 2015 the university decided not to renew his contract.

University officials have denied these claims and have said Robinson’s contract was terminated because of mismanagement in the office he oversaw.

The suit lists damages to Robinson’s career, mental health and overall happiness.

“[Robinson] has suffered, and continues to suffer great pain of mind and body, shock, emotional distress…embarrassment…and loss of enjoyment of life,” the suit states.

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Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter, @SeanSandefur

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