Director of women’s athletics suspended
Lynn Dorn was suspended 2 weeks without pay for incident stemming from late February
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012 13:04
Due to an incident stemming back to Feb. 23, Director of Women’s Athletics Lynn Dorn was suspended for two weeks without pay by Gene Taylor, director of athletics, starting March 27. The incident was cited as “significant inappropriate professional behavior” according to a letter of reprimand from Taylor to Dorn released by NDSU.
The memorandum was sent to Lynn Dorn from Gene Taylor on March 26, with the suspension beginning the next day.
Taylor addressed the media eight days after the suspension started, citing that the option to not come out with the incident to the public was the reason.
“I think based on the fact that it was a personnel matter and the fact that Lynn’s worked here as long as she has, we had nothing to hide,” Taylor stated. When asked if there was no attempt to bring it to the public unless somebody called, Taylor replied “That’s correct.”
The specifics of the situation weren’t discussed, as Taylor mentioned he had to be careful with what he could and could not say. He did say that the incident involved a student, and cited in the letter was a “violations of NDSU policies, including, but not limited to, NDSU Policy 163.” That policy is the anti-harassment policy according to the policy manual available through NDSU.
Taylor heard about the situation by two staff members after he had gotten back from a trip to Arizona. As stated earlier, the incident happened Feb. 23, which was a Thursday night during which the men’s basketball team hosted IUPUI at the Bison Sports Arena.
Taylor was asked if anyone had spoken to the student at all by one of the media members, and he addressed the question, but his two-statement answer was contradictory.
“Not to my knowledge,” Taylor said in response to an inquory about if someone had spoken to the student. “He’s aware of today obviously, other than that I’m not sure.”
Immediately following the statement, Taylor received a statement confirming that the student was a male. Taylor retorted, “I’m not going to comment on that at this point.”
There were no attempts to reach Lynn Dorn, but a statement from her was released shortly after the press conference concluded.
“I made an error and regret it deeply. I respect the University’s decision. It is a privilege to work at North Dakota State University, and in particular, within the athletics department. I take this privilege very seriously,” the statement from Dorn said.
Taylor also fielded questions, saying that Dorn was never asked to resign her position, and also that he fully expected her to be back. Furthermore, he suggested the issue be put in the past after her two-week suspension was fulfilled. The two-week period concluded Tuesday.
Taylor also said that the length of Dorn’s tenure, 34 years, will help in moving past the issue and getting on with a busy slate in NDSU athletics.
“She’s been here a long time,” Taylor mentioned. “She’s been a great employee and, up to this point, there was no indication that there was any type of pattern. She’s welcome back.”