Dickerson’s personnel file meets the public eye

Ciera Golliver News Editor

The Flor-Ala obtained the personnel file of David Dickerson and discovered he was paid more than $50,000 after he was accused of sexual assault.

The personnel file became public through an open records request.

John Thornell, former vice president of academic affairs, sent Dickerson a letter confirming his academic leave with pay and benefits effective Jan. 8, 2016 until his one-year contract expired May 16, 2016, according to Dickerson’s personnel file.

Dickerson signed a university contract stating the terms of his academic leave, in which UNA agreed to provide a neutral employment reference and five salary payments of $10,555.56 each month.

UNA allowed Dickerson up to 21 days to consult with his lawyers before signing the contract. He signed the contract Jan. 6, 2016.

President Kitts said UNA considered the option of terminating Dickerson’s contract early but decided against this so Dickerson could not file for a due process hearing. If Dickerson had filed for a due process hearing, the university would be required to pay him during the whole process.

Dickerson would likely have defended the accusations with legal assistance, which would have extended the trial past the time of Dickerson’s contract.

The university was also concerned about exposing the identity of the students involved in this case, Kitts said.

The lawsuit claimed UNA failed to protect Jane Doe from the alleged assault because the university did not file a background check on Dickerson.

The university finished conducting a background check on Dickerson June 22, 2015, according to Dickerson’s personnel file.

The background check does not show any court records statewide in Maryland, Dickerson’s last residence, or Henrico, Va., according to the background verification report from Risk Mitigation Services, a private company the university uses for background checks.

On Aug. 21, 2013, a fingerprint scan through the Criminal Justice Information Services showed Dickerson had no prior FBI arrests, according to Dickerson’s personnel file.

Jane Doe alleged the university allowed former marketing professor David Dickerson to remain on campus and finish out his contract, according to the complaint she filed against UNA.

A Title IX investigation found on Dec. 17, 2015 Dickerson violated policy, Kitts said in a statement.

“The University responded quickly and professionally throughout this process, complying with all applicable policies and laws,” according to UNA’s second official statement regarding the lawsuit. “The matter was investigated thoroughly and the University acted decisively to protect our students while also protecting the student’s right to privacy.”

Stick with The Flor-Ala for more updates on this case.