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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Brine, Pelton and Thompson V. The University of Iowa records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1985-1996
Creator: Brine, Pelton and Thompson V. The University of Iowa
Extent: 10.25 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0495
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Materials relate to the suit filed by 3 dental hygiene faculty members charging that the scheduled closing of the University of Iowa Dental Hygiene Program was discriminatory.

Alternate Extent Statement: 6 audiocassettes [AC1048-AC1053]
Photographs in Box 27

Arrangement: Appeal Documents, 1995-1996( Boxes 19-20) Background Information, 1985-1995 (Boxes 20-24, 27) Defendant Exhibits, 1995 ( Boxes 6-10) Formal Documents, 1991-1995 ( Boxes 1-3) Letters of Support, 1991-1995 (Boxes 25-26) Newspaper Clippings, 1991-1996 ( Box 26) Plaintiff Exhibits, 1995 ( Boxes 11-19, 27) Trial Transcripts, 1995 ( Boxes 3-6) Unidentified Exhibits, 1995 ( Boxes 10-11)

Access: The records are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The records (donor no. 293) were donated by Elizabeth Pelton, Pauline Brine, and Nancy Thompson in 2002.

Preferred Citation: Brine, Pelton and Thompson V. The University of Iowa records, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason
Email: lib-women@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa

The Board of Regents approved the development of a Dental Hygiene Program at the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) in 1949; the first class of twenty-four students launched the program in 1953. Students spent two years in this early program and received a certificate in dental hygiene from the College of Dentistry. Students who wanted a bachelor's degree in addition to their certificate could earn a bachelor of arts or science degree with a general science major from the College of Liberal Arts. In 1964, a master of science degree program was started for dental hygiene students. After 1967 all program graduates received the bachelor's degree from the College of Liberal Arts. The Board of Regents approved a dental hygiene major in 1969, allowing students to receive a bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene from the College of Liberal Arts. By 1992 the Dental Hygiene Program was the only bachelor's degree program in dental hygiene in Iowa, and one of only six masters programs in dental hygiene in the United States.

In 1986, budget cuts in the College of Dentistry resulted in the loss of some full-time faculty in the Department of Dental Hygiene. In the fall of 1991, an ad hoc committee was formed to review the Dental Hygiene Program. The committee made a unanimous decision to recommend closure of the program; that same month the Iowa State Board of Regents voted to cut the program. The decision was made with the goal of trimming funds from the University budget over four years. Dental Hygiene faculty members were notified that they would be reassigned to other positions within the College of Dentistry.

In response to this decision, three tenured dental hygiene faculty members, Elizabeth Pelton, Nancy Thompson, and Pauline Brine, filed suit against the University claiming that the scheduled closing discriminated against the all-female program. They also contended that after they spoke out about the closing they were subject to retaliation in the form of demeaning treatment and salary raises below the average of the College of Dentistry. The plaintiffs asked for the continuation of the program and compensation.

In April 1995, the Brine, Pelton, and Thompson v. The University of Iowa and Board of Regents case was tried in federal district court in Des Moines, Iowa, before Chief Magistrate Judge Celeste Bremer. The defense declared that the charges of gender bias were unfounded, that the program no longer fit the University's central mission, and that the declining enrollment combined with a pressing need to cut costs, justified the proposed closing. Judge Bremer ruled that the University of Iowa and State Board of Regents were not motivated by gender bias in deciding to close the program; however, the University had retaliated against the professors and denied them their First Amendment rights. The jury awarded plaintiffs Brine, Pelton, and Thompson $227,000 in attorney fees and a total of $214,000 for unfair retaliation for speaking out. As compensation each professor was awarded $65,000 for emotional distress, between $4,000 and $7,800 for lost wages, and for the violation of their constitutional right to free speech $1 each. The jury was not given the option to rule on the status of the program.

The ruling was appealed by the University and overturned by a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Brine, Pelton, and Thompson then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the case was not heard. Judge Bremer upheld the University's decision to close the program. The final class graduated from the University of Iowa's Dental Hygiene Program in May 1995.

The Brine, Pelton, and Thompson v. The University of Iowa records date from 1985 to 1996 and measure 10.25 linear feet. The records are arranged in nine series: Formal documents, Trial transcripts, Defendant exhibits, Unidentified exhibits, Plaintiff exhibits, Appeal documents, Background information, Letters of support, and Newspaper clippings.

The Formal Documents series (1991-1995) consists of testimony and reports collected during the formal review process of the Dental Hygiene Program. Included are the initial legal complaint, briefs, and depositions that the plaintiffs used to begin their lawsuit against the University of Iowa and the Board of Regents.

A record of the trial is located in the Trial Transcripts series (1995); evidence used by both the defendants and plaintiffs is included in the Defendant Exhibits, Unidentified Exhibits, and Plaintiff Exhibits series; and the appeal process in both Circuit and the United States Supreme Court are documented in the Appeal Documents series (1995-1996).

The Background Information series (1985-1995)consists of articles, reports, correspondence, and financial records collected by the plaintiffs to document discriminatory acts, and to demonstrate the academic validity and need for the program to be in a university research setting. Correspondence and administrative papers exchanged during and after the program closure complete the series.

The Letters of Support series (1991-1995) is composed of correspondence from alumni, community and university members encouraging the plaintiffs both before and during the trial, and letters of condolence after the verdicts. Petitions and letters asking supporters to contact university officials are included in this series.

Local and national coverage of the lawsuit are documented in the Newspaper Clippings series (1991-1996), in addition to articles pertaining to gender equality and discrimination.
The University of Iowa Dental Hygiene Program records.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: FORMAL DOCUMENTS
Series 2: TRIAL TRANSCRIPTS
Series 3: DEFENDANT EXHIBITS
Series 4: UNIDENTIFIED EXHIBITS
Series 5: PLAINTIFF EXHIBITS
Series 6: APPEAL DOCUMENTS
Series 7: BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Series 8: LETTERS OF SUPPORT
Series 9: NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS - 1991-1996

  • Series 1: FORMAL DOCUMENTS
  • Box 1:
  • Chronology of events in recommending closure
  • History of Dental Hygiene Program
  • Ad Hoc Committee: Correspondence - 1991
  • Ad Hoc Committee: Testimony - 1991
  • Ad Hoc Committee: Dental Hygiene response to Ad Hoc Committee Report - 1991
  • Ad Hoc Committee: Report - 1991
  • Strategic Planning Steering Group - 1989-1991
  • Internal memos - 1991
  • Women United Against the Cuts fact sheet - 1991
  • External Review Committee: Curriculum vitas
  • External Review Committee: Correspondence - 1991-1992
  • External Review Committee: Report to the Board of Regents and responses - 1992
  • Audiocassettes AC1048-AC1052: External Review Committee: Proceedings, March - 1992
  • Board of Regents: Pauline Brine testimony - 1991
  • Board of Regents: O'Brien brief - 1992
  • Audiocassette AC1053: Board of Regents: Decision, April - 1992
  • Box 2:
  • Board of Regents: Discussion and decision - 1992
  • Iowa Civil Rights Commission- Official Complaint and Right to Sue - 1992-1995
  • Discovery: Plaintiff, Depositions: Nancy N. Thompson - 1995
  • Discovery: Plaintiff, Depositions: Pauline Brine - 1993-1994
  • Discovery: Plaintiff, Depositions: Elizabeth Pelton - 1993
  • Discovery: Plaintiff, Depositions: Gary G. Rhoades - 1995
  • Discovery: Plaintiff: Responses and resistances - 1995
  • Box 3:
  • Discovery: Plaintiff: Requests - 1994-1995
  • Defendant: Discovery, Depositions: James H. McLeran - 1993
  • Defendant: Discovery, Depositions: Peter E. Nathan - 1993
  • Defendant: Discovery, Interrogatories - 1993
  • Defendant: Discovery, Responses and resistances - 1995
  • Legal briefs: Related to summary judgment - 1993-1994
  • Legal briefs: Related to the trial (3 folders) - 1994-1995
  • Series 2: TRIAL TRANSCRIPTS
  • Box 3:
  • Volume I - 1995
  • Box 4:
  • Volumes II - V (4 folders) - 1995
  • Box 5:
  • Volumes VI - IX (4 folders) - 1995
  • Box 6:
  • Volumes X - XII (3 folders) - 1995
  • Series 3: DEFENDANT EXHIBITS
  • Box 6:
  • Exhibit index
  • Exhibits 1 -- 24 (24 folders)
  • Box 7:
  • Exhibits 25 -- 40 (16 folders)
  • Box 8:
  • Exhibits 40 -- 94 (55 folders)
  • Box 9:
  • Exhibits 95 -- 128 (34 folders)
  • Box 10:
  • Exhibits 129 -- 144 (16 folders)
  • Series 4: UNIDENTIFIED EXHIBITS
  • Box 10:
  • Exhibits 51, 107 -- 117 (10 folders)
  • Box 11:
  • Exhibits 117B -- 122R (30 folders)
  • Series 5: PLAINTIFF EXHIBITS
  • Box 11:
  • Exhibits 1002 -- 1039 (19 folders)
  • Box 12:
  • Exhibits 1040 -- 1104 (87 folders)
  • Box 13:
  • Exhibits 1105.1 -- 1227 (72 folders)
  • Box 14:
  • Exhibits 1229 -- 1260.8 (33 folders)
  • Box 15:
  • Exhibits 1260.9 -- 1322.9 (115 folders)
  • Box 16:
  • Exhibits 1322.10 -- 1497 (85 folders)
  • Box 17:
  • Exhibits 1498 -- 1604 (98 folders)
  • Box 18:
  • Exhibits 1605 -- 1692 (6 folders)
  • Box 19:
  • Exhibits 1693 -- 1713.2 (27 folders)
  • Box 27:
  • Plaintiff exhibit #1290, Top 10 Reasons to Keep Dental Hygiene at Iowa T-shirt
  • Plaintiff team: Ad Hoc or Odd Hawk???
  • Series 6: APPEAL DOCUMENTS
  • Box 19:
  • Table of contents - 1995
  • Appeal: petition for a Writ of Certiorari - 1996
  • Order and judgment - 1996
  • Documents (16 folders)
  • Box 20:
  • Documents (19 folders)
  • Series 7: BACKGROUND INFORMATION
  • Sub-Series: Business necessity argument
  • Box 20:
  • Budget and strategic plan - 1991
  • College of Dentistry: percent of the budget allocated for Dental hygiene
  • Dental hygiene cost and benefit
  • Budget cut alternatives
  • Financial exigency argument
  • Uneven application of the argument
  • Iowa Board of Regents: Study of program duplication - 1989
  • Box 21:
  • Iowa Board of Regents: Organizational audit - 1989
  • Iowa Board of Regents Faculty workload study: University of Iowa - 1989
  • Iowa Board of Regents Faculty workload study: Framework report - 1989
  • Sub-Series: The Book
  • Box 22:
  • Evidence compiled by Dental Hygiene faculty
  • Sub-Series: Community college programs
  • Box 22:
  • Community college programs
  • Sub-Series: Damages
  • Box 22:
  • Damages
  • Sub-Series: Demand
  • Box 22:
  • Dental Hygiene enrollment data
  • A profile of students enrolled at the University of Iowa - 1985-1992
  • Sub-Series: Dental Hygiene in universities
  • Box 22:
  • Teaching vs. research
  • Need for university based programs
  • Value of dental hygiene
  • Sub-Series: Dental hygiene vs. dentistry
  • Box 22:
  • Adversarial relationship
  • Occupational conflict
  • American Dental Association resolution
  • Private practice vs. self regulation
  • Societal need for dental hygiene programs
  • Sub-Series: Discrimination
  • Box 23:
  • Academic, professional, employment inequity
  • At health care work sites
  • Athletic programs
  • Bias against female dominated program
  • In general
  • Discrimination resources
  • Marginalization
  • In academia (2 folders)
  • Ruling in Jean Jew v. U. of Iowa - 1990
  • Box 27:
  • Plaintiff exhibit #1290, Top 10 Reasons to Keep Dental Hygiene at Iowa T-shirt
  • Sub-Series: Diversity
  • Box 23:
  • Diversity
  • Sub-Series: Lack of due process
  • Box 24:
  • Lack of due process
  • Sub-Series: Quality of publications and grants
  • Box 24:
  • Quality of publications and grants (2 folders)
  • Sub-Series: Closure: phase out period
  • Box 24:
  • Letters to alums
  • Letter to interested applicants
  • Affirmative action
  • Integration or cooperation
  • Discrimination and retaliation
  • Faculty disposition
  • "Lessons from the Dispossessed" - 1992
  • Phase out process
  • Sub-Series: Closure: post-closure
  • Box 24:
  • Discrimination
  • Patient referral
  • Letter to Vice President Manasse: stating continued retaliatory and discriminatory conduct - 1995
  • Dental hygiene accounts
  • Legislative initiatives to reinstate Dental Hygiene Program
  • Series 8: LETTERS OF SUPPORT
  • Box 25:
  • Administrator's responses to letters of support - 1991
  • Letters seeking support: Targeting groups - 1991
  • Letters seeking support: Targeting individuals - 1991, 1993
  • Agencies and schools - 1991
  • Alumni (4 folders) - 1991-1995
  • Alumni parents - 1991
  • Dental hygiene educators and ADHA leaders - 1991-1992, 1995
  • Box 26:
  • Dentists (2 folders) - 1991-1992
  • Non-UI alumni dental hygiene practitioners - 1991-1992
  • Patients and citizens - 1991-1992, 1995
  • University of Iowa Feminists - 1991
  • Series 9: NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS - 1991-1996
  • Box 26:
  • Access
  • Cedar Rapids Gazette
  • Daily Iowan
  • Des Moines Register
  • Iowa City Press Citizen
  • Miscellaneous sources
  • Post-closure - 1995-1996
  • Scrapbooks - 1995
  • Originals - 1991-1995