Just days after a debate over changes to administrative rules governing Title IX sexual misconduct investigations ended in a heated exchange between a regent and the board’s chief of staff, Board of Regents Chair Mark Doubrava wrote in a letter to regents that recent meetings have “at times fallen below the standard of appropriate language and proper decorum” to conduct business.
Doubrava’s letter, dated Aug. 9, goes on to note that there is an “employer/employee issue that deserves careful and thoughtful evaluation” and that he is still considering possible options.
That issue appears to be an exchange between Regent Lisa Levine and board Chief of Staff and Special Counsel Dean Gould from Friday’s meeting in which Gould interrupted Levine and said, “I don’t want to man-speak, but I will have to if you continue to child-speak so please stop.”
According to a statement released late Friday by Gould, the comment was a response to a remark from Levine in July that Gould was “mansplaining” Robert’s Rules of Order, which govern the structure of public meetings, to her.
The exchange kicked off a social media firestorm, with notable backlash coming from a number of state and local politicians. That includes Gov. Steve Sisolak, who wrote on Twitter that the comment was “completely unacceptable” and that he expected a “swift apology” from Gould.
No such apology has been made. In his statement Friday, Gould doubled down and said that, after Levine had “disrupted” the procedural process, “I became frustrated at her lack of decorum.”
“In retrospect, I should not have stooped to her level of acrimony," Gould said.
But in a tweet of her own, Levine said that “It wasn’t just me who was shut down, it was every victim & survivor of sexual violence whose voice should have been heard and who I was fighting for.”
Correction, 8/10/20 at 2:16 p.m. - This story was updated to correctly reflect Dean Gould's title, Chief of Staff and Special Counsel to the Board of Regents. An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Gould as the board's general counsel.