Dayton asks to join lawmakers' letter to UMD seeking info on Shannon Miller contract dispute
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has asked that his name be added to a letter sent by state lawmakers to the University of Minnesota, requesting more information about the contract dispute involving University of Minnesota Duluth women's hockey coach S...
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has asked that his name be added to a letter sent by state lawmakers to the University of Minnesota, requesting more information about the contract dispute involving University of Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey coach Shannon Miller.
Thirteen Minnesota state senators sent a letter to U of M President Eric Kaler and UMD Chancellor Lendley Black, raising questions and asking for a university response on the situation.
A statement from Dayton’s office on Tuesday said that “upon reading the … letter issued yesterday by Sen. Katie Sieben and members of the Senate DFL Caucus, Gov. Dayton has requested to add his name to the letter as a signatory.”
The letter originating from Sieben, DFL-Cottage Grove, the Senate’s assistant majority leader, said the senators are concerned about the circumstances surrounding UMD’s announcement in December that it would not renew Miller’s contract to coach the UMD women's hockey team after the current season. Miller, in her 16th season at UMD, has coached the Bulldogs to five national titles.
The letter requests “further information on the reasoning behind the termination,” and raises the issue of Title IX of the federal education law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in any educational institution that receives federal funding, including discrimination in sports.
“As members of the Minnesota State Senate, we strongly support promoting gender equity and are hopeful that the University remains committed to ensuring diversity in the University system,” the letter states. “We look forward to your response.”
University officials told the News Tribune on Monday night that the letter was received by both Kaler and Black.
“We are reviewing it closely and will respond accordingly,” University of Minnesota spokesman Chuck Tombarge said.