GCU Vice President Fired for Alleged Sexual Assault at Previous Job

Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University Joseph Flaherty
Grand Canyon University fired a vice president in response to a newspaper report revealing that his previous employer substantiated allegations of sexual assault against him.

The private Christian college hired Roy Shick as its vice president for advancement in November.

GCU administrators say they did not know at the time that he left his last job as an athletic administrator at the University of Washington after a volleyball player accused him of sexual assault.

The Seattle Times contacted GCU on Friday regarding the allegation against Shick. By Sunday, he was out of the job. Bob Romantic — a spokesperson for GCU — did not respond to requests for comment from Phoenix New Times.

According to the Seattle Times, the incident that led to Shick's resignation from UW happened in 2017. Shick offered to give a ride home to a 23-year-old volleyball player as she was headed for a locker room.

A final investigative report showed that the volleyball player, who did not want to drive because she had been drinking, accepted the offer from Shick, who was in his 40s. Rather than taking her home, Shick drove her behind the campus baseball fields. Then he started kissing her, the report stated.

"[The volleyball player] told investigators she felt frozen as Shick took off her shorts, but shook her head no when he asked for oral sex," the Seattle Times reported. According to investigators, Shick also groped the volleyball player and penetrated her with his fingers and penis without her consent.

UW officials launched an investigation into the allegation after the volleyball player filed a report. Shick resigned from his position on January 5, 2018, according to the Seattle Times, about two months after the probe was launched.

In March 2018, the investigation, which involved interviews with 29 witnesses, was completed. It found the volleyball player to be "extremely credible."

"Shick did not participate, but the investigation found his behavior amounted to sexual harassment, defined by UW and federal policy as a range of actions including sexual assault," the Seattle Times reported.

Shick spent some time working for a startup before GCU hired him in November. According to the Seattle Times, GCU spokesperson Romantic said Shick passed a background check and that administrators did not know of the investigation's findings when it hired him.

Colleges sometimes learn of prior misconduct by calling a previous employer for a reference check. Romantic would not tell the Seattle Times whether that happened in this case.
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Steven Hsieh was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times from August 2018 to April 2020.
Contact: Steven Hsieh