Trial date set for another UI presidential search case

Another case related to the presidential search committee’s conduct prior to UI President Bruce Harreld’s hiring is set to go to trial in November 2018.


Tom Jorgensen/University of iowa

The University of Iowa Campus looking west from Old Capitol and the Pentacrest.

Marissa Payne, [email protected]

A previously dismissed case against the University of Iowa Presidential Search Committee involved with the hiring of Bruce Harreld as the UI’s 21st president is now set for trial, court records show.

UI Professor Emeritus Harold Hammond filed a lawsuit against the search committee i in August 2015 for actions taken during the presidential search.

Hammond filed the lawsuit in August 2015 and the trial was set for March 7, but the case was dismissed in February after Hammond died June 12, 2016.

UI Professor Emeritus John Menninger refiled the lawsuit in April “as an assignee from the estate of Harold Hammond” after judges initially denied the request to reassign Menninger as the plaintiff.

A nonjury trial for Menninger’s follow-up lawsuit is set for Nov. 27, 2018.

The trial, if it remains scheduled for this date, would come more than a year after a scheduled hearing date of Oct. 6 for a related lawsuit filed by former UI administrator Gerhild Krapf.

RELATED: Regents recount secret meetings held prior to hiring Harreld as UI president

Krapf alleges five of the nine members of the state Board of Regents, the governing board overseeing Iowa’s three public universities, were involved in coordinating secret meetings with Harreld in violation of Iowa’s Open Meetings Law prior to his hiring.

In depositions, current and former regents testified they communicated through telephone calls and private emails to coordinate meetings with Harreld, speaking with him no more than two regents at a time to circumvent the open-meetings law.

The law defines a meeting as “a gathering … of a majority of the members of a governmental body” deliberating matters within its policymaking scope.

No public notice was given in advance of the meeting and no notes recording the meeting were made available to the public, fueling concerns from the UI community about his appointment to the UI presidency and the process that landed him the job.