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September 17, 2015

University of Iowa professor sues over presidential search

A University of Iowa professor emeritus has filed a lawsuit against the UI presidential search committee, accusing it of violating open meeting laws and asking the court to void its actions.

The lawsuit, filed Aug. 14 in Johnson County District Court, is the second filed by UI dentistry professor emeritus Harold Hammond in connection with a UI presidential search. Hammond in 2007 filed a similar lawsuit against the Board of Regents, the presidential search committee and others that resulted in a settlement costing the defendants nearly $66,000.

According to Hammond’s recent lawsuit, the UI’s 21-member presidential search and screen committee violated Iowa law by holding both public and closed meetings at 7:30 a.m., Aug. 11, and 7:15 a.m., Aug. 12, in Rosemont, Ill. Those meetings constituted violations by being “at a location outside the state of Iowa and otherwise at times and locations not reasonably accessible or convenient to the public,” according to the lawsuit.

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