Appeals court upholds judgment of case against regents in Harreld hiring

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that the Iowa Board of Regents did not violate open meetings laws when hiring Bruce Harreld to be University of Iowa president in 2015.

In October 2017, Polk County Judge William Kelly held that the board did not violate the Iowa Open Meetings Act by holding separate but successive meetings with Harreld regarding the open job for University of Iowa president. Five of nine members of the Board of Regents met Harreld in back-to-back-to-back meetings on July 30, 2015 during a push by then-Board President Bruce Rastetter to convince Harreld to apply.

The judge ruled that since there was never a majority of the board gathered in one location, it did not constitute a meeting under Iowa law.

The appeals court upheld the district court ruling 3-0, saying the original use of summary judgment was valid since there was no disputed issue of material fact.

"We conclude the district court did not err in granting the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. It is not disputed that a majority of the nine-member board of regents never gathered together in one place or location."

The plaintiff in the case, Gerhild Krapf, was a former University of Iowa employee.