UI has spent $430,000 on two professors on paid leave

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 29, 2010 7:20 AM

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The University of Iowa has paid $430,000 in salaries and more for health benefits for two professors who have been placed on paid leave after being charged with crimes, according to the Associated Press.

Toshiki Itoh, 47, was recently convicted of assaulting his former lab assistant more than two years ago. He faces retrial on a sexual-abuse charge Feb. 7, 2011.

Another professor, Gary Hunninghake, 63, was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly falsely reporting an offense charge to Chicago police seven months ago.

According to AP, officials said the cost is justified to fulfill the professors' constitutional rights to fair hearings.

UI spokesman Tom Moore said the university routinely places professors on paid leave in such situations to provide ample time to investigate while "maintaining the orderly operations of the institution."

"When an allegation is made that a faculty member has acted wrongfully, the university may not assume that the allegations are true — or false," Moore said in a written statement to AP.

All three of Iowa's public universities require them to do their own reviews, and the schools give the charged faculty and staff members an opportunity to defend themselves before officials decide their fates, AP reported.

— by Hayley Bruce

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