Researcher who made false report to Chicago police resigns UI post

Dr. Gary Hunninghake, a former University of Iowa medical research director.
Dr. Gary Hunninghake, a former University of Iowa medical research director.

A University of Iowa researcher who has been on paid leave for one year has resigned from the university.

Dr. Gary Hunninghake, 64, of Coralville, resigned his UI position as a tenured faculty member in a letter March 31 to UI Interim Provost P. Barry Butler. Hunninghake’s resignation is effective May 31.

“I will always value the many academic opportunities provided to me through the university, and will long relish the personal and professional relationships I have been privileged to enjoy,” Hunninghake wrote.

In a response dated April 1, UI Associate Provost for Faculty Tom Rice accepted Hunninghake’s resignation.

“The University of Iowa accepts your resignation, and in light of it, we will postpone the hearing under the Ethics Policy,” Rice wrote.

The letters were released to The Gazette under an open records request to the university.

Hunninghake was under investigation by UI Police when he stabbed himself in Chicago last April, according to a Chicago police report of the stabbing incident. Hunninghake’s attorney, Leon Spies, has said that UI investigation found no basis for criminal charges.

UI officials in February said they were pursuing unspecified action against Hunninghake, who has been on paid leave from his $360,000 a year job at the UI since April 23, 2010.

Hunninghake was director of the university’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. He told Chicago police he was stabbed and robbed April 24 while jogging in downtown Chicago, the day after he was put on leave at the UI. Hunninghake later admitted to Chicago police he stabbed himself.

He pleaded guilty in January to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in Cook County, Illinois. He was originally charged with felony disorderly conduct.Hunninghake has filed suit in Johnson County seeking to stop the UI from releasing any information about the internal university investigation of him. It seeks an injunction prohibiting officials from disclosing records requested by the media.

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