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After this, will top candidates consider coming to university?

Des Moines Register

December 3, 2006

Robert F. Anderson

Dana Hartsock

Jon Shelness

[Note: This material is copyright by the Des Moines Register, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of the Des Moines Register.]

Well, Michael Gartner has done it again. Gartner's boss, at the Register, and perhaps the man who knew him best - David Kruidenier - said it all when asked about Gartner's attempt to take control of the Register: "Michael disappointed me."

This glaring example of a "me first" attitude has followed Gartner throughout his career: NBC News, Ames Tribune and now the Board of Regents.

Gartner doesn't get his candidate chosen, so he breaks up the whole search process, causing the University of Iowa embarrassment in its search for a new president. What top-notch presidential prospect would subject himself or herself to the whims of a single regent and his minions?

Robert F. Anderson,
West Des Moines

Perhaps Michael Gartner should step down from his high horse. The University of Iowa search committees have done an exemplary job of choosing a new university president on many occasions.

Those presidents served the University of Iowa well and their eventual departures were to prestigious educational institutions such as Cornell and Dartmouth. Certainly this is a strong indication that the search system has worked very well without regents' heavy-handed intervention.

The search committee is looking for a strong leader and a good fit for the University of Iowa. Who better to make that judgment than the faculty and staff on the search committee?

Dana Hartsock,
Des Moines

Since the 2004 Veishea riot, I have been questioning Iowa State University's corporate governance of undergraduates. Even the Legislature's Administrative Rules Review Committee censured both ISU and the regents for over-relying on invalid management practices and for refusing to think outside of the box.

The reason for this intransigence comes straight from the top. Michael Gartner may have the Iowa Code on his side, but he is rapidly losing the trust of voters. The three main regent universities are much more than economic engines and profit centers. If Michael Gartner thinks he can operate Iowa's universities like principalities, the king is not wearing any clothes.

Jon Shelness,