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U of I Presidential Search


Newsroom Online

Des Moines Register

November 21, 2006, 7:30 a.m.
November 22, 2006, 9:00 a.m., November 23, 2006, 8:30 a.m.

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November 17th, 2006 :: 1:19 PM

With no discussion the Iowa Board of Regents voted today to discard the slate of candidates for president of the University of Iowa.

The board disbanded the search committee the regents created to winnow the field of candidates.

The surprising decision came after the search committee reportedly forwarded the names of four finalists to the regents.

What do you think about how the process has unfolded?

7 Responses to “U of I presidential search”

One Response to “Editorial topics for Tuesday”

If anyone is interested, I have provided (a) an analysis of what’s wrong with the Regents’ last minute emphasis on their requirement the new UI Pres have health sciences experience, and (b) links to the full texts of what I believe to be the most complete set of online media & blog information and opinion about the Regents presidential selection process, in Nicholas Johnson, “UI Presidential Search I,” available at
- Nicholas Johnson
November 21st, 2006 at 7:24 am

After the big fight a couple of years ago with wellmark/regents, there probably looking for someone that will grab the reins of the hospital and put it back in it’s place….UNDER the U of Iowa’s President. For the past 20+ years, UIHC has had it’s own agenda, and they have their own budget, seperate from the U of I. In the real world, UIHC has done it’s own thing, and as large as the U of I is, it’s a full time job just to lead/manage the U of I….let alone the hospital also.
- iowahawkeye
November 20th, 2006 at 9:44 am

This whole Regents mess reminds me of a comedy. Wahlert is a female Larry and Gartner is Moe. Any nominations for Curly? Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

(At least the Stooges were intentionally funny.)
- John from Des Moines
November 19th, 2006 at 10:35 am

why should anyone be surprised?

Gartner is the same guy who as head of the Iowa Vision Fund gave millions of dollars to Dubuque for reiverfront renewal…while knowing full well he was going to try and move his other minor league baseball team there.

You can put a bowtie and several millions of his wifes money on scummm……but its still scum.
- nolookpass
November 18th, 2006 at 2:29 pm

This responsibility for this fiasco lies directly at the feet of Governor Vilsack, who selected the Regents. If he does not fix this before he leaves office–by demanding the resignation of several regents and publically stating that their approach to this was terribly inappropriate –I will never support him in his presidential bid. His regents may be his Michael Brown and the search may be his Katrina. Such poor judgment is not competent presidential material.
- iowan
November 18th, 2006 at 10:15 am

How much longer are certain regents going to be allowed to operate however they like? Regents Gartner and Wahlert continue to try and implement their hidden agenda. They didn’t get “their” candidate so they cancel the entire search. They have their appointed interim president in place at the U of I so they can afford to wait. It is unbelievable how destructive this current board of regents is. Chet Culver, PLEASE get involved and get this group of “loose cannons” under control and pursuing positive outcomes for the states higher ed institutions.

One more item. When did Michael “Public Records” Gartner become so secretive? The media should be reminding Regent Gartner about public records and transparency. Apparently he has forgotten since he is no longer in the news business.
- Ralph
November 17th, 2006 at 9:31 pm

It is hard to know how to react to this news in light of the complete lack of information concerned citizens have. The amount of secrecy underlying this search is ridiculous. It’s about time, someone, or some fine newspaper (such as the Register) filed a public records request to discover what really is going on with this presidential search.
- lawstudent3
November 17th, 2006 at 5:17 pm 

Additional Comments
November 22, 2006, 9:00 a.m.
11 Responses to “U of I presidential search”

Gartner wants a candidate he can manipulate for his own personal goals. He doesn’t have the University of Iowa in his best interest, he has himself. There is more to the University than the Hospital, how about building a better Law program or Engineering?
- Texas Hawk
November 22nd, 2006 at 8:20 am

Just another reason not to move back to the state were I was born and grew up. Unbelievable that a group like the regents continues to get away with stuff like this without any repercussions.
- VAHawk
November 22nd, 2006 at 7:45 am

Interviews are not subject to the closed meetings law. Read it sometime. Too bad if people don’t want their name public. The law provides for closed session IF their repetition would be harmed. How does your rep get harmed in an interview? this law has been misinterpreted by school board, city councils and the regents. I have said for years that this is abused over and over by public officials.
- ruraliowa
November 21st, 2006 at 5:31 pm

Mr. Gartner is right; the regents are the ones responsible for hiring the next president. The idea of allowing the faculty and staff input is nice but in no way binding. If we allow the faculty to pick their next boss we will end up with another “good old boy” institution like Iowa State. As a small state we should be asking if we really need three state universities anyway. We need to hire a strong individual who can combine the strengths of these three institutions and many community colleges and come up with a unified approach to higher education in Iowa.
- Rural Bob
November 21st, 2006 at 4:08 pm

Additional Comments
November 23, 2006, 8:30 a.m.

16 Responses to “U of I presidential search”

Ever since John Forsyth was appointed to the BOR, I have been looking for some indication that the Regents actually have a clue about what their role is vis a vis the state universities. It seems this particular groups wants to exploit the resources of the universities for their own aggrandizement (read “insurance industry”).

In my opinion, this all comes down to whether or not our state’s flagship university will be “the University of Iowa” or “the University of a Small Group of Powerful Rich People Who Live in Des Moines.”

I promise you, this will be an issue when Vilsack runs in the Iowa caucuses.
- DrTuxedo

November 23rd, 2006 at 6:55 am

Easteriowan, the problem is once the regents found out their own candidate wasn’t one of the finalists they adjusted the criteria and blamed the search committee for failing to meet the criteria and find an appropriate candidate.
The search committee provided more than qualified candidates and the regents will still get to be the ones to hire the candidate, but they want a candidate that will work for them not the University of Iowa.
I want a cadidate that is qualified to be President of the University of Iowa not a representative for the Board of Regents that resides at the University.
- Texas Hawk

November 22nd, 2006 at 2:16 pm

I do find it interesting that the search committee did not choose Freund as a final candidate. She was a real live wire at Syracuse U., where her resignation was generally viewed to be the unfortunate result of the new chancellor’s ego and insecurity. The U of I probably missed a real opportunity with her. She will undoubtedly be a transformative president wherever she ends up.
- Syracuse

November 22nd, 2006 at 1:25 pm

I’m not surprised that so many people are quick to judge others, especially without knowing any information. It’s interesting that there is outrage over the Regents decision to not hire one of the Search Committee’s finalist, considering that there really didn’t have to be a “Search Committee”. It appears that the Regents asked for input and didn’t receive the information they were looking for. After all, THEY are ones who have to answer for a mediocre or less hiring. Would anybody on the “Search Committee” resign from their respected position or drop out of school if their recommendation turned out to be a bad one? Disclaimer: I do not know or directly support the Regents.
- easterniowan

November 22nd, 2006 at 10:40 am

John, Vilsack is Curly as he nominated the two Blue Cross board members to the Iowa Board of Regents.
- pechuna
November 22nd, 2006 at 10:09 am