Return to Nicholas Johnson's Main Web Site

Return to Nicholas Johnson's Iowa Rain Forest ("Earthpark") Web Site

Return to Nicholas Johnson's Blog, FromDC2Iowa

No-confidence vote off for now

'Fruitful' meeting with Vilsack eases tensions between regents, UI

Brian Morelli

Iowa City Press-Citizen

November 29, 2006

UI's Hogan Finalist for Presidency at UD

[Note: This material is copyright by the Press-Citizen, 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 Iowa City Press-Citizen.]

For now, confidence in Gov. Tom Vilsack is replacing the lack of confidence that the University of Iowa Faculty Senate had toward the Iowa state Board of Regents.

The Senate dropped its vote of no confidence in regent leaders when it met Tuesday at the Old Capitol Senate Chambers on campus. However, that vote could be revisited in January, Senate President Sheldon Kurtz said.

Student government leaders also dropped their planned no-confidence vote Tuesday, and UI staff council expects to do the same on Dec. 13.

Kurtz, who has been at the forefront of frosty relations between campus and regent leaders, issued a brief statement to about 100 faculty members and several local legislators who attended the regularly scheduled senate meeting.

Kurtz, a member of the campus advisory committee that aided the presidential search committee, said Monday evening's meeting with Vilsack, Regent President Michael Gartner and a handful of other officials was "fruitful." Because of Vilsack's commitment to resolving the tensions, Kurtz said he is confident giving Vilsack time to sort through issues will lead to a positive outcome.

Kurtz, however, said the lack of a vote did not signal UI's confidence in the regents.

"The fact that this wasn't a burgeoning crowd speaks to that there was some reassurance that the governor was involved and the faculty senate has been heard," said Catherine Woodman, an associate professor of psychiatry.

Kurtz declined to comment on the next step.

UI leaders, including Kurtz, have been critical of the presidential search that was shelved by the regents on a 6-2 vote Nov. 17 and the board's private proceedings.

"It feels extremely secretive now," said staff president Mary Greer, who was on the presidential search committee. "And I, too, wish that weren't the case. However, I have confidence that the governor will publicly share in time what ideas were discussed and the steps taken to resolve them."

Vilsack plans to look at the perspectives outlined by each person at the three-hour meeting Monday evening in Cedar Rapids, Greer said, and touch base in the next two weeks.

"We threw so much at him. We all took our opportunity to tell him what was wrong, and that is a lot," Greer said in a telephone interview.

Many on campus appear willing to wait.

"I know (Kurtz), and I have 100 percent confidence in his judgment," said computer and electrical engineering professor Steve Collins.

Collins said the concerns are still there, but faculty members have calmed down despite the lack of information because they trust Kurtz.

"As a faculty member, I've got my fingers crossed," Collins said.

While the relationship with the regents appears to be on the mend, the president search is still undecided.

Regent Bob Downer of Iowa City has said he expects a statement by the board office later this week. Regent executive director Gary Steinke did not return a message Tuesday.

"We need to find a president soon. If it could be Friday, that would be great. If it could be Monday, that would be great," Kurtz said, noting that the UI president search timeline was not the matter Vilsack is considering.

Steve McGuire, who also participated on the search committee, said the next search process would be more open. He also said there would be no rolling meetings, referring to controversial meetings the regents had by not officially adjourning for a week.

Local legislators helped arrange Monday's meeting with Vilsack.

"The results from the meeting are going to be positive," Sen. Bob Dvorsky, D-Coralville, said.

Gary Fethke, who was named interim president after David Skorton left to become president of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., last summer, urged respect.

"Until that process is completed and its outcomes known, I urge all of us to respect one another's opinions, to direct our energies in a positive way, and to remember the many aspects of this institution for which we can be and should be grateful," Fethke said in a statement.

UI's Hogan finalist for presidency at UD

Brian Morelli and The Associated Press

Iowa City Press-Citizen

November 29, 2006

NEWARK, Del. -- University of Iowa Provost Michael Hogan is one of two finalists vying to become the University of Delaware president.

Hogan visited Delaware on Nov. 20 for on campus interviews with UD leaders, five days after Patrick Harker, dean of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, made his rounds of the Newark campus. Outgoing president David Roselle has said he will retire about May 1 after 17 years.

Hogan also was one of four finalists for the UI president search. The finalists were rejected and the search was disbanded Nov. 17 in a controversial vote by the Iowa state Board of Regents that caused an uproar on campus.

It is unclear if any of those finalists still are interested or would be reconsidered by the regents after a peacemaking meeting called by Gov. Tom Vilsack and including regents and UI leaders on Monday.

Hogan has declined to comment on the situation.

Pierre Hayward, UD vice president and university secretary, would not say whether Hogan and Harker are the only two candidates being considered in UD search, but he said no others are scheduled to visit.

Hayward said the board of trustees, which is scheduled to meet Dec. 11, hopes to decide on a new president by the end of the year.

UD's new president will oversee more than 3,900 full- and part-time employees and about 21,000 students, along with an endowment of more than $1 billion.

Roselle earned nearly $1 million in 2004-05, placing him atop a recent presidential pay survey at public and private institutions nationwide. His pay for 2005-06 and 2006-07 will jump significantly as he collects money set aside for his retirement.

UD officials have declined to comment on how Roselle's salary and benefits would affect the salary of the next president.

Hogan formerly served as dean of humanities and executive dean of arts and sciences at The Ohio State University, where he also was chairman of the history department. During his tenure, the executive dean position evolved into a freestanding office with oversight of five colleges and 41 departments. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Northern Iowa and master's degree and doctorate from the University of Iowa.

Harker, a professor of management and private enterprise, has served as dean at Wharton since 2000. As dean, he leads more than 300 faculty members and 4,600 students, along with about 9,000 executive education participants. He earned his bachelor's and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

UI interim president Gary Fethke said through a spokesman, "It's a tribute to Mike, but it's a decision that is in other peoples' hands."
Press-Citizen reporter Brian Morelli contributed to this report.