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Board of Regents reconsidering final four UI presidential candidates

Diane Heldt

The Gazette

December 7, 2006

[Note: This material is copyright by The Gazette, 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 Gazette.]

  IOWA CITY — The four candidates rejected last month for the University of Iowa presidency are being reconsidered by the state Board of Regents, one regent said Wednesday.

  The four, recommended to the regents in November by the presidential search committee after seven people were interviewed, are the only candidates under discussion ‘‘at this point,’’ Regent Bob Downer of Iowa City said.

  The candidates include UI Provost Mike Hogan, who told The Gazette last week he is still interested in the job. He did not return a message Wednesday asking whether he had been in contact with the regents this week.

  The other candidates are two provosts at large universities and a college president.

  ‘‘We’re looking at the specific attributes of candidates,’’ Downer said of the regents’ discussions this week.

  It’s unknown when the regents might make a decision in the search for a successor to David Skorton, who left the UI in June for the presidency at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. The process has been in limbo since a 6-2 vote by the regents Nov. 17 to reject the four candidates, disband the search committee and relaunch the process.

  A discussion of the search is not listed on the agenda for Monday’s meeting in Iowa City, the regular December meeting of the regents. But it’s possible the topic could be added, Downer said.

  ‘‘I have some reason to believe that things are headed in a positive direction,’’ he said. ‘‘We hope to bring this to a successful conclusion.’’

  The board held a 90-minute closed session Monday, its first meeting since Nov. 17, but nothing was announced after that meeting.

  UI Faculty Senate President Sheldon Kurtz has said he thinks a decision could come this week.

  The board vote on Nov. 17 caused a furor on the UI campus. Gov. Tom Vilsack stepped in last week, meeting with regents leaders and UI faculty, staff and student leaders in an attempt to craft a resolution.