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UI presidential search leader encouraged by positive feedback

Diane Heldt

The Gazette

December 29, 2006

Diane Heldt, "More Documents Released in UI Presidential Search"

[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 — University of Iowa College of Dentistry Dean David Johnsen said he’s hearing from faculty and staff who are ready to move forward with a new presidential search, and that finding people willing to serve on the next search committee will not be a problem.

  Johnsen, the UI’s longestserving dean, will lead a new search for a successor to David Skorton, who left in June for the presidency at Cornell University.

  ‘‘I have had a lot of input from lots and lots of people and it’s been almost 100 percent encouraging,’’ Johnsen said this week. ‘‘The main themes have been ‘how can we help?’ and ‘how can we find ways to move ahead?’ That part of it has been good.’’

 Johnsen and state Board of Regents President Michael Gartner met Wednesday in Iowa City. Gartner said it was the first chance the two had to talk about the search since the regents chose Johnsen to lead the new process on Dec. 18. He said he wasn’t sure when the regents will select the new committee.

  Johnsen said that, ideally, the regents would select it by mid-January. Their next regular meeting is Feb. 6-7 in Ames, but the regents might hold a special meeting in January to deal with the search, he said.

  The new committee is under discussion, but its membership and size are up to the regents, Johnsen said. He referred to a memo sent by all UI deans to Interim President Gary Fethke this month that suggested the new committee be of ‘‘manageable size.’’

  It is premature to speculate about who will serve on the committee, Johnsen said.

  A new search was launched after the regents voted 6-2 on Nov. 17 to reject four recommended presidential candidates, disband a previous presidential search committee and have a new process. The decision drew strong criticism from UI faculty, staff and student groups, who overwhelmingly passed this month resolutions of no confidence in board leadership.

More documents released in UI presidential search

Diane Heldt

The Gazette

December 29, 2006

  IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa released more documents Thursday related to the UI presidential search, but the more than 100 pages yielded little new information.

  A number of Freedom of Information requests have been filed with the UI and regents in the past few weeks, many of them seeking details and correspondence related to the ongoing, often controversial UI presidential search.

  Several newspapers, including The Gazette, also sought correspondence between state regents, UI officials and University Hospitals officials regarding hospital business and its dealings with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The documents shed little light on that relationship, which soured two years ago when the UI and insurance company could not immediately agree on a contract for UI Hospitals payments.

  The UI declined to release e-mails or other documents generated by John Colloton, the former UI Hospitals director and a Wellmark board member. He retired nearly six years ago but has a UI Hospitals office as director emeritus.

  UI officials said Colloton does not have public duties at the UI and his communications are not those of official functions, therefore they are not public records.