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Gomers: What Went Wrong
What a Mess
December 31, 2006
Press-Citizen Editorial, "2006 in Review"
David Goodner, "The Ten Most Important Iowa Stories of the Year"
[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.]
Top Story: Skorton leaves; UI president search fails
Iowa City Press-Citizen
December 31, 2006
[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.]
Now, nearly a year after Skorton's surprise announcement, the university has spent more than $200,000 to demonstrate just how disastrous a presidential search can be. Representative bodies of the faculty, student and staff have issued no confidence votes against the Iowa state Board of Regents; one regent has resigned complaining of the "disgusting and embarrassing" behavior of the campus leaders; and local eyes have turned toward incoming governor Chet Culver to see if he will actually call for the resignation of Michael Gartner, the board president and chief lightning rod for conflict.
It makes us long for Skorton all the more.
1. President of the
University of Iowa David Skorton leaves for Cornell,
Board of Regents mishandles search for his replacement
(Des Moines Register
Young Adult Board "Straight Out of the Cornfield" Blog)
December 30, 2006
[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.]
The Iowa Board of Regents, “led” by President Michael Gartner and Pro-Tem Teresa Wahlert, have been under fire in Eastern Iowa and across the state for much of the year for their handling of several interrelated matters involving the University of Iowa.
First up was the rapid departure of Skorton to Cornell University last Spring. In 2005, Skorton was involved in a highly publicized dispute with the Regents over the University’s contract with the Wellmark insurance company, and many feel that the disrespect shown to Skorton by the Regents contributed to his decision to leave the state.
The story did not end there for the Board of Regents, however. An 8 month search for Skorton’s replacement, costing over $200,000, was ultimately disbanded by the Regents this Fall, causing an outcry of protests from the university community. One Regent has since resigned. The Johnson County Democrats, the UI Faculty and Staff, and the University of Iowa Student Government have all subsequently filed resolutions of no-confidence in the Board of Regents.
Student opinions have consistently been underreported during this controversy, but UISG took the no-confidence resolution one step further by also voting no-confidence in outgoing Governor Vilsack. A UI Facebook group titled “No Confidence: Iowa Board of Regents” has over 700 members.
Throughout 2006, Vilsack has been able to take credit for Iowa’s success stories while simultaneously distancing himself from the failures. My prediction: Vilsack finishes third in the Iowa caucuses and ends up with a high-level cabinet position in 2008, if not the vice-presidency.