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Localized storm front triggers Iowa City squalls

James A. Autry

Des Moines Register

December 24, 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.]

Apparently a slow-moving hysteria front with intermittent naiveté drizzle and strong showers of self-righteousness has passed over Iowa City.

For instance, you quote a professor as saying that his participation in the no-confidence vote was the most fulfilling and exciting thing he has done in his many years at the university. Huh? Does he think this is encouraging to the parents of students he is supposed to be fulfilled and excited by teaching?

And how about the faculty members who naively believe that President David Skorton left for Cornell University because his feelings were hurt over getting a few thousand dollars less than expected in a pay raise. Any of those faculty folks over there ever turn down a job that more than doubled their salary?

Or the students voting "no confidence" in a governor who has supported education as ardently as any governor in the state's history.

Or the ongoing witch-hunt against the regents? I know for a fact that the Great Devil Michael Gartner has always held the University of Iowa in high regard.

And has anyone over there noticed that all other regents' institutions are perking right along without angst and outrage?

I can't leave out the Register's role in sensationalizing as well as legitimizing all the faculty whining and foot-stamping. Apparently some of those self-righteousness showers fell on your building.

Finally, I must say I have many friends in the academy; I admire and support faculty people individually, yet I have learned to avoid them in groups such as committees and senates.

- James A. Autry,
Des Moines

Reader Comment
Sun Dec 24, 2006 11:52 am

James Autry is Lt Gov Sally Pederson's husband and a good friend of Michael Gartner. Mr. Autry needs to be clear on this relationship since this would explain both his support for his friend and his desire to comment on something he obviuously has little experience with.

-- "Steve"