Staff Council disappointed by regents

Board+of+Regents+members+gather+in+the+IMU+Main+Lounge+on+Wed.+March+11%2C+2015.+The+State+of+Iowa+Board+of+Regents+meet+to+discuss+the+future+of+universities+in+Iowa.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2FCourtney+Hawkins%29

Board of Regents members gather in the IMU Main Lounge on Wed. March 11, 2015. The State of Iowa Board of Regents meet to discuss the future of universities in Iowa. (The Daily Iowan/Courtney Hawkins)

The UI Staff Council prepares statement to Iowa Board of Regents.

By Austin Petroski
[email protected]

The University of Iowa Staff Council elected to send a statement to the state Board of Regents in response to the selection of the new president last week.

“On behalf of those we represent, the University of Iowa Staff Council expresses disappointment in the process by which the Iowa Board of Regents selected the next University of Iowa President,” the statement reads. “There is a perception among many staff of a lack of transparency and disregard for the feedback provided by the UI community, which stands in contradiction to our valued principles of shared governance.

“UI staff will continue to be dedicated to advancing the mission of the University of Iowa, will work in collaboration with our new president, and will continue to serve the students and citizens of Iowa.”

The decision comes after the UI Faculty Senate and UI student governments chose to vote no confidence in the regents on Tuesday following the regents’ appointment of Bruce Harreld as the UI’s 21st president.

“Don’t protect him,” council President Hans Hoerschelman said. “We need to be straightforward with him.”

When asked about why the Staff Council chose a different path, Hoerschelman said, “We didn’t hear as much about no confidence as about disappointment.”

The meeting began with presentations by a deputy athletics director and a TIER update. But the majority of staff showed up for the final discussion of the presidential-search outcome.

“I’ve got mixed results with a great deal of cynicism,” Hoerschelman said.

The Staff Council was much more accepting of the incoming president than the Faculty Senate.

“I came to the realization that even with a no-confidence vote, we still have a new president Nov. 2,” Hoerschelman said.

Some staff members even suggested having the student governments, the Staff Council, and the Faculty Senate all combine to form a response to the selection.

“Would it be more reasonable to discuss a more unified approach from all three groups?” said council budget officer Matt Watson. “We could have an open forum with the regents.”

The Staff Council went to a closed session for almost 45 minutes to discuss its response.

The members decided to accept the regents’ selection while maintaining a sense of pessimism.

“I see tremendous suspicion and fear,” said BJ Hannon, a nursing services representative to the council. “We cannot ignore those feelings.”

Much like events on Tuesday, staff members present at the meeting used terms like “duped,” “fearful,” and “ignored” to describe the situation.

“As I see it, we have another challenge put to us from the regents; we cannot have that be our defining metric,” Hoerschelman said.

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