Presidential fallout continues


The new UI President Bruce Harreld addresses the crowd during a meeting in the IMU on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Harreld was part of the faculty of Harvard Business. (The Daily Iowan/Margaret Kispert)

Bruce Harreld visited the UI before becoming a presidential candidate.

By Cindy Garcia  | [email protected]

Bruce Harreld, the new University of Iowa president, visited the UI Hospitals and Clinics on July 8 before he became a presidential candidate, UI officials say.

The new information comes on the heels of a heavily scrutinized presidential-search process that led to criticism leveled at the state Board of Regents from the UI Faculty Senate, the UI student governments, and UI Staff Council, along with organizations at the other state regent universities.

Jean Robillard, the interim UI president and the head of the UI Search Committee, brought Harreld to campus on July 8. The application deadline for president was July 31.

“Dr. Robillard says he was familiar with Mr. Harreld’s experience and published articles and believed he would provide an interesting perspective for UIHC leadership about transformational change, so invited him to speak,” UI spokeswoman Jeneane Beck wrote in an email.

While at the UIHC, Harreld spoke to around 40 people, including the director of nursing, the co-chief operating officer, finance personnel, and physicians. Most were in UIHC leadership positions.

According to Beck’s email, Robillard said at least two other eventual candidates visited the UI campus. One spoke at the College of Public Health and the other received a tour of the hospital but did not speak to a group.

Robillard said other candidates might have visited on their own.

The UI Faculty Senate and UI student governments have voted no confidence in the regents in the presidential selection. The Staff Council also crafted a letter of disappointment aimed at the regents.

The American Association of University Professors chapters at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa have also followed suit in deploring the regents’ decisions.

The UNI association offered several reasons for its decision in a statement.

The statement listed the move to disband the Search Committee after the final candidates were announced and the lack of diversity among finalists on top of several other reasons.

“The totality of the issues described above leads the United Faculty-AAUP Chapter of the University of Northern Iowa to give our full support to the statement made by the University of Iowa-AAUP Chapter deploring the actions of the Board of Regents in conducting its presidential search for the University of Iowa,” wrote Joe Gorton in the statement.

ISU’s chapter statement listed principles in its statement, including one outlining that no candidate should be chosen over faculty objections.

Mack Shelley, the president of the ISU association chapter, said in an interview the organization combined the ideas from the UI’s no-confidence documents and released its own version.

“Part of it is we think of ourselves as sister institutions; we share common concerns and common interests. We’re not competing competitively,” he said. “We’re indicating we understand the situation and want to support faculty and students. We see that this part of a broader set of issues about what role students and staff play in higher education. It’s kind of wrapped into the idea of shared governance.”

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