Harreld updates regents on innovations

Bruce+Harreld+talks+with+reporters+in+The+Daily+Iowan+conference+room+about+his+upcoming+term+as+the+next+president+of+the+University+of+Iowa.+Upon+his+acceptance%2C+Harreld+had+an+approval+rating+of+three+percent.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2FBrooklynn+Kascel%29

Bruce Harreld talks with reporters in The Daily Iowan conference room about his upcoming term as the next president of the University of Iowa. Upon his acceptance, Harreld had an approval rating of three percent. (The Daily Iowan/Brooklynn Kascel)

Tom Ackerman, [email protected]

 

Even in a state Board of Regents meeting, University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld could not escape the controversy of his presidency.

The regents and officials from Iowa’s three public universities met Thursday in Ames. Harreld gave updates on innovations, accomplishments, and progress during the meeting.

Harreld also noted the fiery town hall he held on the UI campus on Tuesday, in which many protesters made their voices heard. Some even called for Harreld’s resignation.

“It was contentious at times,” he said toward the end of his presentation. “It was and will continue to be an important way of engaging our campus and how we can continue to improve. I look forward to not only continuing that conversation with not only the campus, with you, our board, the Iowans, and quite frankly, the nation.”

Town-hall meetings are scheduled to be held every fall, winter, and spring.

Regent Larry McKibben continued to express support for Harreld, which he has expressed in previous regents’ meetings.

“In my area in Marshalltown, Iowa, the constituents and the people who talk to me appreciate the positive, transformative, efficient, and hard work you’ve been done as you hit the ground running,” McKibben said. “I hear it on a regular basis.”

After the meeting, Regent President Bruce Rastetter also expressed disappointment about the behavior at the town hall in a press conference with reporters.

During his institutional head report, Harreld touched upon a number of issues.

“Rather than giving you a potpourri of issues, we’re doing fine on a number of fronts, I’d like to start using these sessions to cover a certain aspect of what’s going on,” he said.

RELATED: Harreld town hall turns tense

That focus, Harreld said, involves the ways in which the UI is approaching teaching methods in more engaging ways.

He cited a list in the Chronicle of Higher Education published Monday, outlining schools producing the greatest number of Fulbright Scholars. The UI made the list and was highlighted as a “top producer” in effectively educating students.

Harreld also noted several UI programs that demonstrate how the university approaches modern education. He described the Iowa Technically Enhanced Classroom, which has interactive screens and a futuristic look into teaching.

“It’s going to transform how teachers teach and, most importantly, how students learn,” Harreld said. “With the advanced technology and interactive screens that are in this room, the unique classroom supports collaborative work.”

The Iowa Support of Education and Research for Veterans and Enlisted project, which offers service members a unique transformation back to civilian life, was also noted during Harreld’s address. The program lets service members take their learned skills in the military and apply them to studying education.

The project, Harreld said, was named the state’s official troops-to-teacher program.

“[The program] capitalizes on our service members’ transferrable skills for the benefit of students in the classroom,” he said. He said it also might help teacher shortages in the college and the state in teaching high-demand subjects such as math, science, and special education.

UI Assistant Vice President for Student Life Von Stange, the director of Housing & Dining, later expanded on another asset the UI has added. An embedded counselor will be hired to help demand.

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