"Business Background: Enough for University President?" September 2, 2015-present (updated)
Nicholas Johnson, "Hiring Candid, Courageous University Presidents; An Exchange with UI Presidential Finalist, Oberlin President Marvin Krislov," August 29, 2015 (with links to the 2006-2007 blog essays about the last Regents' presidential selection fiasco)
Nicholas Johnson, "Seven Steps for Transitioning University," The Gazette (online), September 27, 2015 (with links to 7 other related Gazette Writers Circle opinion pieces); hard copy: Nicholas Johnson, "Better Ways to Pick a UI President," The Gazette, September 27, 2015, p. C5
October 3, 2015, 11:00 a.m.
You have to hand it to Governor Bradstad and Regent Rastetter. There's a consistent pattern when it comes to their choice of presidents -- whether for the University of Iowa or the United States.
James Hohmann, "Post Politics: Chris Christie, Picking Up Six Endorsements, Says He'll Play Hard in Iowa," Washington Post (online), September 29, 2015 ("The group endorsing Christie is led by agribusiness millionaire Bruce Rastetter . . . a top donor and close ally to Republican Gov. Terry Branstad. . . . Branstad is neutral, but Christie now has managers of the Iowa governor's previous campaigns, a former chief of staff and his top two fundraisers . . .. Phil Valenziano, a New Jersey native who was Branstad’s political director in 2014, is Christie’s Iowa state director.")
By now you may well know more than you care to know about J. Bruce Harreld, and the process Branstad and Rastetter used to select and force him on a university community over its almost unanimous opposition. "Business Background: Enough for University President?" September 2-October 3, 2015.
But Christie! At least Harreld had the support of a full 1.8% of the UI faculty. On a good day Christie can't muster more than 1% of Republican primary voters. Amy Walter, "How Do Primary Voters See the Candidates?" The Cook Political Report (online), September 30, 2015.
Harreld had a couple of ethical lapses -- especially for a job in higher education administration. He lied about his current employment, and misrepresented that he was the sole author of pieces that were actually co-authored with others.
But Christie! By now we all know that "Christie appointees at the Port Authority purposely created a traffic jam on approaches to the George Washington Bridge to punish a small-town Democratic mayor who had declined to endorse the Republican governor for re-election." Scott Mayerowitz and David B. Caruso, "Tangled Web Surrounds United's Aborted Atlantic City Routes," USAToday/AP, September 29, 2015, 7:44 a.m.
But it turns out that pales in comparison with the multiple scandals involving "the Christie administration, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and United Airlines" -- scandals that have already led to the firing of United's president. ("incentives" to serve gambling casinos in Atlantic City, including favored treatment at Newark's International Airport (where United could "save millions"); now included in "an ongoing federal investigation into possible abuse of power at the Port Authority;" U.S. attorneys for Manhattan and New Jersey have also subpoenaed records; the special United, money-losing route to Columbia, South Carolina, created for a single passenger, the Port Authority chair with a home there ("close friend and mentor to Christie" whose "law firm handled the South Jersey Transportation Authority's bond transactions," an Authority for which Christie appointed board members); the Port Authority's "highly paid police officers," costing United $25 million, whose union endorsed Christie; use of excessive airport fees for favorite Christie projects; Christie's appointment of United Airline's lobbyist, Jaime Fox, as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation (and chair, South Jersey Transportation Authority), who forgave a United debt to New Jersey). Ibid.
When asked about Harreld's inaccurate resume, the Regents' spokesperson said on their behalf, "We're not concerned about the resume." Jeff Charis-Carlson, "Faculty Group Censures Harreld Over Ethics," Iowa City Press-Citizen (online), September 24, 2015, 4:44 p.m.
I guess when you consider how willing Rastetter and Branstad are in overlooking these little indiscretions by Governor Christie, you can see how trivial Harreld's misrepresentations might seem to them by comparison.
Just think, they could have chosen Christie as our next UI president.