Monday, January 15, 2007

UI President Search Held Hostage Day 60 - Jan. 15

Jan. 15, 7:30 p.m.

The Daily Iowan went back in business this morning, after the students' winter break, and its editorial (linked below) indicates it can holiday and pay attention at the same time. A sample, "As long as Michael Gartner remains the board's president, the direction the regents will take is guaranteed to drift further and further from the wishes of the UI community."

The Gazette shares the sentiment in its morning "Homer" regarding the search process, linked below: "Let’s hope Regents President Michael Gartner doesn’t interfere."

And you won't be stunned to discover that State29, in his effort to balance the media's reporting regarding Governor Vilsack's "legacy," offers a list of 33 somewhat unflattering items he thinks should be included, linked below. Number one on his list? You guessed it: "Appointing Michael Gartner to state boards."

Given that John Colloton, Michael Gartner, and University Relations Director Steve Parrott are refusing to talk, Mason Kerns' story ("Details Hazy in UIHC Computer Incident"), linked below, can't dissipate much of that haze. But he does reveal something of one Regent's thinking about Colloton: "'He's not a current employee,' Arbisser said. 'I certainly hold him in high esteem as an administrator in his time, but I'm not sure what function he serves now that requires an office.'"

In Seung Min Kim's story, also linked below, we learn: "Regent President Michael Gartner said the committee's composition was up to Johnsen and that he himself hopes to approve 'whomever [Johnsen] wants and selects.' . . .

"The dentistry dean said he has already received at least several dozen suggestions - both in and outside academic circles - for the new UI president, who is slated to be named by July 1.

"The choice to hold on-campus interviews for finalists - hallmarks of previous presidential searches that allowed the UI community to meet candidates face-to-face - will also be up to the committee, Johnsen said. . . .

"Johnsen declined to comment whether the four rejected candidates - which included current UI Provost Michael Hogan - would be reconsidered."

There was no mention in the story, however, of the possibility that the search committee will include no one representing the 30,000 students at Iowa. And Dean Johnsen has earlier indicated that it is the potential candidates, rather than the Regents or the search committee, who will be calling the shots on secrecy and campus interviews.

Meanwhile, Tom Witosky reports in the Des Moines Register, linked below, that the Regents' excessive, compulsive addiction to secrecy is helping to spur the Iowa Legislature into reviewing its aging open meetings and public records laws which, having studied and written about both, this law professor will welcome.

Even though not specifically related to the UI president search or the Regents, I've also added to the links some stories from earlier this month regarding the funding of higher education in Iowa. I have earlier written in this blog, and elsewhere, regarding alternative ways of thinking about higher education, and its funding, in the 21st Century. See Nicholas Johnson, "Free College Education," September 9, 2006;
Nicholas Johnson, "Rethinking Higher Education," Iowa City Press-Citizen, November 13, 2006; and Nicholas Johnson, "Rethinking Higher Education," November 13, 2006. But I don't see much interest in that kind of fundamental re-thinking on the part of legislators.

This being the day we remember and celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, we might well ask with regard to funding higher education, "WWMD"? "What would Martin do?" I have no doubt he would be asking the questions, and discussing the options, I have laid out. We need him.

Meanwhile, here we are at "UI President Search Held Hostage, Day 60." Who's counting? I am.

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[Note: If you're new to this blog, and interested in the whole UI President Search story, these blog entries begin with Nicholas Johnson, "UI President Search I," November 18, 2006.
Wondering where the "UI Held Hostage" came from? Click here. For any given entry, links to the prior 10 will be found in the left-most column. Going directly to will take you to the latest. Each contains links to the full text of virtually all known media stories and commentary, including mine, since the last blog entry. Together they represent what The Chronicle of Higher Education has called "one of the most comprehensive analyses of the controversy." The last time there was an entry containing the summary of prior entries' commentary (with the heading "This Blog's Focus on Regents' Presidential Search") is Nicholas Johnson, "UI President Search XIII -- Last Week," December 11, 2006. My early proposed solution to the conflict is provided in Nicholas Johnson, "UI President Search VII: The Answer," November 26, 2006. And the fullest collection of basic documents related to the search is contained in Nicholas Johnson, "UI President Search - Dec. 21-25," December 21, 2006 (and updated thereafter), at the bottom of that blog entry under "References". A Blog Index of all entries since June 2006 is also available.]

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Media Stories and Commentary

Editorial, "Culver's Regent Appointments Should Move Board in New Direction," The Daily Iowan, January 15, 2007

Editoral, "Homers: Prudent Path," The Gazette, January 15, 2007

Mason Kerns, "Details Hazy in UIHC Computer Incident," The Daily Iowan, January 15, 2007

Seung Min Kim, "2nd search panel is taking shape," The Daily Iowan, January 15, 2007

Tom Witosky, "Secrecy triggers review of laws; Legislators cite controversies over regent meetings, CIETC, TouchPlay records," Des Moines Register, January 15, 2007


State29, "A Financial Barrier is Interest?" January 14, 2007

State29, "And When We Get Behind Closed Doors," January 12, 2007

State29, "The Legacy of Tom Vilsack,"
January 11, 2007

Higher Ed-Related (Finance)

Neal Sauerberg, "Culver Looks to Aid Higher Education," The Daily Iowan, January 15, 2007

Jack Banghart, "Where Does It All Go?" Des Moines Register, January 8, 2007

Brian Morelli, "Legislators Say Education is Priority; Dvorsky: Regents May Make Up for Lost Funding," Iowa City Press-Citizen, January 7, 2007

Brian Morelli, "Local Legislators Say Higher Education Funding is Top Priority," Iowa City Press-Citizen, January 6, 2007

Kristina Gleeson, "Children from Iowa more likely to succeed; Report ranks state 11th for good starts," The Gazette, January 4, 2007

Diane Heldt, "Funding Catch-Up Sought for State Universities," The Gazette, January 4, 2007

James Q. Lynch, "Iowa Community Colleges Hopeful About State Funding," The Gazette, January 4, 2007

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1 comment:

hawkigradstdnt said...

glad to see that the daily iowan is back in action.