Saturday, June 02, 2007

UI Held Hostage Day 497 - Search Schedule

June 2, 2007, 7:30 a.m., 8:25 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 2:20 p.m. (response to comment on Search involving Provost Hogan, and link to Erin Jordan's story; addition of UI Budget and Sullivan on Sales Taxes)

As reported here yesterday, there will be on-campus interviews of the UI presidential candidate finalists the week of June 11. Today's stories reveal some more details of those visits -- along with a couple of significant quotes from Regents President Michael Gartner.

Meanwhile, the Press-Citizen's suit against the Regents for their alleged violations of Iowa's open meetings law during Search I has raised a significant issue for the judge.

The UI's budget from the Regents for next year appears to be exactly as Regents COO Gary Steinke has characterized it: "complicated."

And we may add an excerpt from Johnson County Board of Supervisors member Rod Sullivan regarding sales tax issues, and possibly a report and photos from a gathering yesterday of and for the prestigeous Iowa Policy Project.

Links and commentary will be added throughout the morning.

UI President Search: Campus Visits Details

The present plan is that Monday through Friday the week of June 10 each of five finalists will spend one day, in turn, on campus. They'll arrive the evening before their day, spend the day visiting with, mostly, university administrators, have an open public session from 3:45-4:45, one-half hour of which will be devoted to their "vision" for research universities, and depart the morning of the next day.

What happens next is not clear. The Regents may be around on the 15th and 16th, and may not. Even if they are, would this mean that whoever is interviewed on Monday, and returns home Tuesday, would fly back on Saturday? Those details are yet to come. Gartner has said they don't want to "rush." Given that they will be well beyond "UI Held Hostage Day 500" there's little risk of that.

Gartner says "I certainly want them [Regents' interviews of candidates] open and public." Most significant, he preceded that statement with, "I'm just one vote, but . . .." That is a major, major change from his speaking as if he were the entire Board of Regents. I think the guy is entitled to a lot of credit for both statements.

The candidates' names have not been, and will not be, revealed until their arrival -- although The Gazette has learned and passed along to its readers that two are university presidents and three are provosts. Gartner and Steinke have volunteered that even they don't know the names. Apparently no reporter has asked Search Committee II Chair, Dean David Johnsen, why he is refusing to reveal their names now, and he has not volunteered an explanation. As I've discussed recently in this blog, that makes no sense to me whatsoever.

The net result of this approach is that the Regents, University and Iowa City communities, the media, and Search Committee II itself, will have access to significantly less information about these five finalists. There are severe limitations to how much information any individual can gather about a candidate -- from the Internet, friends and acquaintances around the world -- during five 24-hour periods one right after the other. There will be virtually no time for comparing notes with others. This is especially so if one is gainfully employed during that week, or has other things to do than devote each full day to research while also attending meetings. And even if that kind of time is available it will be no small task to try to keep all of this straight in one's head.

Search Committee II is welcoming input from those in the University, and Iowa City community, who participate in this process. (As Erin Jordan reports this morning, "The search committee plans to post an online evaluation form for people to give input on the candidates." See link below.)

But most of that input -- which could have been truly informative and useful had we been told the candidates names today and had time to do some meaningful investigation -- will necessarily consist of little more than the most superficial responses on the basis of scripted interviews and responses and the candidates' appearance and demeanor while on their best behavior.

And for what? Search Committee II has represented that the reason for secrecy is that it would be a devastating blow to the reputation of a sitting university president or provost if it were to become known that they would willingly stoop to consider becoming president of the University of Iowa. I not only disagree with that judgment, I find it insulting. But accepting it as true, of what conceivable benefit could it be to a candidate -- whose name will become public a week from now anyway -- that their name continue to be a matter of such national security classification until then?

The cost of this additional week's clandestine operation is clear: We will all know far less about each of these candidates than what we would have come to know had the media, bloggers and all interested parties had this additional week to do some research, investigation, and interviewing of knowledgeable sources.

In any reasonable benefit-cost analysis one must consider both benefits and costs. We know the costs. What are the benefits? And what is the basis for believing that those benefits will exceed, and be well worth, those costs? I guess we are never to be told.

See, Diane Heldt, "Finalists Visit UI the Week of June 11; Open Forums Planned for 5 Who Are Vying to be UI President," The Gazette, June 2, 2007, p. 1A; Brian Morelli, "5 UI search finalists to visit campus; Committee to keep identities secret until candidates arrive," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 2, 2007, p. 1A; Erin Jordan, "U of I to Name Top Candidates Prior to Visits," Des Moines Register, June 2, 2007.

ADDED ITEM: Normally I don't respond to the comments others attach to this blog. That's not out of disrespect (though it's sometimes as a result of lack of time); quite the contrary: I just think folks have a right to say what they want in response to my blog entries (within the outer ranges of decency) without having to deal with my constant rebuttals. But there is one that is attached to this blog entry that I am about to embed here. It's from an "Anonymous," so I haven't a clue who wrote it. And, while I share Anonymous' enthusiasm regarding Mike Hogan (in fact, I put the case last fall that the Regents should simply have picked him to start last July 1), I am equally clueless as to the merits of Anonymous' concerns and theories regarding Search Committee II members' motives. My rule of thumb is that speculating about others' motives is often neither fair nor fruitful -- though I occasionally fail to heed my own advice on that score.

Thus, as is sometimes the case in entering evidence in a trial, I offer the followng Anonymous comment not as evidence of the truth of its author's speculation (some of which is challenged by the very next comment (also Anonymous) which follows it), but as evidence of another downside from Search Committee II's continuing to hold the names secret. It is something that had not, frankly, occurred to me this morning. It turns out that an additional consequence of Search Committee II's not revealing the five names at this time not only could contribute to, but as this Anonymous comment indicates has contributed to, rumors and speculation (at least from this Anonymous) regarding the Committee's motives:
Why would the committee not want to reveal the identities of the finalists in advance of the interviews? Imagine that a rumor now circulating is true: that a very popular internal candidate, Provost Michael Hogan, is NOT among the five finalists!!!! Unbelievable!!! With the committee's approach to not releasing the finalists' names, the truth of that rumor (which indeed seems to have "legs") cannot be confirmed,nor officially publicly revealed, until the evening prior to the fifth day of interviews, when the last candidate's name finally will be revealed under the committee's current approach. To confirm only at that late date that Hogan is indeed not among the finalists leaves precious little time for a wildly supportive campus to recover from shock and then mobilize opposition to yet another tainted search. What possible reason could the committee have to include three provosts from other universities but NOT to include the UI's number two administrator from this campus? Hogan is the most popular and competent provost the UI has had in years, and he has an intimate understanding of the issues facing the UI today! He could hit the ground running, after an all too long and detrimental interim without a permanent president. Does the committee again have ulterior motives? Have people again been bought off--this time at the search committee level? Is the committee afraid of allowing Hogan to interview on campus because of the strength and power of the campus support for Hogan? Do they fear that Hogan, who was the top candidate by a huge margin the first time around, would soar to the top again, and at that point, due to the force of popular support, his candidacy could no longer be blocked? Blocked in favor of whom? What are individual members of this committee after? What is behind this travesty? Whose personal interests are being served? This process stinks to high heaven. The campus and its provost have a right to some measure of fairness of process. Regardless of the quality of the other candidates (who may be highly qualified) this campus has a right to hear Hogan interview publicly, and to evaluate him on equal terms with the committee's other finalists. Not to include him at this stage forever taints this process and its outcome, to the detriment of everyone concerned. The only way to legitimize this process is for the committee to revisit its decision and include Hogan as one of the finalists to be interviewed during the week of June 11. Barring such action, the Regents indeed need to intervene and review the files to assure this campus and themselves that the process was fair.
Press-Citizen vs. The Regents

The Press-Citizen is suing the Board of Regents for what it alleges was the Board's violation of Iowa's open meetings law. One aspect of that violation is the charge that the Board went into closed meeting for one reason and then, in violation of the open meetings law, discussed matters that (a) the law does not authorize for closed meeting discussion, and (b) were not -- as the law requires -- identified when it stated its reasons for the closed meeting.

The law requires there to be a tape recording of closed sessions. One of the reasons for that requirement is precisely what now confronts the litigants, their lawyers, and the judge. Obviously, there would be no way of resolving disputes like this one if there was no record of a closed meeting that was suspected of violating the law.

Apparently, the recordings exist. The question is whether the lawyers for the Press-Citizen will be permitted to listen to them, or whether the judge will be the only, or at least the first, person to do so. Judge Pille has not yet indicated when he will rule on the request.

See, Lee Hermiston, "Attorneys for P-C, regents meet," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 2, 2007, p. A3.

UI Budget

I'm not even going to try to figure out the Regents' budget process and how it will impact the University of Iowa this next year. I don't always agree with Regents COO Gary Steinke, but on this one I do. He's quoted as saying, simply, "TIhe process, it is very complicated." If you doubt me, or are interested in pursuing such matters further, see Brian Morelli, "UI waiting on final amount of money; Regents have yet to approve FY 2008 budget," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 2, 2007, p. A3.

Of course, why public finance matters have to be so complicated (e.g., the K-12 funding formula is no better) is another matter entirely.

Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan's "Salvo" on Sales Taxes

Rod Sullivan is a member of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. As a free service to his constituents, Rod provides a weekly email update on local issues -- with some personal items thrown in. This one, from May 29, will give you a sense of his compassion -- and politics. If you're interested in getting on his list, E-mail him at rodsullivan@mchsi.com with "subscribe" in the subject line.
Remember “trickle-down economics”? President George H.W. Bush decried it as “voodoo economics.” Most economists agree that it is a flawed theory. It has few proven results. Yet our local governments continue to embrace this philosophy.
The most recent local example is Iowa City’s planned discussion of a Local Option Sales Tax.

In a Gazette article, City Manager Steve Atkins is quoted as saying that Iowa City needs another revenue source to “curtail property tax increases.” In other words, “taxes are going up on those with money, and we plan to shift the tax burden to those with less.”

I am positive that Mr. Atkins would never intentionally hurt the poor. But that is the direct effect. He can spin it any way he wants to spin it, but he is advocating that the rich pay less, and the poor pay more.

I have to do this every damned time, so let me go ahead and dispel a couple myths:

Who are the poor? 31% (215,855) of the children in Iowa live in low-income families. 10% (70,857) of the children in Iowa live in poor families. Most of the people living in poverty in Iowa and elsewhere are children. There are more poor women than poor men. Plus we are talking poverty here, which is incredibly poor. A family of three making 200% of poverty is still very poor.

Doesn’t Iowa City do a lot for the poor? Compared to most cities, yes. That makes this proposal all the more frustrating. I will quote one of my favorite authors, Jonathon Kozol: “Charity is no substitute for economic justice.”

Governmental agencies cannot improve their budget situations on the backs of the poorest of the poor. The needs of the poor will outpace any and all services that they have helped to fund.

Don’t exemptions for food, etc. make sales taxes less regressive? Sales taxes are still more regressive than property taxes. In 2003, a person with an income of $90,000 paid 3.2% of her income in taxes. A person earning $19,500 paid 11.1% of her income in taxes.

Relative to income, the poor pay twice what the middle class pay, and nearly 5 times the amount the wealthy pay. Even with exemptions, sales taxes hit the poor hardest.
The services of accountants, attorneys, and stockbrokers are not subject to sales taxes. These and many other services (advertising, consulting, etc.) used primarily by the wealthy and by large corporations go untaxed.

In addition, mortgage interest is deductible, while sales taxes are not. There are also Homestead Tax Credits. This matters, to the tune of millions of dollars per year in Iowa.
People who deny this reality are akin to those that deny global warming – they are simply not facing the truth.

If property taxes go up, won’t the cost be passed straight to renters? FALSE. Any economist will tell you, rents are a function of supply and demand. If there are too many available units, rents will remain flat. If there is a scarcity of rental units, rents will rise. Landlords will raise rents as high as they can and still keep the units rented, regardless of taxes.

Programs that use relative wealth as a measure of eligibility (such as Medicaid) always include resources (property). It is not enough to have low income; you must also lack other resources, such as property. This is because the net worth of a property owner far exceeds that of a renter. Renters have less real assets. Under a sales tax, renters pay the same as their counterparts with real assets.

What about “outsiders”? Won’t they help pay? People who live outside of Johnson County will pay about 20-25% of the taxes collected. These are by and large not people from suburban Chicago, however, but commuters who purchase goods on the way home.

I cannot, in good conscience, support a shift of the tax burden to people who have less money. What's more, I have trouble saying that a person earning $25,000 should pay more tax just because she lives in Williamsburg, Riverside, West Branch, Mount Vernon, Tipton, etc. Especially when the local wealthy would be let off the hook at her expense. And it isn’t just local wealthy. Wal-Mart will get a big tax break. They don’t even bank here.

Plus, you are now shifting the taxes from absentee landlords to regional shoppers. The guy in Naperville who inherited his grandfather’s building gets a tax break; the UI janitor who commutes from Kalona gets soaked.

It has been mentioned that we must be good neighbors. It is critically important that we think of our middle and low-income neighbors who commute to this County.

Theological arguments. I just happen to buy into a worldview that those who are able need to help those who are not. It is a basic organizing principle of any society, for one thing. Most major world religions subscribe to the idea of helping the poor.
I hold to a viewpoint (heavily-influenced by Christian doctrine) that says, “The last shall be first and the first shall be last”; “Do unto others”; “To whom much is given, much is expected”; “That which you do to the least among you, you do to me”; and “A rich man has a better chance of putting a camel through the eye of a needle than getting into Heaven.”

I prefer to follow this lead rather than doing more to comfort the comfortable.

Iowa City COULD raise property taxes. The city is not at the top allowable levy rate. So if Iowa City needed the money badly enough, they could just raise property taxes. They don’t want to do that, because property owners call City Hall and raise hell. Renters and the poor do not. So economic justice does not matter in this equation.
Iowa City is making a POLITICAL CHOICE to keep tax rates where they are. If they felt the needs justified it, they could raise property taxes.

In addition, unlike the SILO, this penny will NOT be imposed by the State should we fail to support it.

Iowa City is not on record in the Governor’s Office as having written to request any new and different methods of funding City government. Can we really complain when we have made no official attempts to change the status quo?

I recently had a buddy send me the spreadsheet on his investment property. Property taxes DO play a big role; he is not making much money off his single building. He works hard and saves, and deserves to make a buck. While I empathize, my friend still has the ability to deduct his mortgage interest, and he can always sell. He could move his investment to Cds, stocks, or bonds. I don’t wish this on him, but he has options. People who rent have no such options.

Sales versus property taxes is a red herring. The point is not which is worse, sales taxes or property taxes. The point is that BOTH hurt the poor unfairly. We need to create a more fair system of taxation, and we need to do so creatively. Sales & property taxes are not the only two options available.

Are property taxes too high? Probably so. But we CANNOT and MUST NOT remedy that problem by increasing taxes on the poor. Please contact the Iowa City City Council and ask them to scrap the idea of a sales tax.

Then let’s go one step further, and make this a campaign issue. Let’s marshal our resources, and get candidates to commit in writing to using the least regressive methods of taxation they have available.

UICCU and "Optiva"

The UICCU-Optiva story is essentially behind us. There may be occasional additions "for the record," but for the most part the last major entry, with links to the prior material from October 2006 through March 2007, is "UICCU and 'Optiva'" in Nicholas Johnson, "UI Held Hostage Day 406 - March 3 - Optiva," March 3, 2007. Since then there have been two major additions: Nicholas Johnson, "Open Letter to UICCU Board" in "UI Held Hostage Day 423 - March 20 - UICCU," March 20, 2007, and "'Open Letter': Confirmation from World Council of Credit Unions" in "UI Held Hostage Day 424 - March 21 UICCU," March 21, 2007.

# # #

[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. (As of January 25 the count has run from January 21, 2006, rather than last November.)

For any given entry, links to the prior 10 will be found in the left-most column. Going directly to FromDC2Iowa.Blogspot.com 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.

Searching: 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 entries on all subjects since June 2006 is also available. And note that if you know (or can guess at) a word to search on, the "Blogger" bar near the top of your browser has a blank, followed by "SEARCH THIS BLOG," that enables you to search all entries in this Blog since June 2006.]

# # #

Media Stories and Commentary

See above.
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15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why would the committee not want to reveal the identities of the finalists in advance of the interviews? Imagine that a rumor now circulating is true: that a very popular internal candidate, Provost Michael Hogan, is NOT among the five finalists!!!! Unbelievable!!! With the committee's approach to not releasing the finalists' names, the truth of that rumor (which indeed seems to have "legs") cannot be confirmed,nor officially publicly revealed, until the evening prior to the fifth day of interviews, when the last candidate's name finally will be revealed under the committee's current approach. To confirm only at that late date that Hogan is indeed not among the finalists leaves precious little time for a wildly supportive campus to recover from shock and then mobilize opposition to yet another tainted search. What possible reason could the committee have to include three provosts from other universities but NOT to include the UI's number two administrator from this campus? Hogan is the most popular and competent provost the UI has had in years, and he has an intimate understanding of the issues facing the UI today! He could hit the ground running, after an all too long and detrimental interim without a permanent president. Does the committee again have ulterior motives? Have people again been bought off--this time at the search committee level? Is the committee afraid of allowing Hogan to interview on campus because of the strength and power of the campus support for Hogan? Do they fear that Hogan, who was the top candidate by a huge margin the first time around, would soar to the top again, and at that point, due to the force of popular support, his candidacy could no longer be blocked? Blocked in favor of whom? What are individual members of this committee after? What is behind this travesty? Whose personal interests are being served? This process stinks to high heaven. The campus and its provost have a right to some measure of fairness of process. Regardless of the quality of the other candidates (who may be highly qualified) this campus has a right to hear Hogan interview publicly, and to evaluate him on equal terms with the committee's other finalists. Not to include him at this stage forever taints this process and its outcome, to the detriment of everyone concerned. The only way to legitimize this process is for the committee to revisit its decision and include Hogan as one of the finalists to be interviewed during the week of June 11. Barring such action, the Regents indeed need to intervene and review the files to assure this campus and themselves that the process was fair.

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, I believe that revealing the names of the visiting candidates the day before they arrive was the process during the last presidential search as well, and has been the case for nearly all, if not all, recent higher administrative hires. I'm not saying that process or better or worse, but it is not unprecedented.

Likewise, in response to the previous poster, I might temper some of his comments about Hogan. While he is indeed a popular and well-respected provost, I wouldn't necessarily claim that his campus support is as widespread as stated. The statement, "the top candidate by a huge margin the first time around," seems impossible, since the candidates were unknown the first time around. Even after Hogan revealed he was/had been a candidate, you can say he was the "top candidate" only because he was the only known one. This is not to diminish Hogan's competency in the least--merely trying to get facts on the table.

John Barleykorn said...

RE: Sales Taxes

What Sullivan does not mention is that the State makes it increasingly difficult for cites to fund basic services. A lot of small towns in Iowa can no longer afford police from their own $8.37 per $1,000 of taxable value tax levy. That is the maximum under Iowa Law under the crazy property tax system that NO ONE is happy with but NO ONE has the courage to deal with...from Governor Culver on down. Idea's of fairness and equity are subjective, especially when it comes to taxation. Mr. Sullivan may not like the taxes being shifted to the poor, but the fact is, that most services go to them; Police, Social Services, etc. How bad do the people of Iowa City want that NE Fire Station? Staffing is expensive, especially union fire staff. I wonder how the self-serving Press Citizen will op/ed this. Will they play the traditional "Don't tax the Poor" card? Or go for it if the Fire Station they want (to personally protect Gannett's investment and lower insurance costs for shareholders)?

Anonymous said...

Second anonymous,

Search Cmte 1 started leaking like crazy after they were diss'd by the Bored of Regents. So, everyone knows Hogan was the top pick. Is he in this second pool of candidates? Probably -- it's a different Board and the Gazette says there are 3 provosts (how many provosts as qualified as Hogan are there?). So, either he is in or Cmte 2 has not done its job in getting him in their pool. It doesn't take a brain surgeon (altho' some on the campus seem to think so) to figure out that Hogan has to be a finalist again. Now, we should just pay attention to how he measures up to the other two likely equally or more qualified candidates (the presidents) in June at the interviews.

Anonymous 3

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 3: It sounds like that's the point, though...the "no-brainer" that Hogan is among the finalists turns out to be false--apparently he's not.

Anonymous said...

Last anonymous:

What evidence do you have of this (that Hogan is not a finalist)? Who is leaking on the Search Cmte? This is very disturbing, if it is true. The Gazette reports that there are three provosts in the finalist pool. Surely, that means Hogan is in the pool.

Anonymous 3

Anonymous said...

anonymous 3: you need to get off that dream cloud you are on. hogan is not a finalist. in fact, he has to be at a meeting with regents while some the finalists are on campus (how convenient). some search committee members withdrew support for hogan. they cut deals with fethke (puppet for gartner) and john robilard who now runs the hospital, in return for not supporting hogan as a a finalist. youll see these deals reveal themselves in the next uyear (one is already public). it stinks, but so does gartner so it shouldnt be a surprise.

Anonymous said...

How does the last anonymous poster know about all these secret backroom deals? Your credibility is in question when you can't even get one of your major player's names right--
john robilard? Do you mean Jean Robillard? If you were really in the know, I would think you would be able to spell the names of whom you're talking about. I invite you to at least generally identify your sources--no names, but is it a search committee member? How are you privy to this info? If one of these "deals" is already public, what is it?

Anonymous said...

im support staff. thats all i can say. we are already being told we are all going to lose our jobs. fethke thinks staff dont kknow anythiing so he just talks to much and to loud about things he would never say to professors. the professors need to stop living in utopia and wake up and see the corrption around them including other professors. look at recent news announcemnets.

Anonymous said...

Press Citizen confirms today that Hogan is not one of the finalist. Hogan states so himself...

Anonymous said...

So I ask Anonymous 3: what is to be done if anything? It seems that you see this as a surprising and possibly unfair decision (with which I would agree)...any suggestions? Or is it just the (bad) luck of the draw for Hogan?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (6/4, 5:37),

I find this outrageous. We won't know until the candidates are on campus, but I find it hard to believe that there are not one, not two, but three other Provosts that the Search Cmte 2 found *more* qualified than Michael Hogan. Perhaps the marching orders from Gartner to Search Cmte 2 all along were not to consider Hogan. I hope this is not the case and that Search Cmte 2 is not allowing Gartner to assert himself yet again into the search and dictate the process. Yet, as we see, Search Cmte 2 has run over the same nail as Search Cmte 1 and the leaks are starting to occur. We should demand an explanation from Search Cmte 2. Why isn't Hogan being interviewed, Search Cmte 2?

Anonymous said...

Gartner has had this fixed all along. Wake up UI, freund is your next president. Do you think Gartner could stand to lose? The only way he could win was to get rid of Hogan. Its too bad that the search committee didn't learn from the first go roudn. The search committee is just a tool to let Gratner to his dirty work -- congratulations on being used.

Anonymous said...

members of the search committee with any clear conscience should resign now, before they are taken down by the unscruplous ones who were blatently bought out by fethke and gartner. the payoffs to those who were bought out will eventually become evident. the ones who innocently went along will be saddened by the deceipt. why would anyone even want to be president of this corrupt mess of a university?

Anonymous said...

O.K. Enough is enough. Now the Regents moved their interviews of finalists to coincide with the campus interviews, leaving no time for any meaningful campus feedback, let alone campus expression of outrage at Hogan's omission. This morning, the papers quote a number of individuals who express dismay at Hogan's omission. Rep. Jacoby is quoted as saying he will be interested after the fact to see what process the committee followed. This is all laudable, but I call on someone--ANYONE--with a shred of influence to demand even more! How about a review of the process BEFORE THE FACT--before this search committee's manipulation (with which undoubtedly not all committee members are complicit) prevails! This is the most cynical manipulation of process this campus has ever seen. It not only tramples Hogan's rights, but those of the campus and of every tax payer. This action makes a mockery of the principles behind laws such as open meetings and open records laws. If this action is allowed to stand we don't need those safeguards because they're meaningless. Come on! This is IOWA! We're not on the beltway. But if this action is permitted to stand we might as well be there!