Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Curing a Cancer on the Academy

August 27, 2014, 7:10 a.m.; August 20, 2014, 1:10 p.m.

Notes: (1) This morning [Aug. 27] the Iowa City Press-Citizen published a hard copy and online opinion column drawn from this blog essay. It is reproduced below.

(2) Near the bottom of this blog essay is a list of "Prior College Football-Related Blog Essays, 2010-2014." They are grouped by: "The College Football Industry (impact, economics, crime, future)," "Football's Ties to Alcohol," "Football's Ties to Gambling," and "Impact of Fans on Stadium Neighborhood." (Not listed are additional football-related blog essays from 2006-2009.)
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We have a cancer--within, close to the Presidency, that's growing. It's growing daily. It's compounding, it grows geometrically now because it compounds itself.
--John Dean to President Richard Nixon, March 21, 1973
"Transcript of a Recording of a Meeting Among the President, John Dean, and H.R. Haldeman in the Oval Office," March 21, 2073, 10:13 to 11:55 a.m.," Watergate Trial Conversations, Nixon Presidential Library & Museum.
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John Dean, President Nixon's Chief White House Counsel, famously warned his boss that the Watergate burglary was like a cancer growing on the Presidency.

I'm no doctor, but with the opening of yet another college football season, somebody needs to tell the presidents of the big money football schools about the cancer growing on "the academy."

There have been earlier diagnoses of this disease.

In 1906, when college football was killing 15 to 20 players a year, and permanently disabling 150 more, the President of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt, told college presidents he'd outlaw the sport unless they made it safer. Reluctantly, they organized and agreed to require helmets -- ultimately evolving into today's NCAA. Weiler, et al, Sports and the Law, p. 747.

My friend, Robert Maynard Hutchins, was appointed President of the University of Chicago when he was 30 years old. He considered Chicago's football program a distraction from the school's educational mission, pulled out of the Big Ten, and simply abolished the program. ( "Hutchins heaped scorn upon schools which received more press coverage for their sports teams than for their educational programs, and [gained] the trustee support he needed to drop football in 1939.")

Although Hutchins' analysis and solution are even more persuasive now than 75 years ago, few politically perceptive football critics are today advocating the death penalty for football -- nor am I. If parents and players know the health risks, taxpayers know the costs, fans and TV viewers want to invest their time (and money) watching, the libertarian position seems pretty clear. We will continue to have football.

Moreover, there is a win-win cure for this cancer on the academy that would solve current challenges confronting both higher education and big-money college football.

The cancer has metastasized its conflicts of interest for everyone in higher education who touches it. University presidents find it easier to capitulate to athletic directors and coaches than to fight (Penn State). Non-tenured professors have to weigh how flunking a football starter may affect their career. Coaches must give a nod to players' academic performance, but know that their own multi-million-dollar salaries are much more closely tied to their players' on-field performance. When players' become criminal defendants, ideals of players' personal integrity may conflict with a team's ability to win games. Conventional students are excluded from participation, suspect favoritism for team members, and use football as an additional excuse for drunkenness. Players who really would like a substantive college education are forced to choose between lab time and scheduled practices.

As this photo of a Kinnick scoreboard ad reveals, athletic directors are forced to rationalize why it's OK to take advertising and sky box dollars from the alcohol and gambling industries. The IRS struggles with the propriety of granting tax deductions when fans make "contributions" to a big-money football program as a condition of the opportunity to buy better tickets. [Photo credit: Nicholas Johnson.]

Inevitably, the college administrators, who want to put the best possible face on their schools for the benefit of reassuring parents, attracting students, favorably impressing other academics, granting authorities, Regents, legislators, and the public, are left trying to explain away football's controversial externalities. There are the players' criminal records, the football-associated student binge drinking and sexual assaults, the associated reputation as one of the nation's top "party" schools, the fans' trash throughout the stadium's neighborhood, and charges that painting the opponents' locker room pink is unacceptably anti-feminist -- things for which "the university" is not really responsible, but which challenge its administrators and tarnish its reputation anyway; e.g., Kembrew McLeod, "Pink Locker Room Doesn't Even Pass the Giggle Test," Iowa City Press-Citizen, August 26, 2014, p. A5. [Photo credit: Des Moines Register, 2006.]

These days, the conflicts, chaos, and controversies are making life more difficult for the big-money football programs as well.

The NCAA still lives in its dreamworld of the 1906 academically accomplished students who played football without helmets just for the fun of it, and the college professors who doubled as their volunteer coaches. This vision becomes increasingly difficult to market now that, as CNN reports, the 68 top teams took in $2.2 billion in 2010. Chris Isidore, "College Football's $1.1 Billion Profit," CNN Money, December 29, 2010. The highest paid public employee in most states is some school's football coach. Student athletes? How many schools pay department heads millions of dollars a year? (For the details by school see ESPN's shocking, revealing, "College Athletics Revenues and Expenses - 2008." As just one example, the Hawkeyes ranked 16th that year by revenue. Of the top 17 schools, 7 gave their students free admission to the games played by their "student-athletes." The Hawkeyes still consider the UI's students as "customers" rather than students and charges them significant ticket prices to attend the games played by "their" school's fellow "students.")

College players want to unionize, to be paid more of their full costs of attending college, and a share of the millions the schools make off of their likenesses and jersey numbers in fantasy football video games and clothing sales. Byron Tau, "NCAA Hires New Lobbyists for Amateurism Fight," Politico, June 13, 2014 ("The NCAA is facing a number of existential legal and legislative threats to its current system of unpaid student-athletes").

"No pain no gain" is football's mantra. Players want compensation for the healthcare costs from football related concussions and other injuries that may last a lifetime -- a minor form of which is portrayed in this photo of an injured Iowa tackle, Brandon Scherff, screaming in pain during Penn State game at Kinnick, October 20, 2012. [Photo credit: John Schultz/Quad City Times, Oct. 21, 2012.]

Conferences are expanding. The once-midwest-centered "Big Ten" schools are now 14, including Penn State, Rutgers, and Maryland -- well to the east of Iowa. The football-wealthiest schools, and their conferences, have just negotiated a withdrawal from some of the NCAA's restrictive regulations.

In short, from a variety of perspectives this is not your great grandfather's college football.

So what's the win-win cancer cure for America's universities and their big-money football programs?

Start by recognizing them for what they are -- profit-making, commercial organizations, serving as farm clubs for the NFL (even if only 1.6% of college players will be NFL draftees), organizations largely disconnected from the research, scholarship, and classroom instruction of their loosely affiliated university. Spin them off, leaving them free from NCAA regulation and the conflicts inherent in their association with higher education. As for-profit corporations they will be less subject to criticism for what their boards of directors agree to pay their coaches -- and players. Remove the requirement that the players pretend to be college students during the football season and associated practice times.

The rest is "administrative detail" -- detail admittedly not insignificant, and possibly even deal-breaking. But detail that is not the central issue. The separate commercial football corporations could continue to lease the facilities (Kinnick Stadium) and name (Hawkeyes) they were using before. (It's unlikely any school would require a football stadium as a venue for a poetry reading.) Players who wanted to get a college education might be given some special consideration as a result of an agreement between the team and the formerly-associated school -- such as, say, a degree program requiring only attendance during spring semesters. But there would be no requirement that they be "college students."

Once the major college football teams are out from under the NCAA's regulations, there should be no problems with the professional leagues' requirements. It is at least already possible in some situations for high school athletes who have not attended college to join a professional team in the NBA, NFL, NHL, or a professional baseball team's farm club.

Could all this be accomplished before the Hawkeyes' opener against University of Northern Iowa this forthcoming Saturday, August 30? Of course not. Maybe it won't even be accomplished during my lifetime (given my age). But it's an idea that needs to be back on the table as a possible win-win solution to a battery of conflicts and other challenges confronting millions of Americans.

When there is a cure for a cancer of any kind -- whether on the presidency of the United States, or the presidencies of major universities -- it does seem a shame not to make use of it.

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Prior College Football-Related Blog Essays, 2010-2014

The College Football Industry (impact, economics, crime, future)

"The $100 Million Hawkeyes' Football Team; Hawks: "How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Dollars," Aug. 28, 2010

"Coach Ferentz Provides Classy Variety of Wins; Winning Isn't Everything," Nov. 22, 2010

"Fandom; Super Bowl, Super Mystery," Jan. 30, 2011

"Super Boosters' Super Bowl; Campions' Wins Can Be Taxpayers' Losses; Lessons for Iowa," Feb. 8, 2011

"Crisis Communications 101; There Are Three Steps," Feb. 14, 2011

"Hawkeye Football Players' Criminal Records; We're Number Two! We're Number Two!," March 3, 2011

"Felons as Student Athletes; Felons on the Field; From District Court to Basketball Court; Do Hawkeyes Check Criminal Records Before Awarding Scholarships? March 27, 2011

"College Football Scandals Larger Lessons; Football's Privileged Tip of Abuses by Powerful," Nov. 8, 2011

"Peak Oil, Peak Football; $80,000 for the Seat; $3750/Year to Sit In It," Jan. 21, 2012

"What America Most Highly Values; In 23 of 50 States It's Football Coaches," Aug. 16, 2013

Football's Ties to Alcohol (and see, "Impact of Fans on Stadium Neighborhood," below)

"A Busch in the Hand is Worth . . . Who Knows? They Won't Tell Us," June 16, 2012

"'We're # 2!' . . . in Campus Drunks; Coach: Players Should Drink in Dorms, Not Downtown," Aug. 21, 2012

"UI Administrators 'Shocked' By School's Beer Ads; Who Could Have Guessed?" Aug. 30, 2012

Football's Ties to Gambling

"Does Herky Have a Gambling Problem? NCAA vs. Hawkeyes," Jan. 25, 2012

Impact of Fans on Stadium Neighborhood

"Football Trash Talk; Iowa City: Where Great Minds Drink Alike," Sept. 12, 2012

"Anheuser-Busch, UI & Hawks a Win-Win-Win; Advertising Pays," Sept. 17, 2012

"Clean Streets and Creative Consumption," Sept. 30, 2012

"'GO, HAWKS!' -- Just Not in My Yard; Homecoming's Public Urination," Oct. 5, 2013

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Note: On August 27, 2014, the Iowa City Press-Citizen ran excerpts from this blog essay as an op ed column. Its online version is reproduced below; [brackets] identify the text as submitted, and contained in the online version, that was deleted from the hard copy version.

Let's Stop Making Players Pretend to Be Students
Nicholas Johnson
Iowa City Press-Citizen, August 27, 2014, p. A11

John Dean, President Nixon’s chief White House counsel, famously warned his boss in 1973 that the Watergate burglary was a cancer growing on his presidency.

With the opening of the college football season, somebody needs to warn the presidents of big-money football schools that there’s a cancer growing on their presidency.

There have been earlier diagnoses of disease.

In 1906, when college football was killing 15 to 20 players a year, and permanently disabling 150 more, U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt told college presidents he’d outlaw the sport unless they made it safer. Reluctantly, they agreed to require helmets and organized what became today’s NCAA.

University of Chicago President Robert Maynard Hutchins considered Chicago’s football team a distraction, scorned colleges that received more publicity from sports than educational programs, and with trustee support simply abolished football in 1939.

Hutchins’ analysis and solution are even more persuasive today. But few politically perceptive football critics advocate the death penalty — nor do I. So long as parents and players know the health risks, taxpayers know the costs, fans know its cost in time and money, and all still want football, we’ll have it.

Moreover, there is a win-win cure for this cancer that would solve current challenges confronting both higher education and big-money college football.

The cancer has metastasized its conflicts of interest for everyone in higher education. University presidents find it easier to capitulate to coaches than fight (Penn State). Athletic directors must rationalize taking advertising and skybox dollars from the alcohol and gambling industries. [Coaches must encourage players’ academic performance, while their multi-million-dollar salaries turn on players’ on-field performance. Non-tenured professors fear flunking players.] Players who do seek a college education must choose between lab time and scheduled practice.

Nor is the current system loved by the big-money football programs.

The NCAA lives in a 1906 dream world peopled with academically accomplished students playing football without helmets just for fun, and the college professors who doubled as their volunteer coaches. This vision is an increasingly tough sell when the highest paid public employees in most states are football coaches, and their college football industry grosses billions of dollars a year.

College players want to unionize, to be paid the full costs of attending college, and a share of the millions schools make from their likenesses in video games. They want reimbursement for the healthcare costs of football-related concussions and other injuries that may last a lifetime.

[Conferences are expanding. The once-midwest-centered Big “Ten” schools are now 14, including Penn State, Rutgers, and Maryland -- well to the east of Iowa. The football-wealthiest schools, and their conferences, have just negotiated a withdrawal from some of the NCAA’s restrictive regulations.]

[In short, this is not your great grandfather’s college football.]

What’s the win-win cancer cure?

Recognize the big-money college football programs for what they are — profit-making, commercial entertainment organizations, serving as farm clubs for the NFL (even if only 1.6 percent of college players will be NFL draftees), substantially disconnected from the research, scholarship, and classroom instruction of their schools.

Free them from NCAA regulations and their inherent conflicts. Remove the requirement players must pretend to be college students.

The rest is administrative detail. Most professional leagues already have provisions for players who’ve not attended college. Perhaps the football corporations could lease their former facilities (Kinnick Stadium) and name (Hawkeyes). Players who want an education might have a degree program permitting spring-semester-only enrollment.

When there is a win-win cure for a cancer of any kind, it’s a shame to refuse even to talk about it.

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Nicholas Johnson, a former FCC commissioner and sports law professor, provides more on this and other subjects at FromDC2Iowa.blogspot.com.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

How 'bout Them Regents!!

August 5, 2014, 12:45 p.m.

Note: UPDATES are provided, below, as they occur.

Excessive Expenses vs. Petty Punctiliousness

Every once in awhile the Iowa Board of Regents comes up a whopper that, admittedly, can be viewed from a number of angles. It's just that it produces either laughter or tears anyway you look at it.

Now they've done it again with the global business consulting conglomerate they agreed to pay millions of dollars to suggest ways their already-penny-pinching universities might become more "efficient." See, "Delight Consultants: How to Increase UI's Iowans," June 14, 2014; "What Is It With the Iowa State Board of Regents?!" Iowa City Press-Citizen, May 16, 2014, p. A7, embedded in "Iowa's Economic Foundation? Graduate Education & Research," May 5, 2014; "April 1 Update: Early Deloitte Efficiency Proposals; Early Revelations Shock UI Faculty, Staff," April 1, 2014; and "UI Says, 'Deloitted to Meet You,'" March 29, 2014, with ongoing updates.

This morning's Gazette brings us the latest in this tragi-comic series. Vanessa Miller, "Consultant Expenses $220,000 Without Receipts; Regent Says Board 'Should Go Back and Review This,'" The Gazette, August 5, 2014, p. A1.

As the headline suggests, apparently this Regents' effort to uncover previously unknown possible "efficiencies" in higher education was itself somewhat lacking in minimal efficiency. The Regents simply agreed to pay the "expenses" of their new best friend's undertaking, with its ever-escalating price tag of millions, without any agreement regarding receipts, per diem, or other limits. Isn't that an "efficiency" taught in the first semester of business school?

At the outset, this raises the possibility that it is Iowa's state universities that ought to hire a consultant to look for possible "efficiencies" in the Regents' operations -- since the money the Regents unnecessarily spend is that much less available for educating Iowa's students.

Second, the universities are required to monitor employees' "expenses" with an army of bean counters of the most petty punctilious persuasion. Actual receipts must be filed, and may even be challenged. So here is an example of the Regents willingness to put more trust in a bunch of strangers from a global conglomerate than they are willing to accord their own faculty and staff members -- either that, or a lack of knowledge of their own standards and procedures, or a simple sloppiness in overlooking the need to come up with some way of addressing the issue of a contractor's expenses.

Third, while I would never advocate any institution operate, as the Regents did in this case, with no attention at all to "expenses," if one is truly interested in "efficiencies" I do think there is much to be said for the per diem approach. Can you imagine how many person hours are involved in a large institution that insists every item of an employee's reimbursable travel expense, no matter how small, be accompanied with the original receipt? The employee must gather, sort, and save each receipt, and then itemize each expense, and accompany the reimbursement form with each little scrap of paper. There must then be an institutional staff of individuals who receive, examine, and match to the form each receipt. When there are questions or ambiguity on either end, there will be phone calls and emails. If disputes arise there must be some procedure for their resolution. Future disparities will occasionally show up when the ultimate reimbursement does not match what was submitted on the form. If the employee is smart, he or she will make machine copies of everything. And all of this will have to be filed both by the employee and the bookkeeper/accountant.

With a per diem, by contrast, an estimate is made of what reasonable mileage, hotel and meals would be, per day, and that amount is given the employee. If he or she decides to walk instead of drive, sleep under bridges, and beg for bread in the streets, they can keep the per diem. On the other hand, if they'd like to stay in five-star resorts and eat at gourmet restaurants they can do that -- paying the increase over per diem out of their own pocket. Nobody needs to collect receipts. Nobody needs to confirm requests for reimbursement. You want efficiency? That's efficiency.

I don't know if I've ever billed the UI for expenses; certainly not for as far back as I can remember. But I'm told what the UI is forced to do is the worst of all possible worlds: a per diem is designated, but not paid; it is merely the maximum an employee can be reimbursed in exchange for the actual expenses supported by detailed original receipts.

So that's the possible win-win out of this late-night-talk-show-quality episode: the Regents learn that (a) they have to do something about controlling contractor's expenses, and (b) if they are truly looking for efficiencies, they might try putting faculty and staff on per diem allowances with no requirement for receipts.
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UPDATES

November 3, 2014

One of the great ironies of this misadventure from the beginning has been the inefficiencies that have been embedded in this effort to uncover and remove inefficiencies. Now here comes another whopper. Vanessa Miller, "Expense Totals Drop for Deloitte," The Gazette, November 3, 2014, p. A3 (online October 31, 2014). "[F]rom April 20 to May 24, the firm submitted for reimbursement $120,557 . . .. From Aug. 11 to Aug. 30 -- after the Board [of Regents] began requiring receipts -- Deloitte's expenses totaled $11,153 . . .. That's nine to 10 times less . . .."

August 6, 2014

(1) Yesterday (August 5), as noted and linked above, The Gazette provided the story that inspired yesterday's blog essay. Today (August 6) its editorial, reproduced below, took a similar approach to the issues. Editorial, "Regents Should Seek Receipts," The Gazette, August 6, 2014, p. A8.

(2) With a masterful sense of timing, Deloitte has responded to the embarrassing $220,000-plus unverified "expenses" story with the announcement that the savings its efforts are going to bring about -- from just one of its little ideas among many -- will save the universities $193 million. The idea? Stop favoring Iowa businesses and workers with the universities' purchases, and shop from the lowest cost (third world wages) global conglomerates instead. (a) That may be an idea, but it's not necessarily a good idea. (b) Even if it were, it might not be politically possible; it's an "academic," "theoretical" suggestion of the kind for which "ivory-tower professors" are often ridiculed. (c) In any event, it's the kind of thing that everybody knows, for which Deloitte should not be given credit as an excuse for its $3 million-plus contract and $220,000 expenses. The Iowa Legislature, Board of Regents, and universities' administrators may or may not know precisely how much more they are paying for in-state purchases, but I rather suspect they are all very much aware that their purchasing preferences sometimes produce higher prices. Vanessa Miller, "Deloitte Projects Savings at $193 Million; Regent Concerned About Disadvantaging Iowa Companies," The Gazette, August 6, 2014, p. A1.

(3) Although no one has commented about this, I want to concede that my blog essay's description of per diem expenses practices in general, and at the state's universities in particular -- while well within the "poetic license" of a blogger -- are not, and are not intended to be, precise explanations of the standards, practices and procedures employed. Anyone who wants to explore that level of detail might want to begin with this publication and the links it provides: University of Iowa Travel Department, Travel Manual: Guide for Travel Policy, Payment Options, and Travel Related Processes," October 29, 2013. For example, receipts are required on some occasions for some items, but are not literally required for all expenses within fixed per diem guidelines. However, the rules do limit employees' reimbursements to their actual expenses -- that is, they are not entitled to receive the entire per diem (as some institutions provide), only the portion they've actually spent. Because this "honor system" could lead to abuses and institutional challenges, any reasonably prudent employee will probably be collecting all receipts anyway in the event they are asked to produce them later.

August 7, 2014

The response was swift: Vanessa Miller, "Regents to Require Receipts from Consultant; Change Comes After News Report on $220,000 Expenses to Date," The Gazette, August 7, 2014, p. A1.

August 23, 2014

A most bizarre report showed up in the Des Moines Register online edition, MacKenzie Elmer, "Academic Review of Regents' Universities Delayed," Des Moines Register, August 21, 2014. Apparently Deloitte has had a sub-contractor since January, KH Consulting, to help with the "academic" portion of its multi-million-dollar efficiency study on behalf of the Regents. Now Deloitte's decision to cast KH Consulting adrift has thrown even more delay into this ever-more-pricy endeavor.

For starters, since the Regents say they are looking for "efficiencies" in what are, after all, academic institutions, if Deloitte is sufficiently unsure of the adequacy of its "core competency" (improving efficiency in commercial institutions) to deal with Iowa's universities, perhaps that should have been taken as a sign that the Regents just might have selected the wrong global conglomerate consultant for what Deloitte calls the "academic review" portion of the project. See "UI Says, 'Deloitted to Meet You,'" March 29, 2014.

Joe Gorton, a UNI professor and leader of the faculty union, is quoted as saying, "I started publicly and privately raising red flags almost immediately regarding KH. For one thing, their analytical methodology was completely suspect and it was a real concern. So far this efficiency study, for the academic portion, seems to be remarkably inefficient."

Why were the Regents unable to see this? Even if they couldn't, why would they ignore Gorton's warnings? Even if the Regents weren't initially troubled by this evidence of Deloitte's inadequacy when it signed on KH Consulting in January 2014, wouldn't you think they would at least take as much interest in the selection of their "academic" sub-contractor as their prime, corporate consultant? And yet the Register reports, "Regent Larry McKibben, efficiency review committee chairman, said the decision to replace KH Consulting was made about a week ago by Deloitte Consulting. . . . 'I don’t micromanage who Deloitte brings in,' McKibben said. 'It was at their recommendation.'” Really? For the Regents to participate in the selection (and now dismissal) of the consultant who actually does the "academic review" portion of the study would be "micro-managing"?

Apparently, KH Consulting has been working away on its June-December assignment -- 1100 hours for $350,055. This is nearly the end of August. So how much work product have they produced, and what have they been paid? The Register says "its unclear." Joe Gorton says, "Faculty have already put a lot of time and effort into gathering data for KH Consulting’s review."

The solution? The academy's Keystone Cops are sending in their star quarterback, currently UI President Sally Mason's Chief of Staff, Mark Braun (known to the Regents as a former Regents' staffer). The chant goes up, "Mark Braun, he's our man, if he can't do it nobody can." I think that's right. He knows the players and has the experience. But it just may be that "nobody can." At a minimum, it's a little unfair to send him into the game when the team's getting beat by a score of 56-6 and there's only five minutes left in the fourth quarter. There are at least some limits to what even a Mark Braun can do with this disaster. Vanessa Miller, "Mason's Chief of Staff to Lead Efficiency Review of Iowa Universities; Braun Taking Leave of Absence for Temporary Role," The Gazette, August 22, 2014, p. A1.

Now, for those who would like to follow this ongoing saga in greater depth, here is a:

Chronological List of Newspaper Coverage, Feb. 11-Aug. 22, with Links to Full Text

Vanessa Miller, "Iowa Regents Choose Consultant for Efficiency Review, Spend $2.5 Million; Study Seeks to Identify Ways to Maximize Scarce Resources, Find New Efficiencies, Seek Out Collaboration," The Gazette, February 11, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "Protestors Interrupt Iowa Board of Regents Meeting; Protest Over Firm Hired to Audit Iowa's Public Universities," The Gazette, March 12, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "Iowa University Heads Pitch Performance-Based Funding Ideas; Performance-Funding Task Force to Make Recommendations in June," The Gazette, March 13, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "Iowa Universities Take Part in Efficiency Review; Deloitte Representatives Will Participate in UI-Centered Public Forum on Friday," The Gazette, March 24, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "UI Students, Faculty Express Concerns About Efficiency Review; Forum Is First of Three," The Gazette, March 29, 2014, p. A3

Vanessa Miller, "Efficiency Review Consultant Requested 230-Plus Items From Universities; Deloitte Consulting LLP Delivered Its 'Initial Data Request' March 13," The Gazette, April 2, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "Iowa Regents Have No Preconceived Notions About University Cuts, Efficiencies; Analysis Will Determine Core, Non-Core Elements to University's Mission," The Gazette, April 2, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "Regents to Pay More to Find, Implement University Efficiencies; One Board Member Says He's Been Impressed With Consultant's Work," The Gazette, June 4, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "Regent Efficiency Review Identifies Opportunities; Initial Report Provides Few Specifics," The Gazette, June 11, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "Iowa Regents Expect to Save $30 to $80 Million a Year in Efficiencies; 17 Opportunities Identified as Having the Most Potential," The Gazette, June 16, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "Iowa Regents' Longer Efficiency Report Lists 175 'Improvement Opportunities;' UI Hosts Public Forum Wednesday" The Gazette, June 17, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "Board of Regents Consultant: There Could Be Job Adjustments, Consolidations," The Gazette, June 18, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "Iowa Regnt Task Force to Discuss Longer List of 'Opportunities' for Universities; Implementation Will Be Monitored, Officials Said," The Gazette, June 24, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "Iowa Regents Could Approve Spending Money on Efficiency Review; Contractor Expected to Present 'Sourcing and Procurement' Strategies," The Gazette, July 29, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "Iowa's Public Universities Get $220K Bill Without Receipts from Consultant Firm; Iowa Regent Says Board 'Should Go Back and Review This,'" The Gazette, August 5, 2014, p. A1

Vanessa Miller, "Deloitte Projects Savings for Iowa's Three State Universities at $193 Million; Regent Concerned About Disadvantaging Iowa Companies," The Gazette, August 6, 2014, p. A1

Editorial, "Regents Should Seek Receipts," The Gazette, August 6, 2014, p. A8

Vanessa Miller, "Iowa Regents to Require Expense Receipts from Deloitte; Change Comes After Gazette Report on $220K Expenses to Date," The Gazette, August 7, 2014, p. A1

Vanessa Miller, "Regents' 'Transparent, Inclusive' Meetings Remain Closed; Open Meetings Proposal Could Cover More Advisory Groups," The Gazette, August 10, 2014, p. A1

MacKenzie Elmer, "Academic Review of Regents' Universities Delayed," Des Moines Register, August 21, 2014

Vanessa Miller, "Mason's Chief of Staff to Lead Efficiency Review of Iowa Universities; Braun Taking Leave of Absence for Temporary Role," The Gazette, August 22, 2014, p. A1

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