Saturday, January 20, 2007

UI President Search Held Hostage Day 65 - Jan. 20

Jan. 20, 8:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m.

Follow-Up to Yesterday's "Honey, I Shrunk the Search Committee"

Yesterday, in writing about the possible exclusion of any and all students from the search committee, and the advantages of relatively larger, rather than smaller, search committees ("Honey, I Shrunk the Search Committee"), I made reference to remarks of Jon Carlson at an on-campus meeting with the Regents last March. I noted that his remarks were unavailable in written form so far as I knew. That's still true. But an Anonymous comment later added to the blog entriy suggested his remarks might be found in a video record of that meeting. They are.

Law professor Carlson, who chaired the very successful and widely-praised search committee that produced President David Skorton, and who has been selected as one of the first group of five to serve on "Search II," reviewed for the Regents on that occasion his views as to what works best. That includes among other things, in his view, a broadly representative committee that can share the workload. The Regents rebuffed his helpful suggestions borne of experience and followed their own path into a tar pit, but you can listen to Carlson's arguments, and judge them for yourself. Start watching at 41 minutes 21 seconds into the 1 hour 25 minute video -- or watch the whole event as you choose. (His remarks run 41:21-48-00.)
The URL provided in the comment doesn't work exactly as is, but this portion of it does:

Follow-Up to Gartner Coverage

Late yesterdy I added to "Media Stories and Commentary" an Associated Press story dealing with the controversy swirling around Michael Gartner -- including his NBC tour. It first came to my attention in the Herald-Sun. Now I find that Editor & Publisher, which characterizes itself as "America's oldest journal covering the newspaper industry," also saw fit to run it yesterday (click here). This AP take on his record as a regent may get much more play, as newspapers view this as a journalism story about one of their own, given Gartner's often-distinguished role as journalist, editor or owner of a number of papers.

Follow-Up to "When a Sale of a Hospital is Not a 'Sale'"

Have you ever "leased" rather than "owned" a car? Ever "rented" equipment from an equipment rental store? Ever "owned" a house in which the bank's financial interest exceeded your own?

My property law professor ("two score and ten years ago," as Abraham Lincoln might have put it) explained to me about the "bundle of rights" represented in "owenrship."

And so it is with hospitals.

Many Regents' and University spokespersons are rushing to the microphone to reassure us that "the UIHC is not for sale."

OK, they're right. Nobody is going to jack up all those heavy buildings that John Colloton got built for us, put them on a flat bed, and haul them off to Des Moines.

But there's not a lot of difference between making monthly payments on the SUV you "own" and making lease payments on the same vehicle you "lease." In both cases, you have the use of the vehicle.

And there's not a lot of difference between the "sale" of the UIHC on the one hand, and leaving all the buildings in Iowa City, but breaking up the doctors, staff and equipment in the UIHC's tertiary specialties and moving them out of Iowa City and into someone else's chain of hospitals scattered around the state.

There are a lot of other possibilities one can imagine in this multi-billion-dollar industry, none of which involve putting the UIHC up for "sale," but many of which could leave the University, and the people of Iowa, with something very, very different from what the UIHC and College of Medicine are today.

There are three shells; there is only one pea; do you know which one it's under? Watch very, very closely.

Follow-Up on Colloton Letter to Fethke

This image, from The Gazette Online, even though blurred, adds three things to yesterday's story, and the Press-Citizen's online image of the letter: (1) It shows that the letter was written on University of Iowa letterhead, (2) that the letterhead indicates, at the top, Colloton's title as "Director Emeritus, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics," and (3) that the initials at the bottom are those of his UI-employed secretary. This takes on significance (along with the content of the letter) in the evaluation of Colloton's e-mails and hard copy documents as either "public records" or "personal and private." (For a sharper image of the text see yesterday's link to the Press-Citizen's image of the letter.)


There will be more to come tomorrow with regard to the UI athletic program's ties to the gambling industry, and my predictions regarding the NCAA's openly profiting from sports betting in the future.

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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 entries on all subjects since June 2006 (updated January 17, 2007) is also available.]

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Media Stories and Commentary

Diane Heldt, "Freedom of Information Flood of Requests; Regents’ handling of UI presidential search spurs demand for documents," The Gazette, January 20, 2007

Scott Dochterman, "Tax-exempt changes could affect donations; But officials at Iowa, ISU have no immediate concerns about issue,"
The Gazette, January 20, 2007

Editorial, "Glad 'Rampant Rumors' Are Being Put Down,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, January 20, 2007

Brian Morelli, "It's Been a Tumultuous Year Since Skorton Left,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, January 20, 2007

Brian Morelli, "What Does Emeritus Title Mean? 651 People Have Honor at UI,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, January 20, 2007

Brian Morelli, "Fethke Speaks About Hospital, Search Process,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen,, January 20, 2007

Peter Fisher, "Sales Tax and Property Tax Are Both Regressive," Iowa City Press-Citizen, January 20, 2007

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