Sunday, June 10, 2007

UI Held Hostage Day 505 - Next (Now This) Week

June 10, 2007, 7:15, 8:00, 9:25, 10:45 a.m.; 1:50, 3:50, 4:25, 8:15 p.m.
June 11, 2007, 6:00, 7:15 a.m.; 1:20, 8:30, 10:00 p.m.
June 12, 2007, 5:45, 6:45, 7:55 a.m., 2:40, 3:20, 7:00 p.m.
June 13, 2007, 5:30, 6:50, 7:30, 8:15 a.m; 1:40, 5:15, 6:00 p.m.
June 14, 2007, 7:00, 9:00 a.m.; 12:45 p.m.
June 15, 2007, 6:50 a.m.; 2:50, 8:00 p.m.
June 16, 2007, 7:20 a.m., 2:45, 4:00 p.m.
June 17, 2007, 6:00, 6:45, 10:40 a.m.; 2:25, 8:00 p.m.
June 18, 2007, 6:10, 8:07, 11:59 a.m.
June 19, 2007, 6:00, 9:30 a.m.; 12:30, 5:15 p.m.
June 20, 2007, 6:00, 7:45, 10:15 a.m.; 1:00, 3:00 p.m.
June 21, 2007, 5:30, 6:45 a.m.; 4:30 p.m.
June 22, 2007, 5:00 a.m.

Scroll down for . . .

Friday, June 22
Thursday, June 21
Wednesday, June 20
Tuesday, June 19
Monday, June 18
Sunday, June 17
Saturday, June 16
Friday, June 15
Thursday, June 14
Wednesday, June 13
Tuesday, June 12
Monday, June 11
Sunday, June 10
And Now There Are Four
Your Next Week's (Now This Week's) Schedule
And then?
Today's stories
And while we're waiting
Info About Our Candidates
Computer Breach, Gartner's Reach
Hogan Write-In Campaign Heating Up
Interested in the UI President Search story?
and stimulating comments from "Anonymous"

Friday, June 22

See, Nicholas Johnson, "UI Hostages Free At Last -- Habemas Mamam!," June 22, 2007 That is, the blog continues on, dealing with education and a range of other issues as it did before last November, but this particular blog entry that ran from June 10-22, although still available online and for comments, will no longer be updated daily. If you've been coming to this entry directly, the blog itself remains available as Thank you for your interest.

Thursday, June 21

EXTRA: I've just come from the coronation. Governor Culver was there. Michael Gartner and four other Regents. Sally Mason and her husband, Ken. The TV and print journalists turned out. Richey Ballroom was full. Everyone was happy. President Mason hit just the right notes in her speech, handled her news conference following with skill, and the reception. (UITV has video of the event available.)

So the blog will continue (after all, the UI presidential search is only one of a number of issues it addresses), this 100-page-plus blog entry will stay up (and the comments section will remain open), but it is time to, as we say, "turn the page." For awhile I'll continue to have links in the forthcoming blog entries back to this one. Next up will be a new blog entry with some comments about the day, and a photo album of some highlights once I get it put together. (Since I have a commitment this evening, that may be tomorrow.)

# # #

To borrow a punch line, "Today's the day! Today's the day!"

"UI Held Hostage Day 516," and tomorrow we're "Free at last!" How am I feeling? Kind of like what John McCain must have felt like on checking out of the "Hanoi Hilton" in 1973.

Meanwhile, today has been proclaimed "Sally Mason Day."

After the cake and ice cream are gone, the balloons deflate, and the confetti has been swept up, she may be reminded of the sage advice: "Be careful what you wish for. You may get it."

But there will be time enough for her buyer's remorse. Today we all join in The Gazette's editorial headline: "Welcome, Sally Mason."

The coronation is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. today, Richey Ballroom, IMU, Iowa City: Regents' brief meeting announcing her appointment, followed by her remarks. Even the Guv, Chet Culver, is going to be there.

Today's newspaper coverage:

The Press-Citizen is "all Sally, all the time." Much of today's paper is devoted to "The Search" and the Regents' choice for president, Purdue Provost Sally Mason.

Brian Morelli, "Purdue provost next UI leader; Regents to make decision final today,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 21, 2007

Rachel Gallegos, "UI Community Relieved Process is Finished,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 21, 2007

Kathryn Fiegen, "Purdue officials: UI lucky to get Mason; Co-workers praise provost as good leader," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 21, 2007

Kathryn Fiegen, "Mason's Economic Development Work Similar to UI's Oakdale," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 21, 2007

Brian Morelli, "Bumpy Road to Presidency,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 21, 2007

Editorial, "New President Deserves Chance for Success,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 21, 2007

Jim Lewers, "Selection's Whys, Why Nots,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 21, 2007

Erin Jordan, "Purdue's Mason will lead U of I; The regents will announce today the hiring of the school's 20th president,"
Des Moines Register, June 21, 2007

Editorial, "Welcome, Sally Mason," The Gazette, June 21, 2007, p. 4A; Diane Heldt, "Mason to Lead UI; 'You Are Getting a Great President,' Says Colleague of Purdue Provost," The Gazette, June 21, 2007, p. 1A (links to both may be found on The Gazette's main Web page; use drop down menus to find "6/21/2007" and pp. "A1" and "A4"); a revised version of Heldt's story is available from Gazette Online.

Ashton Shurson, "Reports Point to Mason," The Daily Iowan, June 21, 2007

State29 is back after a nearly two-week holiday, as feisty as ever. Also a believer in Internet research, he passes along today a couple items about Mason and Gartner: State29, "Sally 'Tiny Bubbles' Mason To Become The Next UI President Who Will Eventually Leave," June 21, 2007. Needless to say, he's not real enthusiastic about what he thinks is a $450,000 salary. Imagine what he'd might say if he told us what he really thought upon finding out it is actually $560,000. State29, "The $450,000 Bubble," June 21, 2007.

And when I last looked there were 156 comments entered into this blog entry, below. The conversation continues.

# # #

Wednesday, June 20

EXTRA: It's Mason! Erin Jordan, "Mason To Be New U of I President," Des Moines Register, June 20, 2007, 9:43 a.m. ("Sources close to the U of I said"). Diane Heldt, "Sally Mason Will Be Next UI President," The Gazette Online, June 20, 2007 ("A source close to the University told the Gazette"). Brian Morelli, "Regents to Name Sally Mason President," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 20, 2007 (and see P-C's opening Web site page for numerous links to Mason-related material); Brian Morelli, "Road to New President Long, Rocky," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 20, 2007 (in case you can't remember what we've been put through the last 515 days).

Quick, somebody tell the Regents they are going to meet and vote Sally Mason president tomorrow. They still (as of 1:00 p.m.) haven't posted on their Web site the legal notice of their meeting.

By 3:00 p.m. today (and possibly long before; Diane Heldt's story has been updated to say the notice went up at 2:30) there was a notice of tomorrow's 3:00 p.m. meeting. However I challenge you to find it on the Regents Web site, "Meeting Information Page." Neither "Board of Regents Meeting Information: Meeting Notices," "Dates for Meetings," nor "Information About Other Public Meetings: Meeting Notices" indicate any meeting other than the one to be held in August. Only by clicking on "Agenda" (for a meeting one must presume is nonexistent, since nowhere is there a "notice" of a meeting) can the notice of tomorrow's meeting be found. Anyhow, there it is, and thus the meeting tomorrow is legally on: Richey Ballroom, 3rd floor, IMU Building, UI, Iowa City, 3:00 p.m. (the room where the Regents' interviews took place last week).

# # #

"UI Held Hostage Day 515." So what do we know this morning?

That we'll probably be told the Regents' pick "later this week."

As of early this morning there was still no notice on the Regents' Web site of any meetings before the regularly scheduled gathering August 1. (Notice is required by Iowa law at least 24 hours before a meeting.)

Brian Morelli quotes Executive Director Gary Steinke as saying the meeting will be "later this week" and that it will be "to select UI's 20th president." Regent Craig Lang told him he'd received an email regarding a meeting at 3:00 p.m. Thursday (tomorrow), which, if held, Lang would have to attend by phone. Regent Bob Downer told the others he would be available then -- as well as other times. But Steinke told The Gazette that as for the meeting day and time, "We are still working things out." On the other hand, he told The Register's Erin Jordan that he is "making arrangements to hold a regents meeting and presidential announcement Thursday in Iowa City." They are just "looking for a venue."

Neither would tell Morelli whether a consensus candidate had already been agreed to. Regent David Miles refused to tell The Gazette. On the other hand, The Gazette headlines Diane Heldt's story "Consensus Apparently Reached" and reports Steinke told her, when asked, "I believe there is." He told Jordan, "I expect a vote." But then, Regent Bob Downer is quoted as saying, "We're focusing on certain candidates as compared to others" -- "candidates," plural, sounds more like a continuing evaluation than a conclusion. He and Regent Jenny Rokes spoke to Jordan. Downer told her, "How long it takes for us to have that consensus, I don't know." Rokes' feeling is similar: "There definitely was consensus that all of our candidates are great, [but] we're still agreeing on some things."

What about Regents' contact with candidates? Steinke told Heldt Regents have contacted one or more candidates, but not all four. He told Jordan it was "more than one." But what does that mean? Steinke refused to say. Is he giving them an eleventh hour chance to "withdraw" rather than not be chosen, or finding out if they can be present for the announcement? Philip Furmanski, who is apparently comfortable dealing with the media, repeated yesterday afternoon to Heldt that he had not yet been contacted as of that time. The other three are still hiding out and refusing to respond to media inquiries, like corporate executives approached by "CBS 60 Minutes" or Michael Moore. The Register's experience was identical.

But I couldn't help but notice the relevance of the following quote to our continuing saga of "The Elephant in the Administration Building," or "What About Mike?":
Iowa City is a really special place, and it is a community that is passionate about its community and its sense of community. So when you look at who leaders should be . . ., one thinks about who understands the community and who understands what makes this a special place."
Right. But who said it, and in what context?

It was Gannett Co. Senior Group President Mary Stier, announcing that Iowa City native, and Press-Citizen advertising director, Andrea Rhoades, has been named the paper's general manager.

When I know more, you will.

Today's stories:

Brian Morelli, "Regents May Choose Thursday," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 20, 2007

Erin Jordan, "U of I leader vote likely Thursday; Two members of the Board of Regents say a consensus on the next president has not yet been reached,"
Des Moines Register, June 20, 2007

Diane Heldt, "Selection expected this week; Consensus apparently reached on choice for new UI president," The Gazette, June 20, 2007, p. A1 (go to The Gazette's Web site, use drop down menus to find "6/20/2007" and page "A1")

Kathryn Fiegen, "P-C Names New General Manager," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 20, 2007

# # #

Tuesday, June 19

EXTRA: It now appears we'll have a decision following a Regents' meeting scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Thursday. See, Brian Morelli, "Regent Vote on President Could Come Thursday," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 19, 2007, 5:08 p.m.; Diane Heldt, "UI Prez Pick Expected This Week," Gazette Online, June 19, 2007.

Today's news and opinion:

Brian Morelli, "Furmanski: UI Hasn't Called Me," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 19, 2007

N. William Hines, "Regent Lemons and Lemonade,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 19, 2007

Nicholas Johnson, "Where Are We Going? Who's Going With Us?"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 19, 2007


When will you know the Regents' choice of a UI president? Shortly after I do.

Iowa's open meetings law requires 24-hour notice of a meeting -- whether open or closed. (To have a closed meeting the Regents must first meet in open session, state the statutory justification for secrecy, and then go into a closed meeting.)

As of this morning, the only forthcoming meeting announced on the Regents' Web page is one for August 1-2, 2007. I'm not willing to predict much with regard to the Regents, but I am willing to predict we'll have a president announced before August. The original goal was July 1, that's certainly still attainable, and most are predicting a decision sometime this week.

But unless they're going into another "rolling closed meeting that never ends" (a practice from last November for which they're currently in litigation), or holding conference calls among no more than four Regents at a time (less than a quorum), which only violates the spirit of the law, we're not going to have an announcement today (that is, it will be at least 24 hours after they announce the time and place of their meeting). [An added authoritative comment confirms Sunday's meeting was formally and squarely cut and is thus incapable of rolling.]

If they are able to meet this week that also leaves the question of why they didn't hold their interviews of the four finalists this week, rather than dropping in on the middle of Search Committee II's planned week. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing but praise for Michael Gartner and those Regents' interviews -- the openness, the quality of the questions, and how much I learned from the six hours. Dean Hines addresses that subject in his op ed this morning, linked above. But it does make you wonder what the rush was all about last week.

Finally, it's just occurred to me that there's another matter to be noted with regard to Brian Morelli's inquiry of the four candidates regarding contact by the Regents. See links to his report, above, and below.

Sally Mason's exchange with Michael Gartner at her interview was not only a matter of her talking about the investigation of research at Purdue, it was a live demonstration of her ably actually handling, in public, an inquiry about a controversial (and somewhat confidential) matter. Similarly, the candidates' response to Morelli was not just their talking about how they handle media relations, it was a demonstration of their actually doing it.

Morelli reports Furmanski was the only one to respond. Draw your own conclusions. You may think it was foolhardy of him to speak to the press. For me, it demonstrated the kind of openness and transparency with the media that I like to see in administrators. (After all, even if they don't want to go on the record, they can always speak on "background" or "off the record" or say that the circumstances are such that they can't say anything "at this time." But at least they return the call, or answer the email.) In this instance, as I read Morelli's account, three simply stiffed him and chose not to respond at all.

My own commentary this morning is in my Press-Citizen op ed column, linked above. It is an effort to put the over-30,000 words of this blog entry into a 700-word op ed. You can read it and decide for yourself whether I picked the right topics.

Monday, June 18

EXTRA: You'd think someone would have the decency to explain to our four candidates what the hell's up with the Regents. The candidates have been cooperative, tolerant, flexible in adapting to the open Regents interviews, and incredibly patient. The least they deserve is a little update while they sit and wait for what may turn out to be yet one more full week beyond "Interview Week." Apparently they haven't received as much -- at least that's what Furmanski tells Morelli. Brian Morelli, "Furmanski Says He Has Not Been Contacted," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 18, 2007, 11:43 a.m.

# # #

Counting the days. "UI Held Hostage Day 513." And still we wait. One is tempted to say, "How many ways can there be to say, 'The news is that there's no news'?" But the fact is we do know a little more than we knew yesterday morning.

(1) Regents President Gartner could have said after the Regents' closed session yesterday, "We don't want to make any announcements until we've finished the criminal background check and negotiated salary and other details with the candidate." In other words, after three hours of fruitful discussion we've settled on our choice but we still have some more detail work to do. But he didn't. He said they were still evaluating the candidates. And Regent Bonnie Campbell said everyone has their favorite one or two candidates. So at a minimum, we know that everyone -- or at least more than one of the four -- are still in the running, and that the Regents haven't found it to be an obvious choice. All four are still seen as having their strengths and weaknesses -- and, as Search Committee II Chair Dave Johnsen put it, very different learning curves.

(2) We also know that Gartner made a point of saying that Search Committee II would not be disbanded until a president had been selected and announced by the Regents. Now let me get this straight. Search Committee II members have put in uncounted hours over five months, looked over probably more than 100 possible candidates, settled on what they thought were the four best, wrote and presented their final Report to the Regents 13 hours after the online evaluations were closed -- but their work is not yet done? This is a little disquieting, given the outcome of Search I, when the Regents disbanded the Committee without making a choice from among finalists. That is, it leaves open the possibility that the Regents would, once again, reject all four. This possibility would be consistent with (1), above, namely their seeming inability to come to a quick consensus. The difference this time would be an avoidance of the one-two punch following Search I when the Regents and UI gave each other black eyes out on the playground. There would be a much more civil and smooth transition from Search II to Search III, using the personnel of Search Committee II. (Of course, for a variety of reasons this is a highly improbable scenario; still I thought it a Gartner comment worth noting.)

(3) We also know that what I've called "The Elephant in the Administration Building," or "What About Mike?" is still one of the biggest mysteries of this whole second saga -- a mystery of process as much as of individuals. No one's talking. But "inquiring minds want to know" -- and will eventually find out. Just as residents of the White House (regardless of party) seem incapable of learning from their predecessors that stonewalling is not the best way to deal with such matters, that lesson does not seem to have been learned elsewhere either. Fortunately, our elephant is a gentle, soft footed elephant that has so far avoided doing much damage to the furniture. But it's still a very large and very visible elephant.

(4) Finally, we also don't yet know how much use was made of the vast resources of the Internet in evaluating these candidates, or how much more is out there that has not to this day yet been revealed. At one point I seemed to be the only one who even thought the Internet relevant. Given the media's limited resources and time, and what is taught in journalism schools, reporters are much more likely to spend time sifting quotes from interviews than examining Web sites. (They did do some of this later.) Bear in mind, this is public information available to the world. It's not the product of confidential interviews or Committee deliberations. But to find the most relevant Web site needles in these haystacks requires more time spent sifting and evaluating than any one individual has available. And yet the Search Committee refused to make the relevant Web sites available to the public it was asking to provide it with evaluations. How useful are "evaluations" based on nothing but a cv, half-hour talk and Q & A session? I did no more than dip my toe in this material, and yet came up with some significant items early last week. It now turns out that one of the reasons the Search Committee did not provide the public a list of relevant Web sites may be that it didn't have them; that there was no organized effort by the Committee to divide up and examine all the sites that Google retrieves on the four candidates; that it was relying exclusively for these purposes on no more than such information as the search firm dragged in and presented (but for which it did not include the Web sites). Did the search firm do a thorough search? This is one question to which we probably never will know the answer.

Today's stories:

Brian Morelli, "Decision time: Regents on the clock; Group mostly quiet on timeline for picking president," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 18, 2007

Erin Jordan, "U of I awaits verdict from regents on new leader; The board meets in Urbandale, but does not name a new president. A decision could come later this week," Des Moines Register, June 18, 2007

Diane Heldt, " Regents to take more time; Hiring decision could come this week on new UI president," The Gazette, June 18, 2007, p. A1
(go to The Gazette's main Web site and look in the drop down menus for for "6/18/2007" and page "A1")

Editorial, "Furmanski Best Choice for UI Prez,"
The Daily Iowan, June 18, 2007

Ashton Shurson, "Panel Favors Furmanski," The Daily Iowan, June 18, 2007

Finally, I'd like to thank some of my fellow bloggers for their links to, and generous comments about, these UI presidential search blog entries: Century of the Common Iowan; Iowa Independent; John Deeth Blog; and Popular Progressive.

Sunday, June 17

Update: The Regents 10:00 a.m. meeting received Search Committee II's Report, and then went into closed session at a time variously reported as 10:15 or 10:30, with Committee Chair David Johnsen, but no indication of how long the closed session would last or whether a final selection would be made. Nor has there been any revelation (of which I am aware) as to the rationale (the legal exception) for closing the meeting. To the extent the Board is discussing how they are going to proceed, what they are going to do and when they are going to do it, what additional administrative steps are left, how long the criminal background checks will probably take, and so forth, as I understand it, at least those portions of its discussions should be in open session.

By about 1:40 p.m. they came out of closed session, but made no announcement either as to their choice of a president or when they might next meet, or when the announcement might come. A couple of Regents speculated it would be somewhere between "very, very soon" and "sometime this week." See Brian Morelli, "Regents Adjourn, No President Yet," Iowa City Press-Citizen Online, June 17, 2007, 2:09 p.m.; Erin Jordan, "Regents: No Decision on U of I President Today," Des Moines Register, June 17, 2007, 1:58 p.m.; Morelli's report is expanded, with quotes from participants (but still no clue as to whom will be chosen), in Brian Morelli, "Regents Leave Many Questions Unanswered," Iowa City Press-Citizen Online, June 17, 2007, 5:18 p.m. And see Diane Heldt, "Regents Make No Decision Today," Gazette Online, June 17, 2007, 10:56 a.m., updated 7:00 p.m.

This morning's stories:

Time to read only one? Make it: Richard Doak, "Insiders need not apply; welcome the newest job-hopper to U of I," Des Moines Register, June 17, 2007, p. 3OP

Lisa Rossi and Erin Jordan, "Regents ask: Who's got staying power at U of I?,"
Des Moines Register, June 17, 2007, p. A1 (with "What's Next?" box)

Brian Morelli, "Furmanski tops with committee; Campus backs him and Mason," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 17, 2007

Diane Heldt, " Report favors Furmanski, Mason; All 4 UI presidential finalists got positive reactions, regents told," The Gazette, June 17, 2007, p. A1 (go to The Gazette's main Web site, use drop down menus to find 6/17/2007 and "A1")

Although coming up with four nominees for the Regents to consider for president of the University of Iowa is clearly our most important obligation, I did take a break yesterday to devote a little time to that other obligation we Iowans have: coming up with two nominees (one Democrat; one Republican) for the American people to consider for president of the United States. Here are some photos of Elizabeth and John Edwards at the Johnson County Fairgrounds Saturday afternoon.

What to watch for, and pending issues: Regents will meet, in person and by phone, at 10:00. They could, but probably won't, announce their final choice at that time (before concluding criminal background checks, salary negotiation and other contract terms). With their new enthusiasm for openness, will that meeting be open or closed?

Search Committee II requested that its Report to the Regents (see link, below) remain secret until after the Regents' final decision. We were all happy to see it yesterday, and praise Michael Gartner and the Board for their born-again commitment to openness, but Gary Steinke's reference to the Attorney General's advice doesn't really address the question of speed. That a document is ruled to be a "public record" doesn't mean it must be posted on the Web or handed out as a news release in an agency's news room the moment it's received. It simply means it must be turned over when requested by a member of the media or public. Was there anything else behind this?

"The Elephant in the Administration Building" and "What About Mike?" (contained in the June 14th material, below) are still very much alive. Dick Doak's column (linked above) raises some of the same issues I have discussed here regarding the folly of always hiring from outside. The Rossi-Jordan piece, linked above, contains the results of their research regarding the longevity of university presidents in general and these four candidates in particular. And Diane Heldt's story, linked above, reports the exchange between students and Steinke regarding Hogan; Steinke, in effect, throws that hot potato with a Hail Mary pass all the way from Des Moines to the Dental Building in Iowa City.

Most of Brian Morelli's and Heldt's stories are about the content of the Report itself. So far, everyone who has looked at it independently (including myself) seems to believe that it rather obviously favors Furmanski.

Apparently he did better than Bantz in his interview before the UI faculty group. I've discussed my positive evaluation of Furmanski, below, with my only caveat being that what plays well on Broadway doesn't always play well in Hancher -- let alone in the legislative halls of the State Capitol, or downtown Red Oak. If we're not going to be permitted to have a president from within (which could be, but need not be, Mike Hogan) it seemed to me that, of the four, Bantz would be best received outside of "The Peoples Republic of Johnson County" -- in addition to the fact that all concede he is hands down the best public speaker of the lot.

Of course, as most observers concluded, and the Report reflects, all have their strong points and none would be a disaster.

Saturday, June 16

EXTRA: University of Iowa Presidential Search and Screen Advisory Committee, "Recommendations of the Search Committee Submitted to the Board of Regents," June 16, 2007, is now online.

The drafter/s have obviously made an effort to present a balanced analysis of the four, and have something nice to say about everyone. But if all one knew about the four is what has been presented here, it would be difficult to come away favoring anyone but Philip Furmanski.

Throughout this week's blog entry I have tried to be balanced as well; candid, but fair, noting what were, to me, the strengths of each as they emerged. My own reaction to Furmanski was very positive from the beginning: what my Internet searches uncovered, and how he handled the Regents' interview. (In fact, the only category for me in which he wasn't tops was in public speaking, where Charles Bantz clearly led the field hands down.)

But my reactions were largely personal.

When I was given my first presidential appointment as Maritime Administrator at the age of 29 I wrote some friends at the Harvard Business School, confessing, "Help, what do I do? I have never administered anything but a single secretary, and not that very successfully." Back by return mail came a box of books, inside of which was a handwritten note that said, "Read these books and do what they say." I did. It worked. And I've been interested in management literature and practices ever since.

As a result, whenever I'm watching something like our "Interview Week" part of what's going through my mind is: Would I hire this guy for my organization or business? Would I want to report to her, or work along side him? And the answers turn in part on the extent to which our management styles mesh well: use of research, data and best practices in addressing policy questions and establishing programs and procedures; genuine commitment to engagement and democratic process; use of measurable goals (Carver's "ends policies") and management information reporting system feedback; understanding of and insistence on governance models with clearly defined roles, and so forth. (Speaking of which, none of the candidates seemed to even grasp Michael Gartner's question, let alone provide an answer, to how "shared governance" should work. As I've blogged at length here in the "Open Letter to the Regents" and elsewhere, that's the issue that lies at the heart of the frustrating past, and any hope for the future, in UI-Regents relationships. It was but one of many great questions from Gartner.)

And by those standards it is uncanny how close Furmanski and I are on these approaches -- at least as it seemed to me from what I read about him and heard from him.

But since I have absolutely no interest in spending my time functioning as an educational administrator -- which is fortunate, since no one would want me to do so -- this coincidence is of no relevance, or even interest, to anybody but me. I had to address those issues in 1970 when Newsweek reported that McGeorge Bundy, Ramsey Clark, John Gardner and Nicholas Johnson were the four names that "crop up most often" on university presidential search lists as "ideal candidates." Thus, I had the good fortune of having to confront at an early age the distinction between "doing" and "being" and, in this context, after examining the job descriptions, the realization that I didn't really want to do what it is university presidents have to do. And, having had my share of titles, merely "being" a university president wasn't worth much. To paraphrase W.C. Fields, "All considered, I'd rather be in the classroom."

So my only concern regarding Dr. Furmanski, and it's minor, is that I know that my management style does not always go down well here in my home state, and I have to wonder whether it will work any better coming from a New Yorker. But he's had a lot more experience than I ever had or hoped to have at this stuff, and I imagine he has long since managed to perfect any skills he'll need on that score.

This morning's stories include reports of Charles Bantz' forum yesterday and also reflections on the week just past and the one to come.

Jeff Charis-Carlson, "Don't leave room for fiction writers,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 16, 2007

Editorial, "Transparency remains key as search ends,"
Iowa City ress-Citizen, June 16, 2007

Brian Morelli, "No consensus on campus; Students, staff have no clear favorite,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 16, 2007

Brian Morelli, "Bantz Touts Experience," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 16, 2007

For photos of Bantz at his forum by a real photographer, see these by the Press-Citizen's Matthew Holst. For videos of all the candidates' forum sessions, now including Charles Bantz' as well, remember to check out the UITV site.

(I have been urging the Press-Citizen, and any other institution that has video of the Regents' four interview sessions, to make them available in full somewhere online. (The Press Citizen's online video offerings are now just very short excerpts.) If that ever happens I'll report the links here.)

Erin Jordan, "Regents to discuss U of I finalists; Board could name new president Sunday," Des Moiines Register, June 16, 2007

Erin Jordan, "Bantz says schools must know mission; The U of I finalist visits the campus and talks about how universities and corporations differ," Des Moines Register, June 16, 2007

Diane Heldt, "What UI Interviews Revealed; Finalists Cite Need to Embrace Change, Worry About Cost of Higher Education," The Gazette, June 16, 2007, p. A1; and Diane Heldt, "Finalist stresses liberal arts core; Bantz: Employers seek grads with world view," The Gazette, June 16, 2007, p. B3 (these stories can be found by going to The Gazette's Web site and using drop down menus to find 6/16/2007 and the relevant pages).

(The Daily Iowan does not publish on Saturday.)

And yesterday's "comments" added to this blog by readers brings the numbers of comments to 110 as of this morning.

Friday, June 15

Here are some photos of Charles Bantz at the Regents' interview, and this afternoon's forum. He did a rather unusual thing this afternoon. Apparently the guy can actually maintain eye contact and verbalize at the same time -- utilizing complete sentences no less -- without reading from a text written either by himself or a member of his staff. Having spent so much of my life in Washington, amidst speech writers and teleprompters, and based on the prior candidates' presentations, I haven't often seen someone speak this way -- I think it's called "extemporaneous." Quite remarkable. You know I'll bet that might be a desirable skill for a university president to have. Might be useful. So might be his wife, Sandra Petronio, whom I interviewed instead of him. She's accomplished, bright and charming (and included in one of the photos, linked above). In fact, if the Regents don't want to choose him they might just want to think about picking her and get them both as a "two-fer." Don't forget to send in your evaluation by 9:00 p.m.

One distinguished older professor indicated Bantz was his choice: "I think he'd make the best presidnt." Another knowledgeable University observer said to me that, notwithstanding Bantz' extemporaneous style, the only person he knew who could get so many ideas into so few words was Sandy Boyd.

Today's Event: Charles Bantz' presentation this afternoon, 3:45, Senate Chamber, Old Capitol. Note that the Press-Citizen has links to video excerpts from his Regents' interview (below), if you weren't able to catch that. It's less than 8 minutes, and worth watching -- especially given the restraining format of the afternoon sessions -- whether you plan to attend this afternoon or not. And you'll want to read over at least the three-page summary of his impressive (range of vision/focus, experience and accomplishments) 17-page curriculum vitae. Like the other three, Bantz has his own set of strengths -- some of which will make him particularly appealing to Iowans.

The deadline for your online evaluation of Sally Mason is 5:00 p.m. today; for Charles Bantz, 9:00 p.m. tonight.

The morning news: Now, here are your morning links to the newspaper stories regarding Purdue Provost Sally Mason's presentation yesterday afternoon:

Jim Lewers, "Week Serves Many Functions," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 15, 2007

Brian Morelli, "Prepared for change; Candidate: Schools must evaluate work,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 15, 2007. Morelli's story was also carried in the Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Indiana), June 15, 2007

Kathryn Fiegen, "Mason again asked about research controversy,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 15, 2007

And, as always, check the Press-Citizen's "University of Iowa Presidential Search Interview Week" section at the top of the paper's opening page on its online Web site, where there are now some video excerpts from the Regents' interviews, and of course the blogging by the editors at "Interview Week," as well as Press-Citizen bloggers-for-a-week Russell Scott Valentino's essays on Becker and Mason, and Heather Waddell Gruber's insightful takes on all three so far.

And remember, the UITV site that has streaming video of the entirety of each candidate's afternoon public presentations (except of course for Charles Bantz, who is presenting this afternoon in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol at 3:45, and whose video will have to be linked after that).

Erin Jordan, "Last U of I candidate emphasizes diversity; Mason says recruiting efforts bring great rewards," Des Moines Register, June 15, 2007

Ashton Shurson, "Mason Stresses Diversity, Change," The Daily Iowan, June 15, 2007

As always, some of the most interesting commentary on this blog entry is found in the "Comments" section -- now 93 and counting -- which you can access from the bottom of this entry.

# # #

Which Comes First?

I have written at some length of the reasons why I believe that what the University of Iowa needs as president -- now, at this time in its history -- is someone from inside the UI community: "The Elephant in the Administration Building," below. That could be, but would not need to be, Provost Hogan. (This is not part of an evaluation of our four candidates. They, all competent, are irrelevant to this concern. It's about the needs and best interests of the University.)

Now there is yet another reason. It's one that requires me to admit that Michael Gartner was right and I was wrong about something last fall. President Gartner then thought we should be engaged in strategic planning. He offered some suggestions to his fellow Regents of questions that he thought needed to be pursued. I disagreed, arguing that we should have a president in place first who could participate in the process. I now think he was right and I was wrong -- and that it is one more reason why Search Committee II should advocate, and the Regents should choose, someone from inside the institution.

Even if they don't -- which I'd have to acknowledge is likely -- there are implications for what the Regents, and we, should immediately begin addressing once the president is selected.

Listening to our four candidates, especially at the Regents' interview sessions, but also in the afternoons in the Senate Chamber, was a very exciting experience for me. I really enjoy becoming informed about, and then discussing, public policy questions and options -- almost regardless of the subject. For example, in addition to my professional focus on media and cyberspace issues, prior to this presidential search an interest in the Iowa indoor rainforest proposal caused me to inquire, and then write about, attractions generally, and then economic development generally.

Since I was literally born in the University Hospital, attended University schools from the time I was two until graduating from University High School in 1952, my father was a UI professor, I've been teaching at its College of Law for the last 25 years or more, talking with colleagues about higher education issues, much of what was asked, and said, during this week was not all that new to me. But a lot was new, or at least spun in a new way.

And what it's caused me to reflect upon is an experience I had as a member of our local school board.

We were discussing the design of additions, and new school buildings, we were proposing to build. But we had not prefaced our discussion with any consideration of what was going to go on inside those buildings (kind of like the rainforest promoters).

As we looked at architectural plans, at one point in our discussion I observed, "You know, usually before you go to an architect you know whether you want him or her to design an outhouse or a courthouse."

Were the school board members going to follow the near-universal recommendation that high schools be kept to 650 students or so? (Beyond that is when there are the largest increases in dropouts, bullying, graffiti, teen pregnancy, drug use, and so forth.) Were we going to follow the recommendations of the National Commission on the High School Senior Year"? (They would have eliminated our high schools' "overcrowding.") Did our principals and teachers want to use more block scheduling and team teaching? (If so, that obviously affects the size of classrooms.) How about a cluster school concept, or magnet schools for elementary schools? (That would have, at that time, virtually eliminated the need for any new elementary schools.)

Of course, there was a lot of input from parents and teachers, although largely on other issues. And our alternative high school, Tate, was clearly not designed by them for over 650 students. But when it came to the school board, we "didn't have time" to address these questions. After all, we had to hurry up and approve the architect's plans.

What this past week has really impressed upon me, something I've known but haven't thought about a lot, is the radical range of options regarding where the University of Iowa may find itself 25 years from now. Michael Gartner was raising some of those questions and options last November and December (I think it was) -- and again in his questioning this week. So did the other Regents and all four of our candidates.

* We talk about "capital campaigns" for buildings. But with what is now possible with distance, distributive, and lifetime learning there is less need for buildings.

* "Globalization" is not just a change for which we must prepare our students, not just the movement of American manufacturing offshore to China, it significantly affects the identification of a university with a geographically fixed place.

* In a world Tom Friedman says is now "flat," it is not only possible for us to provide education for international students in Iowa City, we can provide it to them in homes, offices and schools in their own country. But education goes through those communication satellites both ways. Just as "customer support" now comes to us with calls to 800 numbers that are answered in Manilla and Bangalore, and U.S. income tax returns for Americans are being prepared abroad, so can student tutoring, and professorial lectures come back to our students from abroad.

* It's even true with medicine. Telemedicine permits diagnosis and treatment over great distances, drawing upon the expertise of some of our nation's top physicians here in Iowa City to assist doctors anywhere in Iowa -- or the world. Meanwhile, some Americans are going to Thailand and other countries, where they can obtain surgery or other treatments, usually from American-trained doctors, at something like one-fourth what it would cost here -- savings more than enough to cover round-trip airfare and a holiday in a luxury hotel while recuperating.

* We love our libraries. The law library Arthur Bonfield has built for us is generally recognized as one of, if not the, best law libraries in the U.S. (for a lot of reasons I won't elaborate). The efforts of Google (using our research library among others) to put all the world's books online, and searchable, may never "replace" libraries, but such projects have already had a major impact on collections, budgets, and usage -- not to mention what we used to call "inter-library loan" -- and are bound to have more.

* And looming everywhere is the growing commercialization of everything.
- College students used to be paid by companies to walk around town carrying sign boards front and back, advertising some product. Now the students pay the companies to do the equivalent, with corporate logos on hats, shirts, pants, and shoes.

- Students who used to come to learn (and perhaps party) now focus on "getting a job" (and lots of partying).

- Rooms, buildings, and even entire colleges that used to be named for scholars -- ancient and recent, local and internatonal -- now bear the names of wealthy donors.

- Universities' "public broadcasting stations," established as a "non-commercial" alternative to commercial broadcasting, are now running commercials (called, of course, "underwriting").

- Research professors at public universities who used to be paid by the state are now expected to raise their own salaries, and those of their assistants, through grants.

- Our candidates have made a point of their experience and ability to turn the professorial product into profit -- as the academy transforms itself from an institution for undergraduates enriched by a liberal arts curriculum into the equivalent of the "Bell Labs" that AT&T kept as an institution for shareholders enriched by dividends.

* I have no objection to commerce. But I also think there is a value in a civilized society to the creation and maintenance of at least some institutions that have nothing to do with commerce. I would not want to privatize our public libraries. Churches lose something when they become over-commercialized. I find our national parks more attractive as they are than they would be if run by Disney. And I think there is a value to having public universities that are focused on educating students, and supporting the research of their faculties. (Not incidentally, many public universities -- including those in California and the University of Iowa -- were created with the idea of providing a free, or virtually free, education. The "GI Bill" did that for many veterans at the University after World War II. I have a proposal, that has received some attention in Washington, that would essentially return us to those possibilities in a politically viable way that I won't elaborate at the moment.)
My point is not that my wishes should become state policy. My point is that each of our four candidates has their strengths and weaknesses. Depending on which way we want to move this Queen Mary called the University of Iowa, some are much better captains than others. And that for us to select one before we have decided where we want to sail this big vessel is like our school board delegating to an architect the design of schools before we knew what we wanted to accomplish inside the buildings.

My point is that the citizens of Iowa, their representatives, the Board of Regents, and the University community have some really big questions to address. And I think it is we, not someone from outside (in a position of decision-making authority, such as a new University president), who should be forcing ourselves to address and devlop consensus on the answers. Doing that would be easier, I think, if we did not have the crutch to lean on of awaiting our new president's answers.

Whomever is selected -- whether from among the four candidates or from inside the University -- Gartner was right. And once the puff of smoke emerges from the Old Capitol dome -- hopefully two days from now -- it will be time to put "Interview Week" behind us and start addressing the big questions that are still on the table after the interviews have ended.

# # #

Thursday, June 14

Today's events. Purdue Provost Sally Mason speaks today at 3:45 in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber. If her performance yesterday is any guide, my guess is that she will be the best of the lot so far in how she handles that format. I have an out-of-town prior family commitment I can't get out of this afternoon and evening, but I'll watch the streaming video when I get back, or tomorrow morning, and comment then. It should be good. Get there early if you want to get in. My understanding is that the deadline for our online evaluations of her is not until 5:00 tomorrow.

Morning news. I'm working on a mini-essay for this blog on "The Elephant in the Administration Building" at the moment, so I'll post it, and the links to this morning's newspaper stories, a little later. The news involves reviews of the performances of Becker and Mason, and Regents' evaluations of the open interview process and predictions of whether they'll actually make their final choice Sunday morning.

The biggest item, in some ways, is Gartner's questioning of Mason regarding her handling of an inquiry into allegations about a Purdue research project (ultimately investigated by the U.S. House of Representatives). I have earlier commented about the contrast in formats between the afternoon, 3:45 half-hour speeches plus Q&A from the candidates, and the Regents' 90-minute Q&A sessions (which I've found to be far more informative and helpful). I have suggested that getting candidates to address "case study problems" might be even more instructive. But what the Gartner-Mason exchange provided was even better.

As an alternative to "grading" students on the basis of exams, there is what is called "demonstration of mastery." We see it everywhere from the Coalition of Essential Schools organization, alternative schools like Cedar Rapids' Metro High School, to professional schools at UI and elsewhere. It's the system used by our athletic teams' coaches. "Don't tell me, show me." Mason was not asked to comment about some hypothetical case involving a university president's response to public (media or legislative) inquiries regarding an embarrassing and controversial matter. She was doing it, on the spot and on the fly (though surely she expected, and was prepared for it). And doing it about as well as anyone could, in my opinion, given what she had to work with. (Indeed, as a recent comment speculates, Gartner was actually doing her a favor with these exchanges rather than "grilling" her.) Speaking of which, when last I looked this blog entry is now up to some 78 comments.

Sorry for the late posting of links; life has a way of interfering with blogging. Here are the links to today's newspaper stories about the UI presidential search:

As always, don't forget to check some of the best blogging on the UI search at the Press-Citizen's "Interview Week."

Brian Morelli, "Open process praised; Regents talk about effects of having public interviews," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 14, 2007

Brian Morelli, "Mason Peppered on Research Issues,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 14, 2007

Brian Morelli, "Becker Wants to Take Iowa 'To the Next Level,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 14, 2007

Jeff Charis-Carlson, "Regent Timing vs. Openness," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 14, 2007

Erin Jordan, "U of I Finalists Tell of Change, Diversity,"
Des Moines Register, June 14, 2007

Diane Heldt, "Regents Leaders Pleased With Finalists," The Gazette, June 14, 2007, p. 1A; and "Gartner Takes a Ribbing," The Gazette, June 14, 2007, p. 11A (available from The Gazette's main Web site).

Ashton Shurson, "Regents Meet Last 2 Finalists," The Daily Iowan, June 14, 2007

# # #

The Elephant in the Administration Building

There are some subjects we don't discuss in polite company. And Iowans are nothing if not polite company. Currently, one of the subjects Search Committee II, and the Regents, have decided is not fit for the family dinner table is, to draw on the movie title, "What About Mike?"

Most of my blog entries produce one or two comments at most. This one is now at 78 and counting, as of this morning. All told, they represent over half the text in this blog entry. And most of those comments -- with the freedom of anonymity in what I run as a wide open comment section -- deal with "the elephant in the administration building."

The comments raise two separate, if related issues. And in my opinion by all odds the most important -- if UI Executive Vice President and Provost Mike Hogan's loyal and enthusiastic fans will forgive my saying so -- has nothing to do with Provost Hogan.

The most important issue, in my opinion, involves an exploration of what the University of Iowa most needs in its president -- at this moment in its history. That is a different question from what it most needed in the 1930s, 1960s -- or will need in 2015 or 2020. And it is a different question from who can best provide it.

Friends of mine in the 1960s (and still), Tom and Dick Smothers of "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," included a bit in their more recent performances about being fired by CBS. Dick, putting it in perspective, says something about how many years ago that was. Tommy waits a beat, looks at him with that wonderful face of his and says, "Yeah, but I'm still pissed."

Today, some of those campus leaders who were most outspoken in their criticism of the Regents a mere six months ago -- when virtually every group on campus was passing resolutions of "no confidence" in the Regents -- are trying to put a positive "see-no-evil-hear-no-evil-speak-no-evil" spin on how wonderful Search Committee II has been, what really super, great candidates we have, and how nice it is of the Regents to come to Iowa City, hold open interviews and agree to give their Sunday morning over to a telephone conference call at which they might actually make a decision. We've even reached the point at which Interim President Gary Fethke can present Regents' President Michael Gartner with a tee shirt emblazoned "Does Not Play Well With Others," Gartner will actually put it on, and they'll laugh about it.

As Dick might have said, drawing on the song lyrics, "Oh, it's a long, long time to June from November."

To which Tommy would reply -- and many of the authors of those 78 comments have replied -- "Yeah, but I'm still pissed."

If the Regents do give us a president on Sunday, it will still be 512 days since the Board knew President Dave Skorton was leaving and that a new president would have to be found.

Clearly there is a lot of dissatisfaction -- even anger -- out there. It's not only in the blog comments, it's in the comments people make to me in conversation. Disappointment with the Regents, our interim president, Search Committee II, and the candidates their process has produced. Suspicions about ulterior motives and hidden agendas. Comments that seem to be based on solid information -- and those that may be, but look more like wild speculation.

And the most common complaint involves the omission of Mike Hogan from the list. I thought among the more interesting comments, primarily because of their juxtaposition one right after the other, were one from an elderly emeritus professor and another from a very young student. This seems to be a concern that bridges students and faculty and staff, young and old, liberals and conservatives.

Putting aside Hogan for the moment, what I think is needed now is a period of the mutual respect, comfort and calm that can best be provided by looking to the University of Iowa for leadership. Especially is this so given the quality of leadership that is available in the person of Mike Hogan. But that's not my main point, because I would believe it to be the case even if he were not here. (I have a number of colleagues at the law school who could serve as university presidents with distinction -- and at least one who has. There's a lot of leadership ability elsewhere around the campus as well.)

My point is simply that I think it would be advantageous -- at this time -- to have as president someone from the University of Iowa; that it would be best for the people of Iowa and their legislators, for the Board of Regents, for the members of Search Committee II, for Iowa's business community, and not incidentally for the students, staff, faculty and administrators of the University of Iowa.

At a time when we talk about providing good jobs for our kids to keep them in Iowa, our need to bring and retain quality people here, to get Iowans to return to the state, what better symbol could there be than to show this kind of respect to the Univerity, to say to the world and ourselves that it has quality worth retaining and doesn't need to look outside. Wouldn't that do more for the University's prestige and reputation than saying, in effect, "Not only do we not have any boys in Iowa who can play UI basketball, we don't even have any university administrators capable of running our university?"

I don't think the University is well served -- at this time -- by providing a springboard to a new president who has to be attracted, at least in part, by their awareness that we have sent presidents on to institutions like Michigan and Cornell. A new president who will have to spend at least half of all their time at Iowa getting to know the University and the state, further honing the skills that will make them more eligible for their next, more prestigious and profitable appointment.

There may be a future time when such a person is what we will need. I just don't think it's now.

So far, the response of the Regents, UI administration, and Search Committee II has been total silence. (Hogan himself, classy guy that he is, has urged folks to focus on the four we have and to go about it in a civil manner.) What this silence has thereby created -- for what appears to be, at a minimum, a significant minority -- is a resurgence of the feelings from last November that something is being forced upon them and that their suggestions and concerns have been neither heard nor responded to. That outcome, those feelings of being stiffed, were as predictable as was the outcome in Iraq. That being the case it's not clear to me why it has been chosen as the leadership's strategy. It certainly does not bode well for whomever is brought in as president.

Clearly, none of the candidates we're considering are total duds; they are all, at a minimum, seemingly not only adquately experienced and competent but individuals each of whom has some noteworthy story they can tell -- e.g., Mark Becker's dramatic increase in the enrollment at Minnesota's School of Public Health, Sally Mason's impressive accomplishments with diversity, and her truly intreging "Discovery Park." Other examples could be cited for all four. Each has distinguishing strengths -- and weaknesses -- as we all do.

No one among them has all the experience one would need with the range of UI units for which they'd have responsibility. But then no single human could have. (Clearly, all have more relevant experience than what I had when appointed Maritime Administrator. At my hearing members of the Senate Commerce Committee asked me, then 29 years old, what prior shipping experience I had that would qualify me for these multi-billion-dollar responsibilities. I explained that I had once operated a canoe on the Iowa River, but not very successfully. Fortunately, they found that sufficient shipping experience to give me their unanimous support.)

But equally clearly, none is what might be called a superstar. All are from schools that rank in prestige either at, or below, where the University of Iowa can be found on the list.

Moreover, through no fault of the candidates, they and we and universities throughout the United States are now caught up in a crazy competition of those who wish to be fast-track rising stars -- from dean, to provost, to president. They need to move every two or three years to demonstrate their worth -- a worth measured in dollars, as to which, as Molly Ivins once put it, "more is better and too much is not enough."

When colleagues are considering law school deanship positions (our law school is a prime recruiting ground) I ask them, "Is it that you really want to do what it is law school deans do, or is it that you just want to be a dean?" If they tell me they've always wanted to be a dean I wish them well, but predict they'll be back in the classroom in two or three years. Many are.

Many university presidential candidates these days "have always wanted to be a university president." It's not that they don't care at all about the future welfare of the institutions to which they apply, but they are often more interested in "becoming a university president" than they are in "serving university X as its president." If they aren't selected for a given position they don't go back to teaching and research, they just look for the next school where they might possibly "be a university president."

I'm not convinced that a system of short-term presidents, paid ever-escallating salaries many multiples of what universities pay staff, is good for anyone -- the presidents themselves, the taxpayers, faculty, students or the public. We're buying into that system because we assume we have to. I don't think we do.

Some of Hogan's fans have suggested that he should be the benchmark by which we evaluate the four candidates. "Is any given one of them better than Hogan?" I think this is the wrong question. (a) There are so many factors to consider. Talk about a multi-variable analysis! How can you say one is "better" than another? (b) The issue, to me, is not whether (by whatever standard) one is marginally better than Hogan. The question is, are they so obviously and overwhelmingly superior to Hogan that their superiority overwhelms the advantages Hogan brings (e.g., smooth and immediate transition (it's just a short walk down the hall for him), a widespread base of support on campus and throughout the state, someone as knowledgeable about the University's various units, their needs, strengths and weaknesses as anyone could possibly be -- as well as meeting the standards explored by the Regents with the other candidates, and the kinds of accomplishments Hogan's achieved, and the affection they have generated, as expressed in the comments below.)

The details: (1) Hogan wasn't part of the search. He was already subjected to a search, Search Committee I, which found him, not incidentally, one of the four best in the U.S. of those then available, and according to some assertions the top ranked of those. He has been a part of the search. (2) The Search Committee has already filled its finalist positions. No it hasn't; it had five slots and now has one empty due to a dropout. (3) The search process is over. No it's not; "it's not over until the physically fit Dental College Dean sings." (4)The Regents would reject him anyway. That may be true, but (a) we now have four new Regents who, so far as I know, haven't been asked, and (b) I would have assumed the job of Search Committee II was to let the Regents know who the Committee thinks are the best five finalists, not try to guess who the Regents would think are the best five candidates. Besides, the Regents can pick anyone they choose.

Are there advantages to bringing a new person in to head an institution, any institution? Of course. That's a path often chosen. The questions are whether those advantages exist for us now, whether if they do they address our most significant needs, and whether even if they do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages -- at this time in Iowa's history. I don't think so. Others do. You may be among them. Whether the Regents are also among them we'll know sometime after this weekend.

Will we survive whatever they do? Will we work with whomever they pick? Of course we will. I'd just like to set my sights for my university a little higher than mere survival.

Wednesday, June 13

Media Takes on Today's Regents' Interviews

Mason faces tough questions from regents (Purdue Provost Sally Mason has faced the toughest round of questioning yet of the finalists vying for the University of Iowa presidency.) Updated at 4:26 pm

Becker to draw on experience as dean (University of South Carolina Provost Mark Becker said his expectation of being a university president is similar to being a dean except much broader in scope.) Updated at 12:27 pm

And don't miss the P-C editors' insightful comments on the day's events in their blog, "Interview Week."

Here are the reports about today's interviews by Erin Jordan in the Des Moines Register and The Gazette's Diane Heldt.

Thoughts on the Afternoon Sessions Format

Well, the performance of the Regents, and Mark Becker, this morning only reinforced my judgment yesterday that (1) the Regents' decision to open their interview process to the public is something for which they are entitled to a lot of credit, (2) they are doing what has been by my standards a really great job (i.e., responsible, reflective, respectful, relaxed) of asking informed and incisive questions, and (3) that this format is far superior to what the afternoon, 3:45 public sessions have made possible.

There's not much a candidate can do with the assignment they're given in the afternoon -- and Mark Becker didn't do much (in my opinion).

This morning, by contrast, after Becker's interview I told Jim Merchant (
a former colleague of mine at the UI's Institute for Health, Behavior and Environmental Policy, who, as Dean of the UI College of Public Health, has an interest in former public health dean Becker (as do I)) that I thought Becker's answers were "A-plus."

Later, a friend who is not normally quick to extravagant praise phrased it, "I thought he almost hit a home run."

(Lest there be question, that doesn't make Becker my favorite. (a) There's more to an evaluation than answers to Regents' questions. (b) We haven't yet seen Charles Bantz' 3:45 performance (Friday) or Provost Sally Mason -- 2:00 this afternoon, and 3:45 Thursday. Bantz also did very well with the Regents, as did Furmanski, and based on what we know of Provost Mason I'd bet she will also do an impressive job this afternoon. P.S. She did.) (c) Since the evaluations need to be "compared to what" -- that is, a comparative rather than an individual evaluation -- I couldn't have a favorite now anyway.)

But what this is about is not the candidates, but the interview process -- "getting to know you." What might be the most effective use of time with a candidate?

Imagine that you had worked your way up in the administration of America's subways -- from San Francisco's BART, to Washington's METRO, to the New York City subway. You've seldom if ever been in Iowa. For all you know "farm-to-market roads" is a tourist promotion program marketing the charm of Iowa's county roads. Now you're a finalist for a cabinet position as head of Iowa's Department of Transportation. And the Iowa Legislature has appointed a search committee that wants you to address an open public forum on the subject, "The Challenges and Opportunities Confronting Comprehensive Public Transportation Systems Today."

You'd be a fool to try to present yourself as someone who has mastered all the Iowa transportation issues and questions -- let alone put forward the solutions. You'd introduce yourself, talk about the jobs you've held in the past, and come up with some bromides or sayings of general applicability.

One of my mother's favorites, having lived through the Great Depression, was "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." Actually, that's one Mark Becker, or any other educational administrator, might find useful in these days of shrinking appropriations.

What he came up with instead were things like:

* The road ahead is not going to be smooth. There are going to be a lot of challenges.
* A university's resources are faculty, facilities and money.
* You need to recruit the right faculty, and then you need to retain them.
* Recruiting quality faculty and students is intensely competitive.
* If you're standing still today you're moving backwards.
* A university today must be globally oriented, but locally committed.
* It must ensure excellence in education as well as excellence in research.
* A university needs to take steps to ensure academic independence while also taking steps to ensure financial partnerships.
* Asking for money is an important part of the president's job.
* A university has to maintain its relevance to the state and the taxpayers.
* I would want to make the University of Iowa a destination of choice for faculty and students.
* There needs to be a protection of tenure.
All hard to argue with, but none unique, unexpected, or therefore very useful in figuring out what he would do as Iowa's president.

And my point again is that this was not his fault. This is not a criticism of Becker -- as his performance this morning bears witness -- it is an evaluation of the format.

Discussing this with a distinguished member of the faculty, he observed that the questions provided at those afternoon sessions aren't all that great either -- which is another problem for the candidates.

The Regents' approach shines by comparison because of the quality of their questions. Michael Gartner was especially good this morning, but really all nine were. Partly, of course, that's because the're asking about things they know about and for which they have responsibility. It's more like professional shop talk between peers.

I have learned a lot about higher education -- and what it is being transformed into -- during these four 90-minute sessions. Indeed, so much so that I am very hopeful the Regents will be willing to have them transcribed and posted on their Web site. (It's easier to work with text than audio or video for something like this.) Talk about public relations! I think it would advance by years Iowans' (and their legislators') appreciation for what the Regents, and their institutions, are about, what they can contribute to Iowa, what they are already contributing, and how we're trying to make them better.

But what might be even better -- even for the Regents, but especially for the public sessions (in the future, obviously) -- would be to pose to candidates something along the line of business school case studies and problems. The question then becomes not, "What are your solutions for Iowa?" or "Tell us what you've done to improve diversity at your school?" It is, "How would you go about thinking about handling the challenge in this case study? Operationally, what steps would you go through? Then what would you do?" Some of the Regents' questions have come very close to that.

Just a thought.

This morning's stories are linked below. Biggest, perhaps, has to do with the possibility of a Regents' selection coming out of a conference call meeting next Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Others involve the Regents' interviews of Charles Bantz and Philip Furmanski, and Mark Becker's presentation yesterday afternoon (with some commentary from me about its implications for the format of those sessions).

Today's agenda involves the Regents' final two interviews: Purdue Provost Sally Mason at 2:00 p.m. (her public forum will be tomorrow, Thursday, at 3:45) and Dr. Mark Becker at 9:30 this morning (his forum was yesterday). (I couldn't find any mention of this schedule on the Board of Regents Web site, only from the linked UI news releases.) And don't forget that the deadline for the online submission of your evaluation of Mark Becker is 5:00 this afternoon.

Links to the morning news, from . . .

The Press-Citizen:

Jim Lewers, "Candidates Show Different Approaches," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 13, 2007

Brian Morelli, "Regents Hope to Name President Sunday," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 13, 2007

Kathryn Fiegen, "Becker stresses recruitment in forum," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 13, 2007

Brian Morelli, "Bantz says he'd make strong president," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 13, 2007

Brian Morelli, "Furmanski Has Health Science Experience,"
Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 13, 2007

The Des Moines Register:

Erin Jordan, "U of I candidates put to test; Presidential prospects discuss budgets, fundraising with regents," Des Moines Register, June 13, 2007 (a page that also has some of the best pictures I've seen of Bantz, Becker and Furmanski)

Danny Valentine, "Finalist Becker says he can lead U of I through tough times,"
Des Moines Register, June 13, 2007

The Gazette:

Diane Heldt, "Presidential Search: UI pick possible Sunday; Regents to receive final report Saturday, meet Sunday morning," The Gazette, June 13, 2007, p. A1 (go to The Gazette's page, and use the drop down menus to look for "6/13/2007" and page "A1")

Gregg Hennigan, "University of Iowa Presidential Search: Finalist shares outlook; Mark Becker stresses global competition with local focus," The Gazette, June 13, 2007, p. B3 (go to The Gazette's page, and use the drop down menus to look for "6/13/2007" and page "B3")

The Daily Iowan:

Ashton Shurson, "Colleges the crown jewels, presidential finalist says," The Daily Iowan, June 13, 2007

Ashton Shurson, "Finalist Has Science History,"
The Daily Iowan, June 13, 2007

Clara Hogan, "Regents Interview 2 Finalists," The Daily Iowan, June 13, 2007

And don't forget that all four candidates' afternoon presentations can be viewed in streaming video from the UITV site.

Tuesday, June 12

For an incisive analysis of Mark Becker's presentation this afternoon (3:45-4:45) see, Jeff Charis-Carlson, "Becker's not as presidential," Iowa City Press-Citizen Online 'Interview Week' Blog, June 12, 2007, 5:28 p.m.

A couple folks told me this afternoon, "Hey, you left the Regents' meeting too soon." (I had understood they were just interviewing the two candidates and stayed for every minute of that. Apparently they went into a regular Regents' meeting in the afternoon dealing with other matters.) Having just praised Michael Gartner I really don't want to get into this next item, but I do feel obliged to refer you to others' reports. Brian Morelli, "Search Committee, Regents to Meet This Weekend," Iowa City Press-Citizen Online, June 12, 2007, 2:22 p.m.

Regents' President Michael Gartner thinks I blog like Mark Antony in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar": "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him." (Don't ask me how I know.) Frankly, I don't want to bury anybody, but when I get involved in an issue I -- like Michael -- call 'em as I see 'em.

And the way I saw 'em this morning causes me to come to praise Caesar. I don't just mean the fact the Regents held their interviews in public, as refreshing and commendable as that is. What I mean is how proud I was of the Regents -- something I admit I have not often said in this blog. They were prepared, informed (a credit as well to Search Committee II's briefing books), asked good questions, got some useful answers (not only about the candidates, but useful ideas for the University of Iowa regardless of who is president), had a nice rapport among themselves, and between them and the candidates. All in all I found it much more genuinely informative than the 3:45 session yesterday afternoon -- and Dr. Furmanski has now done both.

(That's a comment about the format and his assignment, not about how he handled it. As my wife and I were discussing this morning, anyone who's kept up with the higher ed literature, and read a couple of books, knows what the hot button items are: the importance of undergraduate education, the decline in public funding and need for innovative solutions, the impact of globalization, inter-disciplinary studies and coordination of resources, hiring and promoting women, emphasizing one's strengths as an institution, promoting diversity, shared governance, outputs of benefit to the state's economy, and so forth. Anyone can read the resulting speech text off the page (or teleprompter). Moreover, the afternoon Q&A sessions are controlled. The Regents' session, by contrast, was all unrehearsed Q&A -- albeit, with occasionally long answers.)

For reports of the morning, see Brian Morelli, "Bantz Says He Has Range of Problem Solving Skills," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 12, 2007, 11:15 a.m., and "Furmanski Believes He Can Oversee UI Hospital," Iowa City Press-Citizen Online, June 12, 2007, 1:13 p.m. And see the Press-Citizen's "Interview Week" for Managing Editor Jim Lewers' blog entries from the Richey Ballroom. (When the Regents were a little late in getting started with the 8:45 session I reminded Lewers of the old standard students used to use regarding how long to wait for a late professor: "5 minutes for an assistant professor, 10 minutes for an associate professor . . ." at which point Lewers interjected, "And 511 days for a Regent." Clever fellow.)

Many have thanked me for doing this blog, or have indicated that they are enjoying it. In fact, before this morning I had not heard any serious objection. But since someone I respect questioned the propriety (and possible negative consequences) of my making reference to Internet sites containing information about the candidates, and there may be others who feel that way as well, I thought perhaps I should repeat some of the points I've made before.
1. The Regents are empowered by the Code of Iowa to pick our president. They did not even need to have a search committee -- except for tradition, and that it would be a big mistake not to.

2. Search Committee II did not need to have on-campus interviews -- except, again, for tradition and that it would be a big mistake not to.

3. The Search Committee did not need to ask for evaluations from the University community, and other interested persons, regarding the candidates. They could have had the candidates come to the campus (or not) and simply have passed their names along to the Regents.

4. However, once Search Committee II asks for evaluations -- and we give it the benefit of the doubt that its desire is genuine, and that it will really take our evaluations into account and pass them along in presenting its "report" to the Regents on Saturday -- that imposes an obligation on those of us who participate, and the Committee, to see to it that our evaluations are informed.

5. With but few exceptions in the media, all that has been shared with the public by the media and the Search Committee are each candidate's efforts to put his or her best foot forward in their curriculum vitae, and the laudatory comments of their most enthusiastic friends and boosters. That has been important, and I'm pleased we have it. But, to quote the song line, "Is that all there is?" Of course not.

6. Had Search Committee II shared with the public the information it had about the candidates -- and I'm only talking now about the public information found in newspaper stories, or other sources on the Internet -- it would not be necessary for me, or our able journalists, to find and report the stories in those Internet sources. But my repeated requests of the Search Committee have gone unanswered. So I've done some of it -- actually only a little tiny bit of it -- myself.

7. What I've said so far is that (a) I have not found anything I would consider "disqualifying." Whether the Search Committee has offered us any superstars is a matter for every individual's subjective judgment. At a minimum, however, they've given us no duds. (b) The Internet contains such a wealth of information about individuals that, in my judgment, it is irresponsible in choosing a university president not to do as thorough a Google search on each of them as you would do before going out with them on a blind date. (c) I have made clear, repeatedly, that no information about an individual should be accepted at face value -- positive or negative -- in the hiring process. That applies to resumes and cv's, articles in newspapers, journals and books, what is learned in conversations with others -- and what is found on the Internet. So the mere fact I report in this blog what I've seen on an Internet site certainly does not mean I'm offering it as "truth." (d) Given that this information is available to the public on the Internet, is it not better that those charged with evaluating the candidates have an opportunity to ask about it -- and, not incidentally, that in fairness to the candidates that they have an opportunity to respond and explain -- rather than have the stories pass through the grapevine, with ever decreasing accuracy, as rumors? (e) Finally, what conceivable justification could there be for an attempt at a cover-up of possibly relevant public information about a candidate -- whether or not it can be easily explained away by them?

8. I am not opposed to any candidate, or supporting any candidate. I have no desire to do harm to any of their reputations. I see things in each of them I like very much, and other things that concern me slightly. My only goal -- given that the community has been asked to contribute to the candidates' evaluations -- is that those evaluations be as fully informed and constructive as possible.

9. If you do not find this explanation adequate then I guess it will just have to be one of those things about which "we agree to disagree."
Rankings. I don't put a lot of stock in rankings of universities, especially those of US News and World Report. But for those who think we are going to leap up in prestige as an institution with this next president -- whomever he or she may be from the group -- you might want to consider these numbers:

Rutgers (New Brunswick) 60
Iowa 64
Purdue 64
Indiana (Bloomington) 70
South Carolina 112
(The dropout's school, Missouri State isn't included in that ranking, but the University of Missouri comes in at 88 (Columbia) and 112 (Rolla).)

For what it's worth -- which isn't much.

In Iowa City? Your day begins at 8:45 a.m. (rather than the publicized time of 9:00 a.m.) with the Regents' interview of that long-titled guy from Indianapolis, the last-revealed stealth candidate, Charles R. Bantz. It will run until 10:30 a.m. in the Richey Ballroom, Iowa Memorial Union, Madison and Jefferson Streets. Only revealed by the Search Committee to the University and Iowa City communities in a 5:57 p.m. email, we know very little about this guy beyond what he and his fans choose to tell us. Obviously, he's one who's going through the Regents' interview process before he comes back to do the Search Committee II on-campus dance on Friday. So that will let us get a peek at him today, while learning something of what the Regents' are looking for generally, and then give us three days to do a little research on him before filing our evaluations. And then, "don't change that dial." Following the Regents' opening act with Bantz, it's back to Furmanski at 11:00; same day, same Richey Ballroom -- but bring some munchies because it's scheduled to run until 12:30. And then at 3:45 p.m. it's South Carolina's Mark Becker, today's campus visitor, and back up the hill to the Senate Chamber in the Old Capitol for his presentation (and following reception). And don't forget your 5:00 p.m. deadline on sending your online evaluation of Dr. Furmanski to Search Committee II. Best to take care of that before going to hear Mark Becker.

Whether or not this short deadline (on top of a very busy and full Tuesday) was deliberately done to discourage community evaluations (and certainly informed evaluations), that will most certainly be its effect -- and needlessly so in my judgment. What is more, as the old story line has it, the most appropriate reply to "How's Furmanski?" is "Compared to what?" Any evaluation of Furmanski at this point is almost totally useless. He must be evaluated in comparison with the others. (And they, in turn, according to Mike Hogan's fans, must then be evaluated in comparison to him.)

Following from afar? "Newspapers" have become two different operations; both have "news" (sort of), but only one has paper. The papers' online services are a 24/7 operation; kind of like CNN, only with content. But papers are still nice to hold in the morning. And besides, until the "UPDATES" start to appear on the online sites their content is the most up-to-date and usually has more than what you read online the day before. Anyhow, I'm now going to try to gather and provide those links for you. There are a lot this morning; our local journalists are really doing their best to keep us informed. If only someone -- Search Committee II, or the media -- would hire somebody, if necessary, to do a thorough research job on these candidates on the Internet we wouldn't even need this blog (except for the raging attached "comments" from you all that have become a story in themselves).

I'm not photgrapher (as will be obvious if you look at these), but here are some pictures of Dr. Philip Furmanski's presentation Monday afternoon.

Ashton Shurson, "Furmanski Stresses Research, Undergraduate Education,"
The Daily Iowan, June 12, 2007.

Terry McCoy, "The Search for New Leadership,"
The Daily Iowan, June 12, 2007.

Clara Hogan, "Finalist Has Science History," The Daily Iowan, June 12, 2007.

NOTE: The Daily Iowan also has a link to the UITV, which is kindly videotaping the candidates' 3:45 p.m. afternoon presentations and making them available as streaming vido at this site. (I'll leave it to others to pick the best segments and upload them to YouTube.)

Lisa Rossi and Erin Jordan, "Indiana schools provide final presidential prospects; One, Purdue Provost Sally Mason, has worked closely with former ISU President Martin Jischke," Des Moines Register, June 12, 2007 (reflecting research, and new information).

Erin Jordan, "Furmanski kicks off U of I visits as a uniter; Rutgers colleagues call him a smart, straightforward leader," Des Moines Register, June 12, 2007 (Jordan spots "elephant in the Senate Chamber," asks and gets answer of sorts to, in effect, "How the hell do you propose to work with this Board of Regents?" She also asked, but doesn't report in this story, whether he'd yet met or talked to Michael Gartner. The answer? "No.")

For a University with the nation's top ranked opthalmology department it's amazing how many within its community cannot see an elephant in the Senate Chamber. Erin Jordan could see one. And you must not miss this morning's editorial cartoon in the Press-Citizen. The always insightful Bob Patton, the paper's editorial cartoonist and all-round graphic artist, as he so often does, puts a major issue into a small drawing. It's available on his blog/Web site, and called "The Final Four."

What's the issue? While the University's leadership is desperately trying to put the best face on the greatness of Search Committee II and its "final four" ("a great search with great candidates" as one leader put it), bubbling up through the basement, like Katrina into a New Orleans home, is the continuing dissatisfaction of the community with the Board of Regents, Search Committee II, the candidates they've come up with (none of whom satisfies the felt need of the State of Iowa, and the University of Iowa, to have a president who understands our present situation and can hit the ground running), the way it's all been handled, "UI Held Hostage Day 511" -- and, not incidentally, the inexplicable rejection of Mike Hogan from the list. Executive Vice President Hogan is a man who can go to work immediately, thoroughly understands our needs at the moment, and is at a minimum the functional equivalent of any of the finalists. The comments on this blog entry capture many of the elements of this dissatisfaction. For the leadership to pretend it's not there, to ignore it, may not be their most effective strategy. Anyhow, that's what Bob Patton is willing to recognize, communicate about, and capture in one editorial cartoon.

The Press-Citizen has a lot of useful textual information and commentary this morning as well. The headlines, with the Press-Citizen's summaries:

Candidate stresses undergraduates (At a public forum Monday, Philip Furmanski described himself as a biologist by temperament, an administrator who embraces liberal arts, undergraduate education and diversity, a strong fundraiser and an educator committed to reaching out to the state).

Group plans write-in campaign (Some University of Iowa alumni and student leaders are starting a write-in campaign to support UI Provost Michael Hogan for the UI president's post even though he is not a finalist).

Final 2 candidates announced (The two remaining candidates for the University of Iowa presidency come from the same state-wide university system in Indiana -- Sally Mason, a provost at Purdue University and Charles Bantz, a chancellor at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis).

Mason pushes for diversity (In the six years Purdue provost Sally Mason has been in her job, she has worked hard to install solid diversity programs with a science theme, a colleague said Monday).

Communication key to Bantz (Charles Bantz, University of Iowa presidential candidate and chancellor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, has been described as a leader who listens)

And Opinion Page Editor Jeff Charis-Carlson's blog entry (noted here yesterday) has now been modified into an op ed column on his own opinion page: "Coming Across as Presidential."

For the relevant stories in this morning's Gazette, go to its site and look for Diane Heldt's story ("Last 2 UI Finalists Announced" on page 1A) and Gregg Hennigan's story ("First Finalist Holds Court" on page B3). Note also that The Gazette Online has what amounts to a Web site devoted to "The Search," including its prior stories and the fab four's fotos.

Monday, June 11

Evening update: Sorry for the late report. The afternoon was devoted to the Furmanski presentation and reception, and I had an early evening prior commitment.

Dr. Furmanski's presentation was unremarkable -- that's not a criticism, it's just that it was sort of what I'd expected he'd do, consistent with what I'd read (and reported here) about him. When I inquired about his prize-winning poet wife (prizes for four books of poetry that include the Iowa Poetry Prize) he explained they had recently divorced. I'll try to correct that in the info about the two of them I've posted. His international traveling experience, like mine, is that when you mention the University of Iowa what most folks respond with is, "Oh, that's where the Writers Workshop is, isn't it." I'll be posting some pictures later on of the presentation in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber, and the reception in McBride Hall.

And speaking of McBride, the two remaining stealth candidates were finally released from confinement (shown here in front of McBride Hall this morning). Prior to that we only knew where they were, not who they were. (Search Committee Chair Johnsen insisted that, notwithstanding the heat, it was the only way their identities could be kept secret prior to this afternoon. Neither voiced any complaint upon being released, both saying they had really enjoyed their time in Iowa City so far.)

Well, it turned out that one, as reported on this blog some time ago, and subsequently researched and described here, is the Purdue Provost Sally Mason. (Scroll down to "Info About Our Candidates" for what I've already found, and written, about her.)

The other, the only true prior secret, was revealed to be Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Chancellor Charles R. Bantz. (What a title, huh?) More about him later.

Diane Heldt was the first to have the story posted this afternoon, "Last UI Finalists Named," The Gazette Online, June 11, 2007, 2:11 p.m. The Press-Citizen presented a lengthy story with the news, photos, and links to their cv's a little later, "UI Announces Two Final Candidates," Iowa City Press-Citizen Online, June 11, 2007, 4:30 p.m. (And see, Brian Morelli, "Campaign Vows to Compare Each Candidate To UI Provost," Iowa City Press-Citizen Online, June 11, 2007, 3:15 p.m.) "Indianans Round Out U of I Finalists," Des Moines Register Online, June 11, 2007, 4:20 p.m. And for another "big picture" story from Erin Jordan, see "Leach Not 'In' for U of I Presdency," Des Moines Register Online, June 11, 2007 (schools turning to politicians for leadership). Clara Hogan, "UI Releases Last Presidential Finalists," The Daily Iowan Online, June 11, 2007, 6:03 p.m.

Search Committee II Chair Dave Johnsen emailed the news of the two additional candidates' names to the University community at 5:57 p.m. (including the fact that one is to be interviewed by the Board of Regents at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow). Hope everybody checks their email before they get to the office.

And it looks like some of the best writing (just damn good writing as well as informative) is going to be on the Press-Citizen's "Interview Week" blog. Managing Editor Jim Lewers has the facts, and some observations about the significance of, prior UI presidents' length of service. And Opinion Page Editor Jeff Charis-Carlson has a report of Furmanski's talk that I doubt will be rivaled anywhere tomorrow in the conventional media or blogosphere (certainly not on this blog). And this morning he had a very useful summary and commentary about the comments on this blog -- especially regarding Provost Hogan.

# # #

For those of you using this blog to help track the UI presidential search process through what we hope will be its final week, I thought it might be easier for you if I would enter everything for these seven days in this one blog entry, even though it was originally designed for yesterday, June 10.

For example, our very classy Provost Mike Hogan (now the subject of a write-in campaign (see below for "Hogan Write-In Campaign Heating Up" and the attached readers' anonymous "comments") has a letter in this morning's Press-Citizen that you'll want to read, along with the paper's editorial, and we do learn that the names of the remaining 2 of 4 stealth candidates (no longer 5 after yesterday's dropout) will be revealed late this afternoon.

But aside from that most of this morning's "news" was contained in this blog entry (below) yesterday -- indeed, including links to the content of this morning's stories when the newspapers put them online yesterday. (Nonetheless, I will soon add links here to this morning's stories as published.)

In addition to learning the final two names, today's big public event is Dr. Philip Furmanski's presentation at 3:45 and reception at 5:00 (see "Your Next Week's Schedule," below.

*New Info*: Erin Jordan, "U of I not alone in leader search; One candidate withdraws from consideration in Iowa," Des Moines Register, June 11, 2007 (a "big picture" story with Jordan's usual research and flair. As for the "corporatizing of higher education," she notes that Missouri's choice withdrew to become a steel manufacturing executive; Purdue's former president decided he'd rather work with semi-trailers than academics. Makes you think Iowa is lucky to have found any educational administrators still interested in universities -- at least until something better shows up for them.)

Brian Morelli's stories, reported and linked from this blog yesterday, are on page 1 of this morning's Press-Citizen: "Candidate Withdraws from UI Search; Interviews Kick Off Today" and "UI Leaders Impressed With Named Finalists." The paper's morning editorial, "UI Community Begins Its Hectic 'Interview Week,'" sets an informative and constructive tone. And then there's that classy letter from that classy guy, Provost Mike Hogan, "Visits Can Show Iowa Character" -- obviously aware of the community's sense of frustration, he urges that we "not let stress get the better of us" and that "It's our 'Iowa way' of working together that makes us great." (Note that the Press-Citizen also provides, at the top of its opening Web page, in the "Interview Week" section, links to five "multimedia" mpg excerpts from the interviews used in the two features it provided on Furmanski and Becker. Thus, it's no new factual information, but does let you hear the voices.)

Ashton Shurson, "Finalist Interviews for Head Job Begin," The Daily Iowan, June 11, 2007, catches the DI's readers up to date on what's been happening the last three days.

Alison Gowans, "UI Presidential Finalist Drops Out," The Gazette, June 11, 2007, p. A1, appeared for the most part yesterday as "UI Prez Candidate Withdraws," Gazette Online, June 10, 2007, 1:41 p.m.

Given the short fuse Search Committee II and the Regents have put on this final sprint to the finish line after our 511-day leisurely stroll, we are in greater need of the names of the remaining two stealth finalists than of the one who dropped out. (Their names are to be revealed at 4:00 this afternoon -- 15 minutes into Dr. Furmanski's presentation.)

But The Gazette revealed the dropout late this morning. Gregg Hennigan, "Missouri State President Withdrew As Candidate for UI Job," The Gazette Online, June 11, 2007, 11:18 a.m. His name is Michael Nietzel. (a) It's a little late to be exploring his qualities, but if you'd like a snapshot of his energy, vision, leadership and management style take a look at Steve Koehler, "Missouri State's expectations on the rise; Jordan Valley Innovation Center is just one example of the way the university is distinguishing itself academically," Springfield News-Leader, February 26, 2006. (b) It's also a little late for Search Committee II to be letting us know he dropped out since apparently they knew it last Friday! (c) And since he's only been on the job a year or so, and just got a big retention package three or four weeks ago, one wonders just how serious he was about coming here in the first place, and why Search Committee II could not have found all this out and dropped him off the list a month ago so as to avoid the negative publicity. (d) Finally, consider this excerpt from the story: "Nietzel said the university would not become a research institution. 'I do not believe we can become an institution that has a primary mission in research and scholarship across the whole domain like you would find at the land grant or research institution,' he said. . . . 'We don't need to get into the exotic research, . . . 'We need to get into stuff that's close to being a commercial product that will continue to create jobs.'"

Sunday, June 10

And Now There Are Four . . .

One candidate has withdrawn. "Presidential Candidate Withdraws," Iowa City Press-Citizen Online, June 10, 2007, 12:30 p.m, updated 6:56 p.m.; "UI Prez Candidate Withdraws," The Gazette Online, June 10, 2007, 1:41 p.m.; Erin Jordan, "U of I Presidential Candidate Withdraws," Des Moines Register, June 10, 2007, 2:38 p.m. And see, Brian Morelli, "Campus Leaders Impressed With First Two Named Candidates," Iowa City Press-Citizen Online, June 10, 2007, 6:59 p.m. Wouldn't you love to know who it was? Why they withdrew? It's one thing to be told (or figure out) by Wednesday evening which way the Board of Regents (or Michae Gartner) is leaning (after it has finished all its interviews) -- even though the campus visits arranged by Search Committee II won't be over until Friday evening. But it's something else to withdraw on Sunday, before the week's interviews even begin. Was it a matter of their growing disgust with the process? Did they get a better offer elsewhere? Did they get cold feet and lose confidence they had a fighting chance at being selected? Perhaps concerned what my Google search on them might turn up once I knew their name? Pressure from their current home campus?

Will we ever know who it is? There are at this point no fewer than 24 people who either know who this candidate is -- or will know by the end of this week. That's 13 Search Committee II members, 9 Regents plus COO Gary Steinke, and the candidate (all of whom were informed of the names of the five finalists, and will know by the end of this week which one of the five didn't show up). That gives the media a lot of potential sources with whom to work.

Obviously, this drop out will affect the following schedule, created for five candidates. But I'm going to leave it as it is until the Committee, and Regents, announce the changes.

UI Presidential Search: Your Next Week's Schedule

If you are a University administrator, or have otherwise been selected to participate in the small, closed meetings with the five finalists, I'm assuming you know when and where you're supposed to be.

If, like me, you're not permitted in such elite company, here's your schedule for next week. (Tuesday and Wednesday, with two sets of interviews going on simultaneously, are obviously the heaviest days.)

Today, Sunday, June 10. Sometime today (Dean Johnsen now announced it will be tomorrow) Search Committee II will reveal the identities of the final two (or three if Provost Sally Mason turns out not to be a candidate; as noted in the added item above, with the dropout this will be two, with or without Mason) of their five (now four) stealth candidates.

Monday, June 11. 3:45-4:45, Dr. Philip Furmanski, Old Capitol Senate Chamber. Public presentation; Q & A. 5:00-5:45, McBride, Museum of Natural History, reception.

Tuesday, June 12. 9:00-10:30 a.m. Regents' interview, 1 of 5, of unnamed candidate, Richey Ballroom, Iowa Memorial Union.

11:00-12:30 p.m. Regents interview, 2 of 5, Dr. Philip Furmanski.

NOTE: 5:00 p.m. deadline for submitting online feedback to Search Committee II regarding Dr. Furmanski.

3:45-4:45 p.m. Dr. Mark Becker, Old Capitol Senate Chamber. Public presentation; Q & A. 5:00-5:45 p.m., Old Capitol Museum, reception.

Wednesday, June 13.

9:30-11:00 a.m. Regents interview, 3 of 5, of unnamed candidate.

2:00-3:30 p.m. Regents interview, 4 of 5, of unnamed candidate.

NOTE: 5:00 p.m. deadline for submitting online feedback to Search Committee II regarding Dr. Becker.

3:45-4:45 p.m. Unnamed candidate, Old Capitol Senate Chamber. Public presentation; Q & A. 5:00-5:45 p.m., Old Capitol Museum, reception.

6:00-7:30 p.m. Regents interview, 5 of 5, of unnamed candidate.

Thursday, June 14

NOTE: 5:00 p.m. deadline for submitting online feedback to Search Committee II regarding Wednesday's unnamed candidate.

3:45-4:45 p.m. Unnamed candidate, Old Capitol Senate Chamber. Public presentation; Q & A. 5:00-5:45 p.m., Old Capitol Museum, reception.

Friday, June 14

NOTE: 5:00 p.m. deadline for submitting online feedback to Search Committee II regarding Thursday's unnamed candidate.

NOTE: 9:00 p.m. deadline for submitting online feedback to Search Committee II regarding today's (Friday's) unnamed candidate.

3:45-4:45 p.m. Unnamed candidate, Old Capitol Senate Chamber. Public presentation; Q & A. 5:00-5:45 p.m., Old Capitol Museum, reception.

And then?
At that point there is nothing left for us to do but to
* gather, 10,000 strong, on the Pentacrest lawn west of the Old Capitol building,
* hope it doesn't rain,
* wonder about the five finalists,
* share our grief that Mike Hogan was not among them,
* reflect on the contrast between the then-511 days it has taken us to get to this point and the incredible speed with which we were able to sprint to the finish line,
* speculate about whether Coach Lickliter's visit to all of Iowa's 99 counties will ever result in his finding an Iowa boy who can play basketball,
* and . . .
wait for the Regents to make that little puff of white smoke come out of the Old Capitol dome.

# # #
Today's stories

Brian Morelli has a useful "here's where we've come from, here's where we're going" summary feature in this morning's Press-Citizen. Brian Morelli, "UI Ready for Whirlwind Week; Finalist Interviews Begin Today," June 10, 2007, p. A1.

And speaking of the Press-Citizen, (1) you ought to take a look at Managing Editor Jim Lewer's op ed yesterday, "Questions Worth Asking," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 9, 2007 (with all the questions we're preparing for the candidates, here are some the candidates ought to be asking us, others and themselves), (2) the "Hogan's Heroes" portion of this morning's regular Sunday editorial, "Our Quick Take on Last Week's News Stories," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 10, 2007, and . . .

(3) there are rumors that the Press-Citizen is going to offer up three, count 'em three, bloggers to provide on-going coverage of "Interview Week." This will be in addition to the regular "updates" the paper provides throughout the day to breaking additions to stories, or new stories, at its online site. I'll provide links to their contributions throughout the week as I'm able.

And, while we're waiting for Dr. Furmanski, you might also want to look at . . .

The story about Search Committee II member, and former Maytag Chairman and CEO Leonard Hadley's criticism of the Regents' open interview process: "I think it's going to kill candor." Gregg Hennigan, "UI Search Committee Member Criticizes Openness," The Gazette Online, June 9, 2007, 8:50 a.m.

If you haven't checked it recently, you might also want to take another look at the Search Committee II, UI Presidential Search Site. On that page, under "The Search Process" you will find links to "Interview Schedule," "Candidate Vitae" (each candidate's curriculum vitae along with a downloadable 1500 x 2100 pixel photo suitable for framing!), "Ealuation Form" (one for each candidate; and remember that these must be submitted not later than 5:00 p.m. the day following the candidate's Search Committee II visit, and by 9:00 p.m. Friday for that day's candidate), "Search Committee" (the wonderful folks who've brought you these five), "Search Meetings" (links to minutes of the open portions of all Search Committee II meetings), and "Contact Us" (email addresses).

The "comment" from "Anonymous" added to this blog entry at 9:54 this morning seemingly speaks with some authority in asserting that what we have coming, though as yet unrevealed by Search Committee II, are two candidates with backgrounds in communications and psychology. For anyone with that much inside knowledge to refer to "the remaining two unnamed candidates" (when there are still three) suggests to me they are saying that Purdue Provost Sally Mason (not yet "officially" confirmed) is indeed, as reported here days ago, one of the five finalists.

(And "Anonymous'" suggestion that "the regents already rejected Hogan once" requires a bit of response.
(a) It is true that Search Committee I found that, of all possible future UI presidents, UI Provost Mike Hogan was one of the four most highly qualified in the entire United States. That much is right. It is also true that the Regents did not select him at that time. But what needs to be added is that the reason neither he nor any other of the four finalists was selected was because the Regents chose to call off the search and dismiss all Search Committee I members. (There was speculation at the time -- which I neither confirm nor deny -- that the reason for this rather extraordinary Regents' response (ultimately producing campus-wide resolutions of "no confidence" in the Regents) was that the favorite candidate of the Regents' president was not among the four.)

(b) "What do I know, I'm just a kid," but it seems to me the responsibility of a Search Committee II member is to pick from the field of potential candidates the four or five which that member of the Committee believes are, in their best personal judgment, the most highly qualified -- not to try to guess which ones the member believes the Regents would have thought to be the most qualified. That's the Regents' job. Thus, under any circumstances, but especially under these circumstances it is neither an excuse, nor even relevant, that "the regents already rejected Hogan once" -- even if it were true.

(c) Finally, as "Anonymous, 1:11 p.m." points out, given Governor Culver's four appointments to this nine-person Board since the Search Committee I debacle, "This is not the same Board of Regents.")
Here are the stories about the two finalists from the Des Moines Register and The Gazette.

Given the role of the University Hospital, and College of Medicine, at the University -- and in Search Committee I's dissolution, and Search Committee II's makeup and efforts -- the Des Moines Register's series about the hospital actually takes on some significance with regard to the UI presidential search.

Info About Our Candidates

The basic, conventional information about each candidate (e.g., their curriculum vitae, news release, and photo) can be found on the Search Committee II's UI Presidential Search Site. I will not repeat it here.

Mark Becker and Philip Furmanski. The results of my first, superficial efforts at Googling the two of them was reported in, Nicholas Johnson, "Philip Furmanski" and "Mark P. Becker," in "UI Held Hostage Day 503 - 'Pretty Please,'" June 8, 2007.

The results of my Googling the third candidate -- whose identity has been revealed, but whose candidacy has not been confirmed, Purdue Provost Sally Mason -- is contained in, Nicholas Johnson, "UI Presidential Search: The Utility of Campus Visits -- And the Internet/Here's an Example of What's Out There on the Internet," in "UI Held Hostage Day 502 - Show Me the Web Sites," June 7, 2007.

Some of the results from the additional Googling I did on Becker and Furmanski June 9 is available at Nicholas Johnson, "What Will We Know and When Will We Know It? Becker, Furmanski and Mason," in "UI Held Hostage Day 504 - Getting to Know You," June 9, 2007.

Computer Breach, Gartner's Reach, and Regents' Governance

The last time the UI experienced what appeared to have been a computer breach involving a single person's data (John Colloton's emails) Regents' President Michael Gartner thought it serious enough to warrant his personal micromanaging of an investigation. This past week, when "The University of Iowa has sent letters to about 1,000 students and applicants to the Molecular and Cellular Biology program and to 100 faculty members, warning them of a Web site security breach," I am unaware of any expression of concern whatsoever from any Regent. See the stories in The Gazette and the Des Moines Register.

Lest there be a question about my position: Since I don't think this is the kind of thing any rational governance model would assign as a task for the Regents, I think they are to be praised for their silence -- especially in light of the fact they have no governance model and thus each had to figure it out for themselves.

And speaking of President Gartner, I never got back to his letter to the editor the other day. There are a number of things he's done recently that I have commented about positively, and this is one more. First, let me reproduce it again; it's short.
There is one vote to each regent

Aw, c'mon! Your story says, "Gartner has said" the finalists from the first search for president of the University of Iowa were rejected because they "lacked sufficient health-care experience, which he said would be necessary to oversee University Hospitals." And then you add, "However, many disputed that reason, saying in fact Gartner nixed the search when his preferred candidate, former Syracuse University provost Deborah Freund, did not make the list of finalists."

As you noted, the vote to reject the finalists was 6 to 2, and as you didn't note, all four regents on the Search Committee were among the six "no" votes. As your reporters well know, each regent has one vote; no regent has the power to "nix" anything.

Michael Gartner
Iowa state Board of Regents
Michael Gartner, "There is One Vote to Each Regent," Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 6, 2007.

He's right. And the lesson in that for his critics is that they are overlooking what should be the focus of their protest: the other eight Regents.

The only reason Michael Gartner can speak as if he was the Board of Regents, the only reason he can act like a CEO with the other Regents reporting to him as if they were his vice-presidents, the only reason the Board operates without ever having put a rational governance model in place, the only reason he is able to intimidate (if he does) -- is because they let him, because they do nothing about it, because they don't insist on the governance model that would have prevented 90% of the problems the Regents have confronted over the last 500-plus days. That's the only reason they're looking to hire a "public relations firm," as if their problems can be solved with duct tape.

Those eight Regents have all the power they need to run their Board the way they want to. If they don't agree with how Michael Gartner goes about his job (and theirs) they should be looking in the mirror, not at him. Meanwhile, the real issue is how they are going about their job. Don't blame Gartner.

For background on the Regents' desperate need for a governance model, see Nicholas Johnson, "An Open Letter to Regents on 'Governance," in "UI Held Hostage Day 451 - Open Letter to Regents," April 17, 2007, and Nicholas Johnson, "Regents, Governance, PR Firms, Strategic Planning, Presidential Selection, and June 13," in "UI Held Hostage Day 487 - Governance Regents Number One Priority," May 23, 2007.

# # #

Write-In Campaign Heats Up for President Mike Hogan

"Another UI Faculty" (Anonymous), 1:36 p.m.
, has proposed a write-in campaign for UI Provost Mike Hogan. His or her suggestion is that when we file our "evaluations" of each of the five (and now four) candidates that -- at least those who share "Another UI Faculty's" judgment -- should indicate that, whatever else they may think of the candidate in question, they think Mike Hogan would be better. Interesting idea -- and it's already picked up some support in subsequent Anonymous comments.

# # #

Since I haven't provided the standard slug regarding "Optiva" and the Presidential search for awhile, here they are again if you'd like to review some of the history of this saga:

# # #

[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 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.]

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.

# # #


Anonymous said...

The candidates appear qualified, but no more qualified -- and in some cases less qualified -- than Provost Hogan. What was Search Committee 2 thinking in excluding him? Given that he was the top pick of Search Committe 1, this suggests blatant disregard for the hard work of the first search committee and the leadership that they showed. Search committee 2 appears to have little backbone and now seems to be rolling over to the Gartner-Fethke attempts to turn this place into the University of Wellmark. I certainly hope that the first three candidates are not a sign of the next two and that we have some diversity in the pool in terms of academic background and experience.

Anonymous said...

It is inappropriate to bash the search committee. The candidates are qualified and the regents already rejected Hogan once. The remaining two unnamed candidates include a psychologist and a communications expert. The pool is diverse and qualified.

Anonymous said...

It is very interesting to read about Hadley's comments. As the New York Times opined about Dick Cheney, the distinciton between public service and private enterprise has been obliterated.

Hadley, and probably Gartner and Wahlert (in her day) bring almost no understanding of academia and of public service. They base their opinions on private business dealings. And in private business any leak to the public will ruin whatever schemes or plans the business entertains.

Perhaps this is appropriate to modern academia. More and more the distiction between the University and the Corporation are blurred. Both are about money. Both are about promising 'consumers' (students and faculty) everything, then delivering litte of the promises; however it keeps the inner circle of power monied and employed.

Academia is no longer about knowledge and a shared democractic vision. It is about secrets, and power, and a facist vision of the university.

Anonymous said...

Of course all the candidates are qualified. They are good at committee work, shuffling paperwork, politics, and self-promotion. Like almost all administrators these days, they speak a good BS talk, and promise leadership.

The rejection of Hogan shows a fundamental flaw of the University governance. Rather than look at the best individual faculty members, thus promoting them as leaders and administrators based on their public service to the University, the U of Iowa tries to hire outside superstars.

What that does is assure that someone who doesn't know the state, nor the students nor the University will provide 'leadership'. It also assures the University of hiring a 'climber' who is using the U of I presidency to ascend to a better job.

Anonymous said...

i agree with north liberty. passing up hogan was a disgrace and that actula faculty members did that is disapointing. but then, look at the search committees membership. they arent real faculty in most cases. most are docs doc-wannabes or corporate-wannabes or paper-pushers. the only real academics are folsom, clark, and carlson. too bad tht the rest of us did not see this coming. anonymos at 9:54, how can you defend this search commitee -- bought off, lacking insight, and inflitrated with fehke-gartner moles. how embarrassing. how could anyone want to be president here with such a disapointing faculty.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon at 9:54 -- This is not the same Board of Regents. Also, the last time, it was not the entire Board that refused to consider Hogan. Now, many of them are gone and those remaining are disempowered. If the search committee was thinking that it was fruitless to name Hogan as a finalist for the Board, then one has to wonder how in the world any of them obtained a PhD. It is utter stupidity. So, they are either stupid or bought off.

--UI Faculty Member

Anonymous said...

UI Faculty Member and other Bloggers:

I'm surprised at the fatalism. Why roll over and assume Hogan is out of it? What about a "write-in" campaign? I suggest that under "YOUR COMMENTS" on the evaluation form for each candidate, if you think that Hogan is a better candidate than the one the form references, SAY SO! Put it in there.

If you don't like what our search committee has done, then let them know.

We don't have to be as lame as the search committee.

AnotherUI Faculty

Anonymous said...

Another UIFaculty:

Good point and good idea. You know, even though Furmanski seems to have a solid CV, none of the candidates will have what Michael Hogan has -- Iowa experience. It is clear that we need someone who is keenly aware of the horrifying regential politics and players like Gartner. He gets the culture and he knows what our strenghts and weaknesses are, and knows well what a quagmire this is with Gartner.

Becker is an amazing disappointment from the search committee -- barely any real experience at broad levels, a disappointing research record, and no Iowa connections whatsoever.

I have it on reliabile authority that he's a nice guy. Yet, we already have a much more highly qualified nice guy here.

So, I'm with Another UIFaculty -- let's see how the candidates stack up, and if they are not better than Hogan, let's write him in.

Thanks Another UIFaculty, for this idea.

Yet Another UIFaculty

Anonymous said...

well, not too suprising that one has already dropped out. if the candidates are paying any attention to the preess, they would see how risky this is and what a mess the universiyt has become. if they are not paying any attention then next week willl be a major wake up call. im not so sure that we are not already stuck with a gartner-fethke puppet-- you can be sure that person has not dropped out. the question is, who is it?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Already a drop out from our finalists. It makes you wonder how well the search commitee has done its job. This has been a circus from the beginning. They have not been able to commit to a process, they have let gartner and fethke guide them along only to have gartner stab them in the back over not disclosing the airport interview location. Yet, they continue to amble along. Do they not think that gartner and fethke have something to do with this. Wake up search committee -- you are being played!

Anonymous said...

I'm a staff person at the UI. I believe that people should know that Mary Greer was banned from the Staff interview group. Although many, many of us wanted her leadership again in the search process -- if only through the interview group, we were not permitted to have our voice heard.

This unfortunate for all staff. Mary has been an unwavering and faithful representative. The search committee should be ashamed of itself for succumbing to the obvious upper-level pressures to deny us rightful representation.

I urge all staff to consider joining in on the write-in campaign to nominate Mr. Hogan for the job, if the other candidates do not measure up. Mary was a staunch supporter of Mr. Hogan in the first search.

Mary, if you read these comments I hope you know how much we all appreciate and admire you.


UIHealthSci Staffperson

Anonymous said...

Fellow UI Faculty, Students, and Staff,

Today I see that many people are suggesting a write-in campaign for the unexplicably excluded Provost Hogan.

This is not a bad idea. There is a long history on the political landscape of darkhorse winners resulting from an unexpected 11th-hour swell of support.

Yet, I also think it is important to give the campus interviewees a fair forum. Listen to them, consider their experience and qualifications. If they do not measure up to Hogan's experience and qualifications, then write him in.

I also, however, urge you to write directly to the Board of Regents about this. Can we trust the Search Committee to convey support for Hogan (if it emerges)? Will they care? Who are they communicating with? (If it is Gartner, we can't be sure the message will be heard.) If you write to the Board of Regents, consider writing to Pro-Tem Miles. His quotes in the press seem to suggest a willingness to hear the community and an open mind.

Anonymous said...

I'm also with Another UI Faculty--we should definitely provide evaluations of the candidates IN COMPARISON to Hogan--the candidate whom we should have had the opportunity to hear interviewed in contrast with these other finalists in the first place! I would add one additional idea: why not also copy the Board of Regents and the Governor's Office in these "write-in" votes? That would assure that the magnitude of campus concern and support for Hogan actually would be communicated, and wouldn't die in the search committee (as the many letters of support on behalf of Hogan's candidacy that the committee received apparently did). It would also set the stage, on the off chance that the Regents also conclude that these candidates are mediocre, (especially in comparison with Hogan, and/or if additional candidates pull out), for the Regents and/or the Governor's Office to "encourage" the search committee to bring Hogan back either to fill out the "final four" for submission to the Regents, or to be the final choice, should the others prove to be inadequate even for final consideration.

Anonymous said...

hadley is the opposit of qualified. this is the guy that tried to sell us the rainforest. R U kidding me? now we have him helping select the next president? the university of iowa is a sorry, sorry place. Y does anyone want to be it's leader?

Anonymous said...

I am a student. We are organized and ready to weigh in on the search. I am going to pass along to our group the idea of writing in Mike Hogan as a candidate, if the others are not satisfactory.

We think it is important for the University to know that the students care and are not taking a vacation.

Mike Hogan has been good to us. He has taught us about higher education and he has listened to us. We don't always agree, but we all learn from one another. Yet, when all is said and done, one thing is obvious -- we have more scholarships and we have many more opportunities for applied learning. We have more classes that involve volunteering and we have more small classes that let us get to know our instructors.

I hope students who participate in the interviews and listen to the candidates will think about these things and ask, will this person do better for us than Mike?



Anonymous said...

I am long retired from the UI and have been watching all of this mostly from the sidelines.

At the risk of sounding like an "old-fart," I will say that I am disappointed in the new generation of faculty. You are risking the best and most precious traditions of our university by failing to take control of this process.

That our fine Provost -- in his own right a distinguished alumn of this institution and a leader elsewhere (at a more prestigious and advanced institution) -- is not even being considered is unimaginable. Leadership from within is a well-established and highly successful principle.

Altogether, I am skeptical about the likely success of a write-in campaign, should it become necessary upon inspection of the four remaining candidates' qualifications. Yet, it is a fine way to demonstrate the preferences and priorities of the campus.

If we feel that Provost Hogan has established initiatives we support, then this may be a good strategy to convey that to the search committee and Regents.

Like an earlier poster, I agree that we need to give the candidates a fair hearing. Yet, if we feel that Provost Hogan's initiatives are ones we want to support, whether we think he is a better candidate or not, then this should and must be conveyed in the comment form.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson,

Thank you for making this blog.

We have a great university and it is to bad that one candidate has already opted out. We have but one person to blame: Mr. Gartner. Why would anyone want to have to work with him? I hope our new regents will "show him the door" He is a disgrace and has irreversibly damaged the university.

It should be no surprise -- can you spell NBC? He is a disaster wherever he goes.

I hope the four candidates remain. Like others, I agree -- let's give them a fair process. If they don't measure up to Mike Hogan, then it is our job to say so.

I fell bad for some on the search committee. Maybe they just trusted to much.

Anonymous said...

Who should be most affected by this presidential decision yet is on the sideline? Students.

It is a very very sad idea that the students of the Univ of Iowa have almost no say in who will lead them on.

Another group left out would be citizens of Iowa. Are the citizens represented by Michael Gartner? Right.

Since before the resignation of President Skorton, the Univ of Iowa has been treated like someone's private playground.

Wellmark wanted the UIHC to be their ticket to cheap medicine.

David Gartner, despite little academic experience wants to remake the U of I in his distorted image.

Gary Fethke must also have some private reasons for manipulating the system. What the hell does he stand for anyway?

The biggest loser here -- the students who are at the mercy of this sick process, without much say.

Anonymous said...

There are very weird people involved in the BOR and the Univ.

I was shocked when Gary Fethke introduced ex-President Jimmy Carter. Fethke introduced himself as 'President of the Univ of Iowa'. No Gary, you are INTERIM President. What a sham.

How do people feel about Hadley? We know how well that Maytag thing worked out for Newton and Iowa don't we?

And Gartner? Give us a large break there. If the U of Iowa turns out like NBC News it is only a matter of time before something crashes and burns.

Anonymous said...

So...a candidate has dropped out...No, maybe it was not because his name was revealed early, as Kurtz suggests, but instead because the candidate has been reading the newspaper and the internet (thank you Professor Johnson!) and realizes this is a big mess (understatement here). BUT guess what??? It's NOT too "late in the game" to fix this situation! Dean Johnsen is dead wrong and a coward to boot...He's quoted as saying that it's "late in the game." Well, no, it's not too late to bring in one more finalist and the search committee maybe could save face...say, who could that be? I have a thought! How about making that Michael Hogan! That way the committee could actually be responsive to campus wishes! (oh yeah--how cool--since they're actually working on behalf of the campus, they could start being listeners, right? Kind of like our representatives?) I call on Dean Johnsen and the search committee to rethink their flawed decision to drop Provost Hogan from the final four. This is a chance for them to rehabilitate themselves and save themselves from a catastrophic failure! Oh, and yes, it's their chance to serve the campus and give us the best presidential candidate we could find!

Anonymous said...

Provost Hogan's letter in today's Press Citizen is the epitomy of class and dignity. Why in the world did Search Committee II pass him up?

Becker doesn't have nearly the qualifications and they bring him in?

I hope that the faculty, staff, and students stand up to this ridiculous outcome and seriously consider the candidates in comparison to Provost Hogan. THen, make your opinions known in the Web forms and directly to the Regents.

It is not too late for us to act.

Anonymous said...

So, it's been suggested that "write in" votes to the search committee for Hogan be copied to the Regents and the Governor. Technically, how can that be accomplished?
The search committee has provided a web-based link for comments that is confidential and does not allow for copies to be sent anywhere else than to their dedicated site. My thought is that before sending, we could copy the final content of our survey into an email for the Regents, and mail to the email address given on the Regent web site:
The Governor's office is a little trickier, but the web url below takes you to an email option set up on the Governor's web site:
There may not be room to share the content of the whole survey, but just reporting that you "wrote in" Hogan in your feedback to the committe (if you did) should be bette than nothing, it seems to me.

Anonymous said...

Oops...let's try that again...the Governor's web url for contacts got cut off. Here it is:


Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 6/10 9:54 who claims the pool of candidates is diverse and qualified...No, a bunch of scientists, a psychologist (who's withdrawn?) and a communications person do not constitute diversity...the core of this university--humanities and arts--is not even represented in ONE candidate's educational background. (Furmanski has served as interim dean and then dean of liberal arts for a short time, but this does not necessarily confer an understanding of liberal arts.) The damage that can be done to the core of the University by someone who does not understand the liberal arts and doesn't know that he doesn't know is best illustrated by the actions of our Interim President Fethke. Please help us ensure we don't repeat that mistake. Hogan is the best person for this job at this time!

Anonymous said...

I also wonder whom among the candidates brings with them the experience to work with the UIHC. The first two candidates come from science and biology, however appear not to be part of an administration of a large university hospital? And isn't that why Mike Gartner called off the ill-fated search 1.

Somehow I get the feeling that search-1 was going to decide upon Hogan, however Gartner blocked that. Now, someone has determined Hogan does not even make the Final 5, despite being at least as qualified as the named Final 2.

Politics. Horrible!

Anonymous said...

Something is wrong -- really, really wrong!

Every candidate that we are going to see comes from a lesser-ranked institution!

Every candidate that we are going to see has less broad, executive-level administrative experience than Hogan!

Not a single candidate that we are going to see is familiar with the Iowa political landscape (babes in the woods, really)!

The only conclusion that I can draw from all of this is that the Search Committee is bent on undermining the university and letting its academic programs go down the tubes.

How incredibly irresponsible! The Search Committee members should be ashamed of themselves for letting this happen. I can't believe my dean was a part of this!

Anonymous said...

uifaculty clas:

omygod! did you see the gazette? they report that one of the finalist (the one that dropped out) is from, get this, missouri state university!

how did this guy get into the pool and not mike hogan?

i agree something is wrong here. how can members of the search committee face the campus after doing this?

im not in liberal arts, but the faculty there should be demanding an explanation from dean maxon. you bet i will ask parkin what the heck is going on.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe a search committee per se tries to undermine a university. A search committee is working within the environment laid out for them. Something in this environment, set up by the Board of Regents, Interim Pres Fethke, and the powers in the search committee must have set the tone for interviewing a number of candidates who jump from position to position always looking for something better.

Furmanski has been at Rutgers since 2003. Becker has been at USC since 2004.

Doesn't bode well for a 'leader' who will develop a vision of Iowa and the university environment. About the time the President gets to know the state, he/she will be jumping to the next career move.

Anonymous said...

per the Gazette its Charles R. Bantz, chancellor at Indiana University - Purdue University in Indianapolis and Mason

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. This is not a stellar crew for consideration at this University. Aside from issues mentioned previously, not one person is from a Division I institution and/or one of comparable research scope/magnitude/stature or comparable health sciences center. The complexity and nature of the issues these candidates would face as President here are in a different hemisphere than those they have experience with. Very disappointing, Search Committee II. And no, I don't have particular sympathy with anyone on that committee. As has been noted previously, if members now feel that manipulation occurred, they still have the option of distancing themselves by resigning. Silence implies agreement.

Anonymous said...

A sad commentary on the state of university presidents can be gleaned from the article saying Sally Mason is likely leaving Purdue. Search firms appear to be the real power broker these days. Not university faculty members, not books about dynamic academic development, and certainly not students nor the public. Search firms.

Is there any wonder why academics looks more and more like the business world?

I am waiting for professors to be charged like retail outlets...wait that is happening already.

Anonymous said...

The report from the US House committee investigating academic misconduct at Purdue does not at all paint Mason in a good light. Not at all:

Anonymous said...

5:12 anonymous said, "Not one person is from a Division I institution and/or one of comparable research scope/magnitude/stature or comparable health sciences center. The complexity and nature of the issues these candidates would face as President here are in a different hemisphere than those they have experience with."

Whaaa???? I'm not at all defending this search, but you're saying that Rutgers University is no comparison to the University of Iowa? On what planet? I think we don't lend much credibility to the criticism of this search when statements like this are made.

Anonymous said...

This is quite upsetting. Dr. Furmanski is an accomplished scientist, but in his own words at this afternoon's open forum, he doesn't know much about UI. He hasn't had a chance to learn about us? Wouldn't any job candidate who has a serious interest in working for a particular company bother to learn something about the company?

How can he sense how the issues confronting higher education (which he did articulate fairly well, IMHO, at today's forum) apply to UI? How will he uniquely represent UI in this situation and give some strategic direction?

Why didn't he bother to educate himself about UI?

Anonymous said...

Hello Fellow Bloggers,

The press citizen published the "write-in" campaign today, but framed it as a "student campaign."

I'm a faculty member, and I want to get behind this. I don't know if the student's started it, but it looks to me like "Another UI Faculty" started it.

Go faculty!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:18,

rutgers is ranked below UI in every ranking system out there.

im not Anonymous 5:12, but rutgers is BELOW UI.

Anonymous said...

Well, to use the UI marketing campaign, "Remarkable" -- but, I use this phrase in quite a different way.

Today at the forum, Furmanski appropriately noted the importance of: Diversity, freshman seminars, honors programs, undergraduate research experience.

Hogan has been doing this ALL ALONG. And, he did it without fundraising -- he did it through strategically managing our precious resources.

Budget cuts? We've been there.

Furmanski obviously knows the issues. But so does Hogan AND Hogan knows Iowa (and Furmanski admits he does not). This is not a slam on Furmanski, but rather a criticism of the search committee.

Just about everything that Furmanski discussed is in Hogan's Spring Speech! And, it is in it with a keen awareness of the situation at the University of Iowa.

Why, why, in the world did the search committee not put Hogan in the final pool, if these are the things that are desirable? The search committee needs to step up and answer.

I hope that the Regents step up and ask this question.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anonymous 7:27 for your comments...I'm Anonymous clarify my point, I believe...but let me re-phrase: even if there is someone from a comparable institution (who wants to argue this silly point?), if he or she doesn't know the UI issues, there's no comparison with Hogan...It's really tiring to listen to the kind of hairsplitting that anonymous 7:18 and others offer that serves only as a distraction to finding a solution to the challenge at hand and does no one any good...The bottom line is that this group of candidates, on the face of it, considering all the issues, does not hold a candle to our Provost, and I cannot understand why this campus has no motivation to make that point and demand his inclusion! It doesn't really matter how these four finalists appear in interviews. They don't know the landscape, and not one of them has superstar stature to justify bringing them with the notion that they could supersede the candidate we have on our campus whom we know and who thus is not a "crap shoot," who is more qualified, and who has the added advantage of actually knowing our issues (so that what he says is actually credible). Get it, anonymous 7:18? I'm not really interested in a clever verbal duel with anyone and I'm bored by shallow, stupid analysis. I am writing only because I want someone somewhere to get a clue and figure out some way out of this pathetic excuse for a search!

Anonymous said...

The Press Citizen was correct in referring to a student-led write-in campaign for Hogan. It is happening and mass communication to students has begun ever since the final names were released.

As a member of the original 20 concerned students, I apologize if the article seemed to assume that the entire campaign was student-led. We didn't realize that the faculty had started one too.

It's not important who started the campaign... but it is exciting and encouraging to see that both constituencies are stepping up and taking action. Are there any Staff members out there stepping up to join the movement? I hope you will join us as well.

Let's unite for Hogan. He needs our support now more than ever!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Dr. Furmanski could not even effectively communicate with the group of students who met with the candidate earlier in the day. Students on the committee displayed concern that while he seemed incredibly articulate and intelligent; he neglected to engage in conversation surrounding the importance of student life and student activity on campus. Something deemed incredibly important by students of this University as evident by the over 400 student organizations that exist at the University of Iowa. Upon being asked a very similar question regarding student accessibility during the Open Forum, he again neglected to provide examples of involvement in student life.

Again, we have to ask the question “Why wasn’t Provost Hogan one of the finalists?” Dr. Furmanski doesn’t even come close to competing with Provost Hogan in regards to student accessibility. Hogan has had a very positive history of working with students across campus. More than simply providing funding and resources for students, Provost Hogan has continuously shown genuine interest in student endeavors by participating in student activities, emphasizing the importance of quality undergraduate education and engaging students in all levels of decision making at the University of Iowa.

As concerned students at the University of Iowa, we demand more from our Presidential Candidates. We demand Provost Hogan be considered a finalist.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:12/7:50--This is 7:18--I totally agree with you that the point is that anyone coming in as an outside candidate must clearly surpass Hogan, and so far that doesn't seem to be happening. We're on the same page. But you didn't say that very well in the post that I took issue with. I don't think my criticisms are "silly," "hairsplitting," or a "clever verbal duet." Yeah, I "get it"--more than you know. My point, which I maintain, is that when one is trying to make an argument, one loses credibility when making inaccurate and over-the-top statements--being precise, reasonable, and rational (as Nick Johnson is) is exceedingly important in this situation. To both 5:12 and 7:27--look at the current USNWR rankings--Rutgers is 60 among top national universities, Iowa is 64. They are obviously comparable institutions--they are not at all in a "different hemisphere."

For the record, I agree that Furmanski was impressive in some ways today, but did not at all show up Hogan. And as many good posters have pointed out, and I concur, Furmanski all but admitted that he didn't know much of anything about Iowa. Hogan obviously does.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous 7:18...I for one find the numerous rankings we might have recourse to, to be just one more mechanism that the new "corporate" higher ed. has bought into hook, line and sinker...these measures ultimately mean very little--they're tools for all manner of what I consider to be "silly" and "shallow" arguments that have nothing to do with the reality that matters. And those of us who use them and believe in them completely are brain-washed. They're mental constructs that people invest a lot of faith in because they're comforting and it's easier to buy into them than to face those subjective values that can't be measured. The God of "rationality" can fall into the same cateogory--not everything that matters can be dissected. Sorry. Maybe the real truth is that you and I are speaking from different hemispheres--we may observe similar things but look to different places for solutions.

Anonymous said...

For those planning to go to Tuesday's Regent interviews with the candidates, be aware that the time has been moved up slightly. The interview will begin at 8:45 am in Richey Ballroom, and the Regents have been asked to arrive by 8:30 am.

Anonymous said...

The link didn't come through very well--try this one instead:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:42--I am no fan of USNWR rankings, either, and I did not invoke them initially--the other anonymous poster invoked "rankings," and you thanked him/her for "clarifying" your point, so I presumed you put some credence in such rankings--hence my intent (which has always been my only intent) to get facts on the table, and in this case it was the kind of facts, which you now disavow, that were invoked by someone else.

I think from an objective standpoint--whether one invokes "rankings" or not--your intial statements that "not one" of the candidates comes from a school comparable to the UI and that "the complexity and nature of the issues these candidates would face as President here are in a different hemisphere than those they have experience with" are patently untrue and rash. Rutgers is a nationally known comprehensive public state university (larger than the UI in terms of enrollment) with a research/teaching profile very similar to the UI. Its overall budget, research funding, and complexity are very much in the neighborhood of the UI. It serves no purpose (and I firmly believe serves a counterproductive purpose), even if you're arguing for Hogan, to suggest that Furmanski comes from an institution that would not prepare him for the presidency of the UI. Indeed it does. (I am not supporting Furmanski's candidacy here--I agree with Nick Johnson that his presentation today was "unremarkable," and I have already stated that he does not surpass Hogan.)

Anonymous said...

6/12 12:48: The point implied by my earlier comment (with which you took issue--and no, I didn't state it clearly and completely) is what's been asserted by others and what really matters: the committee did not do its work. The two sitting presidents--one who pulled out--come from schools not comparable to the UI. (Can we agree on that much?) The remaining three are provosts who cannot in any way (regardless of the comparability of their schools to UI) have as much understanding of the UI as Hogan does, and in terms of their experience and qualification they are equal to (at best) but do not exceed Hogan. (Had the Rutgers candidate been a president, that might have been more satisfying, regardless how we view Rutgers in comparison to UI). Hogan should have been brought into the finalist pool by the committee. Since he wasn't, despite strong campus support during the selection process, and since the committee has continued to be deaf to the campus protest after the selection, it's obvious that something else is at work (various comments have amply substantiated this). I continue to cast about for a solution to redress the very wrong turn this has taken. All this talk and commentary serves no purpose if the people controling this process succeed in manipulating the outcome. Finding a way to crack through and actually effect that change would be very constructive. I mean, let's assume the rest of the candidates are also "unremarkable" and we all continue to believe Hogan is better---and at minimum better for us at this time. What then?

Anonymous said...

Dear Fellow Hawkeyes --

Over one year ago President David Skorton left the University of Iowa and set off for the eastern seaboard. After a fitful start, the UI and Board of Regents have finally decided upon five final candidates to publicly interview on the UI campus. Unfortunately, there is a problem with the final group of candidates. Current Provost Michael Hogan is not a member.

For those of you who do not know him, he is great. His intelligence, class, and overall dedication to the UI is amazing. Mike knows the community, has an overall better background and preparation than the other candidates, and was the number one pick during the first presidential search debacle. He is the leader the community deserves. Mike deserves an on campus interview. He was not included in the final group because of his integrity. Michael Gartner and other members of the Board of Regents have plans for the UI that have nothing to do with its overall mission. Basically, many of them have vested interests in the hospital, health care in the state of Iowa, and dollars for economic development. The last thing this group wants is someone who will stand up to their shenanigans.

You are engaged and active members of your community. You are spending or did spend quality time at the UI. You are the future UI donor base. You care about the future value of your degree. You can do something to help.

Michael Hogan has an opportunity to become the UI president, but only through the help of a passionate grassroots effort. Please send your opinion to the Board of Regents and the selection committee. Below are a few steps you can take -- they will take less than 5 minutes and can help guarantee a bright future for the UI.

Thank you for your time, interest, and help. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me throughout the week. Pass this email around.

Lindsay Schutte

UI alum -- 2005
UISG president -- 2004 - 2005
Current Los Angeles resident


Vote for Michael Hogan: (The easiest option)

Link to any of the evaluation forms and in the text area towards the bottom, write in Michael Hogan.

Email the Head of the Search Committee: (The second easiest option)

Call the BoR: (The most effective option)

Call them and let them know how you feel.

Email the BoR:
Gary Steinke, Head of Board staff:

Learn More:

Anonymous said...

Good Grief....

You people are advocating for little more than mob rule.

This is a case study and argument for classical republicanism.

I urge the Search Committee and Board of Regents to ignore the torches and pitchforks and stick with the process and choose the best person possible. It looks like there are some good choices possibly. Although, I am not sure why anyone would want to lead this hornet's nest at this point.

Anonymous said...

To 6/12 10:59: Have you at all informed yourself about the context in which the search committee made its decision? Protecting a "process" at all costs in the face of facts that strongly suggest the process was manipulated, including ethical violations, is no longer "civility" but "self-delusion" (but maybe that's comfortable...hmmm...maybe that's also "classical Republicanism.") To sit back and let a process of this kind move forward without some insistence on accountability and an explanation for a highly questionable outcome, will permit an outcome delivering more of the same--and it will be exactly what a silent campus deserves. (Since you raise the spectre of mob rule, may I remind you of the Boston Tea Party? May I also remind you that search committee members are our representatives and not the emperor's chosen few?)

Anonymous said...

Here is the deal.

The Board of Regents is appointed by the Governor, they hire the University Presidents. It has been tradition that the UI Community in the form of search committees shared in this responsibility. It is not Law.

We keep hearing all these items regarding ethics, yet NO ONE can produce anything substantial. Just innuendo.

Gartner's chickens are sort of coming home to roost here. He miscalculated what blowing up the committee and starting over would do. He was able to convince enough of the others that the candidates were not desirable. Perhaps not a great move, but not illegal or unethical.

There seems to be a pervasive belief underlying this whole thing that Gartner is corrupt. Prof Johnson has not claimed such, but it is behind all those remarks about ethics I see from various posters. If you have something besides heresay, step on up.

Money in the form of insurance companies (ie Wellmark) having influence in hirings, etc. is nothing new. And even that can't be substantiated in any way.

I have nothing against these current candidates, but I imagine we narrowed the pool by the childish antics of the UI Community and would have had a better president if the UI Community had never been involved.

Anonymous said...

Dear Obadiah Plainman;

The UI community has produced Boyd, Rawlings, Coleman and Skorton. The Gartner regime has produced fiasco after fiasco. The mob you speak of is the response to his penchant for secrecy; he knows that it results in a circus of speculation. You took his bait and swallowed it.

Anonymous said...

The UI Community did not bring those folks out. They were hired by the Board of Regents in a shared governance model with input from the UI Community.

Again, a lot of attacks on Gartner with no specifics. I agree he is sort of an egotistical sort. Thats not a crime or even unethical last I looked

Anonymous said...

Well, if you need specifics on the ethics allegations I suggest you read (or re-read) some of the comments from posters going back to the first days of June--I believe starting with the 5th...and then think again. As for whether keeping this process "clean" is law (and thus a requirement?) or not law (and thus not a requirement perhaps?) I have this to say: If you're going to set up a process, whether it's law or tradition, then you must proceed under the rules you've set up for yourself; if you don't follow your own rules, you should expect to be called on it; and if you don't plan to follow any rules, why not just skip the charade and say you're going to make the appointment without input. The reason is that the people have elected the governor. The people have given the governor the power to appoint the Regents. But the power given over in both cases is not without limitation. These individuals are bound by a duty of stewardship to act for the public good. The public in this case is all of us--all Iowans, which includes students, their parents, and the entire UI community. Part of that duty is to act appropriately within a shared governance model in the interest of those being served. (Shared governance presumes that faculty actually have something of value to contribute to the governance process and will be called on and permitted to do so.) This does not include acting in one's own interests or any one else's interests if those interests do not coincide with the intereststs of the Regent universities and their constituencies...The whole notion of requesting transparency in the search committee process flows from the larger assumption that all of the business of these public institutions is being conducted for the benefit of the public, and that transparency through e.g. open meetings and open records laws will help to assure, as an accountability mechanism, that that's in fact what's happening. There is nothing about the alleged improrieties in this search that seems to me to be in service of the public good. And that's the problem. It appears that a public trust has been violated in numerous ways, (which only incidentally included manipulating the search committee), for ends that have nothing to do with the public good but with self interest of various kinds. The force of information here calls at minimum for a review or investigation--a different kind of accountability to assure that the public trust has not been violated, and to correct things if it has.

Anonymous said...

Please do not click on anonymous when writing posts if you wish to keep referring back to things you said earlier! It's confusing and impossible to follow, because 90% of these posts are all using "anonymous" and yet the posters seem to be trying to engage in a dialogue. It is unclear to me how many people are posting. So...please click on other when posting and enter in name a penname you can stick with. It's just as anonymous that way, but now we can try to figure out what is being said!

Anonymous said...

Fellow Bloggers -- students, staff, faculty. Remember that if you are considering participating in the "Compare to Hogan" analysis that you need to do it for every candidate (every form). keep at it! Let's get the best president, whether hogan or someone else who at least approximates him.

Anonymous said...

i've now seen two candidate forums. formaski was disappointing, but becker actually made formanski look good. what is going on here?

the only thing i can figure out is that the search committee is looking for someone who will not challenge the current power elite of the hosiptal and michael gartner, because these two candidates wont pose a challenge at all.

i still have to put hogan down as the winner on the evaluation form. perhaps the indiana candidate and purdue candidates will show us more, but so far, this is a real disapointment.

Anonymous said...

i must say that ms. schutte's letter is compelling and that she and all the other students make me proud to be a faculty member at this moment in time when im so embarassed by the search committees failure to include an obviously stronger candidate in the pool than what we have seen so far. at least it looks like we do a good job teaching students.

Anonymous said...

I think that ui faculty is onto something here...

Search Committee I: Declared a failed search because no one has hospital experience.... BUT

Hogan has been working with the hospitals and learning the ropes and well, he's learned them and speaks articulately about health care.... NOW....

He is not considered a viable candidate (on a committee that is stacked, no less)...

So, the real problem in all of this is:

(1) Hogan knows the hospitals and health sciences very well; too well...

(2) Hogan knows the rest of the university very well; too well...

Can you imagine a bigger threat?

Of course they (health sciences elite) do not want him in the pool. Bottom line: He knows too much.

Anonymous said...

I have a question.

When one of these four people is named President, what are you people going to do; Start a campus civil war or fall behind the person and work for the betterment of the University?

It is interesting watching this now as an alum and watching the faculty twist in the wind...kind of how they leave a lot of undergraduates

Anonymous said...

I saw Mike Hogan today. What a class act. He was laughing and talking with a group of people and didn't look beaten up or bitter. If we can find a leader like him and a person who can work with him and not be threatened (like the Skorton-Hogan days), we will be in good shape. This is what we should ask the search committee to do.

Anonymous said...


I think we can expect people to get behind the choice and help guide the next president, no matter who it is.

All of this (and it is not just faculty, trust me) is about civil (well, mostly) dialog. It is exactly what students should learn. It's about participation in a civil society.

Don't diss people who choose to weigh in on important issues. We don't have to agree, but if we don't participate it's a pretty sad day in history.

Anonymous said...

Well, Hogan is indeed a class act...I hope we continue to write in on evaluation forms for each candidate that we believe Hogan is better, if we believe that is the case. Why look for someone "like Hogan" when we could get Hogan?

I'm sure, Obadiah Plainman, that the "classy" UI faculty, staff and students will collaborate with whomever the new president is...But who knows, maybe the popular choice--the best man--Hogan--will win after all, making your question moot. As for your "twisting in the wind" reference...I wonder which university and which faculty you're referring to? We are surrounded here by unbelievably dedicated and generous faculty. If you had a bad experience as a student, that is really very unfortunate...but why wish that on anyone, with such a truly nasty phrase (or maybe you're too young to actually realize where it comes from)?

Anonymous said...

For what it is worth, Missouri State doesn't show up on the same list as Rutgers, etc. because that is a list of national doctoral universities. Missouri State is a regional masters level university, ranked 59th in the midwest.

Anonymous said...

Once more I must register my dismay at the Search Committee's poor judgment.

Today's candidate was simply not in the same league as our Provost. No big vision, no understanding of Iowa.

Anonymous said...

Check out Russell Valentino's blog on the press citizen. He said it all regarding Becker: So What? This is unacceptable the Search Committee should be ashamed. Any member who voted to bring in becker and not Hogan has obviously some kind of personal interest at stake. Any member who did support Hogan should promptly resign.

Anonymous said...

how unbelievable. i just watched the becker talk on the web. it is like he did not even bother to prepare a talk. his answer about the research track was the most definitive (we have to have one), but without any reasoning. at the end it was about big science teams. made no sense. so this is a guy the committee thinks could lead us?

Anonymous said...

In fairness to Becker, he didn't have much notice.

Look, none of these candidates have an inkling of what is going on at the Univ of Iowa. One at least admitted to it.

They are simply administrators looking to win the presidential lottery. Hop aboard their next career move. However this is what the search committee wanted.

Hunter Rawlings was probably no better than these guys.

We need to face it, the Univ of Iowa isn't such a hot entity these days. We get either climbers or people rejected by other institutions...

Anonymous said...

To 6/13 8:07: Your comment fits right in with my musings of the morning. As I tried to complete my evaluation form and articulate WHY Becker in no way matches Hogan, and then later read some earlier posters counseling the committee to "find someone like Hogan," I realized again, starkly, HOW LUCKY WE ARE to have HOGAN---HE IS SUCH A RARE FIND! Look, he has depth and nuanced insight into the issues facing higher ed, he has true commitment to these issues and to public service--and most stunningly, he has a wish to serve the U OF IOWA! This guy is in fact NOT a climber and he's most defnitely NOT a REJECT! How is it that we have a superb leader right here before us--we're sitting on a gold mine--and we don't realize it? It is unlikely that we can find someone "like Hogan" because this kind of quality is rare indeed--let's take the real thing while we have the chance!

Anonymous said...

Lindsay Schutte wrote an excellent letter and has suggested a great strategy. One other option for people needing to protect their confidentiality and wanting nevertheless to share their views about Hogan vs. the other candidates with the Regents follows: as taken from the Regents web site, below are the individual fax numbers, and the Board Office fax number (though unless the Regents themselves are sent the info., there's no guarantee it will be received by them and/or accurately reported to them by Board Office staff). Even one faxed statement to each of the new Regents, reporting, perhaps no later than Friday morning, a summation of your reaction could be useful. If someone has no personal fax, they can email their message to e.g. ZephyrCopies: 351-3500
who will print out and fax whatever you send them (and you can give them a credit card number for the nominal charge).Here are the numbers:

Board Office: 515-281-6420
Gartner: 515-288-6642
Miles: 515-243-5033
Campbell: 515-288-9965
Downer: 319-338-7250
Evans: 319-362-7220
Harkin: 703-768-9058
Lang: 515-225-5419
Vasquez: 515-247-5874

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is a nasty comment. Yes, I do know the origin of the phrase. I graduated over 15 years ago now. While its true there were some good professors, there were certainly just as many if not more who were there for a) research or b) writing books. While I don't wish ill will on anyone specifically, I certainly don't shed a lot of tears either over the faculty's angst and hand wringing over this issue.

If Hogan is so great, why was he not chosen by the Search Committee made up mostly of faculty? Does anyone know if Hogan even applied for the job this time around? He may be in the running for other jobs and just wants out, of course he would take the high road and never say it publicly.

A lot of complaints about the candidates. Leaves me wondering how many good people didn't apply because they didnt want to be a part of this circus.

Do other Big 10 Universities make their presidential candidates go through a dog & pony show vetting to soothe the fragile egos of their faculty?

Anonymous said...

Becker seems like a genuinely nice guy and earnest about his interest in being a president. I don't think he's right for Iowa. I don't hear him explaining why he wants to be IOWA's president -- only just that he wants to be a president.

Anonymous said...

Hogan did apply and even if he had not, the committee should have drafted him, as they still could and should. The committee is not mostly faculty, but a number of the faculty on the committee were serving a different agenda (see blog comments for June 5).

One other thought: for a state that claims to be bending over backward to keep its graduates in Iowa, our brutal rejection of this homegrown, superb alumnus who wants to "give back" to this state is particularly humorous (if you don't subscribe to dark humor in this instance you might as well just fold your tent).

Anonymous said...

One more thing, Obadiah Plainman: the irony in your comments about your negative student experiences with faculty is that Hogan more than anyone I've ever observed truly cares about the students and their undergraduate experience, and has done a lot for them already. (But it hasn't been at the expense of research which he of course fully supports, as well). I guess the negative things you experienced are things Hogan would want to reverse. These are the kinds of things, though, that only a President who knows the terrain and is in it for the "long haul" can begin to effect--assuming for a moment he/she has chosen to serve others as opposed to him/herself. I guess I can only suggest that these are among the reasons Hogan has such tremendous support across this campus; and that if any alumni out there really care about this institution and don't know Hogan, then please take our word for it: this man would make a difference and change lots of the things others have just tolerated. If it's the right kind of person, the President can make a huge difference on the culture and substance of an institution. To prior posters on this subject: yes, in this day and age, of course the top executive must be a fund raiser, and is called upon often as a "figure head." There are those presidents who are satsified with doing that and no more; but the role of President also carries with it the power to transform the environment--the degree of impact the President has on the institution is a function of the nature of the person holding the position. Anyway, you alumni, why not join the students in faxing your support for Hogan to the Regents (see earlier comments)?.

Anonymous said...

The best strategy in all of this is to let the search committee know what you think about the candidates and how they compare to our standard, which I think people are saying is Mike HOgan. Weigh in on the evaluation form everyday. It only takes a minute.

I am worried that arts and humanities seems an afterthought for all of these candidates. they only seem to bring it up when asked, but they fall all over themselves about biomedical research.

Anonymous said...

prof4arts: I agree, but as Ms. Schutte suggested, it would be wise to copy (or fax) to the Regents as well--at least the new ones, in my view--just in case the search committee remains deaf there would be a second group of ears. Given the short timeframe for the final decision, I think both strategies are important.

Biker Women said...


As you can see, I'm not quite clever enough to come up with a good blog name. The last time I attempted something that creative, it was my license plate, which I created to say "tennis lover." Proudly, I drove around letting all the world know how much we love tennis at our home. That all fell to pieces when, at a party, a friend comes in and says...."Hey, who is driving the minivan with 'tense lover' as a license plate?!'" 10SLOVR. You'll see me. I have humbly kept the plates as a reminder to me to avoid creative names.

So, I've been looking and looking for the comments section on this blog. I'm finally here. Thank you to UIHealthSci Staffperson who heard that I wasn't allowed to participate. In fact I am participating in the small groups. As I understand it, the suggestion was made that people other than me be invited, but in fact, I was selected and am pleased to have the opportunity to meet these candidates in a smaller forum. But, UIHealthSci Staffperson, I do thank you for your kind words and support.

I find the inconsistent grilling of the candidates by the Regents intriguing. How will they comfortably compare them? Why hasn't everyone been asked how they will manage UI Hospitals?

I was sorry I couldn't attend the interview with Sally Mason today. I'm not surprised that Gartner rudely interrupted her and put her in the pressure cooker. My experience is that he is rude (I don't think I'm alone here ;)), but he is especially rude to women.

My two cents. I'm glad I found you all and will now go back to reading more of this interesting discussion.


Anonymous said...

Far be it from me to try and defend Michael Gartner, but I had a completely different reading of the Gartner-Mason dynamic. Rather than see his comments as rude or putting her in the pressure cooker, I think he gave every appearance that she was his favored candidates.

To use a baseball metaphor -- appropriate for Gartner as owner of the Iowa Cubs -- he threw her hardballs when he knew she could hit them out of the park, and he threw her easy pitches when there might be a danger of her striking out.

He handled the damaging accusations that have been made against Mason and Purdue -- that she and the school ignored scientific misconduct -- downright delicately. He gave her the opportunity not only to defend herself, but to frame however she wanted to. Except for his comment on email -- which seemed, perhaps, to be a commentary on many accusations thrown against him for speaking his mind too stridently -- he seemed to me to be on her side.

Perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but if Gartner really wanted to be rude, he would have been RUDE. If he wanted to use the accusations against Mason to sink her candidacy, he would told the story himself -- using a much more sinister sounding tone -- and then asked her to respond to the allegations.

I don't know if he's a misogynist at heart or not -- remember his favored candidate last time around was Deborah Freund -- but in this case I think there was more behind manner of questioning than a blanket disrespect for female academics.

Anonymous said...

Mary Greer! Glad you are here. And let me thank you for representing us so well on the prior round of the search (and after it).

I didn't think that Mason handled the research ethics question well at all. Once again, she attributed the situation to "bickering personalities" of faculty.

BTW, did you all know that she donated over 1.5 million dollars to Purdue just as they started their search for a president? (She was a candidate but was not selected.) I find this rather, well, distasteful. Probably innocent, but it is these kinds of appearances of impropriety that Presidents need to avoid. Consequently, I have to question her ability to bring confidence and integrity to the office.

Aside from these issues, she does have very good experience and seems to be a nice person.

Anonymous said...

its obvious taht mason is gartners pick. and its also obvious that she has a pre-existing relationship with gartner. anyone notice how she referred to him as "michael" on more than one occasion in the interview? this is not somethihng that people who do not know each other in a formal executive interview would do.

Anonymous said...

In the last three years, in the most difficult budget times, Provost Michael Hogan has:
*Increased student scholarships
*Increased faculty salaries by an average of 20%
*Increased student research opportunities
*Increased diversity, surpassing goals for 2010 in some areas
*Increased the number of honors and freshman seminars
*Increased the transparency of our budgeting process

Many people thought that these kinds of ambitious goals and accomplishments were not possible during the tough times we have faced. Yet, Michael Hogan has showed us what is possible with creative, consultative, and strategic leadership.

A native Iowan, distinguished alumnus, experienced and well-loved leader, and highly accomplished scholar, it is disturbing that Hogan wasn't named a finalist in the second presidential search like he was in the first one. Nevertheless, we still need his talent and leadership.

It is critical that the regents appoint a president who can work with Hogan to provide balanced investment in strategic priorities and who mirrors Hogan's commitment to transparency, consultation, and the University's strategic priorities. Provost Hogan has referred to this approach broadly as "The Iowa Way," which reflects honesty, creativity, collaboration, and perseverance.

Let the regents and the search committee know that this is what we need and want -- someone who can work with and in a manner similar to Michael Hogan -- the Iowa Way. Put it on the candidate evaluation forms; send the search committee members and regents e-mails letting them know this. It makes a difference. We have a new Board of Regents and they are listening to us.

Anonymous said...

Professor Johnson, to use a metaphor from your earlier comments: with this morning's analysis "you hit a home run" or was it "you hit it out of the ballpark"? Whatever (sorry I'm not a baseball person)--the point is, I think you said it all. Your analysis, without more, would dictate hiring the on-campus person--the one who knows the landscape (you could read that as: the one who knows where the bodies are buried), etc. I just want to add that it is a happy accident that Hogan also brings integrity, and a principled commitment to SERVE IOWA--he would not be looking to this as a springboard. His personal qualities are uncommonly rare and valuable. So, while your analysis is compelling in itself, it seems to me that my footnotes heighten the force of your argument. I think that we could use our evaluation forms simply to refer the search committee to your analysis.

Anonymous said...

This entire process of selecting a president is all misguided.

The president of a university should come from within. Outstanding faculty who contribute should rise throught the ranks to lead a university. That's the David Skorton way.

The current way of selecting a president involves finding a search firm to bring in the various provosts from around the country who are hovering about in an attempt to win a presidential lottery. None of these provosts or vice presidents currently give a damn about a school -- say the Univ of Iowa -- except possibly to enhance their career and status.

That's harsh to say but true.

A university should strive hard to attract the best faculty, then select leaders from that faculty rather than bring in a bunch of semi-superstars (which they really aren't) to fit them into the presidency.

Anonymous said...

sally mason had an impressive talk today. i did think it was curious that many of the "accomplishments" she noted were similar to provost hogans (diversity committee, undergraduate research). so far, she seems like the best of hte candidates. there is that research integrity problem, though, which sounds pretty serious.

Anonymous said...

Mason was interesint today in the public forum. She was very relaxed and good at humor. What was lacking, however, was recognition of Iowa's accomplishments (some surpassing Purdue).

I'm still leaning toward Dr. Hogan on this.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Johnson,

You make an interesting argument. I doubt the Regents will buy it, but you are right. Hogan should still be considered. After all, c'mon -- the South Carolina guy is not nearly in this league; the Missouri State guy -- well, at least he had the sense to get out. We'll have to see about Banz. The problem with Mason (most qualified of all) is questionable judgment/ethics. She might be OK, but I still have to say she doesn't measure up to Hogan.

Anonymous said...

Today was interesting. I heard from colleagues that thought she was great and ones that were wondring why she is in the pool.

My own take is that she is very, very competent. She is taking the hit for the purdue president's mistake (about the research ethics case). Yet, that's what good adminstrators do. You don't want to tank the institutions.

I'm wondering what Mike Hogan would have done? i'm guessing he would have probably helped the president deal with it.

Well, anywy. Mason's clearly the best s far. She at least took the time to learn about Iowa.

Anonymous said...

Mason has a great style, but one has to wonder about her judgment. Also, once you get past the charm, her actions are somewhat startling -- massive turnovers in faculty (why are they leaving?), closing down departments? I think she is the best of the bunch, but like Johnson, I think we have to be asking for HOgan to be considered.

Anonymous said...

I just finished watching the open forum. Mason is good, but so much of what she talked about seemed like things Provost Hogan has already done. Also, I was disturbed that she didn't seem to mention students in much of her talk.

Anonymous said...

I just filled out an evaluation and still find myself leaning toward Mike Hogan. I don't like some of the polciees he has -- we do need to hire faculty, as Mason has done. But, to be fair, we need more funding (Mason got Purdue to raise tuition -- maybe our regents will get the hint).

So, I find myself continuing to write in hogan.

I don't understand the search committee's reasoning in leaving him out.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Mason's interaction with a group of students today went very smoothly. But perhaps too smoothly. Though the last two candidates lacked the ability to really hit the student questions on the head, Dr. Mason sailed through them with little ease. In fact, she often brought up these questions herself.

To me, it looked as though she had literally been handed our sheet of questions. Of course, her humor and her ability to bounce questions back at us really impressed some of the students. But others questioned her motives. I found her disengenuine and suspiciously confident. She continuously referred to the position as if it was already hers.

Another concern of mine is her focus on Graduate and Professional Programs above Undergraduate Programs. She was asked questions regarding both and while she seemd all too eager to leave questions involving our undergraduate education at the door, she could not do enough to praise or grad and professional programs. As an institution that has just recently attempted to put money back at its source, where it belongs - in Undergraduate Education, I am nervous to see what Dr. Mason would do to reverse this trend.

I remember reading an earlier comment stating that Mason is Gartner's pick. I can definately see that being true, just based on the student interview alone. She was incredibly prepped for yesterdays interviews.

Anonymous said...

Of course Gartner is pushing for Mason. That was quite obvious in how he set her up during the Regents interview. That means Fethke is behind her too, and probably a few members of the Search Committee as well.

Watch what happens once she is named President. I'm sure more than one of those Search Committee members will be moved to a very comfy position in the University hierarchy.

It's all so corrupt. I'm embarrassed of my institution.

Anonymous said...

Yes...I watched the Mason forum on UITV last night and noted several times she spoke as though she already were president. (My initial response was "how arrogant." But of course, now I realize the previous poster's suggestion that she knows she's "it" explains it better.)She's very smooth--too smooth for me. I felt her to be quite cold under a glossy exterior which on the surface is calculatedly spontaneous, charming and "warm." Her explanation of why liberal arts are necessary left me unmoved (something like: because we're in a knowledge-based economy and so we need to train people so they'll be capabale of creating knew knowledge--excuse me, if that's all there's to it, why not just have everyone study science?), as did her off-hand comment that she doesn't see why that's such a "hard sell." To me, she speaks about the humanities and arts as a foreigner, having learned some of the vocabulary. The confidence with which she does so is what's the most frightening. Fethke does that too.

Anonymous said...


What Would Max Hawkins Do?

Anonymous said...

So we are about to name a new president (Mason), whose veracity was under suspicion in a report from the US Congress.

For an institution accused of being in bed with Wellmark, and of blowing the presidential search, such a controversial choice is startling.

It seems the point here is getting a university president that Boss Michael Gartner can direct around. He is the man who has the future of Iowa education all figured out.

Gartner sure loves getting women under him (Teresa Wahlert, the first favored candidate Debra Freund, and now Mason).

Where is the issue that ruined Search 1, the ability to run a large medical center? Has any of these candidates been involved in that? Purdue doesn't have a medical center.

Let's face it, when Vilsack appointed Michael Gartner he really screwed the Iowa university system. Let's hope it doesn't go up in flames too badly.

Anonymous said...

Conrad Burns: you mean Max Hawkins, the UI's former lobbyist? For sure, some behind-the-scenes work, don't you think? Maybe he would continue to keep the Governor's office and the local legislative delegation informed (quite the longest shot--but they definitely have a stake in it, too, and could pressure the Regents if so moved. But maybe he'd make sure that not only the search committee, but also the new Regents--and the two who voted against closing down the last search--are fully informed. To that end, I really hope that despite it all being a long-shot, that people who care follow through not only on telling the search committee their views of the candidates in comparison to Hogan, and calling for his inclusion in the finalists reported to the Regents; but that they also communicate directly to the key Regents what they've told the search committee and why.

Anonymous said...


I do mean that Max Hawkins. A little bit of the personal diplomacy he practiced so well would sure be of use here.

Of course, the Regents and UI have several lobbyists working for them now. I dont think they have done any better than Max did.

Anonymous said...

6/15 12:33: I agree. They are both great, and I think Furmanski found them too. Listening to his forum presentation, it seemed to me he had used Hogan's 2007 spring speech as a blueprint.

Anonymous said...

just returned from the Bantz forum.

am i the only one who finds it troubling that he seems to portray himself as the authority over the medical school at indiana univrsity?

he's not. it reports to a VP at bloomington, which reports up through the bloomington chain of command.

even our esteemed blog sponsor, prof. johnson seems to have this inaccurate perception.

Anonymous said...

IU is a system. It has been undergoing lots of administrative changes. Maybe they changed the reporting lines?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Indiana is a system. They have a VP for Life Sciences (Craig Brater). The medicine enterprise is spread across different campuses, but it all reports to the Life Sciences VP, who reports to the system president (who is also president at Bloomington). I didn't catch the forum, but Bantz doesn't really have authority over the Indiana medicine operation.

Anonymous said...

what? so the search committee has brought us a kind of bogus contender? why would they do that?

if this is true - he doesn't oversee the health sciences - then this is a very suspicious search.

Anonymous said...

Be careful. I don't think he said in the forum that health sciences reports to him. I think he referred to himself as a chancellor of a university with an academic medicine operation and his institution as one that has a medical school. I don't think he ever actually said that it reports to him.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Bantz does indeed have oversight of the School of Medicine (as well as Dentistry, Nursing, and Optometry).

See the organization chart:

And the news release creating the VP Life Sciences position, which very specifically enumerates his oversight of the School of Medicine:

Anonymous said...


Read this more carefully. Brater oversees and coordinates the health sciences. He reports to the system president. Ask their faculty who they think calls the shots. I don't know what Bantz has said, but the fact is that Indiana has a VP for Life Sciences that coordinates everything across all of their campuses.

Nick said...

Re: "The Bentz Hospital" and my "inaccurate perception."

I don't often comment here, rather than in a blog entry, but I wanted to respond to "uihealth faculty, 6/15/2007 06:48:00 PM"

I take your word for the assertion that "even [I] have this inaccurate perception [that Bantz 'portrays himself as the authority over the medical school']."

The reason I have to take your word for it -- and thereby assume the risk of losing all chance at retaining the title as what you've kindly called your "esteemed blog sponsor" -- is that I have said and written so much that at my age I can never remember whether I once thought, said or wrote something or not.

What I do remember is (a) being very confused as I tried to figure out at the Regents' interview exactly what this guy's job and institutional organization was, and (b), I recall more clearly, since it only occurred three hours ago, naively asking him at the reception (because I didn't know), "By the way, do you have responsibility for the medical school?" to which he quite clearly said, "No." He then proceeded to explain to me (and someone else standing there) the history of how it was split off (presumably before he got there) and, near as I could follow the story, was merged with what I gathered was a private hospital (Methodist?).

So there it is. I just don't have any memory of ever having had this "inaccurate perception" included in what I can imagine must be a rather large collection of inaccurate perceptions that I have had building up over the years.

If I am ever granted -- by the "uihealth faculty" and his colleagues -- the good health and medical care to lead a life that is sufficiently long to enable me to go back and re-read someday the entirety of this blog I will keep an eye out for "The Bantz Hospital Perception Syndrome" and not be surprised when I find it somewhere in all that text.

Anonymous said...

Actually, beaware and uihc fac, that is a fairly old document (2005 press release). This has been a highly controversial situation at Indiana for a long time. The responsibilities have shifted.

Anonymous said...

professor Johnson:

i apologize. you are right -- you did not make this mistake. it was jim lewers in the press citizen blog.

i obviously am blog deficient and you remain, "our esteemed blog sponsor."

i do still find it quite disturbing that dr. bantz has seemed to at least imply experience with medical school oversight, although i am glad to hear that when asked directly, he was forthcoming.

thank you "esteemed blog sponsor."

Anonymous said...

Bantz was at Indiana-Purdue before the conflict and reorganization.

It has been no secret in Indiana that this was very, very controversial and that the reorganization of the medical operation was disempowering to Indiana-Purdue.

Anonymous said...

"At a time when we talk about providing good jobs for our kids to keep them in Iowa, our need to bring and retain quality people here, to get Iowans to return to the state, what better symbol could there be than to show this kind of respect to the Univerity, to say to the world and ourselves that it has quality worth retaining and doesn't need to look outside. Wouldn't that do more for the University's prestige and reputation than saying, in effect, "Not only do we not have any boys in Iowa who can play UI basketball, we don't even have any university administrators capable of running our university?"

But then this wouldn't be Iowa City, would it? It's one of those "If God could make a rock so big S/HE couldn't lift it, S/He wouldn't be God, but S/HE couldn't make the thing in the first place if S/He weren't God" things.

Anonymous said...

The committee's report has been released:

Anonymous said...

well, a long shot, but i was kind of hoping the search committee would say something about the write in campaign for hogan. of course, though, that would make them look bad. i see they are still asserting bantz has oversight of the medical school in the indiana system. makes me wonder about how well this search committee actually investigated these candidates. quite a disappointment, really.

Anonymous said...

Bantz and medicine

Give Bantz a break.

It's clear that IUPUI has a very complex organizational structure. It also seems that Bantz--during at least some of his tenure at IUPUI--has had formal oversight over the School of Medicine. It does sound like there's been/is some restructuring of that going on. Still, the Dean of the School of Medicine reported to Bantz until January 1, 2006. After that, in his role as Dean he at least started out reporting to Bantz. [The organization chart I linked to earlier on the IU website is dated October 2006 and also formally places the School of Medicine under Bantz.]

Furthermore, Bantz was provost at Wayne State, where he had oversight for their School of Medicine.

Bantz doesn't seem to have had extensive direct involvement with Schools of Medicine, but it seems unfair to say that he has none.

Anonymous said...

Interesting debate on keeping Iowans in Iowa. Bob Kelch, who came from Michigan, stopped off at Iowa long enough to reduce the number of Iowans in a Med School class from 150 to 75 (while increasing out of state students), then left for Michigan again.

If you look at the Iowa MDs staying in state you will a significant drop.

This is the sort of carpetbagging leadership we don't need.

Anonymous said...

Something Hogan said or did doomed him with the Fethke/Gartner crowd. The minute Search 1 was called off, Hogan's fate was sealed.

It is said Fethke dislikes Hogan. And Gartner certainly dislikes the U of Iowa staff (or so he says).

With a new president in place, it would be extremely unusual for Mike Hogan to stay at Iowa. Look for him to leave.

Anonymous said...

Well, last anonymous, I hope you are wrong. No matter who comes in now, they desperately need Hogan. He's the only one to help the new president navigate this mess Gartner and Fethke have created. Also, it would be shameful to lose the last person of integrity left in the higher administration, which is Hogan.

Anonymous said...

UI Alum in West Des Moines:

Some general thoughts as I've been reading through these comments. 1) I think we should show some level of respect for anyone brought to Iowa City. Being condescending toward them is not an Iowa trait. 2) I think the world of Hogan too but I'm a realist. He's not in the mix. I wouldn't want someone to be selected and their first day on the job is 100 people outside of Jesup Hall protesting. 3) I find it interesting that people are trashing Hadley. Yes, he's a businessman but did you notice Purdue, Ohio State, and a host of other schools did not do a public show and tell of candidates? We used to write letters and mail them; now we email. We used to pay with checks; now we use debit cards or online banking. Are people in academia so opposed to the slightest bit of change? I dont think that's the case but having read through all of the comments today for the first time, it's the way everyone comes across. If someone is selected tomorrow, let's unite and give him or her 100% of our support. The past 18-24 months have been brutal. It's time to heal and move on. Thanks for listening.

Anonymous said...

There's no question that Furmanski is very accomplished, a good administrator, and seemingly a good human being. My concern with him, after seeing him in multiple venues, is that, among the candidates, he showed, without question, the least amount of knowledge about Iowa, the state or the university. He didn't even seem to have done any preliminary research. All the other candidates had knowledge about Iowa (state and university) to share and apply to their remarks--they had done research about our state's economics, our university's programs, etc., whereas the only thing Furmanski could say was that we have a great medical school and we have the Writer's Workshop. He himself said this is what people around the world say about the UI immediately without knowing anything else. On more than one occasion, he was asked to talk a little bit about how he might think about situations as they apply to Iowa--and explicitly given the out that the audience understands he does not have widespread knowledge--and he was the only candidate who explicitly said that he didn't know anything about the state or institution and didn't even try to make on-the-ground connections with his remarks. What I see on the horizon, if he is hired, is another presidential search in three years, rather than five or seven (which isn't guaranteed, but certainly, it seems to me, more possible with the other candidates). Furmanski grew up in New York, spent most of his career in New York, and is now in New Jersey. He himself described himself as a through-and-through New Yorker. It is great to have new perspectives come into the University of Iowa, but I can easily envision him out of here very quickly once a big-time Eastern school comes a-calling, which they will very soon. It seems to me he is the most obvious short-timer among the bunch (except for perhaps Becker because of his youth and ambition, but he explicitly, and more convincingly than Furmanski, said he wanted to return to the Midwest). At this point in the UI's history, stability for the longest period possible is what we need, and with Furmanski, I see, very possibly, the least.

Anonymous said...

I agree with WD about showing respect for candidates. I think that will happen. This has been a forum throughout the search for people to weigh in with insights and thoughts. So, this is a kind of "unfolding history" of perspectives, opinions, and quite often frustrations.

The one thing, however, that any successful candidate needs to do -- and this goes for search committee members, too -- is respect the culture of the organization that he or she is walking into. That didn't always happen with candidates. We hope, though, it will happen with the one chosen as president.

Mr. Hadley participated in a difficult process, but he also failed to respect the culture and this is one reason for the negative comments in this forum. People who are a part of a successful organization will defend its culture at every turn.

Part of the UI culture, though is to be respectful and supportive when things get tough. Hadley violated that, quite frankly, by publicly chastizing the search committee (he is a part of) for doing what is a part of our usual culture -- openness.

So WD, your right its time to pull together and be supportive. In fact I think thats what Provost Hogan encouraged earlier this week. He's a class act alright and many of us hope that the earlier poster today is wrong and that he will stay to continue to provide outstanding leadership and to help the new president find her or his footing. We need his skills right now at reassuring us in a time of uncertainty and helping us rally together.

Anonymous said...

Summary of Search Committee 2 is here:

Some interesting, if not unusual points:

1. No mention of Mason's Congressional problems. How can that be ignored in a summary?

2. While a glowing review, only a scant line given to Furmanski's apparent disinterest in learning about the Univ of Iowa BEFORE interviewing here. Isn't that a rather blatant problem (for instant would a US Presidential candidate not study the country before running for office?)

3. It was pointed out Bantz did not hold positions in large D-1 institutes. Is athletics wagging the dog here?

4. Becker comes across as the most vanilla, but the least controversial. He was cited for being less effective in some group settings. No mention of his 7 settings in 13 years comes up.

The two longest summaries belonged to Mason and Furmanski.

Mason was cited as not involved with a hospital (at Purdue, but she was also not involved with a Univ hospital at Kansas).

And again incredible that no mention of her controversy in th if this never existed, and as if this was never addressed in her time in Iowa City.

The problem with Furmanski, despite his admirable intellect, was he didn't bother applying it to the Univ of Iowa. That's very troublesome.

Maybe it just matter who is president of the Univ of Iowa. Find someone who can raise a bunch of money, do Gartner's bidding, and leave athletics alone....

Anonymous said...

Just to be precise--there IS one brief mention of the research controversy in the search committee's report, in the external references section: "There is some concern regarding her handling of a research misconduct controversy at Purdue."

Anonymous said...

I really am in the Doak/Johnson camp regarding, in general, the problems of today's world of academic presidents. I think universities give short shrift to internal candidates, and I think longevity should be an issue. However, on closer analysis, and on analysis specific to Iowa, all of Doak's points don't hold up.

First, remember that internal candidates do not necessarily make for long-timers. The shortest presidential term at Iowa was Skorton, the one who spent his entire career here and said he intended to retire from here (which at the time he said it I'm sure was sincere). Oftentimes, other circumstances--whether it's particular kinds of strife or very attractive opportunites--can take anyone away from here.

At least in comparison to the typical tenures, Iowa has not really done that badly with presidential tenures in the past two decades--the DMR's "average of 5 1/2 years" is misleading, as all averages are. Mary Sue Coleman--another president with strong pre-existing Iowa ties--was here for 7 years, as was her predecessor Hunter Rawlings--this goes back 20 years! Seven years isn't too bad, really. (Their predecessors--in the THIRD decade past--Bowen and Friedman--were shorter-timers at 5 years each). No, it is not the 12 years of Boyd nor the 24 years of Hancher, but even those tenures were rather unusual. Boyd himself has often said publicly that he thought Hancher stayed on as president for too long, and he even sometimes has said that maybe he did, too. Boyd is a great advocate of regular "new blood" in the presidential position.

Although Doak makes a general statement about "revolving door deans," that hasn't generally been the case here at Iowa, even in recent history. Linda Maxson has been dean for 10 years. Sandra Damico is one of the newer deans, and she's been here for around 7 years now. Our last nursing dean did go fairly soon, and who knows when the newer deans now will go, but at least at Iowa, we haven't had "revolving-door deans."

Doak says that if we scoured the campus, there certainly must be someone qualified to be UI's president. This is true, and there are many people, as this blog indicates, who point out Hogan's qualifications. But to be honest about it, there really AREN'T that many people on this campus--or ANY campus--qualified to be president of the kind of institution that Iowa is these days. The UI is infinitely more complex than it was in the "old days" that Doak harkens back to when professors would move up to dean and maybe in a few years president. The fiscal oversight of a multi-billion dollar institution, the public demands on the university, the academic programs, the relationships with state and federal (and international) governments, the relationships with other external constituencies (donors, media, business leaders, other academic institutions), the fundraising tasks--these are tasks and complexities, both in kind and scale, that a Thomas Macbride never heard of, and who knows if Macbride (or even Hancher) would be able to handle them today?

Again, my general sympathies are right on with Mr. Doak, for whom I have enormous respect. But I think many of the factual realities, both in general terms and specific circumstances, don't fully support his argument. We do need someone who knows and cares about the UI and is willing to stick it out for a good amount of time. (And at this point, Hogan seems to be a moot point.) But we also need to be real about how we HAVE often, and generally, weathered those storms of shortening longevity in the last two decades, and we can't let a nostalgia for an obsolete vision of a simpler university cloud our understanding as we seek the best person for the current job as president.

Anonymous said...

In the best tradition of choosing Deans and Presidents, conventional wisdom says nominate an outstanding internal candidate and 3-4 external candidates. The choice is relative then; the external candidate needs to be superior to the internal candidate to ascend to the presidency.

The above poster says Skorton stayed the shortest. Yes, however Skorton was pushed out when he was treated as an under-performing manager at Cum and Go. Skorton was not out 'on the market'.

To say Hancher or MacBride could not be a current president is like saying Ty Cobb or Ted Williams would be unable to hit current major league pitching.

To we believe that modern university administrators are superior to past administrators is just silly. Has the species evolved so much in the last several decades that Lincoln could not be President, or that Newton couldn't work a computer?

What has evolved is the volume of red tape.

Anonymous said...

Responding to North Liberty--

Your point about an internal candidate along with external candidates is an excellent one, and a good general model for everyone to follow.

Skorton--I acknowledged that Skorton's departure was not necessarily due to "career-hopping," and that it was likely a combination of strife and opportunity. My point was simply that these days (or any day), an internal hire is no guarantee of longevity. The real lesson with the Skorton situation was that we need to treat our leaders well.

In response your comment, "To say Hancher or MacBride could not be a current president is like saying Ty Cobb or Ted Williams would be unable to hit current major league pitching. To we believe that modern university administrators are superior to past administrators is just silly." I did NOT say anything of the sort! I said that "we don't know" if Macbride, etc. would be an effective president in today's environment; I am suggesting that a "ladder climb" through the university ranks--by being a professor, dean, then president--is less sufficient today than it was in times past, since universities are in many ways so different. I would confidently say that, at any university today, there are many fewer professors who would be able to (heck, would WANT to) move up to president than in the past. The president's role has changed markedly since the time of Macbride and Hancher; he or she is no longer the academic leader--that role is more and more being given to the provost. Maybe Macbride, et al., would make good presidents today, maybe not--again I said "we don't know." I'm just saying that we can't fully go back to "the way we used to do it," which seemed to me to be what Doak was saying.

I am one who is actually a hugely strong advocate of local talent. Mason said something very impressive in her public forum--that she had been involved (I think both at Purdue and Kansas) in some leadership development activities on her campus. Granted, many of these folks would "grow up" as leaders to go elsewhere, but it's a great proactive effort to "grow your own" leaders. I don't know that Iowa has a program explicitly in place to cultivate future university leaders. With today's university, that's a necessity if one really wants a good field of strong internal candidates for higher adminsitrative positions.

Anonymous said...

To: trying to be both sympathetic and realistic said...

You're both. Well stated position.

And well stated about whether or not Hancher would want the presidency today.

Isn't a university an odd place these days. Is it corporate? Is it academic? Is is athletic?

What is needed is a very very serious discussion of where our university is going.

Would Hancher ever have thought the role of athletics would be so dominant? With the dawning of the Big Ten Channel, the student-athlete sham seems complete. Athletics dominate D-1 schools like never before. Have any of these candidates dealt with this? Even though Rutgers is D-1, that school has a short (?2 year) tradition of football that is not a joke; it's top team is coached by former Iowan Viv Stringer. Nothing like the huge money now commanding Big Ten campuses.

As far as a medical center, I would suspect the Robert Wood Johnson operation at Rutgers is nothing like the huge monolith that is the UIHC.

A new president also faces the cold cruel facts of undergraduate education. A recent paper by a pair of MIT professors stresses that since about 1980 a BA degree has very significantly declined in value. The Bargaining Power Index for a BA has fallen like rock the past 30 years, such that it has almost no value over a high school diploma.

Can a university continue to 'sell' a liberal arts education that costs 15,000 - 20,000 a year (which is relatively cheap overall), that takes 5-6 years to obtain, then leaves the achiever with less overall economic future than a 2 year graduate of a technical school? What would our future president (likely Furmanski) say about undergraduate education?

The university itself is more corporate with emphasis on professional schools, and income generating operations. Is this the direction of our new president?

One last thought. I talked to a few undergraduates today. They felt completely lost and almost completely ignored in this search. Sad.

There are 30,000 students on campus. They were represented by 1 grad student on the search committee.

There must be about 50,000-60,000 parents then sending someone to Iowa. Where there any parents on the search committee?

Lastly, who was the alumni representative on the committee?

And who paid attention to the students and their parents, in this search? It has been all about Michael Gartner, and Wellmark, and Michael Hogan, and Fethke....

Anonymous said...

I dont understand this pining about the students. Most of them simply do not care who the president is. Sure, some do. Most do not. In fact, I would be willing to be anyone here $100 that I could get more to show up at ANY bar in IC before some forum watching middle age people humble themselves.

Time has passed Doak by so much, his op/ed might as well have been written in the 19th century. Totally out of touch with reality. Then again, a lot of things in IC have been that way for a long time.

This from someone who was also born in IC, who also had a relative who was higher ranking in the UI, and is an alum.

Anonymous said...

So John Barleykorn, time has passed by the notion that loyal leadership is more advantageous than opportunistic carpetbaggers?

And most University of Iowa students would rather swill beer than study for good grades, learn a profession to serve others, or compile research to advance knowledge. Apparently the students are so loaded with alcohol they would rather belch than spend any time participating in the selection of a leader to direct their expensive education?

If those cases were true, then why spend the million dollars with this wasted search? A John Belushi clone could lead this motley crew of old fogies and young lushes down their path of foolishness and wasted, indulgent extended adolescence.

Hancher or Boyd might not want to come back to lead this mess. The culture of beer, MTV, and Big Ten football has assured us that academics has ceased to exist in Iowa City.


Anonymous said...

"And most University of Iowa students would rather swill beer than study for good grades, learn a profession to serve others, or compile research to advance knowledge. Apparently the students are so loaded with alcohol they would rather belch than spend any time participating in the selection of a leader to direct their expensive education?"

You just don't get it. Sheesh, I have been out 15 years and I do. Profession to serve others? What planet are you on?

Most students are there to get a profession to make MONEY. Plain and simple. Other goals would be to drink, do various recreational drugs and have sex. Not necessarily in that order.

Can anyone on this blog cite for me a case where a new president somehow changed the course of study a particular professor or TA puts forth? Anyone? Bueller?

Anonymous said...

Barleykorn, you're view of the University of Iowa is so jaded amd so immature as to be dismissed immediately. Ridiculous. So the priorites of this university:

1. Drink
2. Recreational drugs
3. Sex
4. Figure out a scam to make money

I would suggest maybe Jim Carey or Paris Hilton to lead this esteemed institution.

Anonymous said...

It's not the UI's priorities, it the priorities of the undergraduate students by in large.

How did you infer that I was saying those were UI policies? Clearly, they have bent over backwards with such money wasting programs as Stepping Up and getting their own police force instead of the old rubberheads to try and reign in drinking and partying. The party school label just gnaws at some of the academics there.

Too bad. The truth hurts sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Beware Hoosiers (via Michigan) bearing gifts.

Anonymous said...

If the school's profile as a party school continues to rise then Barleyhead may have a point.

And if the Regents see the next President as a CEO on a short leash - whoever it is - then we might as well call it Barleycorp University.

Anonymous said...

So, 4:24 anonymous, are you guessing it's Bantz or do you have some info to share?

Anonymous said...

For the record, I checked with the Press-Citizen's university reporter, Brian Morelli, and after double checking the tape, he said that Gartner did officially adjourn the meeting Sunday. So hopefully the regents have learned their lesson and aren't acting as if they are in multi-day, rolling meeting this week.

Anonymous said...

6/18 5:15 anonymous:

There's more than one hoosier in the pool.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there are two Hoosiers in the pool, but "via Michigan" suggests Bantz.

Anonymous said...

Aren't the Regents' emails subject to the Iowa's public records statute? Many cyberspace meetings will occur between now and August.

Anonymous said...

I am having an inordinately difficult time grasping how it is possible for people to simply move on, when it is evident that Hogan's non-candidacy is at least partly a consequence of some foul play. Does the "Iowa way" include sweeping this kind of problem under the rug? Does pretending there is no problem make the process pure and the outcome satisfactory? We have editorials that focus on the fine open interview process the Regents developed and conducted, and the fine strengths and potentials of the candidates that were actually considered. And from one day to the next we hear people writing and actually believing that the decent thing now is to just be quiet like good little boys and girls and move on. We now simply accept that Hogan's quest for the presidency has been inexplicably turned down and say instead that we think he's a great provost and hope he'll stay? THE END????? The Regents had notice that there was a process problem, and that there were write-in votes for Hogan, but they have apparently chosen to ignore the process issues (including a search committee report making no mention of write-in votes for Hogan!) and pretend their duties go no further than considering the slate of finalists they were presented. I feel like I just landed from Mars and am viewing alien creatures.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to hear how Hogan fared in the write-in process but I doubt that info will ever see the light of day, unless it is somehow subject to open records laws.

Right now, though, I think whomever is selected should hope to high heaven that Hogan doesn't leave. He or she will need him to help navigate this mess.

Given his experience, insight, and the trust the faculty, students and staff have in him, he will be a huge asset to the next president. Let's hope the next president sees that.

Biker Women said...


I just want to commend our fabulous Iowa City reporters, and especially Diane Heldt, for always staying on top of this 500+ day story and breaking the news to us. Nice job!

Anonymous said...

Just wondering...what is the hinted at 'foul play' to knock out Michael Hogan? It appears the search committee just plain didn't pass his name forward and upward.

BTW, has anyone explored the actions of Gartner to disband Search Committee 1...was that legal?

Anonymous said...

to 6/20/11:43: you should read the comments posted in the early days of June (3-5?) for an answer to the "foul play" question.

Anonymous said...

If the June comments on Hogan are hard to find, could someone summarize them here?

Anonymous said...

6/20 12:11: just page down from this comment posting section to just above the June 4 heading--(in the June 5 section)...there are 23 comments there that together paint a good picture.

Anonymous said...

Let's look at one of the reasons Seach 1 was called off (from Kurtz):

"When announcing the termination of the search, however, the Board's leaders revealed a new requirement--one not included in the official job description and not even mentioned on the candidate scoring sheet that Regent Wahlert herself prepared--namely that a successful candidate must have had experience overseeing complex health-science operations. It seems clear that this was nothing more than a pretext for rejecting the recommended candidates on other, hidden grounds."

So Search 2 chooses a President with no experience in hospitals at Kansas, nor at Purdue.


I say this entire thing is illegal.

Anonymous said...

The reason given for disbanding the first search was a pretext they came up with in order to block Hogan's candidacy (he was number one). The second search then was manipulated at the committee level--instead of at the Regent level like the first search. (See June 5 comments for the rest of it and the motivations behind it all).

Anonymous said...

I think it's also important to remember that there are only two current Regents who voted to disband Search 1: Harkin and Gartner. Vasquez and Downer voted no, and Connolly abstained.

Just based on this fact, and ignoring the possibility of hidden agendas, it's not unreasonable that the Board now would make different decisions than the Board then.

Anonymous said...

The point is: Michael Gartner made the decision the first time around; and this time he manipulated the search (with help of course) before it got to the board, where, indeed, he does not have as much power as he did before. Bitterly ironic.

Anonymous said...

i think that the evidence of gartner and fethke tampering with the process is clear and will become clearer in the weeks and months to come as gifts rain down on some of the committee members (they actually already are starting to become evident).

now is time to try to get mason off to a good start. she will need some help to avoid being pulled ways that will result in a loud sucking sound across campus as all resources are sucked west. the undergrads and eastside faculty should worry about their tuition traveling back west to support the massive expenses of the health sciencce campus. a new president can be easily swayed. there are few in the administration who have the interests of undergrads and liberal arts on their radar, maybe only hogan, certainly not hay, fethke, or robilard. so hopefully hogan will help her and not leave. but why should he stay with the giant slap in the face he got from this sell out of a search committe?

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong on this but I see this not as a east campus v. west campus contest, but more of a Des Moines v. Iowa City contest.

From the beginning it was Mike Gartner (and all things Des Moines power) v. the Iowa City faculty. The board of Regents even stacked that way with only Downer as an Johnson County power.

Wellmark (Polk County) needs the UIHC in Johnson County. Vilsack was down with this to finance his presidential campaign. Gartner is down with the Des Moines domination, because he is part of the Des Moines power base.

Search 1 was headed by a Des Moines area leader (Wahlert). Objections were made about meetings at O'Hare (the Chicago sphere of the UofI) and changed to meetings at Des Moines.

Search 1 choice was Iowa City friendly -- Hogan. Thus that search was aborted when the candidates were not as controllable from Des Moines as the capitol wanted.

Search 2 starts with more of an Iowa City base, however Fethke appears allied more with Des Moines interests (?Papajohn, ?Hadley).

Des Moines interests (the Regents) made damn sure to punish the Univ of Iowa faculty who revolted against them. Thus no Hogan, and no mention of any Iowa City faculty making the Final Five. Thus a Final Inferior 5, but without Univ of Iowa ties? This was accomplished despite U Iowa faculty on the search committee.

Think of it NO Univ of Ties for any candidate. There has to be at least one academic with U of I ties who could serve this university. NO!

Bowing to pressure, Regents allowed forums in Iowa City, but much within the control of Michael Gartner.

The person choosen for the presidency will learn quickly, as ISU and UNI have learned, that power comes from Des Moines now.

The U of Iowa which always faced East (Chicago) more than West will lose more power to Des Moines.

Gartner, born in Des Moines, who never attended the Univ of Iowa, and never worked farther east than the LF foul line at the Des Moines ballpark, will continue to move power to Des Moines, and direct the Iowa schools as Des Moines money and power directs him.

It must irk Gartner that the Iowa faculty tried to unserp some power from his sphere. You watch what will happen now. A new president will be manipulated more and more by the Des Moines money to do their bidding.

Tuition will increase to keep tax monies in Des Moines. Programs will spread to the west of Iowa City. It would not surprise me to see program in Iowa City closed in favor of ISU and UNI.

These changes have been forshadowed. The people in Des Moines are not fans of liberal arts. There are political-economic realists, and thus will shift more power to the business school, try to make more sweet heart deals with the UIHC for Wellmark, and prolly downsize the evil independent university to the east.

Watch and see.

Anonymous said...

good analysis NL... the result is the same -- suck off the tuition, push it to university of wellmark (ok, maybe university of well-michaelg.).

anyway, the biggest sadness here is that a stand up guy who could put it to the regents (hogan) gets screwed.

if mason is smart, she will do all she can to keep hogan in her corner. she might make it if she has help.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you ask who the biggest sell-out in the bunch is?


When her students are subsidizing the hospital and she is sitting on the Welmark board, you'll see.

What an ass-kisser. She sold out her college and you can't count on her to stop. As arts faculty noted, listen for the suck sound. There are big stakes she bought into here.

So, liberal arts faculty. Ask who your dean screwed. ask her to report her vote on 5/25. Better yet, make a records request. let's see how they all fell out.

Watch. you'll see. She'll get gifts.

Anonymous said...

Woah! I had never thought of the Des Moines vs. IC economic explanation. That makes things click into place. And yes...I've been wondering why Maxson was getting off so easily. This provost has substantially improved things for undergrads and faculty in liberal arts and it is astonishing that she not only was not one of his strongest supporters but instead was a detractor. The answer definitely has to do with her personal agenda--not that of the college she's supposed to serve.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the 2nd gunman?

Seriously, I think Mason is already a lame wounded duck who wont have much campus support or trust. I could care less if I ever meet or see her. We all know she is gone 5 years tops.

I don't think Gartner has the power some here think he has. Especially in the new Board. The second search was a rush job to just get on with it. I am not even sure if they regents care that much, just that this episode is about over.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Gartner's power with the Regents has been greatly limited by the new board appointments. Unfortunately, the new board, though it had the power, was not activist in its response to the manipulation of this second search, that Gartner accomplished with the "tail" of his former power. A major disappointment. They have the power but chose not to use it here. What will they think is important enough? No, I don't think the Regents care. And at this point I do not either. (I say that because it's been so disillusioning but that's a lie.)

Nick said...

Notice Regarding Advertising: This blog runs an open comments section. All comments related to blog entries have (so far) remained posted, regardless of how critical. Although I would prefer that those posting comments identify themselves, anonymous comments are also accepted.

The only limitation is that advertising posing as comments will be removed. That is why one or more of the comments posted on this blog entry, containing links to businesses, have been deleted.
-- Nick