Saturday, October 03, 2015

UI's President Could Have Been Chris Christie


"Business Background: Enough for University President?" September 2, 2015-present (updated) [this is the blog post that contains the repository of documents, news stories, and opinion pieces regarding the Board of Regents' presidential selection process and early selection of Bruce Harreld]

Nicholas Johnson, "Hiring Candid, Courageous University Presidents; An Exchange with UI Presidential Finalist, Oberlin President Marvin Krislov," August 29, 2015 (with links to the 2006-2007 blog essays about the last Regents' presidential selection fiasco)

Nicholas Johnson, "Seven Steps for Transitioning University," The Gazette (online), September 27, 2015 (with links to 7 other related Gazette Writers Circle opinion pieces); hard copy: Nicholas Johnson, "Better Ways to Pick a UI President," The Gazette, September 27, 2015, p. C5

October 3, 2015, 11:00 a.m.

Presidents: Branstad & Rastetter Sure Know How to Pick 'Em

You have to hand it to Governor Bradstad and Regent Rastetter. There's a consistent pattern when it comes to their choice of presidents -- whether for the University of Iowa or the United States.

First it was Harreld and now it's New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. James Hohmann, "Post Politics: Chris Christie, Picking Up Six Endorsements, Says He'll Play Hard in Iowa," Washington Post (online), September 29, 2015 ("The group endorsing Christie is led by agribusiness millionaire Bruce Rastetter . . . a top donor and close ally to Republican Gov. Terry Branstad. . . . Branstad is neutral, but Christie now has managers of the Iowa governor's previous campaigns, a former chief of staff and his top two fundraisers . . .. Phil Valenziano, a New Jersey native who was Branstad’s political director in 2014, is Christie’s Iowa state director.")

By now you may well know more than you care to know about J. Bruce Harreld, and the process Branstad and Rastetter used to select and force him on a university community over its almost unanimous opposition. "Business Background: Enough for University President?" September 2-October 3, 2015.

But Christie! At least Harreld had the support of a full 1.8% of the UI faculty. On a good day Christie can't muster more than 1% of Republican primary voters. Amy Walter, "How Do Primary Voters See the Candidates?" The Cook Political Report (online), September 30, 2015.

Cook polls for "could see self support candidate" and "could NOT see self support candidate." Christie is not among the six Republican candidates with a net positive score. In fact, of the top 10 candidates, he and Trump are virtually tied (51% and 52%) at the bottom of the "NOT support" column. Ibid. (Paul (58%) seems ready to focus on keeping his Senate seat.)

Harreld had a couple of ethical lapses -- especially for a job in higher education administration. He lied about his current employment, and misrepresented that he was the sole author of pieces that were actually co-authored with others.

But Christie! By now we all know that "Christie appointees at the Port Authority purposely created a traffic jam on approaches to the George Washington Bridge to punish a small-town Democratic mayor who had declined to endorse the Republican governor for re-election." Scott Mayerowitz and David B. Caruso, "Tangled Web Surrounds United's Aborted Atlantic City Routes," USAToday/AP, September 29, 2015, 7:44 a.m.

But it turns out that pales in comparison with the multiple scandals involving "the Christie administration, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and United Airlines" -- scandals that have already led to the firing of United's president. ("incentives" to serve gambling casinos in Atlantic City, including favored treatment at Newark's International Airport (where United could "save millions"); now included in "an ongoing federal investigation into possible abuse of power at the Port Authority;" U.S. attorneys for Manhattan and New Jersey have also subpoenaed records; the special United, money-losing route to Columbia, South Carolina, created for a single passenger, the Port Authority chair with a home there ("close friend and mentor to Christie" whose "law firm handled the South Jersey Transportation Authority's bond transactions," an Authority for which Christie appointed board members); the Port Authority's "highly paid police officers," costing United $25 million, whose union endorsed Christie; use of excessive airport fees for favorite Christie projects; Christie's appointment of United Airline's lobbyist, Jaime Fox, as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation (and chair, South Jersey Transportation Authority), who forgave a United debt to New Jersey). Ibid.

When asked about Harreld's inaccurate resume, the Regents' spokesperson said on their behalf, "We're not concerned about the resume." Jeff Charis-Carlson, "Faculty Group Censures Harreld Over Ethics," Iowa City Press-Citizen (online), September 24, 2015, 4:44 p.m.

I guess when you consider how willing Rastetter and Branstad are in overlooking these little indiscretions by Governor Christie, you can see how trivial Harreld's misrepresentations might seem to them by comparison.

Just think, they could have chosen Christie as our next UI president.

# # #


Anonymous said...

This is so delicious. On the day the man who made backroom deals in the U of Iowa presidency search, who allegedly corrupts this state's higher education system, endorses a governor whose close adviser resigns in disgrace because of backroom deals and corruption...the very day. Cousin Brucie endorses Cousin Christie. This stuff writes itself.

Wonder if United will suddenly add a Newark to Ames flight?

Anonymous said...

Christie: Corrupt, bully, who takes time out of his Iowa 'campaign' to tell some tall tales (lies) related to dunes and hurricanes in Jersey.

Harreld/Rastetter: At least one is a bully, falsifying/fixing the presidential search, and fibbing on resumes.

Both (all) will eventually be forced to resign in disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Did Harreld really turnaround IBM?

One of the central claims of the Iowa BOR is that new president Harreld is a turnaround expert, especially with regard to IBM, where he worked from 95 to 08.

A paper on IBM's turnaround does not even mention Harreld. The turnaround started when Lou Gertsner was named CEO in 93. The turnaround was seen as early as 94.,%202000.pdf

Harreld did head up IBMs emerging business opportunity EBO division, where it sounds like he did good work. But turn around IBM? Come on!

Anonymous said...

After Rastetter's endorsement Christie surged to 4% support in an Iowa poll NBC/WSJ took on on 4-Oct. He pulled even with Paul and is rapidly threatening Huckabee (5) and Jindal (6).

Anonymous said...

When did Iowa morph into Alabama?

Anybody here see the noise, see the fear and commotion?
I think we missed it
Anybody here see the love, see the hate being motioned?
- The Guess Who

Incredible happenings in Iowa. The state once proud of defending the union with the highest percentage of men enlisting and dying the the Civil War. The state that once housed a part of the underground railroad.

In western Iowa, the perpetrators of a hate crime call names, assault and knock unconscious a black superintendent. When his stepson defends him, the stepson is arrested. Has the county attorney there heard of lynchings? The KKK?

High School students fly the confederate flag in Vinton, and believe it is recognizing our heritage? Ignorant.

The governor turns out the mentally ill (some to die). He defends the corrupt deal takeover of the University. Do we have Governor Terry George Wallace Branstad now?

Goodness! Just waiting for Sheriff Jim Clark (Selma) to ride into town.

Anonymous said...

Just Give it Up

The Regents are the final authority at the state universities. in the final analysis the Regents do not really have to share governance, nor let any students, faculty, nor alumni help decide leadership. All this even though the state funds only 35% of the 1.8 billion budget.

If the Regents want to run the U of Iowa 'like a business' maybe it is time to do that. Give up trying to be an academic school and simply run like a market school, say like the Univ of Phoenix. Hire the cheapest instructors to teach massive amounts of students using online courses, or some mix. Look at the bottom line of money in and money out. Forget research and the benefits of a research university. Forget the halo of what an academic school provides in economic and cultural benefits. Run cheap charge high. Make money.

Regents talk about the crisis in education. OK< well they made one. And obviously many people in Iowa no longer respect the academic part of a university. They only see a bunch of lazy and liberal eggheads running around fomenting trouble. So fitting with the conservative race to the bottom, simply go to a Univ of Phoenix model and forget the AAUP and forget shared governance, and forget the AAU. Model after Wisconsin and Kansas who seem intent on neutering their universities.

An added benefit is the risk avoided. Every week (?day) there is a new campus shooting. Open carry. So why should anyone expose themselves to the risk of getting bullets as an instructor from a disgruntled student or as simply a bystander in a crowded area. All course online and now shootings. Charge cards and massive debt. Fewer bills on facilities. No disgruntled liberal professors who don't work anyway.


Anonymous said...

I am beginning to understand that the Univ of Iowa exists for entertainment and recreation with a sideline business of education and maybe research. Witness from the CR Gazette (comments in ()):

UI's Rick Klatt to take on campuswide role
‘I might be able to provide assistant immediately'

(Is this news? Who cares? Is campuswide a word? and that sub-headline???)

Known for his role over more than three decades as an associate athletics director...

Klatt has been named interim director for special communications initiatives with the UI Office of the Vice President for Strategic Communications. His salary, which was $124,166 in the 2014 budget year, won’t change, said UI spokeswoman Jeneane Beck.

(special communications initiatives in the 'Office of Strategic Communications'? Really? Is this serious? It sounds like a parody from Animal House. Or some people with serious cognitive troubles communicating)

The temporary move will help the university cope...

Klatt will begin in his new role Oct. 15.

He told The Gazette the interim assignment is “an important space that has become very short-handed in a very short period of time.” Klatt said his institutional knowledge could be valuable in the role.

(Huh? 'important space'? which appears to be 'short')

“I might be able to provide assistant immediately because of some very transferable skills and 30 years of familiarity with campus,” he said.

(this is a communication specialist???? OMG He can provide 'assistant'. I guess by his existent can supply assistant. And 'very transferable skills and 30 years..'. One of those skills isn't communication,that is obvious...nor elegance of expression)

And this:

The university in July also hired an Atlanta-based consultant to help guide the communications office over the next few months as it transitions to a new president — J. Bruce Harreld is scheduled to start Nov. 2.

The agreement with Terri Goren of Goren and Associates began July 1, runs through Dec. 31, and pays $20,000 a month — plus a $25,000 cap on flight, meals, and other reimbursements — for three days of work a week, or 12 full days a month.

(so to help and offer 'assistant' for a new president -- who is supposed to be an expert in communication and strategic vision -- UIowa will basically pay a consultant 400,000 a year (20,000 per month is for 3/5 time) plus travel. What a bargain huh? So not one person in the MBA program, or marketing, or management or communications dept can scoot over to Jessup Hall to coach people hired at quite high salaries to communicate, with communication?

They going to hire a surgical consultant to fly in and help UIHC orthopedics surgeons replace hips?)

Anonymous said...

Sen Bernie Sanders: free tuition at every state college and university in America

If that were the case, would you see someone like Bruce Rastetter interested in the Board of Regents? There would be no manipulation of tuition dollars from Iowa to ISU.

Anonymous said...

Thus far this presidential search has been a national joke, an attention attracting state story, disturbing to academics, alumni of Iowa, and maybe the AAUP. Now...

Someone pointed out elsewhere that July 30 was an interesting day. The search committee held a telephone meeting, at which the university lawyer, Reasonner told committee members to only evaluate submitted materials on candidates, or evaluate information on official sites (would think that means official university websites), not social media. The also outline how to thwart nosy judges, and news-media by keeping information on a Parker secure server.

That sane day, Bruce Harreld was flown in to Ames, to meet, off-campus on a private business address with 4 Iowa Board of Regents members. He later met with the president of Iowa State.

How does an off-campus meeting with an obvious candidate, which isn't known or publicized to other search committee members, on private (not state) property, and was expressly warmed against constitute legal behavior?

Why doesn't someone obtain a court injunction to stop this avalanche from progressing further until all these issues and investigations are sorted out? Isn't this the equivalent of jury or witness tampering? Fraud?

Anonymous said...

The salary for Harreld is obscene, considering this is his first full time academic appt. He will receive 590,000 plus benefits AND 200,000 in deferred (presume TIAA-CREF).

Sally Mason made 525,000 and 150,000 this year. Quite a gender gap.

200,000 in deferred is more than the great majority of faculty make in a year. It is also more of a contribution in one year to TIAA than most receive in a lifetime.

Nick said...

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