A subcommittee of the State Board of Regents moved forward a recommendation to the full board that the institute created and named after Senator Tom Harkin on the Iowa State University campus be terminated. ISU provost Jonathan Wickert made the recommendation.
“This institute was created in 2011 to facilitate research and access to Senator Tom Harkin’s papers, which were to be given to Iowa State following Senator Harkin’s retirement,” Wickert explained. “More recently, Senator Harkin, with the recommendation from the institute’s advisory board decided not to donate those papers to Iowa State, and the Senator has subsequently decided to donate those papers to Drake University.”
The Democrat Senator’s decision sparked controversy as a spat erupted over research restrictions, and that prompted Harkin to pull his papers from the school and take them to Drake. Wickert says no significant work had been done for the institute before the switch was made, and any funds raised for and held by the institute have been dissolved.
“The ISU Foundation contacted and worked closely with all of those donors. The previous gifts have all been redistributed according to the wishes of the donors, and the transfer of the principal and earnings has been made as directed by the donors,” Wickert says.
The subcommittee is forwarding the recommendation to the full board which is expected to approved the issue at its meeting today on the Iowa State University campus in Ames.