Governor Tom Vilsack talked today about the controversial search for a new president at the University of Iowa. The State Board of Regents dissolved their search committee Friday saying the finalist were not what they’re looking for — and said they’ll start the search again sometime after Thanksgiving.
Faculty members are upset that they haven’t been asked to be involved in the process and the names of the potential candidates have been kept secret. Vilsack says everyone needs to remember the ultimate goal is to hire the best president possible. Vilsack says that is a goal shared by the Regents, the faculty and the students. Vilsack says, “Whatever the process is needs to be focused on that goal. That is the most important goal.”
Vilsack says he has another worry about the process. Vilsack says based on a New York Times article today about the pay of university presidents, two of the five or six top paid presidents in the country are Mary Sue Coleman (former University of Iowa president) and Martin Jischke(former Iowa State University president). Vilsack says the compensation for those two is “significantly higher” than what the university presidents in Iowa are being paid, and he says that may put Iowa at a competitive disadvantage.
Vilsack says the pay issue has to be addressed. Vilsack says, “As we look at this effort to try to attract the brightest and best, I think we have to recognize the nature of competition, and we have to be up to that completion. We certainly recognize that with some our coaches. We need to do it with our university presidents.” Vilsack made his comments this morning following an economic development news conference.