Sixty-two members of the University of Iowa Faculty Senate have approved a resolution of “no confidence” in the board that governs the university. Just one faculty member voted against the resolution, drafted amidst the uproar over the Board of Regents search for a new U-of-I president.
U-of-I Faculty Senate president Sheldon Kurtz says the two members of the Board who served on the presidential search committee — which rejected all four finalists for the job — are guilty of ignoring the wishes of the Iowa City community. According to Kurtz, the two have engaged in “a pattern of flagrant and gratuitous disregard for the University of Iowa faculty.”
Dave Redlawsk, a University of Iowa political science professor, says the faculty wants to see the top two leaders on the Board of Regents go. “There are a good group of other people on the Board of Regents…but the leadership of the Board of Regents simply just doesn’t get it,” Redlawsk says.
Regents president Michael Gartner, a former media executive who now owns the Iowa Cubs baseball franchise, and Teresa Wahlert, a Des Moines-area executive who headed the search committee, are the two members of the Board who are the targets of the U-of-I faculty resolution.
Ed Wasserman, a former U-of-I Faculty Senate president, says the Regents have wasted taxpayer dollars by abandoning their initial search for a new U-of-I president, and preparing to embark on a new search. “Their failure to follow established planning and recruiting procedures has fueled a fire storm of controversy concerning the future of the University of Iowa and its leadership,” he says. “Harm has already been done, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours of effort by faculty, staff and students.”
The Board of Regents plans to meet Monday to start another search for a University of Iowa president. Former U-of-I president David Skorton announced last January that he would resign to become president at Cornell University. He left in June.