The Iowa Citizens’ Aide Ombudsman is speaking out about what he calls the "cloak of secrecy" surrounding the process of selecting a new president for the University of Iowa.
Ombudsman William Angrick says secrecy in government creates "suspicion." He’s asking the state’s attorney general to ensure the "intent and spirit" of Iowa’s Open Meetings and Public Records law are followed as the Board of Regents searches for a new U-of-I president.
According to Angrick, the selection process may only be closed when there would be "needless and irreparable injury" to the job applicant’s "reputation" — and the job-seeker requests that interview sessions be closed to the public.
In a letter to the attorney general, Angrick goes on to say that "individual preference, mere inconvenience or even potential embarassment" are not enough to base the decision to — in his words — "hide" behind closed doors.
The ombudsman also points out that university presidents are in "public positions of authority and trust" and therefore the search for someone to fill that post should be as open as possible.