Governor Terry Branstad is dismissing concerns a member of the Board of Regents has raised about the process for hiring a new University of Iowa president.
Last week Subhash, a doctor from Webster City who is a member of the board that governs the university, said he was angered to learn other members of the board met privately with Bruce Harreld before Harreld applied for and interviewed for the job. Branstad was asked about Sahai’s concerns this morning during the governor’s weekly news conference.
“I would point out the last time the Regents went through this, choosing a president of the University of Iowa, they had similar controversy,” Branstad said.
In 2006, the Board of Regents rejected its first group of finalists for the job and restarted its search for a new University of Iowa president. Sally Mason was hired in 2007. Branstad said the board has a “great track” record of hiring university leaders “Steven Leath at Iowa State, Bill Ruud at the University of Northern Iowa and I believe that Bruce, the new president at the University of Iowa, ought to be given the same opportunity that the other presidents have had,” Branstad said.
Sahai, the Board of Regents member, said he stands by his vote to hire Bruce Harreld to lead the University of Iowa, but Sahai said unfortunately the private meetings Harreld had with key decision makers before he applied for the job leave the impression Harreld had been chosen before the public hiring process began. Harreld is scheduled to officially begin his tenure as UI president on November 2.