Dems: Regents asked for details on how UNI presidential search will be “fair and transparent”

August 15, 2016
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160815_UNI pres letter

State Senators Jeff Danielson of Cedar Falls, Brian Schoenjahn of Arlington, and Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids are asking the chair of the Iowa Board of Regents for details regarding the search for a new president for the University of Northern Iowa.

In a letter to Bruce Rastetter, chair of the Iowa Board of Regents, the three senators wrote that:

“The most recent presidential selection process at the University of Iowa did not adhere to the high standards Iowans expect from our Board of Regents.”

The legislators encouraged the Regents to adopt a “fair and transparent process” that “actually and fully involves the faculty and students in the spirit of shared governance.”

Senator Danielson is the chair of the Senate State Government Committee and his district includes the University of Northern Iowa; Senator Schoenjahn is the chair of the Senate Education Budget Committee; and Senator Hogg is the chair of the Senate Oversight Committee.

The letter to the Regents welcomed the decision to hire a new search firm and ended by asking Regent Chair Rastetter to:

“Please reply to this letter with the specific steps the Board of Regents is taking to ensure a fair and transparent process in the selection of the next UNI president.”

 

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Text of letter is below.

 

August 12, 2016

Mr. Bruce Rastetter
Chair, Board of Regents
Summit Agricultural Group
10640 County Hwy D20
Alden, IA 50006

 

Dear Mr. Rastetter:

State Senators, we have been contacted by Iowans who are concerned about different issues regarding the Board of Regents.  One especially timely concern that has been raised is how the search for a new president at the University of Northern Iowa will be conducted.  We share that concern.

The Board of Regents has few if any duties that are more important than the election of presidents for our universities.  Iowa Code § 262.9(2) (2015).  The most recent presidential selection process at the University of Iowa did not adhere to the high standards Iowans expect from our Board of Regents.

Given the problems with that selection process documented by University of Iowa faculty and students, the American Association of University Professors, and the news media, we encourage you to use a fair and transparent process in the selection of the next president of the University of Northern Iowa, a process that actually and fully involves the faculty and students in the spirit of shared governance.  Hiring a different search firm, as has been done, may be one small step toward a better process, but more needs to be done.

Please reply to this letter with the specific steps the Board of Regents is taking to ensure a fair and transparent process in the selection of the next UNI president.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Sen. Rob Hogg, Chair
Government Oversight Committee

Sen. Jeff Danielson, Chair
State Government Committee

Sen. Brian Schoenjahn, Chair
Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee

 

cc:        Bob Donley

 

 

 

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