In light of the process by which President-Elect J. Bruce Harreld was selected as the 21st President of the University of Iowa, the University of Iowa Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG) issues the following statement:
Throughout the presidential search process, the Board of Regents emphasized their dedication to the idea that feedback from UI shared governance bodies and the UI Community as a whole would weigh heavily on their decision. However, it is clear that this ‘open’ search was truly not transparent and the collective voices of all the constituencies at UI were not taken into account, and further, actively ignored. It is unfortunate that the Board took this action in the face of such fierce and vocal opposition from the UI community, especially in the context of an already strained relationship between UI constituencies and the Board.
It is the stance of the members of GPSG that the process of the presidential search was not transparent and that the pretense of transparency throughout the search wasted taxpayer money and UI constituency members’ time and effort. Additionally, we would like to extend an apology to the other three well-qualified candidates who we believe were made to interview in an ‘open’ process under false pretenses. Furthermore, members of GPSG agree that these actions portray a board not acting in the best interest of the future of the University of Iowa. Therefore, GPSG has unanimously passed a vote of ‘No Confidence’ in the governing abilities of the Board.
We would like to make it clear that this statement is directed at the Board and its selection process. By selecting a president believed to be qualified by less than 5% of the polled UI faculty, students, and staff, the Board has left the UI community and our new president with a tense relationship when we should be focusing on an exciting new era for the University. Despite the flawed selection process, we expect to work closely with President-Elect J. Bruce Harreld to ensure that the University of Iowa continues on the path to greatness. As a campus and community, we must strive to work together on a shared vision for the future of the University.