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September 29, 2015

Editorial: Come clean on Iowa president search

We said recently that the Iowa Regents did incoming University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld no favors during the search process.
Now, there's another revelation, and if the Regents don't act quickly to clear the air surrounding Harreld's appointment, his entire tenure could be hampered.

Total transparency is required. Instead, what the university community and the rest of Iowa is getting is one disclosure after another, with each giving the appearance that the Regents favored Harreld, a former IBM executive with no background in academic leadership.

The latest news: Harreld met with Regents Katie Mulholland, Milt Dakovich, Mary Andringa and Larry McKibben on July 30 in Ames, a meeting arranged by Regents President Bruce Rastetter and held at Rastetter's office. It also occurred before the application process for the position closed the next day.

Rastetter wasn't able to attend that meeting, but in a previous disclosure the Regents leader did have a meeting with Harreld on July 8 in Iowa City. That occurred when Harreld was invited to lecture at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, an offer that wasn't afforded to the three other job finalists.

Gov. Terry Branstad and Iowa State University President Steven Leath also talked to or met with Harreld during that period.

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