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September 26, 2015

Regents: Nothing wrong with early Harreld meetings

Several members of the Iowa Board of Regents say their July meetings with former IBM executive Bruce Harreld in no way prejudiced their consideration of the other finalists for the University of Iowa presidency.

Regent Larry McKibben, who has overseen the regents’ process, said Friday that he did more talking than Harreld did during their meeting July 30 in Ames. McKibben was one of four regents, including two who served on the UI Presidential Search and Screen Committee, who met with Harreld that day.

Although Regents President Bruce Rastetter did not attend the July 30 meetings with the other regents, he arranged them through the Ames office of his company, Summit Agricultural Group. In a written statement released Thursday, Rastetter said Harreld was one of six candidates he actively recruited into the applicant pool.

“I could tell that I was invited because I was the chair of the TIER program,” said McKibben, who has overseen the regents’ Transparent, Inclusive Efficiency Review across Iowa’s three public universities. “My conversation with (Harreld) was a deep dive into why we started TIER and how it was progressing.”

McKibben said he spoke with Harreld for about 20 or 25 minutes, sharing that time with Regent Mary Andringa, who chairs the regents' committee on UI Hospitals and Clinics. The conversation mainly involved Harreld asking questions that McKibben and Andringa answered in detail.
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