The University of Iowa
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Members Present: Linda Boyle, Christine Catney, Michael Cohen, Donna D’Alessandro, David Drake, Frank Mitros, Michael O’Hara, Catherine Ringen, Downing Thomas, Jerold Woodhead
Members Absent: Gloria Bulechek, Virginia Dominquez, Vicki Grassian, Paul Heidger, Steve McGuire, James Nepola, Jarjisu Sa-Aadu, Brad Thompson, James Tomkovicz
Members Excused: Linda Snetselaar
Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance: Sheldon Kurtz, President; Jennifer Glass, Secretary
Faculty Senate Officers Excused: Victoria Sharp, Vice President; Richard LeBlond, Past President
Guests: Cynthia Joyce (Ombuds Office), Charlie Drum (University Relations), Gregg Hennigan (Press Citizen), Teresa Wahlert (Presidential Search Chair), Francois Abboud (Presidential Search Vice Co-Chair), Gary Steinke (Board of Regents), Zack Kucharski (Gazette), Julie Thatcher (Faculty Senate Office)
I. Call to Order
President Kurtz called the meeting to order at 1:30 pm.
II. Report: Presidential Search Chair and Regent Teresa Wahlert
President Kurtz introduced Presidential Search Chair and Regent Teresa Wahlert, Presidential Search Vice Co-Chair Francois Abboud and Board of Regents Office Executive Director Gary Steinke. Regent Wahlert expressed appreciation for her vice co-chairs, the search committee and the opportunity to address the Council.
Regent Wahlert distributed to Councilors the newly finalized presidential job description and advertisement. The search committee is developing a marketing plan complete with an updated brochure about The University of Iowa which showcases some of the new buildings. The search committee remains open to new ideas and input from all constituencies. The committee next meets on July 19 and there are already a number of candidates. Professor Abboud described the purpose of the campus advisory committee as being an integral part of the search process during the semi-final and final stages of the search. Regent Wahlert stated that there will be an evaluative component for each group that meets with presidential candidates. Regent Wahlert then welcomed questions.
Professor Kurtz asked how the Indiana and Ohio State presidential searches impact ours. Regent Wahlert assured the Council that the search firm is sensitive to the timing and needs of these searches in relation to ours. Professor O’Hara asked if there were any fundamental differences in the current job description from previous descriptions. Professor Abboud answered that the expectations are similar but the current description includes the importance of economic development and knowledge of biosciences among other issues of rising importance. Regent Wahlert echoed that the foundation has been preserved and the theme is a “leader for the future.” Professor O’Hara followed up by asking how the current national search environment impacts recruiting efforts. Regent Wahlert replied that the search firm does not believe the recruiting environment has changed, but The University of Iowa is a more complex institution compared to other institutions currently engaged in searches. Therefore, the outreach is slightly different. Professor Abboud described one complexity as operating a financially solvent hospital. The firm will seek candidates from the medical and corporate search groups in addition to traditional groups.
Professor Cohen inquired about the search timetable. Regent Wahlert approximated a 90-day candidate process hoping to still learn of viable candidates in the fall. She thought naming a new president by year’s end would be accelerated but expressed an understanding for not stalemating the process. Professor Boyle asked Regent Wahlert to elaborate on the description requirement of “Board and System Relations” and wondered if the committee was looking for a “yes man.” Regent Wahlert assured the Council that the candidate must simply understand the context in which he or she will lead and have the flexible skill set to do so. Professor Woodhead inquired how recent negative press reports, including the legislative oversight committee, would impact the search. Regent Wahlert offered that we would discuss our past challenges openly yet find a leader focused on the future. Further, she remarked that the current Board was still forming its collective personality and hoped to increase opportunities for communication with the institutions. Professor Glass suggested that our challenges were not unique compared to other institutions. She queried if the committee was searching from pools of current presidents at lower ranked institutions or provosts and VPs from higher ranked institutions. Regent Wahlert replied that the committee is searching from all pools, even non-traditional. Professor Abboud asserted that the requirement that the candidate be tenurable remained important to the committee.
Professor Kurtz again thanked Regent Wahlert, Professor Abboud, and Mr. Steinke for meeting with the Faculty Council.
III. Approval: Faculty Council Minutes, May 16, 2006
The minutes were approved by consent.
President Kurtz adjourned the meeting at 2:30 pm.