Members of the Board of Regents have expressed some disturbing views on the role of higher education in our state. "Strategic change" initiatives have been spearheaded by Board of Regents President Michael Gartner both here at the University of Iowa and, with the assistance of Regent Teresa Wahlert and the presidents of the three Regents universities, at the state level.
A statement by Faculty Senate President Sheldon Kurtz and an excerpt from the Faculty Senate's minutes (October 17, 2006) describe the justification for the Senate's decision to call for greater openness, and the inclusion of other stakeholders' points of view, in strategic planning.
The AAUP Executive Committee shares the Senate's concern and hopes that the Regents' current approach to strategic change will be revised. In addition, however, the Executive Committee fears that the approach now being pursued by Regents Gartner and Wahlert undercuts the University of Iowa's traditional commitment to shared governance. Executive Committee member and Emeritus Professor James Andrews drafted a memo critiquing the top down business approach to strategic change chosen by Regent Gartner, and contrasted it with the shared governance approach advocated by AAUP. The Executive Committee endorses the views expressed in the Andrews memo, and has forwarded it to Senate President Kurtz with a request that it be distributed to faculty members.