Graduate student union releases statement condemning Harreld appointment


Following this afternoon’s announcement of J. Bruce Harreld as the next president of the University of Iowa, the UI graduate student union (COGS) has released the following statement:

The Board of Regents’ unanimous election of Bruce Harreld as President of the University of Iowa shows how far the Branstad-appointed Board is willing to go to destroy public education at the University of Iowa. Harreld is completely unqualified for the position and his behavior during the public forum was deeply disturbing—from saying that he learned about the University of Iowa by reading Wikipedia to falsifying his credentials on his curriculum vitae. The hiring process was hijacked by the Board of Regents, resulting in a breakdown of the shared governance system with the University of Iowa faculty.

This action by the Board of Regents is a clear continuation of their attempts to defund and defame the University of Iowa, while siphoning more money from the students they purport to serve. The Board’s hiring of Harreld underscores their view of the university as a business rather than an educational institution. As graduate student employees who teach the majority of classes at the University and conduct much of the research, we are opposed to a President who cannot effectively advocate for raising the quality of education at the University of Iowa, and who is neither qualified, nor equipped to fill the position for which the Board of Regents has appointed him.

We support the faculty in their efforts to advocate for the appointment of a qualified, experienced president at the University of Iowa.

Ruth Bryant
COGS Press and Publicity Chair


  1. Glad to see COGS hasn’t lost any of their fighting spirit over the years! We will need that kind of fight to get the UI back to being an institution focused on quality education and serving the public good.

    As for Mr. Diversity: if two concise paragraphs seems “verbose” to you, then maybe commenting on the governance of a major university is a bit out of your depth?

  2. What these self-aggrandizing graduate students don’t understand, is that UIowa is self-perceived the way it is only as a result of an uneven system that was the result of political cronyism. The UIowa didn’t do anything to deserve the uneven funding, and quite frankly, it has historically under-performed with the larger budget compared to the two remaining state schools. So now we are in a climate where you receive what you deserve, and our progressive indoctrinated little hawkeyes have their collective non-gender conforming panties in a bunch. The usage of “defund” and “defame” in the official statement from COGS epitomizes and validates all of this.

    In reality, this choice for President of UIowa is best suited for the new and correct reality. The UIowa needs someone who can lead the institution as a business, instead of the bloated academic cesspool sucking state resources at the expense of others that it has been for decades.

    Buck up little grad students. You’ve just received a taste of the real world. And please accept my apologies for not providing any trigger warnings for what may be the emotionally crippling truth I’ve helped you realize.

  3. I understand the skepticism coming from the faculty and graduate student union (COGS) with hiring an individual who has limited experience in an academic setting. Yet if an organization is going to state he falsified his credentials on his CV, the organization ought to provide referential material to back up this claim. The closest thing I could find to substantiate this claims was from The Gazette article dated August 31st titled “Fourth University of Iowa presidential candidate: Bruce Harreld”. Quoting the article:

    “According to the CV provided by the Board of Regents, Harreld lists himself as managing principal for a firm called Executing Strategy LLC, out of Avon, Colo., advising public, private, and military organizations on “leadership, organic growth, and strategic renewal.”

    But no business with that name is registered with the Secretary of State’s Office in Colorado, and representatives with an Avon-area chamber of commerce said they have no knowledge of the business. An Executing Strategy LLC was registered with the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2009 under the signatory James Bruce Harreld, but it was dissolved earlier this year.

    Harreld, according to public records, on Feb. 6, 2013, filed three mandatory annual reports for the business for the years 2010, 2011, and 2012. But no reports have been filed since, and the secretary of the commonwealth on June 30 took action to dissolve the business, which listed its services provided as consulting, strategy, implementation, marketing, and turnaround advice.”

    Is it possible if this LLC which may or may not be Harreld’s, if it was registered in Massachusetts yet had an office in Colorado? Or did Executing Strategy LLC simply never exist?

    It would be worth while to have some clarification before making accusations.

    Just my 2 cents.

  4. “…progressive indoctrinated little hawkeyes have their collective non-gender conforming panties in a bunch.”
    You do realize that the progressive history of the university reflects well on the state of Iowa, right? Iowa has led in diversity since its inception. Seems to be lacking though in recent years, our international and ethnic diversity seems to have dropped to almost nothing. Your statement simply shows that the “progressive indoctrination” is well worth being protected. Mason ducked the Daily Iowan against tradition, I hope the students, faculty, and taxpayers hold this president accountable.

  5. I don’t know where to be begin with Iowan. In between his numerous contradictions he leaks in erroneous information. His first sentence calls graduate students self-aggrandizing while his last sentence is the epitome of self-aggrandization. In the same breath he states UIowa’s situation is the result of cronyism but his statement as a whole supports the cronyism that got the president hired. Then he leaks in that UIowa underperforms compared to other state schools. True? Maybe, maybe not. He didnt provide any data for support (not to imply that the data doesn’t exist, it may or may not). Even if Iowan does supply supporting data, what does that have to do with the board hijacking the hiring process? Nothing. What does that have to with the new presidents qualification? Nothing. Then our good friend Iowan slips into an argument about meritocracy, which I am completely for. If these kids think they can better themselves and/or others through education then support them with all that we can and the state of Iowa agrees; check out the cover of the new state budget:

    Where Iowan is completely and utterly incorrect is when he states the “new and correct reality” is that UIowa should be ran as a business. Your statement is an opinion not a reality and your conceit is wayward. UIowa is a public educational institution not an LLC with an IPO. The great University of Iowa’s goals, like all the other great state universities of Iowa, have been and should continue to be education based not profit driven. Iowan writes well, or at least aggresively, but none of his statements hold any water and are a catalogue of pathetic overreaches poorly designed to preach a sad idealism.

    UIowa’s ideals will never allow the institution to financially perform the way Iowan wants it to. UIowa’s ideals, however, will cure cancer and that is something a businessman is not fit to oversee nor can Iowan understand. The new president needed more vetting, especially if the veracity of his CV is questionable. The actions of the board are unconscionable. The people overseeing the process of curing cancer should be of the utmost integrity and not say no to a cure because the #s won’t add up for the quarter. The crony president and his fat-cat friends on the board should all resign in shame. There’s no room for hostile take-overs in a public educational institution.

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