09 September 2015

Running Education in Like a Business Means Overpaying Managers Who Loot the Institution

The Governor of Iowa, selected a new president for the University of Iowa, the state's flagship education institution, and it turns out that has no educational experience, and he has lied flagrantly on his resume:
But UI may not seem like such an attractive alternative these days. As the Yes Men performed at the press conference, the Iowa Board of Regents was in the final stages of selecting the next UI president. In a very unusual arrangement, the regents chose not to renew previous president Sally Mason’s contract two years ago; since then, she had been working “at will” on a day-to-day basis. If some observers worried that this arrangement would render her a tool of the regents, those fears were confirmed when Mason endorsed an ill-conceived regents funding plan that would significantly cut UI’s budget, infuriating many on campus.

Now, Mason is out: Eight days after the Yes Men’s visit, the Iowa Board of Regents unanimously voted former IBM and Boston Market executive Bruce Harreld as UI’s next president, despite Harreld having no university administrative background. He did work as an adjunct senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, but that’s the extent of his college workplace experience.

On the résumé Harreld submitted to the regents, he listed his current job as the managing principal for the Colorado-based Executing Strategy, LLC. This company “confidentially (advises) several public, private and military organizations on leadership, organic growth and strategic renewal.” However, that business doesn’t exist. The Colorado secretary of state has no record of a company of that name.

On Sept. 1, during a public forum that was part of Harreld’s on-campus interview and visit, I asked Harreld to explain this discrepancy. He replied that Executing Strategy was a company name he previously used and that he accidentally listed it in his current work history.

“Shame on me,” Harreld said. “I too quickly pulled it from out of my head and put it on the résumé. There is no Colorado corporation. I live in Colorado. That’s my post office box.”

His résumé also neglected to list the co-authors on his publications, attributing them solely to Harreld. The only part of his résumé that didn’t contain a glaring error was Page 3, which consisted almost entirely of personal information such as “Four adult children who all have advanced degrees” and “Elder, Presbyterian Church.” Given Harreld’s business background, one would think he would have taken more care with his résumé when applying to be the president of a major university.

Harreld’s public forum did not go well, to put it mildly. His rambling 35-minute presentation contained little more than vague generalizations and repeated catchphrases such as taking UI from “great to greater.” At times he rolled his eyes and looked exasperated while facing questions from students, staff, and faculty. When a UI staff member asked him what initiatives he might have planned to improve workplace morale, he replied, “I don’t know that I have any. Now what? Staff? I dunno. … What more would you like me to say?” Harreld then ended this exchange with an abrupt, “No, I’m done. OK? If you don’t mind.”
Is there anyone out there who believes that this guy was hired for anything but political payback?

This guy is going to be a complete clusterf%$#?


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