The reputation of Jean Robillard, the acting president of the University of Iowa, continues to take hits as new disclosures mount regarding his role in the hiring of president-elect J. Bruce Harreld. Yet so far the central question of how Harreld even made it through the selection process remains unanswered.
It is now known that Harreld declared his official candidacy either on, or one day before, the deadline for doing so:
Rastetter said Thursday that four additional regents met Harreld on July 30 in Ames, the day before the application deadline. Rastetter defended the meetings, saying Harreld wanted to learn more about the position and what would be expected.
What has not been established, however, is when Harreld submitted his resume. Fortuitously, because acting president Robillard was also the head of the search committee, he is perfectly positioned to answer that and related questions.
For example, as the head of the search committee Robillard must have put protocols in place for verifying the resumes and c.v.’s of the candidates who made the initial cut. And that’s true even if responsibility for maintaining those protocols was delegated to Parker Executive Search, the search firm that was paid an unusually high fee of $200,000 by the Board of Regents to manage and ensure the integrity of the selection process. Yet despite all of those protections, it was learned via press reports just prior to the election that J. Bruce Harreld’s resume contained false information.
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.
Over the past few days Harreld’s resume has received renewed public scrutiny for additional misrepresentations, which were also overlooked by both the search firm hired by the Board of Regents and the search committee headed by Jean Robillard.
Whereas Harreld has already revealed his lack of such essential integrity by submitting a misleading professional resume, which not only identifies his current position as the managing director of a non-existant company, but also lists him as the sole author of 12 articles and book chapters, 7 of which were co-authored with others, as noted by many faculty, staff and students. So it’s no wonder that the university community is deeply puzzled and troubled by how he gained such a uniquely important position, presumably embodying the highest standards of the institution, despite such distortions of his professional record.
In judging Harreld’s fitness for office at an institution of higher learning such omissions are obviously a concern. So much so that the Faculty Assembly of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences took the unprecedented step of censuring Harreld for misconduct over a month before he is scheduled to take office.
Harreld’s resume also included 12 items in the section on publication history. Harreld did not note, however, that that most of those publications were co-authored.
The motion from the faculty assembly notes that the failure to list co-authors is in violation of the UI Operations Manual.
If Harreld had already taken office, one obvious question is whether such disclosures would constitute grounds for removal. Because if that’s the case, they must also necessarily constitute grounds for precluding Harreld from taking office. [ Read more ]