Sticky post linking you to the most recent Ongoing Harreld Hire Updates.
Previous threaded post here.
I will continue to add updates about J. Bruce Harreld and his illegitimate presidency to this threaded post. If this post scrolls you will be able to find it by clicking the link in the sticky post at the top of the home page. You can also bookmark this post, or search for it using various keywords and phrases, such as Harreld, fraud, co-conspirator, or carpetbagging dilettante.
11/29/20 — The casual disregard with which Iowa’s governor, Kim Reynolds, has consigned so many citizens of the state — many of them elderly, and unable to care for themselves — to a suffocating death, and so many front line healthcare workers to consequent psychological trauma and subsequent ills, can only be described as evil.
From Zach Thompson at the Iowa City Press-Citizen: 45% of Iowa’s COVID deaths attributed to long-term care facilities as 35% report outbreaks.
* Inevitably, as cases spike, there is a point at which they will start to come down even if the government’s response has been incompetent, and that holds true for hospitalizations and deaths. What the press seems to have a hard time with, however, is that these increases and decreases are not like the weather or a stock price. Instead, they are a tally — a toll — and with specific regard to deaths there is never a moment when COVID-19 victims will recover, heal and move on.
Unfortunately, the tendency to see the pandemic as alternately good news and bad means no matter how derelict the governor’s response, and no matter how many Iowans die as a result of her failings, she can simply wait until the tide turns once again and claim that things are looking up — and she’s not the only one doing this. From a guest column in the Iowa City Press-Citizen by UI VP for Medical Affairs and dean of the College of Medicine, J. Brooks Jackson, who loves him some opportunistically optimistic rhetoric: UIHC stands ready to lead Iowa through this COVID-19 crisis.
It’s important to note that the number of hospitalized patients across the state has declined by more than 200 inpatients from over 1,500 patients just a couple of weeks ago — a positive sign, although Thanksgiving gatherings could cause coronavirus numbers to increase again.
The problem with this good news, and by extension Jackson’s entire public response to the pandemic, is that one of the main reasons for this decrease in hospitalizations is that Iowa’s integrated hospital network is freeing up resources and staff by once again cutting back on elective surgeries, and once again treating more non-ICU COVID-19 patients at home, instead of on an inpatient basis. From Michaela Ramm at the Gazette: Coronavirus home treatment program helps prevent hospitalizations at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
* Continuing with the theme of cultural disappointments, we have this from the Gazette’s Vanessa Miller:
Sounds like time for double-secret probation.
11/24/20 — Happy Thanksgiving, everyone — and if you live in Iowa, here’s hoping the lethal administrative failings of Iowa’s demonic governor do not kill you or someone you love….
* From Linh Ta at Iowa Capital Dispatch: Iowa hospitals will see ‘New York City-style collapse’ says epidemiologist.
On Nov. 15, [nurse Eric] Hosiak said his unit tried to order more body bags after some were used by another unit. He said his unit was told they could not order more because they were being saved for another unit.
“That’s the first time in my eight years that I’ve ever heard that we were low on body bags,” Hosiak said.
A month ago Iowa’s COVID-19 black widow — Governor Kim Reynolds — proclaimed, in advance of Election Day, that the state’s integrated hospital network was doing just fine. Well it wasn’t then, and it’s much worse now, and as a result the governor is not only killing Iowans by the score, she is grinding down hospitals and healthcare workers when they are needed most.
* Speaking of failed leadership…last summer the illegitimate president of the University of Iowa, J. Bruce Harreld, went on a deranged rant about how other colleges and universities were behaving like “lemmings” about the pandemic, while UI — under his disciplined leadership — was exhaustively deliberating each and every decision. Well, as a result of all of that deep original thinking, UI is now sending thousands of students home for Thanksgiving break, only to then welcome them back to campus and to Johnson County at the worst possible time, thus ensuring more disease transmission from social mixing. Meanwhile, at Iowa State and Northern Iowa — two of the lemming schools that Harreld obliquely derided — their semesters will be over, and because of their foresight they won’t be actively generating additional COVID-19 cases on campus next week.
Making this administrative idiocy all the more absurd, Harreld and UI tried to split the difference during the planning stage and declared that all post-Thanksgiving classes would be online only. Unfortunately, because Harreld aggressively sold the idea of a ‘campus experience’ to students in the fall, and there are football games yet to be played, many students will still return to the UI campus and Johnson County after Thanksgiving, even though they don’t have to do so for academic reasons. (Note also that roughly 80% of all credit hours this term were delivered online only, but that didn’t stop Harreld and his crack team from encouraging students to return in August, and to bring their checkbooks and debit cards with them.)
From Cleo Krejci at the Iowa City Press-Citizen: Just ahead of Thanksgiving break, in-person classes end at the University of Iowa.
At a time when COVID-19 cases are rising across the state, in-person classes for the more than 30,000 students at the University of Iowa are coming to an end for the remainder of this fall semester.
That means many students in Iowa City have a choice: they can remain on-campus, in the residence halls, apartments or elsewhere — or travel off-campus and continue their studies from outside of Iowa City until the semester ends in late December.
This fall, approximately 5,000 students live in university housing and close to 13,500 more live in Iowa City and Coralville, according to UI data. Students are able to remain in the residence halls while classes take place virtually up until Dec. 19.
From the Daily Iowan:
The university advised those in the UI community who are seeing family members over break to create a plan beforehand, especially if those family members are at a higher risk for COVID-19 complications. More than 1,800 students responded to a UI survey asking about plans for break — half said they would stay in Iowa City, said Campus Health Officer Dan Fick at a Faculty Senate meeting on Tuesday.
Behold the visionary leadership of business genius J. Bruce Harreld.
* As was the case at the inception of the fall semester, when no entry testing was conducted as students arrived at UI, there will also be no testing of students prior to or after Thanksgiving break. Fortunately, however, the university is changing course for the spring term, and organizing surveillance testing to better understand what is happening on campus and in the surrounding community. From p. 9 of the 10/13/20 meeting minutes for the UI Faculty Council:
The university is now in the process of developing a surveillance testing program. A committee has been formed to craft how the surveillance testing will proceed. This committee includes Jorge Salinas, the UIHC epidemiologist; Dan Diekema, the director of the UIHC Division of Infectious Diseases; Paul Natvig, the directorof Student Health; Dan Fick, the Campus Medical Officer; and Edith Parker, the dean of the College of Public Health. In response to a question, President Yockey further explained that surveillance testing would involve testing a random selection of people across campus to try to identify asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals so that, based on this data, planning for outbreaks can be carried out.
The lemmings are taking over — and it’s about time.
* Yesterday the Iowa Board of Regents released the agenda and meeting notice for the first meeting of the UI Presidential Search Committee. That meeting kicks off at 9 a.m. on December 4th, and a live-stream link will beposted on this page prior to that meeting. More info here.
A new threaded post on this topic can be found here. For previous posts about the Harreld hire, click the tag below.
11/19/20 — One of the lesser-known traditions at Iowa’s regent universities involves waiting until the day after a regent meeting to drop news that might otherwise occasion comment or notice from the assembled dignitaries and press. Today’s relatively benign example of that venerable practice is the announcement that Amy Kristof-Brown has been appointed dean of the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. One of three finalists for the position, Kristof-Brown was already serving as the interim dean, and as such there should be no transition period involved — and in the current context that is enough of a benefit to recommend the choice.
As noted in a recent update, what Tippie — and the entire UI campus — needs right now is stability. There is no perfect candidate who would have taken the UI College of Business to the academic stratosphere, but there are plenty of good people working there who need support, particularly during the chaos and uncertainty occasioned by the pandemic. As a side benefit, this appointment also relieves the campus of concerns that would inevitably have arisen if the university had appointed Harreld’s old Harvard bro to the post — so we got that goin’ for us too, which is nice.
More from Claire Benson at the Daily Iowan: Amy Kristof-Brown named new dean of University of Iowa Tippie College of Business; and from Vanessa Miller at the Gazette: University of Iowa names interim to business dean post after national search.
A little over five years ago the corrupt Iowa Board of Regents concluded a rigged search, at a cost to the state of more than $300K, and appointed a complicit J. Bruce Harreld as president of the University of Iowa. A little over ten days ago Harreld announced that he would be retiring from that purloined position, pending the hire of his successor. One week ago the board formally accepted Harreld’s retirement letter and immediately set in motion the next six-figure, state-funded search process by which that individual will be chosen.
Along with initiating the vetting process by which an executive search firm will be hired to facilitate the recruitment of Harreld’s replacement, the board also began the internal process by which the presidential search committee will be constituted and charged with that statutory responsibility. In that context, understandably dubious members of the UI community are already pointing to a 2018 agreement between the UI Faculty Senate and several representatives of the Board of Regents, which purports to establish hard guidelines by which future searches will be conducted at the University of Iowa. (That agreement was negotiated to facilitate removal of UI from a list of sanctioned institutions maintained by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), which conducted an investigation and issued a report following the corrupt 2015 presidential search at Iowa.)
The 2018 agreement between the UI Faculty Senate and the Board of Regents is titled, Summary of Best Practice for Faculty Engagement in a UI Presidential Search. It is a robust and thorough document, and if you have not read it I encourage you to do so, not only because it is also a useful repository of information about prior presidential searches at Iowa, but because I will be referencing that information in this post. Whether you read the document or not, the most important thing you must remember is that it has no statutory enforcement mechanism. It is, at best, an aspirational document that was forged with a governmental body that previously showed no compunction about wasting $300K in state funds, merely to give the appearance of legitimacy to a search process that was corrupted from the very start. Having said that, the 2018 agreement is still of considerable value and benefit, because it will tell us, precisely, when the board once again decides to abandon it’s commitment to a fair search process, and reverts to cheating, lying and bullying the UI community into selecting the candidate the board wants. [ Read more ]
A new threaded post on this topic can be found here. For previous posts about the Harreld hire, click the tag below.
10/24/20 — Following up on the discrimination lawsuit that will inevitably be filed against the University of Iowa by eight former football players, which we dealt with at length in the update just below, this article by Chad Emmert at Hawk Central is a good rundown of the fix UI is in: Threatened lawsuit poses pivotal moment for University of Iowa football, experts say, with no pain-free way out.
If the university agrees to a settlement, it would be viewed by the public as an admission of guilt and would likely spur similar lawsuits from former players, said two legal experts who reviewed documents about the potential case at the Register’s request. But allowing the matter to go to trial would potentially put Ferentz and his program under a cloud of doubt for months, making it difficult to recruit Black athletes and leading to depositions and cross-examinations of him and his coaching staff that could prove embarrassing.
Either path the university takes must include a further commitment to real change in the way Black athletes are treated, the experts said, or the reputations of Ferentz, Barta and any others involved will be damaged permanently.
After five years of mutual dereliction, disregard and ass kissing by illegitimate UI president J. Bruce Harreld and UI Athletic Director Gary Barta, the university as an institution is suddenly weaving concerns about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into every aspect of its messaging, including outright lying. For example, over the past year there have been multiple attempts to claim that diversity is one of the core concerns of the current UI Strategic Plan, when it is objectively not. From an Iowa Now article on 06/25/20, written by the UI Office of Strategic Lying:
As one of the four pillars of the University of Iowa’s strategic plan, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a critical element of the future of the university. The UI has been taking steps within and beyond the 2019-2021 Excellence through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan, but more immediate action is needed.
As regular readers know, and as the following screenshot attests, there are three main pillars to the current UI Strategic Plan, and diversity is not one of them.
But hey — when you’re in a white-hot panic because you precipitated your own discrimination disaster in the same year that the Minneapolis police choked the life out of George Floyd, maybe you can be excused for trying to lie your way out of your troubles, right? Except…when you think about it, that’s pretty much how the University of Iowa got into this mess in the first place, so maybe it would be better to own up to these problems, clean house, then get on with the business of actually being a good governmental citizen instead of faking it. Unfortunately, as just noted, J. Bruce Harreld and AD Barta have a particularly incestuous administrative relationship, in which they express mutual respect for each other while never holding anyone accountable for anything. That includes, particularly, Harreld offering slavish support even after Barta cost the university $6.5M in a gender discrimination lawsuit, at the same time that Harreld was kicking the DEI administrator out of his cabinet and out of the president’s office. [ Read more ]
A new threaded post on this topic can be found here. For previous posts about the Harreld hire, click the tag below.
09/25/20 — The big news this week — at least so far — concerns the recent murder of four University of Iowa athletic programs by illegitimate UI president J. Bruce Harreld and Athletic Director Gary Barta. For two reasons, however, I will be tackling (hahaha) that complicated narrative this weekend. First, reporting is still coming in about events that transpired over the past few days, and I don’t want to jump the gun (ha). Second, I don’t want the following news to get lost in the mix, which would certainly happen if I dove (ha) into the deep end (hoho) of that sports story (I’ll stop now).
As I have mentioned in the past, one of my biggest concerns about the pandemic is that idiots in positions of leadership might take University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for granted, and in so doing swamp the biggest and best medical center in Iowa. Speaking of which, on Wednesday we got this report from the Gazette’s Vanessa Miller: Sicker patients now packing University of Iowa hospitals.
Because UIHC is accepting only the transfers it can handle, “many hospitals across the state are disappointed when we decline to take a transfer, and many have complained to me because they believe it is happening at a higher rate than it did before.
“That’s not the case,” Gunasekaran said. “It’s that we have sicker patients now than we did before.”
When asked why patient are sicker now, Gunasekaran surmised the answer might be twofold.
“One is that there is going to be a public health impact to delaying health care for three months,” he said. “I think a lot of chronic diseases didn’t get managed as well as they could, and they progressed to a different state.”
Secondly, many other hospitals don’t have the ability to handle the sicker patients.
It isn’t only intra-state transfers that are becoming a problem however. This in particular is a massive red flag for Johnson County:
“We’ve had two months of the worst left-without-being-seen rate in our emergency department since I’ve been here,” Gunasekaran told the regents. “I regret to tell you that in the month of August, 20 percent of patients left without being seen, which has never happened.”
Typically, on the worst day, that rate is between 7 and 10 percent.
As to why this is happening, there is no secret. Iowa’s governor prioritizes revenue generation on par with the literal lives of Iowans, and that means she is keeping cases, hospitalizations and deaths higher than they should be. As Iowa’s medical professionals have become better at keeping people alive, however, patients are no longer dying off at the same rate, thus clogging the state hospital system with patients that Governor Reynolds was killing outright only a few months ago. Unfortunately, because there is no chance that Demon Kim will change her money-grubbing ways, she may very well overwhelm UIHC just as the flu season picks up, and more COVID-19 cases are generated from decreased social distancing in the cold months. [ Read more ]
09/03/20 — Five years ago today the corrupt Iowa Board of Regents used a rigged, taxpayer funded search to appoint Jerre Stead’s little buddy as the illegitimate president of the University of Iowa, even though J. Bruce Harreld had no public sector or academic administrative experience, and was never the CEO of anything. Perhaps in celebration of that catastrophic milestone, Harreld posted an oddly cryptic message to the Iowa Now website, even as his failed COVID-19 plan disintegrates and cases soar across Iowa City and Johnson County.
However, we also react to new information as it comes in. We adapt. In that process, we are bound to make mistakes, but our only option is to act in good faith on the information available to us.
I don’t know why Harreld is putting out an ass-covering statement two weeks into the semester, and I don’t care. The University of Iowa doesn’t need another press release from the same man whose arrogance and ignorance led to the mess we’re in, yet asking people to absolve him of responsibility while the campus is on fire is entirely on-brand. Case counts will inevitably fall if only because there are no more students, faculty and staff to infect, but nothing will get better at the University of Iowa until J. Bruce Harreld is gone. [ Read more ]
08/16/20 — Having your suburban homestead blasted by a derecho has a certain clarifying effect on the mind. No electrical power for 70 hours, no internet for 85 hours, yet I know I am one of the lucky ones. In Iowa City/Johnson County I had no damage to structures or trees, and only lost a little food after securing most of the frozen goods offsite. Meanwhile, Cedar-Rapids/Linn County just to the north was obliterated, and going on six days now tens of thousands are still without power and a thousand homes have been deemed unsafe for human habitation until repairs are made. (Which will now bring out the con artists by the score, fleecing people when they are in most in need, and when law enforcement is otherwise occupied.)
The most interesting mental aspect of the power outage was that even though I was witness to the storm, I had no information about the storm. It also became clear as days passed, and as I picked up a little news here and there, that most of the country was oblivious to what happened. A landed hurricane launched a sneak attack on the Midwest, yet both coasts and the Sun Belt cared not a whit. Yes, the pandemic accounted for some of that, but I also lay blame squarely on Iowa’s demon governor and the leadership in Linn County, which failed utterly to provide for its dazed citizenry and to communicate to the outside world the severity of the damage. (As I have said many times, if this had happened on the East Coast, and particularly around New York City, it would have received wall-to-wall coverage for days.)
Having said all that, for three days I didn’t think about the idiot president of the United States or the idiots at the Iowa Board of Regents. I did think about the illegitimate idiot in the president’s office at the University of Iowa, and about the idiot in the athletic director’s office at UI, because I heard that the Big Ten finally cancelled its football season. But even then the only substantive thought I had was that it’s a real problem that we keep electing and appointing idiots to important leadership positions.
07/20/20 — Click here and you will find an interesting exchange posted on the University of Iowa Latinx Council website. On 07/13/20, the UI Diversity Councils sent a joint open letter to illegitimate UI president J. Bruce Harreld, and other administrators at UI, detailing leadership concerns. Harreld’s response that same day was to entirely ignore the contents of the letter, and instead simply agree to meet with the Diversity Councils to “listen to your concerns in more detail”. Because one of the core competencies of any administrator is listening patiently without agreeing to do anything, the Diversity Councils declined to meet unless Harreld followed up “personally and in writing, to first address [their] primary concerns and recommendations”. Indeed, in their response to Harreld on 07/17/20, the Diversity Councils specifically noted that “when invited to listening posts by other administrators”, their “collective constituencies…find their concerns ignored, dismissed, or explained away”.
While I do not agree with all of the demands presented by the Diversity Councils, it is encouraging that they seem to have Harreld figured out. After five years of Harreld talking about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), while at the same time demoting and devaluing DEI at every juncture, perhaps Harreld has finally run out of shady tricks. Although he certainly didn’t invent the administrative stall, Harreld uses it constantly, as he did several years ago in promising a campuswide employment practices review following the loss of a gender discrimination suit that originated in the UI Athletic Department. After launching that review with great fanfare, however, the committee charged with delivering on that promise didn’t even get around to hiring an outside law firm for six months. [ Read more ]
This is real. The chaos and uncertainty you are wrestling with — that you feel as unease and fatigue — is real. The pandemic is really happening, and that is the most important thing for you to remember. When you feel overwhelmed or disoriented, consciously remind yourself that the coronavirus pandemic is real.
The Story So Far
Late in 2019 a virus made the leap from animal to man, precipitating an outbreak in China. Because of a delayed response to that outbreak by the Chinese government, the virus was able to leap to other countries, precipitating a pandemic. Because of a delayed response to that pandemic by the American government, the virus was able to overrun the United States.
Following varying degrees of mitigation over several months, the federal government and the governors of America’s states and territories are now relaxing restrictions in service of economic recovery. Despite this easing of restrictions, however, the virus persists, and nothing about the biological threat posed by the pandemic has changed. [ Read more ]
06/25/20 — So Bro Bruce and Rod Lehnertz talked at their cameras yesterday and today, largely saying a whole lotta nothin’, but we will get into that over the weekend. Until then….
* From the Gazette’s Lyz Lenz: The University of Iowa fires instructors and tells the rest to get back to the classroom.
* From Katie Akin at the Des Moines Register and Kylee Mullen at the Ames Tribune: Reopening and resurgence: Iowa restaurants, bars close because of employee coronavirus cases.
* From the Daily Iowan’s Chloe Peterson: Opinion | The University of Iowa must condense the coming semester.
* Following the announcement that Nadine Petty will be leaving UI in a matter of weeks — thus continuing the exodus of persons of color who were in leadership positions at the University of Iowa — the school has counter-announced yet another committee that they can point to as evidence that they care about diversity, when clearly they don’t. [ Read more ]