A new threaded post on this topic can be found here. For previous posts about the Harreld hire, click the tag below.
03/28/21 — Because there were eight qualified semifinalists who interviewed for the Iowa presidency during the rigged 2015 presidential search — plus a ninth unqualified candidate in future illegitimate UI president J. Bruce Harreld — and because the current presidential search committee has repeatedly expressed a desire to conduct a broader, more inclusive search, I initially assumed that the current committee would invite between ten and twelve candidates to participate in the semifinalist interviews at the end of next week. In various committee meetings, however — and particularly in comments from representatives of the firm facilitating the search — the number of expected semifinalists was repeatedly pegged at eight, so I began to use that target number as well. Flash forward to last Friday, and after cutting down the initial pool of 79 applicants, the committee settled on twelve semifinalists who will be interviewed on April 1st and 2nd, then reduced to three or four (or possibly five) finalists on April 3rd.
While this larger slate of semifinalists complicates the process of choosing finalists, the fact that next week’s interviews will be held online — as opposed to in-person, during what are commonly referred to as ‘airport interviews’ for that point of physical convergence — means overall time demands will be decreased, and travel requirements completely negated for all involved. (Assuming the COVID-19 pandemic lifts at some point, I will be surprised if virtual semifinalist interviews do not become the norm in academic searches, if only for their logistical ease and cost savings.) In expanding the number of semifinalists, I see that not only as a nod to this committee’s genuine interest in hearing from a wide range of candidates, but as a long-delayed response to the 2015 search, which notably concluded with the done-deal appointment of an unqualified rich old white man. To be sure, most if not all of the twenty-one members of the committee already know which of the twelve semifinalists will likely be chosen as finalists, and which candidate will likely be chosen as the next president, and industry demographics alone suggest that J. Bruce Harreld will be replaced by another white male. That outcome would not mean, however, that inviting more women and/or people of color to participate in the interview process was only done for show, because that is part of the work that needs to be done to expand future opportunities. As a candidate, if you can’t even get in the room when people are making decisions, then you have no chance. [ Read more ]