Presidential Suite (and Sour). The Iowa Board of Regents named corporate turnaround artist Bruce Herrald as the new President of the University of Iowa Thursday, replacing the retiring Sally Mason. Herrald, 64, was chosen over three other candidates who held positions in university administration.
The implication of that sentence, of course, is that Herrald doesn't have that experience, and he doesn't. He's taught at Northwestern and Harvard before, but Herrald's management experience comes solely from the private sector. That lack of higher education experience has rubbed some in the University community the wrong way. Did I say some? I meant everyone.
Herrald received vocal, sometimes heated, criticism during an open forum on campus earlier this week. That criticism continued after Thursday's announcement.
Law professor and Faculty Senate President Christina Bohannan said Thursday the Faculty Council also submitted a report to the regents expressing concern with Harreld's lack of experience in higher education.
"This has been a difficult search process for faculty. Many faculty feel that we were asked for our feedback, but it was not given much weight in the decision," she wrote in an email. "It is going to take time for the faculty to heal from this, but I know that faculty love this university, and I hope that we can move forward."
Psychology professor Bob McMurray said he has doubts. The [American Association of University Professors online] survey showed 10 people on campus found Harreld capable of the job.
"I bet I could get 10 people on campus to say I could manage the Chicago Cubs," he said.
This is a sports site, though, and we're going to avoid the potential internal political issues that Herrald's appointment may carry and focus on his view of Iowa athletics. And given that he's supposed to be such a change agent, I'll bet he's already fielding candidates for the soon-to-be-vacant athletic director position hell yeah hashtag fire barta baby yea--
Athletics is the "glue that binds" according to new UI Prez Bruce Harreld. Says he's a "cheerleader" and will listen to Barta and Ferentz.— Mark Carlson (@markwcarlson) September 3, 2015
AW COME ON MAN.
U MAD LEATH? Herrald will receive a salary of $590,000 per year, $64,000 more than his predecessor and $90,000 per year more than ISU President Steven Leath. It's not yet Cy-Hawk Week, but hey Regents President and gargantuan UI football donor Bruce Rastetter, you wanna play the feud a few days early?
When Herrald runs his "I'll give $10 of my own money to every fan that comes to a football game" special later this year, he'll have enough left to buy a hybrid car.
(And for those who immediately decried the higher salary given to a male president than Mason, remember that she (1) was one of the five highest-paid university presidents in the country according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, and (2) had her salary frozen due to screw-ups, missing at least one raise that typically totals $20,000-$40,000. Two raises -- one for the freeze year and one for this year -- would have given her essentially the same salary as her successor.)
A $55 Million Football Facility Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand. Two different stories from Thursday touch on a recurring theme from the summer: That the Iowa football program was a bit of a leadership mess in 2014. First, from the Des Moines Register's Chad Leistikow, we have Greg Mabin commenting on the new facility:
"We're more of a team. Last year, we still had a good group of guys, but some of them might have been more individually based," Mabin said. "This year, we've got a good group of guys that have a team-first mentality."
And that led to the follow-up: What changed? Mabin's answer was all about the relationships, which have grown through meals — and the building, where weight-room records have been falling left and right.
On the same day, the Quad City Times' Steve Batterson got almost the same response from Austin Blythe on the changes resulting from Brian Ferentz's move to running game coordinator, a position that had no clear description when it was created last winter:
"I think getting guys to understand the big picture and not to have tunnel vision, is making a difference,'' center Austin Blythe said. "We know what we are thinking as offensive linemen and we now understand more of what they're thinking as running backs. I think that's been good for us.''
When Blythe, Drew Ott and Jordan Lomax criticized last year's leadership at Big Ten Media Days, we raised our eyebrows. But this goes even beyond that, saying that not only were there some guys no longer on the team who were more interested in themselves than the team, but the coaches weren't communicating well enough to explain how the offense was working. Most of us lived through 2006 and 2010. We've seen teams that have had leadership issues and senioritis. Last year's squad never looked like one of those teams, save the bowl game no-show. It would explain at least some of November's wild swings, though. We'll go with it. 11 WINS OR BUST.
A reminder: Wear gold to Saturday's game at Kinnick Stadium. For one, it's "Wear Gold" day. For another, it's going to feel like seven inches from the midday sun in there, and a black shirt could actually spontaneously combust on your back. Also, regulations on bottled water have been relaxed: You can bring in "more than one" bottle, so long as it's sealed, and additional bottled water will be available for $2 a bottle. Additional paramedics and cooling stations will also be available in case there's any trouble.
Morehouse published his interview with Kirk Ferentz that we discussed on last week's podcast. Morehouse asks KF if he regrets using "That's football" following the Nebraska game. Ferentz responds by mentioning Dallas Clark. Twice. I can't make up a joke that funny.
According to Football Study Hall's F/+ metric, Iowa is expected to beat Illinois State by two touchdowns. Apparently F/+ hasn't seen Iowa play an FCS opponent lately, because those performances have been worthy of an F+ if you know what I mean. I mean they stunk.
And finally, from a simpler time back when Kirk Ferentz was still celebrating the last millennium, Brad Banks releases video of Matt Roth dancing at the 2001 Alamo Bowl pregame dance-off against Texas Tech.
I think we all know that a Kirk Ferentz-Mike Leach dance-off would result in a universe-engulfing black hole right there in San Antonio.