I wish I had read this Slate article before writing my previous post. It details the University of Iowa’s selection process for its new president — a position that they note earns $590k per year on top of all the usual benefits and deferred compensation as befitting one of our Lords and Masters.
The article begins with an amusing anecdote about how two activists got the prior UI president fired, before digging into the putrid, cynical corruption, so typical of the neoliberals in charge of universities, of how the new president was selected.
Bruce Harreld has no experience whatsoever at managing a university. His only seeming qualification was that he is already a member of the 1%, which is apparently all it takes. Read the article on what an epic disaster this man is, but that’s not the point. This world is chock-full of rich idiots, and always has been. What’s more remarkable: the technocrats who installed this idiot into the presidency of a major public university.
Harreld said that members of the search committee, which included three regents, recruited him to apply for the position of university president. Board President Bruce Rastetter—a “kingmaker” in Iowa politics, as well as a pork and ethanol mogul—put Harreld in touch with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad… the regents unexpectedly dissolved the campus-based search committee and outsourced the process to a private firm [but of course they did -FC], Parker Executive Search.
It’s implied that this guy had the right connections, and that’s all it takes. He has complete indifference to academics or the University of Iowa, but that is completely irrelevant to a jaded member of our Boomerist ruling class.
Some may not care about the Boomerist’s cynicism, selfishness, clannishness, or complete disregard for our cultural history. Fine. But anyone should have to at least take exception to their gross incompetence. From a completely objective point of view, can anyone argue that UI’s trustees are anything but completely, horribly wretched at their jobs?