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The Iowa Board of Regents’ Stunning Lack of Accountability: Update

August 7th, 2016 · No Comments

BOR-sinking ship copy

When former University of Northern Iowa president Bill Ruud made his last appearance before the state Board of Regents in June, the board piled on the praise.

“Your leadership, your enthusiasm at a time when the university really needed that was really critical in bringing about a positive confidence level at the university,” said Board president Bruce Rastetter.

In his official statement the month before, Rastetter was equally approving of Ruud’s record, noting “his extraordinary service to the University of Northern Iowa and the state. Under his leadership, there has been great progress made at UNI, and he leaves UNI in a stronger position than when he arrived.”

So, it remains curious why Ruud had to go. Officially, the Board didn’t fire him. But, Ruud’s contract wasn’t renewed and he would have had to proceed with no contract. We already know how well that fared for Sally Mason, the former University of Iowa president. If Rastetter was sincere in his words about Ruud, then Ruud would have been the kind of person the BOR would work hard to retain, not put on a short leash with no job security. Ruud’s graceful exit masks the fact that the BOR did a real injustice to him and UNI. [Read more →]

→ No CommentsTags: Elections · Iowa Board of Regents · Journalism · Journalism Ethics · Politics · Price Lab School · State Budgets · Universities · University of Northern Iowa

Iowa Board of Regents’ stunning lack of accountability

August 5th, 2016 · No Comments

When former University of Northern Iowa president Bill Ruud announced he was leaving, Iowa Board of Regents president Bruce Rastetter praised him for “great progress” and leaving “UNI in a stronger position than when he arrived.”

It remains curious why Ruud had to go.  Officially, the board didn’t fire Ruud, but his contract wasn’t renewed and that sends a message. Ruud’s graceful exit masks the injustice the regents did to him and UNI. Ruud’s departure is also another sign the board lacks accountability. <more in the Des Moines Register>



→ No CommentsTags: Journalism Ethics

One Way to Save Bookstores from Extinction

June 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

Buenos Aires, Argentina has more bookstores per capita than any other city in the world. According to a 2015 study by the World Cities Cultural Forum, Buenos Aires has 734 bookstores, or about 25 per 100,000 people.


Interior of El Ateneo Grand Splendid, a bookstore in Buenos Aires

By comparison, Madrid has 16 bookstores per 100,000 people, Tokyo has 13, London has 10, Paris and New York have 9, Amsterdam and Berlin have 7, Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro have 5, Mumbai has 4, and Singapore has 3 per 100,000 people.

Buenos Aires also has some of the best bookstores in the world, including El Ateneo Grand Splendid. A former theatre palace built in 1919, the ornate building was repurposed as a bookstore in 2007. The main floor and balconies are filled with bookshelves, the former theatre boxes are now reading nooks, and the stage, framed by a crimson curtain, is a café. The grand space is regularly cited as one of the most beautiful and most interesting bookstores in the world. [Read more →]

→ No CommentsTags: Journalism Ethics

Guns and Men in America

December 30th, 2014 · No Comments

There have been at least 70 mass shootings in the U.S. since 1982. If Americans think such shootings are more common now, it’s because they are. Nearly half of the 70 mass shootings have happened since 2006.

What are the reasons?  Our news media respond with a number of possibilities: the easy availability of guns in the U.S.; influential movies, television shows, and video games; mental illness, bad parenting – these are the usual suspects.worst mass shooting since 2006

Jackson Katz, an educator, author, and filmmaker (of Tough Guise and Tough Guise 2), sees another major factor.  The least talked about commonality in all of the shootings is the one so obvious most of us miss it: nearly all of the mass murderers are men. [Read more →]

→ No CommentsTags: Guns · Journalism · Journalism Ethics