By Austin Petroski
University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld addressed the University of Iowa Staff Council for the first time on Wednesday, addressing his vision and experience during his short time at the UI.
“You’re what makes this place run,” Harreld said.
He said he has been in Des Moines eight times in his first 28 days in office, meeting with state legislators and seeking more funds for the UI, which have been slashed or fallen flat over the past 15 years.
He said some Iowans outside of the university community mistakenly believe the UI is self-supportive and does not need any outside funding.
“There’s a view that we have more than enough money and can get everything done,” Harreld said.
Harreld said all the members of the university community would need to come together to fix the issues the UI is facing.
“Great teams are continually saying: what’s broken, and how do we fix it?” he said.
Harreld said staff members are important to the UI and are always the ones making things work in the background when things go well, but take the brunt of the negativity when they don’t.
He also said institutions like the UI were the reason he was interested in becoming a university president.
“I believe our society owes itself to these institutions,” he said.
Harreld said institutions like the UI help younger people become exposed life-changing experiences. He said he has seen so much pride at the UI and that many campus members and alumni care about both the past and the future.
In light of the Hawkeye’s success, Harreld said he was impressed by the amount of fans who came out to attend the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis.
In addition to Harreld’s discussion, the Staff Council also heard a presentation by UI Controller Terry Johnson on the university budget process overview.
Johnson said the amount of funding from the state has dropped dramatically since the beginning of fiscal year 2001.
Johnson said Harreld’s time spent working with legislators in Des Moines has helped the university get more funding than originally planned for.
Staff Council later heard a presentation by the Office of the Ombudsperson, which is dedicated to solving problems between members in the university community through confidential and independent discussion with individuals seeking assistance.