University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld has announced his intention to retire as soon as a replacement can be appointed.
Harreld’s contract runs through June 2023, and has indicated to the Board of Regents that he will stay on as long as it takes to find his successor. He said, “I believe institutions suffer when they rush the search for a new leader and that a smooth, deliberate process positions the new president and the university for success. I believe the search could take additional time given the pandemic, so I wanted to announce my plans now so the Board can begin right away.”
Harreld says he will continue his focus on putting the university on sound financial footing, working on increasing faculty pay, improving graduation and retention rates, see the school complete the current strategic plan, and produce an update to it.
In an interview with the Daily Iowan, Harreld said concerns about him seemingly jumping ship in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic are unfounded. He said, “If I were not going to be here tomorrow, not going to be here at the end of the year, I’m not going to be here next year, then, yeah, but that’s not the case.”
Harreld added that he hoped going forward his decision to announce retirement early would be the model for how the UI should replace future presidents.
He has been University president since November 2015.