Our New President


Dear Colleagues:
On behalf of United Faculty, thank you to everyone who helped out on the presidential search. Because of you, our faculty voice was a meaningful and positive contribution to the search process and the regents’ decision. 

In addition participation on the search committee, attendance at the candidate  forums and studying candidates’ backgrounds,177 faculty members responded to our United Faculty candidate survey (with only a 48 hour turn around!). According to regents and others, the survey findings were an important part of the committee and regent deliberations. Special thanks to UF Vice President Becky Wilson Hawbaker who represented UF on the committee. She did a fantastic job of standing up for AAUP principles.

Please take some time to ponder and celebrate the importance of this moment. It exemplifies the meaningful and positive faculty influence we should come to expect.

United Faculty also extends our heartfelt appreciation to Jim Wohlpart. Jim’s willingness to go through the search process was motivated by his deep commitment to UNI. It is important that we acknowledge and honor his commitment.

We also thank Dean Brenda Bass for all she accomplished during her time as Interim Provost. She was tremendously collaborative and effective in her work with United Faculty. She has our sincere respect and appreciation.

Thank you to all of the regents for conducting an open and inclusive search that embraced faculty input. United Faculty looks forward to building upon the foundation of this success.

With the presidential search in our rear view mirror we must focus on major challenges that lie ahead. Just prior to Thanksgiving break, United Faculty and the Board of Regents exchanged our initial contract negotiation proposals. Later this week, I’ll send you copies and summaries of each proposal. The bargaining team has formulated our first counter offer (to be exchanged on December 15th).

Along with contract negotiations, all of Iowa’s public employees, are facing the grave risk of a legislative assault upon Iowa statues that enable us to bargain collectively (see my recent email “A Gathering Storm“). I cannot overstated the seriousness and complexity of this situation. We probably will not know what form the assault will take until after the legislature convenes in early January.  I’ll provide more information as it becomes available. Until then, be prepared to mobilize on behalf of our faculty collective bargaining rights.

Thank you again to everyone who empowers our faculty voice. Faculty working conditions are student learning conditions.


Joe Gorton

President, United Faculty

About the author


View all posts