I recommend Michael Gartner’s long op-ed piece about the train wreck surrounding the Harkin Institute at Iowa State University. Reading it, I learned about a scandal that shattered ISU’s economics department in the 1940s. The piece also got me wondering: did Governor Chet Culver ever make a worse appointment than putting Iowa Farm Bureau head Craig Lang on the Board of Regents?
Not content to use the Regents’ lobbyists and ISU faculty for advocacy against raw milk sales (seemingly unrelated to higher education), Lang is now interfering with freedom to research agriculture-related topics at the Harkin Institute. Surely there were Republicans better suited for this job when Culver appointed Lang in 2007. I suspect we can thank then Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge (“Iowa is an agricultural state and anyone who doesn’t like it can leave in any of four directions”) for that move.
Some excerpts from Gartner’s piece are after the jump.
All topics are welcome in this open thread, especially any thoughts about the worst appointments any Iowa governor has made.
P.S.- Iowa Republican blogger Jeff Patch scores points for pretzel logic in his attempt to cast ISU administrators as heroes expressing “serious ethical concerns” about the Harkin Institute operating as “a rogue unit blessed with the official seal of ISU approval, funded by Harkin’s campaign donors and free to engage in politicized research with no oversight or controls.”Continue Reading...