Democratic Gov. Harold Hughes and Republican Governors Robert Ray and Terry Branstad were all notable for their commitment to public funding for higher education even during times of severe economic hardship.
What has changed recently is neither the Iowa economy nor Iowa public opinion; it is the advent of the administration of Gov. Tom Vilsack, who will go down in history as Iowa's most anti-higher education governor...
In the past when faculty did things like "publish a paper" or "write a book," they were rewarded, but that has to change. "Now it's come up with an idea and start a business and you'll get rewarded." Hired for their expertise in research and teaching ... faculty are now expected to become entrepreneurs who serve private investors.
Go read the whole argument and decide for yourself. I'd also love to hear a response from Vilsack or the Board of Regents, since this piece appears a bit one-sided.
In a related note, the Board of Regents' supposed sabotage of the U of I didn't keep 40 people from applying to be the university's next president. No word on whether Sal Mohamed is among the applicants.