Iowa universities skip searches in filling scores of jobs

University officials fought to keep records secret.
By: | May 22, 2022

Iowa’s public universities last year used a waiver process to bypass open searches to fill jobs — designed to attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates and ensure applicants have an equal opportunity to compete for positions — in more than 150 hires, most of which involved the University of Iowa.

The UI processed 106 search waivers in 2021, according to records the university provided The Gazette after being compelled to do so by the Iowa Public Information Board — which weighed in after the newspaper filed a complaint over the UI’s initial refusal.

Although the university has been forced to release some search waiver information, it continues to shroud its waiver process in secrecy — withholding its justifications for skipped searches, even after indicating to The Gazette and the Public Information Board officials it would disclose that information.