IOWA CITY — As University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld nears his one-year anniversary on the job, the institution is hosting an event to officially welcome him to campus.
The two-hour presidential program and reception at the new Hancher Auditorium on Sept. 16 will cap a “week of inspiration” celebrating the entire university community.
“Instead of focusing on a single event, President Harreld wanted to use the week as an opportunity to celebrate the UI in a larger sense by recognizing important milestones and moments,” Linda Snetselaar, associate provost for outreach and engagement, said in a news release.
Milestones include the debut this summer and fall of several new buildings and spaces across campus — including Hancher, the Visual Arts Building and the Voxman School of Music building. The university also continues to embark on innovative research and new programming, and members of the campus community can get a closer look next week during daily open houses “to showcase a small part of what make the UI a top public research university.”
Those tours will occur from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Thursday. In the evenings, the university will host a storytelling series featuring members of the UI community, including former Hawkeye kicker Nate Kaeding.
The “My Iowa Story” series — also featuring Peter Aguero, host of the “The Moth Radio Hour” — is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday at various locations.
The week’s festivities will kick off Sunday with a student-centered event from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on the Pentacrest featuring performances from several university groups, including Hawkapellas, Iowa Agni, and UI Old Acappella. There will be free burritos and ice cream.
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Following the Sept. 16 presidential program at Hancher, the UI Alumni Association will host a tailgate from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Hancher parking lot and a free concert at 7:30 p.m. on Hancher Green. When the state Board of Regents announced Harreld’s hire in September 2015, many campus community members protested and called for Harreld’s resignation. The UI Faculty Senate and UI Student Government cast votes of no confidence in the Board of Regents, which they said ignored campus criticism of Harreld as a candidate.
Since officially starting in November, Harreld has been vocal about the university’s need to improve faculty pay and focus its resources on its strength. He’s instituted new budgeting and planning processes, and he’s also prioritized diversity and campus security and inclusivity.