As a University of Iowa alum and lifelong Iowan, I’m flabbergasted that UI’s Dean Steve Goddard said, in defending faculty cuts, “ ... can’t think of a reason why an out-of-state student would register for an out-or-state class to take it online …” at the institution he represents.
Goddard needs to learn more about where he works. UI has been a world-class, tier-one research and teaching institution for generations. UI faculty are top scholars in their fields. With little support, they remade their courses online midsemester. It wasn’t fun for them or their students. But like other experiences during the pandemic, technology and creativity made learning possible for students no matter where they were. Most make one-fifth or less what Goddard — at UI for under a year and paid over $350,000/year by the taxpayers of Iowa — does.
Instead of rolling over in defeat, the dean should focus on supporting UI faculty in developing valuable instruction for students online where necessary and finding safe ways to meet in person where possible. He should tell prospective students that UI is worth their money, and that dedicated teachers at all our state universities do their utmost to make sure their students learn and thrive.
If he can’t, Dean Goddard should offer up his salary to rehire ’non-renewed’ teaching faculty and find someone who can advocate for our public universities.
Iowans are proud of our schools, and the people we pay to run them should be too.