“Why did the board of regents install an overpaid puppet? What is their agenda? Where is the protest?”
In order to understand what has just happened,one has only to look at Republican governors across the country enacting the ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) agenda to privatize/profitize/dismantle public/higher education.
Governor Branstad is a founding member of ALEC and has been its loyal servant. Linda Upmeyer, ALEC national chair in 2014, was recently installed as speaker of the Iowa House to replace Kraig Paulsen, who presided over the passaage of a bi-partisan supplemental education funding bill last session that was subsequently vetoed by Branstad. After the session was over, Paulsen resigned for no apparent reason.
ALEC was established in 1973 (2 years after The Powell Manifesto) and today ALEC corporate members write corporate-friendly state laws and wine and dine state legislators (yes, Iowa legislators) who take bills back to their state capitols and push them through, frequently with campaign contributions as a reward. These bills typically have nothing to do with what would be good for Iowa.
For deeper political background that will expose the long range planning of conservatives to take down intellectual thought on college campuses, read The Lewis Powell Memo of 1971 or The Powell Manifesto. Conservatives, paranoid about liberalism, particularly on college campuses, laid out a multi-pronged plan to save the country from what they viewed as an attack on the free enterprise system from the intellectual left.
The Powell memo “influenced or inspired the creation of the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, and other powerful organizations. Their long-term focus began paying off handsomely in the 1980s, in coordination with the Reagan Administration’s ‘hands-off business’ philosophy…Most notable about these institutions was their focus on education, shifting values, and [conservative] movement-building.”
Well worth the time to read The Powell Memo in its entirety here: reclaimdemocracy.org/powellmemolewis
The most effective action to take at this time can only be found if it is fully understood what has just happened and how it happened. This was more than simple political payback because Branstad and his BOR cronies don’t like the UI (although they don’t). It is in fact part of a long range plan by conservatives; call it a vast right wing conspiracy if you will, but the facts are well documented and cannot be denied.
You can access these ALEC “model” bills privatizing schools and higher education here: BillsAffectingAmericansRightstoaPublicEducation
The Wisconsin based Center for Media and Democracy has done extensive research and investigations of ALEC. Their website has links to ALEC activities in the states including Iowa. alecexposed.org/ALECExposed
ALEC WATCH: New Report Details Corporate Influence in Iowa progressiowa.org/sections/progress-report
So “What can be done to keep the faculty from storming Jessup Hall with pitchforks?” I don’t know, other than stop electing Republicans.