University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld responds to criticism - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld responds to criticism

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The University of Iowa is officially under new leadership as Bruce Harreld had his first day as University President today.

Harreld, a former IBM executive, was chosen from four finalist to serve as University of Iowa President.

Even before being selected by the Board of Regents to lead the school, he faced criticism.

We were able to talk with Harreld on his first day.

 "They're gonna have a hard time figuring out how to move forward here so I'm more concerned about them. What are they gonna do, what's their option here? I am here, I am started, here we go, you know what's next? We've got to move on," said Harreld when asked about those criticizing him.

A recent Board of Regents meeting was protested following the announcement of Bruce Harreld as University President.

Many people believe Harreld is not qualified for the job and the process to hire him was flawed.

 "I think we've gotten a little over the edge here, I mean everyone has a right to express themselves, I have no problems with that. On the other hand I just want to make sure the citizens of Iowa know that here at the University of Iowa we're a lot more professional that that, we can do better and they should ask more from us," Harreld said.

Despite all the criticism, the president says it hasn't affected his transition to Iowa City.

 "It comes with the territory so it's just expected," he told us.

It may be expected, but he says some things are still frustrating.

"Give me a chance, get to know me, lets sit down and talk, I think that's been one of the more frustrating things is there's some people I've reached out to that haven't even been willing to even sit down, and that's to me it's unprofessional," said Harreld.

Bruce Harreld said he wants people to know he is a family man. He has been married to his wife for forty-two years and has four children.

He told us he has moved around a lot, but his family has always been one constant for him.

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