IOWA CITY, Iowa - University of Iowa President Sally Mason said she has no concerns about her job security, despite the fact that she's been working on an at-will basis without a long-term contract since Aug. 1.
Mason met with about a dozen members of the media Wednesday, in a 45-minute press conference that touched on a number of issues, including some of the recent controversies faced by the university.
One of the topics Mason was asked about most frequently was her contract situation with the state Board of Regents. It was revealed last week that Mason's initial five-year contract expired July 31, 2012, and since that time she has been an at-will employee.
Regents President Craig Lang last week said the board has asked Mason to improve the university's statewide outreach and relations with the Legislature. Gov. Terry Branstad this week said he was concerned by a lack of openness at the UI.
Mason on Wednesday said she hopes arrogance is not the tone she conveys to people.
"If it is, I have work to do," she said.
There "does seem to be a disconnect" between what she sees as transparency and openness and what others see as transparency and openness, Mason said. In some cases, the information she can reveal to the public is driven by privacy laws that protect students or employee personnel information, she said.
Those issues are part of the reason Mason called the forum with the press Wednesday, she said.
The contract issue is not a concern to her, Mason said, adding she is happy with the deferred compensation package through June 2016 she has with the university. She came to the UI in 2007 with the intention of filling out her career here, Mason said, and there's still a lot she wants to accomplish at the university.
She's had no discussion with the regents about getting back to a long-term contract, and Mason said she has no expectations of that. Mason, 62, said retirement within five years is a "possibility."