Fire Bruce Rastetter from Iowa Board of Regents

Recently released emails show that Bruce Rastetter, President Pro Tem of the Iowa Board of Regents, abused his position on the Board by pushing for a partnership between Iowa State University and his agribusiness corporation, AgriSol Energy. CCI has posted these emails in full: download them here.

This deal would have implicated the University, and by extension the people of Iowa, in a massive land-grab in Tanzania that would have displaced 160,000 refugee farmers. Investors like Rastetter stood to make millions from the project.

Mr. Rastetter is clearly unable to separate his role as a public Regent from his personal financial interest.

Further, his actions constitute a violation of Iowa Code 68B.2A and the Board of Regents conflict of interest policy, which prohibits “actual, potential, or perceived conflict of interest” on the part of a Regent.

We believe that Rastetter’s misconduct is symptomatic of a pattern of cronyism and abuse of power on the part of Branstad appointees.

Governor Branstad must demonstrate his commitment to filling public positions with qualified applicants of integrity rather than major donors by asking Regent Rastetter to step down immediately.

Iowans should not wonder where the loyalties of their public servants lie.

The Iowa Board of Regents should have one priority above all others: enhancing the quality of life for Iowans by maintaining the educational quality, accessibility, and public service activities of Iowa’s three public universities.

Tell Governor Branstad to fire Bruce Rastetter immediately and appoint a new Regent who puts education before personal gain.