Harkin, Iowa State Disagree On Namesake Public Policy Institute

Ann McClure's picture

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin on Tuesday suggested he would not donate his papers to Iowa State University and could ask that his name be removed from a public policy institute if restrictions on agriculture research aren’t lifted.

“I want the best for my alma mater, and Ruth and I have always worked hard to support ISU. But I simply cannot be part of any arrangement that restricts full and unfettered academic freedom at this institute,” the five-term Democrat said in a statement to The Des Moines Register late Tuesday afternoon.

The institute has ignited political passions since the Iowa Board of Regents voted in April 2011 to establish the Harkin Institute of Public Policy without any restrictions on research. The institute, as originally created, would research issues related to agriculture, education, international development and health and human services.

Harkin also agreed to leave his papers with ISU.

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