President Mark Gearan was quoted in the Nov. 21 Chicago Tribune story “Ad makes plea for reforms; Ex-Cabinet officials want appointment process simplified”.
Gearan was among more than 200 former high-level government officials who took out advertisements in newspapers Wednesday calling on the White House and Congress to make the presidential appointment process more humane, less intrusive and shorter.
Officials also sent a letter to President Bush and lawmakers. Gearan, who signed the letter, was quoted on his experiences in being appointed director of the Peace Corps and being named to the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
“The FBI came to my office on campus to interview me for the board, which meets three times a year,” said Gearan. “They said, 'Well, we'd like to speak to your neighbors here.' I said, 'Well, it's a fraternity.' And they said, 'Well, will anyone say anything negative about you?' and I said, 'Chances are–I'm the college president.'”
Gearan acknowledged that background checks are necessary, but he said the bureaucracy for some of the lower-level candidates can be reduced.