Iowa Public Radio’s top leader, Mary Grace Herrington, has been fired by the organization’s board of directors. The board voted 6-1 Tuesday to dismiss Herrington. She had been the organization’s chief executive officer since 2009.
The lone dissenter, Mark Braun, is a new IPR board member and the interim Vice President for Strategic Communications at the University of Iowa.
“It was a long conversation about the workplace environment in Iowa Public Radio. And there were a lot of specifics I can’t get into about the executive director’s performance,” Braun says. “But it was a lengthy conversation. And at the end, six members voted to terminate.”
Braun says he did not feel comfortable voting to fire the CEO at his first board meeting.
“I could have abstained, but I felt as a board member, especially when it came to someone’s termination I needed to pick a side,” he says. “So I just voted no. Because again, I didn’t have enough to vote yes.”
The move comes after Iowa Public Radio employees were surveyed about issues including their trust in Herrington’s leadership and management style.
Braun says the future leadership of the organization is being worked out. He referred further questions to IPR Board Chairwoman Kay Runge.
In a statement, Runge says the board’s decision is supported by the Iowa Board of Regents, which oversees IPR stations. Runge says the organization will conduct a search for a new CEO immediately.
When reached for comment by phone, Herrington said she supports Iowa Public Radio’s policy that “all personnel decisions are confidential.”