The University of Iowa Campus looking west from Old Capitol and the Pentacrest.

The status of (many) ongoing searches for new UI administrators


As searches for a variety of administrative positions at the University of Iowa continue, both the College of Law and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences are moving forward with plans to select new leadership, the UI announced Thursday.

The departures are only a couple of the many searches that have recently concluded or remain ongoing at the UI — 14 administrative positions have needed to be filled recently, to be exact. The Daily Iowan documented the status of those searches.

Searches for deans of two UI colleges move forward

Search committee formed for College of Liberal Arts & Sciences dean

UI interim Provost Sue Curry has selected David Ryfe, the director of the School of Journalism & Mass Communication, and Sarah Gardial, the dean of the Tippie College of Business, to serve as co-chairs for a search committee that will help select the new dean for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Current Dean Chaden Djalali announced in 2017 he planned to step down from the role once the 2017-18 academic year finished. Curry previously told faculty members she had planned not to hire a new dean before a new provost could be selected, but she switched course in the fall 2017 semester after hearing from faculty.

UI faculty members expressed concerns about the university conducting its 2020 initiative without starting the search process for a new Liberal Arts dean. The results of the 2020 initiative, they feared, might result in the breakup of the school, the largest college on campus.

Curry will select an interim dean this spring, and the UI expects to invite candidates for the position to visit the campus in the fall.

— Michael McCurdy

College of Law dean candidates visiting campus

Kevin Washburn, a law professor and former dean at the University of New Mexico School of Law, is the first finalist for the UI College of Law dean.

The UI has been searching for a replacement since Gail Agrawal, the current law dean, announced in August 2017 she would step down at the end of this upcoming academic year after serving in that position since 2010.

In addition to his position at New Mexico, Washburn worked at other law schools around the country, including those at the University of Arizona, Harvard, and the University of Minnesota.

Washburn also served in the Obama administration as the assistant secretary of Indian Affairs from October 2012 until December 2015.

— Marissa Payne

Other ongoing searches

Recently wrapped up

Vice President for Medical Affairs and College of Medicine Dean

The UI selected Brooks Jackson to fill this position in October 2017 after Jean Robillard announced in 2016 he planned to step down from his leadership roles. Jackson was on the clock starting November 2017.

Vice President for Student Life

After Tom Rocklin announced he planned to retire in 2017, the UI announced in May 2017 that Melissa Shivers would take his place. She started June 30, 2017.

College of Nursing Dean

Julie Zerwic, executive associate dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago, assumed the role in August 2017, replacing Rita Frantz, who retired from the position.


Searches in early stages

Executive Vice President and Provost

In March 2017, P. Barry Butler headed to Florida to serve as the next president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Since Butler’s departure, Curry has been filling his role on an interim basis.

Museum of Art Director

After Sean O’Harrow stepped down from the position in 2016, Jim Leach, former Iowa Congressman and visiting professor of law at the UI, has been serving as the UI Museum of Art’s director on an interim basis starting January 2017 and will remain in the position until a replacement is found. Curry selected John Culshaw, university librarian, and Steve McGuire, professor and interim director of the School of Art and Art History, as co-chairs of the search committee.

Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President

Since Georgina Dodge left the UI in July 2017 to become the associate provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion and an adjunct English professor at Bucknell University, Lena Hill has been filling her role on an interim basis. Monique DiCarlo is permanently serving as the Title IX coordinator, a role Dodge previously held.

College of Public Health Dean

Kevin Kregel, associate provost for faculty, appointed Keith Mueller the interim dean of the College of Public Health in March 2017. He started the following month so Curry could step into the role of interim executive vice president and provost. Agrawal, the current College of Law dean, and Joseph Cavanaugh, the head of the Department of Biostatistics, are co-chairing the national search for a new dean.

Associate Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for UI Health Care

Ken Fisher retired from the position in June 2017. Doug True has filled the role as an interim since June 30, 2017.

Vice President for Research and Economic Development

The UI announced in September 2017 that Dan Reed would step down from the role.

John Keller, dean of the Graduate College and associate provost, has been filling the role in his place since October 2017 while remaining the Graduate College dean. Faculty members David Gier and Aliasger Salem are serving as the co-chairs of the search committee.

Dean of Students

In January, the UI announced Lyn Redington will head to Idaho State University as the new vice president for Student Affairs on July 1. The UI has not made a decision on finding a person to fill her role on an interim basis, but will conduct a national search to find a replacement.

UI Health Care Associate Vice President and UI Hospitals and Clinics CEO

Kenneth Kates will retire this summer, the UI announced in January. Patricia Winokur, the executive dean of the College of Medicine, will lead the national search for Kates’ replacement, and a search committee is being formed.

Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of University College

The UI announced Tuesday that Lon Moeller would leave the UI later this spring to assume his new role as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost of Embry-Riddle.

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