By Marissa Payne
The University of Iowa has been filling the executive vice president and provost position on an interim basis for nearly a year, but Thursday, the institution announced it is starting the search to look for a permanent replacement.
Since the March 2017 departure of former UI Provost P. Barry Butler, who left to become president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, the UI has been looking to fill the position but had not started the search process. Sue Curry, formerly the dean of the College of Public Health, was selected to fill the position as interim provost in April 2017.
Curry will continue to fill the position until a replacement begins working.
“It was important to appoint an interim who was not seeking the position permanently and would be willing to serve for an extended period without returning to their role as dean,” Harreld said in a press release. “Sue hit the job running and is moving the university forward, implementing the strategic plan and completing the review of our academic organizational structure, both of which will be extremely valuable to our incoming provost.”
Several searches for UI administrators are ongoing, including searches for three new deans in the College of Public Health, College of Law, and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
Previously, Curry planned not to hire a new Liberal Arts dean before a new provost could be selected, but switched course in fall 2017 after faculty voiced concern 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 college, the largest on campus.
“I’m excited that we have reached the position to launch a search,” Curry said in the release. “I’m committed to seeing these projects through and to working with our new deans during the coming academic year in order to ensure a smooth transition.”
Gail Agrawal, dean of the College of Law, and Teresa Mangum, director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, will serve as co-chairs of the search committee for a new provost.
“Selecting a new provost is one of the most important decisions facing a university, which is why I asked Gail and Teresa to co-chair the search committee,” Harreld said. “Both are strong leaders in their own right and understand that research cannot exist without creativity nor economic development without the arts, that these disciplines must co-exist for the UI to provide a classic liberal arts education.”