University of Iowa ‘wooing as well as selecting’ new provost, official says

The UI community wants provost “who would like to stay for a while,” search committee co-chair tells Faculty Senate.


Katie Goodale

Teresa Mangum, co-chair with the Provost Search Committee, addresses the audience during the Faculty Senate meeting in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber in Iowa City on Sept. 11, 2018. Faculty Senate members discussed updates on a new online application process to the university, updates on the office for sexual misconduct, and information on the provost search.

Kate Pixley, News Reporter

The UI Provost Search Committee is looking for a candidate who will be at the UI for the long haul, an official said at the Faculty Senate meeting on Tuesday.

Teresa Mangum, a co-head of the Provost Search Committee, said one of the tasks of the committee was to work with people on campus to make the search meaningful.

UI officials held two provost-search forums in August to gather input from the university community.

“One of the repeated comments was, ‘Someone who would like to stay for a while,’ ” Mangum said.

The committee plans to continue to review candidates for the next month. The team is looking for two to four final candidates.

“If you have recommendations and haven’t made them yet, now is the time,” Mangum said. “If you have ideas, I would jump online and do that in the next week.”

Additionally, committee members will continue to write questions to ask of the potential candidates.

Questions will revolve heavily around the criteria laid out by the search team.

The committee will conduct interviews with eight to 14 potential applicants in Chicago between Thanksgiving and winter breaks. They will bring candidates to campus at the beginning of the 2019 spring semester.

Mangum stressed the importance of emphasizing the benefits of UI and the Iowa City community as a whole when talking to prospective candidates.

“We are wooing as well as selecting, of course,” Mangum said.

The search is handled by a Massachusetts-based recruiting firm called Isaacson, Miller. Representatives of the firm visited campus in the spring and helped UI personnel gain a better understanding of what concerns and needs exist in terms of a new provost.

Former Provost P. Barry Butler left the UI in the spring of 2017 to assume the role of president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. Sue Curry, formerly the dean of the College of Public Health, will act as the provost on an interim basis until a replacement begins.

The search comes as officials conduct the academic 2020 review of the university’s academic structure and while there have been ongoing or recently wrapped-up searches for new deans, who report to the provost.

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