4 UI provost finalists to visit campus, after 2 years of no permanent UI provost

After two years without a permanent provost, the UI has invited four finalists for the position to visit campus.


Wyatt Dlouhy

The Old Capitol building is seen in 2018.

Marissa Payne, Managing Editor

Nearly two years since the departure of former University of Iowa Provost Barry Butler in 2017, the UI has invited finalists for the position to visit the campus.

The UI announced on Jan. 10 that four finalists will participate in forums with the university community starting Wednesday and running through Feb. 7. UI President Bruce Harreld will select a new provost after the visits.

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Sue Curry, formerly the dean of the College of Public Health, has filled the role on an interim basis since April 2017. Butler left the UI to become president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.

During Curry’s time in the role, the UI has hired new deans for the Colleges of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Medicine, Law, and Public Health.

In that time, the UI also reviewed the university’s academic structure, aiming to produce “big ideas” about the institution’s long-term future but ultimately finding barriers to thinking about any such ideas. Butler had tasked college leadership with kicking off the review before his departure.

Harreld told The Daily Iowan in March 2018 — before announcing provost search-committee members in April 2018 — that the UI selected someone to fill the role on an interim basis “because we had so many other things going on.”

Curry has indicated she wants to retire, Harreld said, but the UI knew that in filling the role on an interim basis, there would need to be a second search for someone to fill the position permanently.

“We didn’t want to take a number of months to do a search and bring someone in from a different culture, and they may not have understood all the things that went on, so it really required an interim search,” he said. “And that was wonderful. I think we all agree that was really the right thing to do.”