UI vice president for medical affairs and Carver College of Medicine dean resumes

Following a declined offer and revaluation period, a new search committee is restarting the process to fill the position.


Grace Smith

The Roy J. And Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine pictured on Aug. 27, 2020.

Sydney Libert, News Reporter

The University of Iowa relaunched its search for the next vice president for medical affairs and Carver College of Medicine dean after deciding to pause in October 2022.

Brooks Jackson, current vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Carver College of Medicine, announced in February 2022 that he would be returning to a faculty position to pursue research.

A national search started in March 2022, and the university-appointed search committee, led by John Keller and Cynthia Wong, narrowed down their selection to four candidates in fall 2022.

After inviting the finalists to campus in August and September of 2022, an offer was extended, but the selected candidate, whose name was not released, reportedly declined the opportunity due to family obligations.

Jackson currently remains in administrative positions and will continue to fill the role until a successor is found.

During the two-month hiatus, UI President Barbara Wilson and Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Kregel reevaluated the search and received feedback through listening sessions with campus stakeholders.

Wilson said in a press release on Iowa Now that the university obtained feedback related to the “search process and the leadership qualities that are needed to ensure that UI Health Care can best serve the university and state of Iowa well into the future,” including requests to keep “the dual position intact.”

RELATED: UI pauses search for vice president for medical affairs and Carver College of Medicine dean

Now, the university is ready to move forward after months of evaluation.

The new committee is chaired by Matthew Howard, Department of Neurosurgery chair and department executive officer, and Edith Parker, dean of the College of Public Health.

The university announced the names of the full search committee and its new assisting search firm on Jan. 12. While the original search utilized the services of the search firm WittKieffer, the new committee will be assisted by the firm Spencer Stuart.

Parker wrote in an email to The Daily Iowan the committee is looking forward to beginning the process of finding new candidates.

“The committee is just starting its work, but we are excited by the interest in the position and are eager to get to work,” Parker wrote. “While we have some new members of the committee, we also have some folks who served previously, which will allow the committee to hit the ground running.”

Five members of the previous committee will return to the search process:

  • Sherry Bates, Board of Regents member
  • Mark Braun, Board of Regents executive director
  • Jackie Kleppe, Staff Council president and director of outreach and engagement for UI Health Care Marketing and Relations
  • Peter Matthes, senior advisor to the president and vice president for external relations

Even with new members, the recently formed 13-member search committee is roughly half the size of the original 21-member committee.

In an interview with the DI, Howard said the committee’s new size seems to be in line with the sizes of other institutions.

Although the new search committee’s setup already has some visible changes, Howard said the focus is still on what the university needs out of the position.

“The overarching goal is the same. We just have to keep front of mind these key priorities and make sure that we have them lined up properly,” Howard said. “It’s vitally important to the success of the whole enterprise to have a person who has the skills, experience, drive, and leadership skills to help drive us to the top.”

Howard said the committee would have to discuss if the original three finalists would be reconsidered once they convene for the first time but thought it would be unlikely as “they were already considered.”

Howard estimated the university could expect to see the role filled before the next academic year.

“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to have a candidate take this position by the summer,” Howard said.