University of Iowa launches search for new provost

Search chairs 'strong leaders in their own right'

The Old Capitol building is shown in Iowa City on Monday, March 30, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
The Old Capitol building is shown in Iowa City on Monday, March 30, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — One year after former University of Iowa Provost Barry Butler left to for the presidency at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, UI is launching a search for his replacement — following what always was meant to be a measured timeline.

In Butler’s stead, former UI College of Public Health Dean Sue Curry has been serving as interim provost — with no plans to continue on a permanent basis or return to her role as dean. Following Butler’s departure last March, UI President Bruce Harreld said he wanted to wait to hire a new provost — possibly up to a year — to allow his team to review the provost position and potentially restructure it.

The delay has allowed the university to complete and introduce a new strategic plan and launch an academic organizational review — both under the leadership of Curry and both of which “will be extremely valuable to our incoming provost,” Harreld said in a statement Thursday.

Curry also is hiring new deans for the Colleges of law, public health, and liberal arts and sciences and will continue in her role as interim provost until someone new takes over.

“I’m excited that we have reached the position to launch a search,” Curry said in a statement. “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.”

Because Curry has agreed to serve for an extended period, the university has not outlined a specific timetable for the provost search, according to UI spokeswoman Jeneane Beck.

Co-chairing a search committee for a new UI executive vice president and provost are outgoing College of Law Dean Gail Agrawal, who is not leaving the university but rather stepping down as dean, and Teresa Mangum, director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.

Other committee members have not yet been named.


Harreld praised Agrawal and Mangum as “strong leaders in their own right” who are well positioned to lead “one of the most important decisions” any university faces.

Agrawal took over as the university’s 17th College of Law dean in 2010, coming from her role as dean of the Kansas University School of Law. Mangum — a professor in the departments of gender, women’s, and sexuality studies, and English — was appointed atop the Obermann Center in 2010.

Agrawal also is co-chairing the search for a new College of Public Health dean, which is getting close to bringing finalists to campus.

The search for Agrawal’s replacement is reaching its final stages, as the university has brought five College of Law dean finalists to campus for public forums.

The search for a new College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is just beginning — with a full committee named just last month, holding its first meeting Feb. 13. The search committee chose Isaacson Miller Inc. to facilitate the search — the same consultant used to fill the university’s vice president for medical affairs position.

l Comments: (319) 339-3158;



IOWA CITY - Iowa State University and University of Iowa are poised to take the brunt of late-year funding cuts meant to balance the state budget, creating 'an especially difficult situation,' ISU President Wendy Wintersteen said ...

State lawmakers plan to take back $11 million they already authorized the Board of Regents to spend this fiscal year - less than debated earlier, but still the largest dollar slice of any state agency. Instead of a $565.3 million ...

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.

Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.