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IOWA CITY — University of Iowa administrators three months ago reappointed Daniel Clay to serve another five “at will” years as College of Education dean — offering him a 2.1 percent raise and feedback on what he’s done well and what he needs to work on.
According to a reappointment letter requested by The Gazette, Clay — the fourth and last finalist named to succeed outgoing UI President Bruce Harreld — on Jan. 13 was offered a salary bump to $330,000 beginning July 1, up from his current $322,935 and 8.2 percent above the $305,000 he received when he started July 1, 2016.
His first at-will deanship offer went through June 30, 2021, and his reappointment goes through June 30, 2026 — although the at-will status means it continues at the provost’s discretion and Clay’s, according to the letter and UI operations manual.
After reviewing College of Education staff and faculty surveys in Fall 2020 — along with a review committee’s report and Clay’s self-evaluation — UI Provost Kevin Kregel listed the following “notable accomplishments” from Clay’s first five years.
- Recognition as a “campuswide thought leader”
- Establishment of “ambitious goals” and success metrics
- Enhancement of scholarly productivity, using resources and expectations
- Development of academic programming, specifically in the Education Policy and Leadership Studies department
- Creation of strong external relationships
- Development and commitment to a strategic plan
Kregel in the letter did not provide more details about those achievements — naming specific goals, metrics, or scholarly progress and external relationships.
But Clay has touted his business acumen and entrepreneurship, noting in the curriculum vitae he provided for his presidential candidacy his “extensive experience as business founder/co-founder and investor.”
In the section identifying areas in which Clay can improve, Kregel listed four general suggestions.
- Improved communication and approachability
- More attention to process and operationalizing initiatives
- Better use of his leadership team to help with new initiatives
- Further developing “internal relationships as you have your external relationships”
Clay is named in a 2018 lawsuit — which remains in litigation — accusing the university of age and gender discrimination, unequal pay, and retaliation.
But in his CV, Clay boasts hiring more than 35 new faculty members during his UI tenure; upping undergraduate and graduate enrollment, thus increasing tuition revenue; creating a pipeline program to increase undergraduate student diversity; and establishing a “culture of high standards and accountability to facilitate productivity and reward excellence.”
Kregel summarized his reappointment letter telling Clay, "You are recognized as a visionary leader with a broad base of support inside and outside the college.”
“You are clearly an advocate for your college, but also bring your perspectives to larger groups across campus, which enhances that discussion,” he wrote. “I look forward to the opportunity to work with you on future initiatives and to watch your growth as a campus leader.”
Clay — who upon his hire received an appointment as full tenured professor in the College of Education — is scheduled to participate in a public forum as a UI presidential candidate at 3:30 p.m. today.
To watch, visit https://presidentialsearch.uiowa.edu/candidate-forums, where you also can provide feedback on all four finalists and pose questions to Clay during the live forum.
Vanessa Miller covers higher education for The Gazette.
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