First University of Iowa provost finalist a Hawkeye alum

David DeJong will participate in forum Wednesday

David N. DeJong, executive vice provost at the University of Pittsburgh, will visit the University of Iowa campus Wednes
David N. DeJong, executive vice provost at the University of Pittsburgh, will visit the University of Iowa campus Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 16 and 17, as one of four provost finalists. (Provided by the University of Iowa.)

IOWA CITY — A University of Iowa graduate who earned his doctorate in Iowa City in the late 1980s and today serves as executive vice provost at the University of Pittsburgh will visit Iowa this week as the first UI finalist to succeed long-departed former Executive Vice President and Provost Barry Butler.

David N. DeJong, one of four finalists for the provost position who will visit campus in the coming weeks, will meet with administrators and participate in a public forum from 3:30 to 4:30 Wednesday in the Iowa Memorial Union.

He earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Iowa in 1989, after first earning a bachelor’s degree in economics from Central College in Iowa in 1985. His earliest work in academia was as a residence and teaching assistant in the UI Department of Economics, according to his curriculum vitae.

DeJong landed a job as assistant professor in the economics department at the University of Pittsburgh in 1989, but returned to UI as a visiting associate professor in 1994. He worked his way through the ranks at Pittsburgh over the years, and took on his first administrative role in 2006 as chair of the Department of Economics.

He became vice provost for academic planning and resources management at Pittsburgh in 2010 and then executive vice provost in 2015. Over the years he also served as a visiting professor for the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna, DiTella University in Buenos Aires, and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Kiel, Germany.

As executive vice provost, according to his Pittsburgh bio, DeJong is responsible for coordinating academic planning and allocating resources, which includes managing budgets, space, and capital projects related to academic and student life activities.

His current position also entails oversight of academic issues involving student athletes.

DeJong serves on various committees, including those dedicated to athletics certification, facilities, and budgeting.


Other UI provost finalist forums are scheduled for Monday, Jan. 28; Thursday, Jan. 31; and Thursday, Feb. 7. The names of each finalists will be made public 24 hours before his or her arrival on campus, according to the UI Office of Strategic Communication. Public forums will be recorded and posted online within 48 hours.

The UI provost position has been open for nearly two years, after Butler left in March 2017 to become president at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. Former College of Public Health Dean Sue Curry has been serving as interim executive vice president and provost since April 2017, when UI President Bruce Harreld announced plans to slow the hiring process to allow time to restructure the provost role.

A UI committee in April 2018 convened to launch the search, hiring search firm Isaacson, Miller to help facilitate at an estimated fee of about $133,333. Through August, the university had paid the firm $153,603 — including expenses.

Harreld will make the final hiring decision, after all the finalists wrap their campus visits.

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