Skipping search, University of Iowa names interim provost to become permanent

Kevin Kregel 'knows the UI in ways few people ever do,' colleague says

The Old Capitol Building between Jessup Hall (left) and MacLean Hall (right) on the Pentacrest on campus of the Universi
The Old Capitol Building between Jessup Hall (left) and MacLean Hall (right) on the Pentacrest on campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. (Gazette File Photo)

IOWA CITY — At a time demanding “stability anchored by insightful leadership,” the University of Iowa opted to skip a lengthy and costly search for a new provost by appointing the interim provost to the position permanently.

Kevin Kregel, serving as interim provost since July, will become provost and executive vice president Feb. 15, the UI announced Thursday.

Kregel last summer took on the provost job temporarily until a successor to Montserrat Fuentes could be hired. Fuentes resigned after one year on the job.

In a statement Thursday, UI President Bruce Harreld said Kregel during his interim stint “demonstrated strong leadership and collaboration that has helped carry the university through the challenging pandemic.”

“His long career at Iowa has provided him with unmatched knowledge and insight that position the university for continued excellence,” Harreld said.

Kregel, who has served on numerous college and university committees, said in a statement he’s honored to take on the position that oversees much of the campus’ operations — including undergraduate, graduate and professional education; faculty matters; diversity; international programming; and outreach and engagement, among other things.

“I look forward to building upon the relationships I have established during my time as interim and continuing to deliver an excellent educational experience to our students and improving the workplace experience for our faculty,” Kregel said.


Steve McGuire, a UI professor and director of the School of Art and Art History who’s served on previous presidential and provost search committees, said the UI is acting wisely in naming Kregel is permanent provost.

“At this moment in the life of the university, stability anchored by insightful leadership is more critical than I have seen in my many years at Iowa,” McGuire said in a statement. “To have Kevin in place as provost at a time when new challenges continue to arise for our university means Iowa can move forward.

“He knows the University of Iowa in ways few people ever do.”

Kregel’s salary will remain at $439,000, which he was paid as interim provost and also was the salary paid Fuentes.

Kregel served as Department of Health and Human Physiology executive officer before being appointed associate provost in 2014 and then executive vice provost and senior associate provost for faculty in 2019.

He was earning $269,205 in that role before becoming interim provost. It was assumed his interim appointment would be long-term while a national search was undertaken.

But then UI President Bruce Harreld in October surprised the campus by announcing plans to retire, turning the campus’ attention to finding a new president.

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