University of Iowa picks interim to become business college dean

Amy Kristof-Brown emerges from six finalists

Amy Kristof-Brown, new dean of the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. (University of Iowa)
Amy Kristof-Brown, new dean of the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. (University of Iowa)

IOWA CITY — After considering six finalists in two waves over the last year to become the new dean of the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, the administration has chosen internal candidate and interim dean Amy Kristof-Brown to fill the post.

Kristof-Brown is a research professor of management and became senior associate dean for the college in 2017. She served in numerous roles before that, directing the department’s graduate studies and serving as department executive officer.

Kristof-Brown initially joined Tippie as an assistant professor in the Department of Management and Organizations in 1997. She stepped in as interim dean March 1, when Dean Sarah Gardial left to lead the Massey College of Business at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

As permanent dean, Kristof-Brown will earn an annual salary of $450,000 — up from her interim pay of $319,250. She was making $219,444 as associate dean. Gardial, before leaving, in September was earning a total of $421,334, more than any other dean on campus — save Carver College of Medicine Dean Brooks Jackson, who also serves as vice president for medical affairs of UI Health Care.

Kristof-Brown was among three finalists who participated in virtual visits in October and November — after an initial set of three finalists participated in virtual forums in May but were dismissed in hopes of “on-campus visits in the fall.”

With the pandemic persisting through the summer, the UI announced it would restart its search for a new business dean “and recruit a new and diverse pool of strong candidates.”

Previous finalists would need to reapply to be reconsidered. None of those initial finalists were listed among the new set of finalists this fall.

UI Interim Provost Kevin Kregel suggested Kristof-Brown’s leadership these recent months gave her an edge.

“Dean Kristof-Brown has demonstrated tremendous talent as interim leader of Tippie, and I know she will continue to move the college forward as its permanent leader,” Kregel said in a statement. “I am delighted that she has agreed to serve the college and university in this way.”

Other finalists included a finance professor and dean of the Cass Business School at the University of London and a senior associate dean at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, whose time at Harvard Business School overlapped with UI President Bruce Harreld’s stint there.

The business dean search was led by a committee and assisted by external search firm WittKieffer. The university has paid the consultant $154,485 to date, which includes its professional fee and expenses so far.

In a statement, Kristof-Brown cited the challenges of 2020 and the collaborative departmental work to overcomethem, calling it “truly inspiring.”

“I am excited to continue to develop our research reputation, build meaningful learning experiences for students and engage deeply with our corporate and nonprofit partners,” she said. “I’m ready to lead Tippie to the next level as a destination business school for faculty, students, professionals and lifelong learners.”

Kristof-Brown has a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and business administration from the University of Richmond and a doctorate in organizational behavior and human resource management from the Maryland Business School at the University of Maryland.

She has focused her research on individual-work environment compatibility. Kristof-Brown also coedited the book, “Organizational Fit: Key Issues and New Directions,” and she’s published 20-plus articles in academic journals.

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