University of Iowa brings in dean of students finalists

Provost search takes a step forward

(File photo) The Old Capitol Building between Schaeffer Hall (left) and Macbride Hall (right) on the Pentacrest on campu
(File photo) The Old Capitol Building between Schaeffer Hall (left) and Macbride Hall (right) on the Pentacrest on campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Just three months after University of Iowa Dean of Students Lyn Redington announced plans to leave campus to become vice president for student life at Idaho State University, a search committee has identified four finalists to replace her.

Those candidates are scheduled to visit campus this week and next, giving public presentations during their visits and taking questions from the community. The university is unveiling finalist names one day before their presentations, starting with Victoria (Vicki) Dobiyanski, who has served as dean of students at Florida State University since 2015.

Dobiyanski, named Tuesday as the first finalist, is scheduled to present from 1 to 1:50 p.m. Wednesday in the Iowa Memorial Union. A second finalists is scheduled to present publicly at the same time in the same place on Friday, followed by a third on May 1 and a fourth on May 3.

Community members can provide feedback following each candidate presentation via an online survey. Whoever is chosen will replace Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students Redington, who officially is done in her UI job May 1. She will start in Idaho on July 1, according to Idaho State University.            

Redington’s replacement will receive the title associate vice president, rather than assistant vice president, meaning the new hire will be at a higher pay level — although both are classified as “open,” without a low or high salary range.

Redington’s current salary is listed at $135,155.

The change in title relates to expanded job duties to include direct oversight of the Women’s Resource and Action Center, Student Disability Services, and Multicultural and International Student Support and Engagement, according to UI officials. 

"This position is a front facing position related to student success and support," according to UI spokeswoman Jeneane Beck. "The increased portfolio better aligns with the Division of Student Life strategic priorities and focus on student success."

Although the search committee has a lineup of four finalists coming to town, the university still is accepting applications and an online advertisement for the position says the deadline has been extended until the job is filled.

Provost search

The university is in the middle of searches for other administrative posts, including several vice presidents and deans. Earlier this year it began efforts to fill its provost position on a permanent basis, after Barry Butler left the job in March 2017 to become president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.

Former UI College of Public Health Dean Sue Curry has been serving on an interim basis for more than a year, as UI President Bruce Harreld said at the outset he wanted to take time to allow his team to review the position.

In March, Harreld named as co-chairs of a provost search committee Gail Agrawal, outgoing law school dean and law professor, along with Teresa Mangum, director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and professor in the departments of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies and English.  

This week, the university named additional faculty, staff, and students to fill out the committee, which has chosen Isaacson, Miller, Inc. as the firm to lead the search. That firm recently helped with the hire of J. Brooks Jackson to replace former Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Carver College of Medicine Jean Robillard.

The consultant also is helping search for a new UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean.

A website for the provost search will launch this summer, after committee chairs have time to meet with campus groups to discuss the search.

The full committee includes:

Saba Ali, a professor in the College of Education;

Lance Bennett, a graduate student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences;

Christopher Benson, a professor in the College of Medicine;

Jennifer Blackhurst, a professor in the Tippie College of Business and faculty director of the MBA Business Analytics Career Academy;

Keith Carter, a professor in the College of Medicine;

Sandra Daack-Hirsch, an associate professor and director of the doctorate program in the College of Nursing;

Michelle Fravel, an associate professor in the College of Pharmacy;

Joseph Kearney, professor and associate dean for research in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences;

John Laverty, senior associate director of admissions and staff council president;

Rod Lehnertz, senior vice president of finance and operations;

Laura McLeran, senior adviser to the president and associate vice president for external relations;

Katherine Mellen, association professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences;

Lina Moreno-Uribe, associate professor in the College of Dentistry;

Corinne Peek-Asa, professor and associate dean for research in the College of Public Health;

Tristan Schmidt, undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences;

Paul Soderdahl, associate university librarian;

H.S. Udaykumar, professor in the College of Engineering.

Details about the dean of students finalist visits can be found here:

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