University of Iowa extends business dean search after unveiling three finalists

In-person visits this fall 'are preferable,' search committee concludes

The Pentacrest on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City is seen in this aerial photo. A search committee seeking a
The Pentacrest on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City is seen in this aerial photo. A search committee seeking a new dean for the UI’s Henry B. Tippie College of Business has decided to delay selecting that person until the finalists can visit the UI campus this fall. (The Gazette/file photo)

IOWA CITY — After unveiling three finalists for dean of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business — inviting them to participate in virtual campus “visits” via Zoom — the University of Iowa has decided to extend its search “to allow for on-campus visits in the fall.”

The university initially expected to unveil four finalists for the post vacated by Sarah Gardial, who in October announced plans to leave Iowa to become dean of the Massey College of Business at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

But the campus on April 28 revealed one finalist had dropped out — meaning that person’s name never became public — leaving three finalists remaining:

Laku Chidambaram, associate dean for academic programs and engagement at the University of Oklahoma Michael F. Price College of Business, who participated in his virtual UI visit April 23 and 24.

Kurt A. Carlson, business professor at the College of William and Mary’s Mason School of Business, who made his virtual visit April 27 and 28.

Gerard “Gerry” Sanders, dean of the College of Business at the University of Texas at San Antonio, who visited campus virtually May 4 and 5.

Despite unveiling the trio of finalists and engaging with them virtually across campus, the UI search committee determined “in-person visits are preferable.”


“Because it’s still unclear when traveling and gathering will be safe, the committee, along with Executive Vice President and Provost Montse Fuentes, decided to postpone the finalist visits to campus until fall and will continue working to attract a diverse pool of outstanding candidates,” according to the UI Office of Strategic Communication.

Although the business dean search website previously listed the finalists and included links to each one’s curriculum vitae, it no longer does. It still provides information on “how to apply,” although it includes an outdated deadline of March 4.

In announcing the search extension, the UI Office of Strategic Communication advised members of the UI campus they can submit nominations by emailing the search firm or a search committee member.

Amy Kristof-Brown is serving as interim dean of the college.

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