University of Iowa to make third attempt to find dean of students

Lyn Redington was the University of Iowa dean of students until January 2018, when she took a job at  Idaho State Univer
Lyn Redington was the University of Iowa dean of students until January 2018, when she took a job at Idaho State University. Two searches have failed to find her replacement, and the UI on Thursday said the search committee is ready to begin its third search.

IOWA CITY — Almost two years after losing its dean of students — and following two failed searches to replace her — the University of Iowa on Thursday announced a third go-round to fill the long-vacant post that oversees student engagement and governance activities, the embattled Greek system and several diversity and equity initiatives.

UI officials told The Gazette last month its second attempt to find a new dean had failed and that it was appointing Angie Reams as interim associate vice president and dean of students.

On Thursday, UI officials said the search “is again underway.”

A 12-member search committee chaired by Liz Tovar, associate athletics director for Student-Athlete Academic Services, is resuming its work with search firm Isaacson-Miller to replace Lyn Redington, who in January 2018 was named vice president for student life at Idaho State University.

The university so far has paid Isaacson-Miller $61,363 for its first attempt to find a new dean, which actually was the second UI search, as the campus’ first failed attempt was done solo.

That first search identified four finalists in April 2018, but none were hired. The second search brought another three candidates to campus in November, but again none materialized as the new dean.

UI officials did not immediately produce a timeline for the reopened search.

A June 2018 agreement for Isaacson-Miller’s help with the dean search notes that if UI doesn’t hire someone within a year, “we will consider this contract terminated and a revised contract with adjusted fees, if necessary, will be negotiated.”

But UI spokeswoman Hayley Bruce on Thursday told The Gazette the terms of that agreement — which estimate a fee around $50,000 — still apply.


“The associate vice president and dean of students plays a key role in shaping the student experience on campus,” Vice President for Student Life Melissa Shivers said. “I’m grateful for the work of the search committee so far and look forward to finding the right person to serve our students and the university.”

The dean of students reports to Shivers.

Both positions are key cogs in the UI diversity wheel, which has been under the microscope since its new diversity, equity and inclusion director abruptly resigned just six weeks after starting June 28. (See the latest in that story here.)

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