UI Provost Butler looking to fill vacant dean positions


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The University of Iowa’s newly appointed Provost P. Barry Butler has two big tasks ahead of him: filling the dean positions in the UI Tippie College of Business and the College of Engineering.

The search to fill business Dean William C. Hunter’s position is scheduled to begin June 27, when a committee made up of faculty, staff, alumni, and students will gather for the first time.

“The committee will begin efforts by first generating a job description, then working as a team to start the process,” Butler said.

Hunter came to the University of Iowa in July 2006 from the University of Connecticut School of Business. Five years later, on March 11, he announced he would retire at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year.

“We are operating a national search, meaning the position will be open internally and externally,” Butler said.

UI officials are looking for someone who promotes excellence in teaching and scholarship, appreciates and values a wide spectrum of college activities, puts college above self and university above college, inspires trust, has the ability to prioritize under constraints, and is enthusiastic about the job, among others, he said.

“In particular with the business school, it is very important to be well-connected with the business community and industry throughout the state and country as well,” Butler said.

Business-school Associate Dean Charles Whiteman said Hunter contributed steadily throughout his term.

“He started with strategy meetings that occurred more than a month before his first day as dean,” he said.

Whiteman also credited Hunter for implementing changes that improved the business school’s programs and survived a challenging financial crisis.

“It has been a pleasure to have had the opportunity to work with [Hunter] for the past five years,” Whiteman said.

Regent Robert Downer said he hopes the new dean will hold strong qualities based on experience as well as academics.

“Dean Hunter’s experience with the Federal Reserve System was substantial,” Downer said. “Being experienced outside of academics is important as well.”

In contrast, the search to fill the dean position in the College of Engineering is about a month behind the business school’s efforts.

Butler said UI officials have not started the search for the full-time dean position; the university has been communicating with faculty and staff to put a search committee together.

Alec Scranton, a graduate of the College of Engineering, has been serving as interim dean since Oct. 1. He was previously the college’s associate dean for academic programs.

Scranton has been with the UI for 10 years, serving as a professor, researcher, and associate dean.

“Alec has done an excellent job as interim dean, and he will be a strong candidate for the permanent position,” Butler said.

Still, Butler said, he could not comment on the details of whether or not Scranton will be offered the full-time position.

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