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New Dean Kenneth Brown hopes to recruit more students

BY LAU LAU MAYSON | AUGUST 29, 2014 5:00 AM

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Kenneth Brown stands tall in his new job.

Brown, who was previously a professor in the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, now serves as the college’s undergraduate dean of students.

In his new position, he plans to expand the program and provide more opportunities for local residents.

“Our goal is to get bigger and better, so we will be admitting more first-year students and working overtime to make sure that they get a good educational experience,” Brown said. “The university will grow. Many students today want to study business, and we will make that happen.”

Brown’s goal is to help the university’s undergraduate business school be the best it can be and then some, and through this job, he said, he can make this happen.

“Fundamentally, I would like undergraduate students here to say that they had an outstanding educational experience, that this institution helped them learn to become better people and develop useful skills, not just learning the stuff that’s on the test but learning to live a better life,” he said. “If you strip away all the syllabi and conversations about pedigree, at the end of the day, it’s all about making this a better place for students.”

Kurt Anstreicher, the senior associate dean of the business school, said he thought Brown was one of the best candidates for the job.

“He’s a very energetic person who cares about the experience of undergraduate students,” Anstreicher said.

During his time as a professor, Brown said, he used methods that tried to engage students differently.

“I want students to learn, so I try as best as I can to try to find a way to connect to their innate eagerness to learn by making it interesting to them, and where they are, and what they think,” he said.

In the classroom, this means starting off by asking students what is going on in their lives and what problems they want solved, then taking the lesson for the day and showing them how an equation or a vocabulary word applies to their problem.

“In my role, I like to try to raise the caliber of teaching,” Brown said. “I like to try to get faculty to be creative about ways to challenge their students so that they learn more, and I also like to challenge the students to push themselves.”

UI senior Jacob Bunch was one of Brown’s students who benefitted from this challenge.

“I met Professor Brown in my freshman year during OnIowa, and he gave me some of the best advice I’d ever received to this day,” Bunch said. “He gave a lecture on time management and told all of my class to no matter what just make sure to do our best while here, and that will always be good enough.”


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