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UI bids farewell to Grady

BY ALYSSA GUZMAN | MAY 15, 2015 5:00 AM

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After 23 years at the University of Iowa, David Grady is moving on from his position as dean of students to further his career as a vice president at the University of Alabama.

Grady came to the UI in 1992 as the director for campus programs and student activities, which is known today as the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.

“I expected to be at the UI for two, three, or four years and then off to doing something else, but I was given some great opportunities here to take on more responsibility and grow my portfolio,” Grady said.

Since coming here, Grady has had seven titles.

One of the things that kept him in Iowa City for so long was the high quality of life the city and the university offered.

“Iowa is a great place,” he said. “The students are outstanding, the faculty and staff here are great, and there are very few institutions that would entice me to leave, and the University of Alabama is one of those.”

Grady said he will miss Iowa and the friends he has made but noted with a laugh he definitely won’t miss Iowa winters.

For Grady, going to Alabama to become the vice president for Student Affairs will be a lot like going home.

“My first job in higher education was [at the University of Alabama],” he said. “I met my wife there, she got a degree there, both of my kids go to school there, so in some ways, it’s a lot like going home.”

Though Grady said he is excited to face new challenges Alabama may pose, he is going to miss daily interactions with students.

Because his office is located in the IMU, it’s not uncommon for him to come into contact with students every day.

“One of the great things about [the IMU] is you walk down the hall, and you see students all the time,” he said. “I think that’s important for any university administrator to have that interaction with students.”

In Alabama, his role will be a little different.

“I’ll be in an administration building in Alabama, so I’m going to have to be more intentional about going out and seeing students, and that’s one of the challenges I’ll have to work on,” he said.

Grady’s active participation in students’ lives is something that people have grown to appreciate.
Former UISG PresidentPatrick Bartoski said it’s not uncommon to see Grady walking around campus talking to large groups of students or taking selfies with Orientation groups.

“He is really accessible, and I think that’s really important for someone in his position,” Bartoski said.

As UISG president, UI senior Bartoski worked closely with Grady, because Grady is very involved in both the undergraduate and graduate student governments.

“We used him as a resource to pitch ideas to, and he came back with what we could improve upon,” Bartoski said.

He also said Grady made the transition for him becoming UISG president very smooth.

“He has been a big asset for me in ideas,” Bartoski said. “What’s awesome about Dean Grady is he made the transition for me becoming a senator in the UISG to being president smooth because he creates a friendship with [students]. I would consider Dean Grady one of my friends.”

Thomas Baker, the associate dean of students at the UI, said Grady has been a mentor to him these past years.

“He’s the person who most directly helped me learn to be a good office manager,” Baker said. “He’s knowledgeable about a lot of different areas, and his skill set is very broad.”

Grady credits his growth at the UI to two supervisors who have given him opportunities to grow, learn, and have experiences outside the student-affairs area.


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