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People Watch

Search Over at University of Iowa

University Business, Aug 2007

GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT. That is what the University of Iowa community learned when its presidential search, often riddled with controversy, finally came to an end with the appointment of Sally Mason. The sentiments of faculty and staff ranged from elation to relief.

Mason, a biology professor and provost at Purdue University (Ind.), becomes the second woman president at UI following Mary Sue Coleman, who led from 1995 to 2002. She succeeds David Skorton, who left to become president of Cornell.

Michael Gartner, president of the Board of Regents, said at a news conference that they were impressed with her passion. Mason referred to that passion in her remarks when she took to the podium. "If we dream together and work together, we will succeed together."

The university was more divided than together throughout the last several months. The committee selected four finalists last November, but regents rejected them and disbanded the search committee. While the search was criticized for its secrecy, the regents' decision to restart the process garnered even more of a fallout. The Faculty Senate, Staff Council, and UI Student Government took votes of no-confidence. This time around, everyone is impressed with the results. At Purdue she recruited top faculty, increased diversity, and doubled the research program. -Nicole Rivard

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