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Release: Immediate

Expert on college students is first Petersen Chair in UI College of Education

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Ernest T. Pascarella, one of the nation's leading experts on how colleges affect students, has been named the first Mary Louise Petersen Chair in Higher Education at the University of Iowa College of Education, a distinguished professorship established through the UI Foundation.

Pascarella, who is currently a professor of higher education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will join the UI College of Education in the 1997-98 academic year.

He will be a faculty member in the Higher Education Program of the Division of Planning, Policy and Leadership Studies.

Pascarella's appointment was announced April 11 at the annual meeting of the board of directors of the UI Foundation.

"We are delighted that Professor Pascarella will be joining us at the University of Iowa," said Steven R. Yussen, dean of the UI College of Education. "He is known throughout the country as an outstanding teacher and as a mentor to faculty and students. In Ernie, not only has the College landed an exceptional teacher and scholar, but the University will benefit from the wisdom of an international expert on the college experience for students."

Pascarella, whose research specialty is analyzing how colleges influence the educational, cognitive, emotional, and moral growth of students, said he's looking forward to working with faculty and students at the UI.

"I'm extremely honored to hold the first Petersen Chair," Pascarella said. "A position of this stature at an institution of the caliber of the University of Iowa College of Education is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I've had 20 wonderful years at the University of Illinois and will miss my colleagues there, but the University of Iowa has provided me with an exceptional opportunity as a teacher and a scholar.

"I deeply appreciate the generosity of the Petersen family for making this possible."

The Mary Louise Petersen Chair in Higher Education was established through a $1 million gift from Mary Louise Petersen and H. Rand Petersen, of Harlan, both of whom are 1951 graduates of the UI. Mary Louise Petersen holds a science education degree and H. Rand Petersen holds a degree in economics.

Mary Louise Petersen served on the Iowa Board of Regents from 1969 to 1981, including the last eight years as president. She has also been a board member of the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities, Educational Testing Service, the Carnegie Foundation and the National Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation.

She currently is a member of the board of directors of the UI Foundation.

Petersen said her life-long work in education in Iowa and nationally has made her appreciate the importance of continued research on higher education and the role higher education plays in society.

"I'm delighted with the appointment of Ernie Pascarella as the first Mary Louise Petersen Chair in Higher Education," Petersen said. "I'm familiar with the type of work that he does and am enthusiastic about his joining the faculty of the College of Education. I think it's a perfect fit."

The chair is the third endowed professorship in the UI College of Education.

Pascarella is the author or co-author of nearly 140 articles and publications, including the influential 1991 book, "How College Affects Students." The book (with Patrick T. Terenzini) received the 1991 Research Achievement Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Pascarella, who served as the 1989-90 president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, has received several awards for his research from national organizations.

The awards include: the 1981 Albert J. Harris Award from the International Reading Association; the 1987 Sidney Suslow Award and the 1990 Forum Best Paper Award from the Association for Institutional Research; the 1988 Outstanding Contributions to Research Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators; the 1989 Distinguished Research Award from Division J of the American Educational Research Association; and the 1992 Contribution to Knowledge Award from the American College Personnel Association.

In 1992, he was named the James F. Towey University Scholar at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He is currently Panel Study director of the National Center for Postsecondary Teaching, Learning and Assessment, a five-year research and development center funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Pascarella serves on the editorial board of "Journal of the Freshman First Year Experience" and is a consulting editor for "Journal of College Student Development" and the "Journal of Higher Education." He also is a manuscript and proposal editor for several educational journals, associations and publishers.

He joined the faculty of the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1977 as associate professor and was named full professor in 1982. He served a one-year term as acting dean of the college of education at the University of Illinois-Chicago and served as coordinator of the college's curriculum instruction and evaluation program from 1981 to 1983.

He was an assistant professor at Syracuse from 1974 to 1977.

Pascarella holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his doctorate in educational research and higher education from Syracuse University in 1973.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private gifts and bequests to the UI and its colleges and programs. The foundation works with alumni, faculty, and friends to assist in providing support for students, faculty, and programs.