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Release: Immediate

Curto named executive associate dean of UI College of Liberal Arts

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Raul Curto has been promoted to executive associate dean in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts, a position created in a recent restructuring of the dean's office in the college.

Curto, who has served as associate dean for faculty for the last two academic years, will expand his role to oversee all matters related to the college's more than 650 faculty members. His five-year appointment is effective July 1.

As associate dean for faculty, Curto was in charge of the processes of faculty recruitment and appointment as well as the appointment of teaching assistants. In his new position, Curto will retain these duties and add some of the responsibilities formerly assigned to the associate dean for research and development. These include reviewing proposals for developmental leaves and assisting faculty in securing research funds.

Jack Fix, who has served as associate dean for research and development for the last six years, is returning to the faculty in the physics and astronomy department this summer.

"This reorganization of our office and staff allows us to continue our work without having to sacrifice another faculty position to administration," said Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "Department chairs should certainly see a decrease in paperwork and a responsive, easily accessible administration."

Curto said in his new position he will be able to serve faculty needs more effectively because he will have direct information about their teaching and research needs. "I'm going to be able to look at individual faculty members as whole entities," he said.

Maxson said Curto is ideally suited to this new position because his own background includes a strong commitment to both teaching and research in mathematics.

"I wouldn't have been able to do this if Raul hadn't been Raul," Maxson said. "He understands the demands of being an active scholar and teacher. He embodies the dual strength in teaching and research that we seek to develop and sustain in all of our faculty members."

Maxson said that while separating research and teaching oversight in the dean's office was useful in the past as a way of focusing attention on specific areas to be strengthened, it was no longer necessary.

"The reason we're able to reorganize now is because of the ambitious organizational goals that have been accomplished in the last several years," she said.

Other changes in the dean's office include a new associate dean for academic programs, Fred Antczak. He takes over for Jim Lindberg, who is returning to the geography faculty after 14 years in the dean's office. Antczak administers the college's curriculum and oversees the development of educational policy. He directs the Office of Academic Programs which provides academic services to departments, instructors, and students, administering such matters as changes in academic programs and student probation and dismissal.

Maxson will assume the responsibilities of overseeing equipment and space needs within the college as part of a commitment to creating and revitalizing the infrastructure in the natural sciences and across the college, which she made when she began her term as dean.

This restructuring is the latest in a series of enhancements Maxson has initiated since she took over as dean in 1997 in her effort to open the dean's office to students and faculty in the college.

She has already increased students' access to the office with the Dean's Student Advisory Committee, which meets monthly to discuss issues of concern to students. She also has made herself and her staff more accessible to minority faculty members by holding a monthly luncheon discussion with minority faculty.

Maxson said the changes she has implemented reflect both her own work style and her vision of the best path for the college as it moves into the next century. Using an analogy from her own academic training in biology, she said, "The college is an organism in constant motion that is evolving continually. It has to have the flexibility to reorganize and adapt to changing needs."