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Release: July 9, 1999

VP for Research to oversee IWP in 1999-2000; 10 writers may participate in fall program

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Oversight of the University of Iowa International Writing Program will be moved to the Office of the Vice President for Research for the 1999-2000 academic year, and the IWP will be host to as many as 10 visiting writers this fall, UI President Mary Sue Coleman, Provost Jon Whitmore, and College of Liberal Arts Dean Linda Maxson announced today.

"We have decided to move the International Writing Program under the supervision of Vice President for Research David Skorton," said Mary Sue Coleman. "The move will place the administrative responsibility for this program in an office that manages other non-degree granting scholarly programs with academic ties, such as the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, the Public Policy Center, and the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research."

The decision was made after consultation with the President's Council on Strategic Implementation, a standing strategic planning group including faculty and staff representatives as well as the university’s central administrators.

Maxson had appointed a committee of faculty and staff to recommend strategies to sustain the program in a way that would honor the university’s heritage as a center of international writing and bring visiting writers into closer association with our degree-granting programs. Coleman and Whitmore also have asked the committee to review the IWP's fiscal and operational history as well as the reports generated by two prior reviews of the program and to offer recommendations to the university by the end of October 1999.

"We want to make it clear that the review of the program initiated by Dean Maxson will go on, including thorough and thoughtful consideration of the many views about its future," Coleman added.

Members of the committee to review the IWP are Steven Ungar, professor and chair of comparative literature; Fred Antczak, professor of rhetoric and associate dean of Liberal Arts; Daniel Balderston, professor and chair of Spanish and Portuguese; Sandra Barkan, assistant dean of the Graduate College; Connie Brothers, program associate in the Iowa Writers' Workshop; Michael McNulty, associate provost for international programs; John Nelson, professor and chair of political science; and Jim Harris, UI alumnus and owner of Prairie Lights Book Store in Iowa City.

"I am delighted that a decision has been made to reconsider the location of this program," Maxson said. "I believe that the opportunity for the International Writing Program to be sustained under the vice president for research is encouraging. The college has always wanted to see the program continue and thrive."

Skorton will appoint an advisory committee of faculty, staff and students to advise him about the IWP's operations during the 1999-2000 academic year. He will also begin immediately to consult within the UI community and with others who are interested in the IWP. The consultations will include open meetings sponsored jointly with Provost Whitmore.

"My staff and I are eager to assist in this effort," Skorton said. "We are well aware of the proud history of the International Writing Program, and we are enthusiastic about providing a memorable experience for this year's international writers and preparing the way for a stable future for the program."