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Release: June 21, 1999

Former UI administrator tells it 'The Way It Was' at UI from 1964-89

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Nothing stays the same forever, and the fleeting speed with which the years passes leaves us to wax nostalgic about the days gone by and the places that touched us most.

In "The Way It Was: The University of Iowa 1964 - 1989," (UI Press), D.C. Spriestersbach, former University of Iowa professor and acting president, drew upon his personal files, UI archives and numerous interviews in penning his memories about the University of Iowa and the way it was during some of its most turbulent years.

In Howard Bowen’s first speech to the faculty after he arrived in 1964, he spoke so eloquently and compellingly about his vision of what the UI could become, Spriestersbach says he offered to help him achieve his objectives in any way possible. This quixotic offer changed Spriestersbach’s life and becomes the starting point for "The Way it Was."

Spriestersbach has created an institutional and personal history of the UI, and his reflections have earned praises from notable UI faculty including Gerhard Loewenberg, political science professor; Stow Persons, Carver Professor of History Emeritus at the UI; and Samuel L. Becker, professor emeritus, communications studies.

"The Way it Was" is a wonderfully personal story of two overlapping eras -- the growth of big science and increasing UI dependency on government support -- which altered the University of Iowa in fundamental ways, says Becker.

Spriestersbach lets us see those eras and the era’s political movements signified by the Civil Rights movements and anti-war protests through his observant and, thankfully, not altogether objective eyes," Becker says.

Spriestersbach served as vice president for educational development and dean of the UI Graduate College from 1965 to 1989; he served as acting president from 1981 to 1982 and is now vice president and dean emeritus at the UI.

The quickly readable and detailed 264-page book is a look backward at the UI under six former UI presidents, life at the UI during the Civil Rights era and days of student-led Vietnam protests, and the technological advancements that changed the UI from 1964 to 1989.