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Release: June 9, 2000

UI provost announces administrative appointments

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Provost Jon Whitmore has announced a series of administrative appointments, effective at the beginning of the fall semester. These appointments follow Professor Joe Knight's return to the College of Law faculty after successfully completing his three-year term as vice provost.

-- Leslie Sims, dean of the Graduate College, will be interim vice provost.

-- John Keller, Graduate College associate dean for research, will be interim dean of the Graduate College.

-- David Wiemer, professor of chemistry, will be interim associate dean for academic affairs in the Graduate College.

Sims' administrative experience will be invaluable in the provost's office, Whitmore said. "I am confident that he will make a smooth transition into this position and effectively balance the wide range of responsibilities it carries," he said. "Les Sims will also bring deep experience with interdisciplinary programs to the provost's office at a time when the university intends to increase teaching and research collaboration across the colleges.

"Les has an excellent record of achievement with the Graduate College," Whitmore added, "and I know that standard will be maintained under the leadership of John Keller and David Wiemer."

Sims has served as dean of the Graduate College since 1991 and associate provost for graduate education since 1997. Before coming to the UI he was associate vice chancellor for research at North Carolina State University. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois. Sims has served on several national committees, including the National Science Foundation Committee on Minority Programs, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, and the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities/Association of Graduate Schools. He also is the chair of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools. As interim vice provost, Sims will be the senior staff member in the provost's office, overseeing the management of major projects.

Keller joined the UI College of Dentistry faculty in 1988 and was promoted to professor in 1991. He holds appointments in oral and maxillofacial surgery and with the Dows Institute for Dental Research. He also holds appointments as a professor of biomedical engineering and as a collaborating professor in veterinary medicine and engineering at Iowa State University. In 1999 Keller was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.He was president of the American Association for Dental Research in 1997-98. In 1989 Keller was awarded a National Institute of Dental Research Career Development Award. He earned his master's degree and doctorate in biological materials from Northwestern University.

Wiemer joined the UI chemistry department in 1978 and was promoted to full professor in 1989. He specializes in synthetic and bioorganic chemistry. He is the author of numerous publications and has won several awards for teaching and research, including a UI Faculty Scholarship and a UI Collegiate Teaching Award. Wiemer is a member of the UI Cancer Center, the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, and the Center for Gene Therapy. He received his doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois.