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Release: Sept. 7, 2000

Rzonca named interim dean of UI Division of Continuing Education

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Higher education professor Chet Rzonca has been named interim dean of the University of Iowa Division of Continuing Education, replacing UI business professor Emmett J. Vaughan, who is returning to teaching.

Rzonca, a professor and former divisional executive officer in the UI College of Education's Planning, Policy and Leadership Studies Division, took over the position on a part-time basis in July and full-time beginning Aug. 15. He will remain in the position until it is filled permanently and then resume his faculty duties.

The dean of Continuing Education, who reports directly to UI Provost Jon Whitmore, administers a variety of programs, including the Center for Credit Programs, Center for Conferences and Institutes, Institute of Public Affairs, Iowa Summer Writing Festival, Labor Center and Video Center.

Rzonca said one of his primary tasks as interim dean will be to help the university expand its use of distance education. He said he can draw from his own teaching experience and formal program offerings in distance education while at the UI College of Education -- one of the state's biggest users of the Iowa Communications Network -- and as chair of the university study committee for distance education.

Vaughan, a UI business professor and administrator who is internationally known for his work on risk management, was dean of the division for 15 years. He has returned to his faculty position in the Tippie College of Business.

"Although I have had the opportunity to teach off-and-on while serving as dean, it has been a sometimes thing," Vaughan said. "I have missed the interaction with students and am looking forward to returning to the classroom on a full-time basis. I will continue to write as well."

Vaughan says his 15 years as dean of Continuing Education was both satisfying and enjoyable.

"I was lucky to have been dean during a period when distance education became fashionable," he said. "The Iowa Communications Network, the Internet and on-line courses came into their own, and there was a new enthusiasm throughout the university for distance learning."