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Release: Dec. 12, 2001

EDITOR'S NOTE: Questions regarding the investigation should be directed to the Cedar Rapids Police Department. University-related questions will be handled by Interim Vice President for External Relations David Skorton, 319-335-2132.

Executive Dean of UI College of Medicine Dies

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Richard P. Nelson, executive dean of the University of Iowa College of Medicine, died this morning at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids from a stab wound to the chest. The incident, which occurred at his residence, is being investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

Nelson, 54, had served as executive dean of the UI College of Medicine since May 2000. He joined the UI faculty as associate professor of pediatrics in 1987. He served as executive associate dean in the College of Medicine from 1994-2000. He also served as associate dean for continuing medical education and as director of the UI Child Health Specialty Clinics.

Nelson earned a national reputation as an advocate of children's health and was especially renowned for his work on behalf of children with developmental disabilities. He was former president of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs.

Nelson earned his undergraduate and medical degrees at Northwestern University. Prior to coming to the UI, he held academic and clinical appointments at Northwestern, Harvard University and at the University of Minnesota.

Robert Kelch, dean of the College of Medicine and vice president for statewide health services, said, "We have suffered a tremendous loss of a beloved colleague. The faculty, staff and students of UI Health Care and the University of Iowa are devastated by Dr. Nelson’s passing."