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Release: May 11, 2001

UI President to Storm Lake Kiwanis Club May 21

STORM LAKE, Iowa -- Mary Sue Coleman, president of The University of Iowa, will be the guest speaker for the May 21 meeting of the Storm Lake Kiwanis Club. The event, to be held at the K.C. Hall on East Lakeshore Drive, will begin at noon.

Storm Lake Kiwanis members have also invited other area Kiwanis Clubs' members and a limited number of University of Iowa alumni. Those alumni have been asked to make reservations by calling (712) 732-2457.

President Coleman's talk is titled "Meeting the 21st Century Challenge." In it, she notes that the university has "a bedrock mission to serve our state's needs and to fulfill its citizens' dreams." The university attempts to accomplish that by providing high quality, cost effective education to meet Iowa's critical needs; irreplaceable services to improve Iowa's quality of life; and key building blocks of Iowa's economic well-being.

"We are proud to be an institution whose top priorities are high-quality education, world-class research, and deeply committed service," Coleman says. "For over 150 years, we have been educating young people who have made positive impacts in their communities -- within Iowa and throughout the world. Preparing our students for lives of cultural richness and good citizenship are also important to our educational mission."

She adds: "Our University in Iowa affects the lives of all Iowans, from border to border, from the Mississippi to the Missouri. Not only do we educate thousands of Iowans each year, but we also provide unmatched services to all corners of our state -- from arts in the schools programs, to testing all the drinking water in our state, to insuring farm safety in our rural communities, to providing the best health care anywhere."

Coleman is the 18th president of the university and has held that position since December 1995. She holds academic appointments as professor of biochemistry in the College of Medicine and as professor of biological sciences in the College of Liberal Arts. As president, Coleman has focused on strategic planning, articulating core values, and developing objective measures for advancing the university's position among the nation's leading public universities.

Coleman believes that the university faces four challenges in educating students for the new century: enhancing the diversity of the campus community; expanding study-abroad opportunities and infusing a global perspective throughout the curriculum; encouraging teamwork in seeking multidisciplinary solutions to complex problems; and making effective use of rapidly changing technologies.

Coleman has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs (1993-1995) at the University of New Mexico, and as vice chancellor for graduate studies and research (1992-1993) and associate provost and dean of research (1990-1992) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She served 19 years as a member of the biochemistry faculty and as a Cancer Center administrator at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where her research focused on the immune system and malignancies. The National Institutes of Health continuously funded her laboratories for over twenty years.

On April 30 this year, President Coleman was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine in 1997 and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences in 1999.

Coleman co-chairs the Institute of Medicine's Committee on the Consequences of Uninsurance, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Universities Research Association, the American Council on Education's Task Force on Teacher Education, and the Commission on Minorities in Higher Education, the Board of Trustees of Grinnell College, the Business-Higher Education Forum, the Knight Commission, the Imagining America Presidents Council, the American Association of Universities Task Force on Research Accountability, the Standards for Success Advisory Board, and several corporate boards.

She has also served on the Presidents Leadership Group of The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, the Governor's Strategic Planning Council (Iowa 2010) and on the Governor's ACCESS Education Commission, which evaluated new delivery methods for higher education in the next century.

After earning her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Grinnell College and her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina, Coleman conducted postdoctoral work at North Carolina and at the University of Texas, Austin. She is married to Kenneth Coleman, a political scientist specializing in Latin America. They have one son, Jonathan, who is a portfolio manager for the Janus Capital Corporation in Denver, Colorado.