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Release: Dec. 16, 2002

NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: All presidential candidates will be available briefly for questions from reporters in the Iowa Memorial Union’s Kirkwood Room (Room 257) from about 5 to 5:15 p.m. following the public symposium portion of the candidate’s visit.

UNC vice president to interview for UI presidency Tuesday

Gretchen M. Bataille, senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina, will visit the University of Iowa Tuesday, Dec. 17, to interview for the position of UI president. Bataille will meet with faculty, staff students and community leaders throughout the day. She will also participate in a 4 p.m. symposium on "The Future of Public Higher Education" in the Main Ballroom on the second floor of the Iowa Memorial Union. The symposium is open to the public.

The candidate is familiar with Iowa. She earned a doctorate in English from Drake University and was an instructor and faculty member in the English department at Iowa State University for two decades, from 1967 to 1988. In 1995, her name was added to the ISU Plaza of Heroines at Carrie Chapman Catt Hall.

Bataille, 58, was appointed senior vice president for academic affairs for the 16-campus University of North Carolina system in March 2000. The system has 175,000 students and includes five research campuses, two land-grant universities, five Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and UNC-Pembroke, a traditionally Native American institution. In her position, Bataille is responsible for academic program planning and works with the campuses on accreditation, personnel, enrollment and academic planning, research and international programs.

Prior to joining UNC, Bataille served for three years (1997-2000) as provost and academic vice president at Washington State University, a four-campus system with 22,000 students. In her position there, she had responsibility for eight academic colleges, three branch campuses, the Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education in Spokane, University Libraries, the Museum of Art, the Graduate School, information technology, student affairs, research and the Honors College.

From 1994-97, she served as provost of the College of Letters and Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the largest college at UCSB with three academic divisions: humanities and fine arts; mathematical, life, and physical sciences; and social sciences. She was also responsible for undergraduate student academic affairs, the University Art Museum, global and international studies, and the UCSB Program in Washington.

As associate dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University for four years (1990-94), her primary responsibilities were academic personnel, strategic planning, budgeting and computer infusion. Prior to being named associate dean, she was chair of the ASU Department of English.

In addition to her extensive administrative experience, Bataille has also served throughout her career as a teacher and scholar, teaching classes almost every year and securing grants totaling nearly $2 million.

She is a noted scholar in the field of Native American literature and the author or editor of eleven books, including Ethnic Studies in the United States; Native American Women: A Biographical Dictionary; American Indian Women Telling Their Lives; The Pretend Indians: Images of Native Americans in the Movies; Images of American Indians in Film: An Annotated Bibliography; The Worlds Between Two Rivers: Perspectives on American Indians in Iowa; and Living the Dream in Arizona: The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Her most recent book, Native American Representations: First Encounters, Distorted Images, and Literary Appropriations, was published in 2001.

Much of Bataille’s professional career has involved issues of diversity, civil rights and ethnic studies. She chaired the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, initiated and chaired the American Indian Studies Program at Iowa State University and wrote the grant that created the American Indian Institute and chaired the President’s Committee for Assessment for Quality and Diversity at Arizona State University. In North Carolina, she serves as a member of the board of directors for the UNC Press and the Research Triangle Institute as well as the North Carolina Humanities Council. She also serves as a trustee for The College Board.

Bataille has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in English education from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, and a doctoral degree in English from Drake University. In addition to her system-wide administrative appointment, she is a full professor with tenure in the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.