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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 8, 2003

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Provost Whitmore Named Sole Finalist For President Of Texas Tech University

Jon Whitmore, University of Iowa provost and professor of theatre arts since August of 1996, today was named the sole finalist for president of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. David R. Smith, M.D., chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, made the announcement. The state requires a 21-day notification period before the appointment is official.

"I offer my heartiest congratulations to Provost Whitmore on his new position and my sincere thanks to him for his service to The University of Iowa," said UI President David Skorton. "It is particularly satisfying to know that he will continue to be a leader in American higher education by assuming the presidency at such a prominent and well-regarded institution.

"On behalf of the University of Iowa community, I want to express our profound gratitude for all that Jon has done to advance the excellence of our missions," Skorton added. "He has been a leading advocate for interdisciplinary programs and a stalwart supporter of our library system. Likewise, he played a pivotal role in the development of our current strategic plan. And, even in times of economic hardship, he kept us focused on the critical importance of remaining competitive in faculty salaries so that our students can learn from top-notch teachers."

Skorton said he would name an interim provost within the next two weeks. Because Whitmore had announced his intention to step down as provost last summer, a search for a new provost is already underway.

Texas Tech University is located in Lubbock, Texas, a community of 200,000 people on the South Plains of Texas. The Texas Tech campus has a student population of more than 27,500 including nearly 23,000 undergraduate and about 4,800 graduate and professional students. The University is made up of 12 colleges and schools, including agricultural sciences and natural resources, architecture, arts and sciences, business administration, education, engineering, human sciences, law, and visual and performing arts, as well as the graduate school and the honors college. Texas Tech is a Research II institution under the Carnegie Foundation classifications.

Founded in 1923, Texas Tech is part of the Texas Tech University System. The other system institution is the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center with campuses in Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, El Paso and Amarillo.

Whitmore came to the UI from the University of Texas at Austin, where he served for six years as the dean of the College of Fine Arts. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in speech and theatre from Washington State University. He earned the Ph.D. in dramatic arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he wrote his dissertation on the dramatic writing of William Saroyan.

At West Virginia University, Whitmore served as chair of the Division of Theatre from 1979 to 1983, as assistant to the president from 1983 to 1984, and as interim dean of the College of Creative Arts from 1984 to 1985. He became the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1985, a position he held until moving to the University of Texas in 1990.

Whitmore is the author of Directing Postmodern Theatre (University of Michigan Press, 1994) and William Saroyan (Greenwood Press, 1994).

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

CONTACT(S): Media: Steve Parrott, 319-335-0552,