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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 3, 2003

UC-Davis Dean Is Second On-Campus Candidate for Provost

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Elizabeth Langland, dean of the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Davis, will be on the campus of the University of Iowa Thursday and Friday, Dec. 4 and 5 to interview for the position of provost, the university's chief academic officer.

Langland is the second of six finalists for the position who will visit the campus over the next three weeks. Each candidate will participate in two public events, a public forum for taking questions and answers from a faculty panel and a public symposium on the candidate's scholarly activity. Langland's forum will be from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 in Room W401 in the Pappajohn Business Building (PBB). Her symposium will be Dec. 5 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in W151 PBB.

Faculty, staff, students and others who attend the events involving provost candidates are encouraged to share their evaluations with the provost search committee. An evaluation form prepared by the committee is available on the search website at:

A scholar specializing in Victorian literature, feminist and gender theory, cultural studies, and theory of the novel, Langland joined the faculty of UC Davis in 1999 as professor of English and dean of the Division of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies in the College of Letters and Science.

Langland received her B.A. degree summa cum laude from Barnard College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. with departmental honors from the University of Chicago. She began her academic career in 1975 as an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University, where she helped establish and direct the women's studies program. She subsequently became chair of the English department at Converse College in South Carolina in 1982.

In 1985, she joined the faculty at the University of Florida, serving from 1990-94 as director of graduate studies in English before becoming associate dean for faculty affairs for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1995. As associate dean, she held responsibility for all matters involving faculty in 52 department and programs in the humanities, social sciences and sciences, including overseeing tenure, promotions and faculty workloads at the college level; recruiting and retaining faculty; recommending budgets and salary merits; responding to faculty grievances and students complaints; and directing graduate policy. While serving as associate dean, she initiated a mentoring program for new faculty and inaugurated a maternity leave policy for college faculty.

While at Florida, she earned three college teaching awards as well as university-wide awards for distinguished teaching and for distinguished scholarship.

In Langland's four years at UC Davis, the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies has grown in faculty, student enrollments and majors, significantly outpacing the university's overall rate of growth. During that time, she has hired 80 new faculty members, of whom more than half are women and more than one-third underrepresented minorities.

In addition, she has worked to strengthen core disciplines in the humanities and arts; infused resources into interdisciplinary programs in ethnic, gender and cultural studies; and developed cross-disciplinary initiatives that build upon the university's strengths in the sciences. She also spearheaded a major reorganization of the writing program, helped raise funds for a $60 million performance hall and initiated planning and fundraising for a university museum of art.

Langland is the author or editor of eight books, including Telling Tales: Gender and Narrative Form in Victorian Literature and Culture (2002), Nobody's Angels: Middle-class Women and Domestic Ideology in Victorian Culture (1995), Out of Bounds: Male Writers and Gender(ed) Criticism (1990), Anne Brontë: The Other One (1989), and Society in the Novel (1984). She is currently preparing a scholarly edition of Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford for Broadview Literary Texts.

The UC Davis dean has Iowa roots. She was born at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics while her father was studying in the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and she spent summers in her youth on her aunt and uncle's farm outside of Decorah. Her husband, Jerald Jahn, is an alumnus of the University of Iowa, and both her grandfather and an uncle have served in the Iowa Legislature.

The provost is the university's chief academic officer. Reporting directly to the university president, the provost is responsible for the supervision of all academic programs, a variety of faculty-related matters (including academic promotion and tenure decisions and faculty advocacy), student academic affairs and strategic academic planning. The provost communicates on behalf of the university with the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the governing board for Iowa's three public universities and with a wide variety of internal and external constituencies. The provost is a principal participant in collaborative decision-making involving university-wide strategic planning and budget development, management of auxiliary enterprises, health care services and the conduct of research and scholarship.

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

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