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University of Iowa News Release

March 3, 2003

Skorton Announces Administrative Reorganization

University of Iowa President David Skorton announced today that he will immediately launch a nationwide search for provost, the University’s chief academic officer, following consultation with faculty, staff and student leaders.

A search for vice president for research will begin later this year, following similar consultation.

"It is essential that we move ahead with the searches for the provost and the vice president for research. These leadership positions are key to insuring our future," Skorton said.

"I thank Provost Jon Whitmore for his leadership and his contributions in many areas, especially his focus on undergraduate education, his valued work on strategic planning, and his emphases on interdisciplinary studies and maintaining our commitment to University Libraries," Skorton added. "Likewise, I'm happy that Bill Decker has agreed to serve as interim vice president for research, and I am confident in his ability to lead that activity, with distinction, during this transition."

Skorton also announced a number of administrative changes and a review of university diversity efforts:

* Chief among the administration changes, Skorton announced that he will oversee the athletic department through a direct reporting relationship with Athletic Director Robert Bowlsby.

* The University Hygienic Laboratory, headed by Mary Gilchrist, and Health Science Relations, headed by Steve Maravetz, will report to Vice President for Health Affairs Robert Kelch. Both offices currently have a dual reporting relationship with the vice president for health affairs and the vice president for research and external relations.

* The Hygienic Laboratory is Iowa’s public health and environmental laboratory. Health Science Relations, which provides media relations and publications support to the health science colleges, will continue to coordinate with University Relations, the University's public relations, communications and outreach arm.

* The position of vice president for external relations will be eliminated. Instead, Director of University Relations Steve Parrott will report to the president.

* Broadcasting services, headed by John Monick, will report to the director of university relations.

* Broadcasting services, which consists of radio stations KSUI-FM and WSUI-AM, has traditionally reported to the vice president for university relations. However, most recently the office has reported to Skorton in his capacity as vice president for research and external relations. Skorton, who has been vice president for research since 1992, took on the duties of interim vice president for external relations in July of 2000. The two vice presidential positions were combined in 2002 as a cost-saving measure.

* Skorton has asked Charlotte Westerhaus, assistant to the president and director of affirmative action, to coordinate a review of the administration of diversity efforts throughout campus.

"Regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court's deliberations on the affirmative action case involving the University of Michigan, here at the University of Iowa, we will not retreat from our long-standing commitment to diversity," Skorton said. "If we need to change how we pursue that goal, we will. But our commitment to diversity is strong and unwavering."

Skorton said he has been looking at the issue of where athletics reports for some time. "There are a number of models for how athletics are governed, but the most common model for the Big Ten Conference is for athletics to report directly to the president," Skorton said. "It's worth noting that athletics also reports to the president at Iowa State University."

Since July of 2000, the athletics department has reported to General Counsel Mark Schantz. Before that, athletics reported to the vice president for university relations.

Budget concerns played a large role in the decision not to replace the vice president for external relations at this time, Skorton said. "Even without a vice president for external relations, I believe we are well positioned to make progress in communicating with Iowans about how we serve them and to better understand what Iowans tell us about how we can improve those services."

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Steve Parrott, 319-335-0552,