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University of Iowa News Release

March 21, 2006

Photo: UI President Emeritus James O. Freedman, 1935-2006, courtesy of Dartmouth College. Click here for a high-resolution of the black-and-white image, or here for a high-resolution color photo.

Related News Release: UI Emeritus President Freedman Championed Liberal Arts Education, International Relations

Skorton Remembers UI President Emeritus James O. Freedman

Following is a statement from University of Iowa President David J. Skorton on the death today of UI President Emeritus James O. Freedman:

We are all deeply saddened by the passing of James O. Freedman, who during his tenure as President of The University of Iowa from 1982 to 1987 established a legacy for our institution that continues with us today.

President Freedman's intellectual leadership was among the strongest our University has ever seen.  He was a thoughtful and eloquent man with an insatiable curiosity, a true scholar and voracious reader whose appetite for knowledge and understanding was unparalleled. President Freedman embodied the ideal and practice of a public intellectual, and he made an indelible stamp on The University of Iowa as an institution of higher learning that values excellence while remaining accessible to the people of our state and nation.

Perhaps Jim Freedman's most important contribution to the UI was the vigor and dedication with which he championed the internationalization of our teaching, research, and service.  A true visionary, President Freedman knew that international understanding was not only crucial to education and society at the time, but also that it was to become increasingly important to everyone in the decades to come. The presidents who came after him, including me, owe much of our own dedication to the international aspects of the UI to Jim Freedman's pioneering work and advocacy.

In recent years, after his retirement from the presidency of Dartmouth College, President Freedman remained one of our country's most active, and fearless, public intellectuals, particularly in the cause of liberal education.  He never forgot what the essence of education and an intellectual life should be in our lives and values, and he continued to champion humanistic thought.  Today, I still look to Jim Freedman's life and work for model and inspiration as a leader, and I will continue to do so.

As we mourn his loss, and as we share our grief with his family, loved ones, friends, and colleagues across the world, we should remain thankful that he was, and will remain, part of the UI family and legacy.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,