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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 26, 2008

Univ. of Washington vice provost Ortega to interview for UI provost, Feb. 27 & 28

Suzanne Ortega, vice provost of the University of Washington and dean of its graduate school, will interview for University of Iowa provost on the UI campus Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 27 and 28.

Ortega will participate in two public events. The first will be a forum at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in S401 Pappajohn Business Building. During the forum Ortega will answer questions from a panel of faculty members and the audience.

At 1:30 p.m. Thursday Ortega will appear in a public symposium in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol. She will speak on "The Primary Challenges Facing Public Research Universities Today," the designated topic for all finalists. In addition to the public events, Ortega will meet individually with UI President Sally Mason, collegiate deans and directors, and staff, faculty and student leaders, among other groups. Each candidate in the search process will follow the same general schedule of meetings and public events.

Ortega has served in her current position since August 2005. She previously served five years as the vice provost for advanced studies and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Missouri, Columbia. She was a faculty member at the University of Nebraska for 20 years and served as assistant/associate graduate dean there from 1994 to 2000. Ortega completed her masters and doctoral degrees in sociology at Vanderbilt University.

Ortega's primary research interests are mental health epidemiology, health services, and race and ethnic relations. She is the author or co-author of numerous journal articles, book chapters and an introductory sociology text, now in its 7th edition. Ortega is an award-winning teacher and has served on a number of review panels for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health. She has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on grants totaling more than $6 million in state and federal funds.

Among her administrative accomplishments, she worked to secure funding for and developed successful programs in Preparing Future Faculty, Ph.D. Completion and Diversity Enhancement, including the CGS/Peterson's Award for Innovations in Promoting an Inclusive Graduate Community; and the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Degree program.

Ortega has served on the American Sociological Association (ASA) Advisory Board for Preparing Future Faculty, the ASA Executive Office and Budget Committee, and currently serves as a member of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior editorial board. In addition, she has served on the Executive Board of the Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, and she is a past-chair of the boards of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools and Council of Graduate Schools. She currently chairs the Graduate Record Exam Board, serves as a member of the National Academies of Science Committee on the Assessment of the Research Doctorate, and is a member of the NSF Human Resources Expert Panel.

Five finalists have been selected to interview for the position. Detailed schedule information for all of the candidate visits is available online at The identities of and information about each individual candidate will be made available the day before each candidate's visit begins.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to complete an online evaluation of each candidate. The evaluation form will be accessible from the provost search Web site at

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott, University Relations, 319-335-0552 (office), 319-530-6972 (cell),