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New committee in place

Regents approve 7 more members

Lee Hermiston

The Gazette

January 24, 2007

[Note: This material is copyright by The Gazette, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of The Gazette.]

  IOWA CITY — The Iowa Board of Regents added seven members to the University of Iowa’s new presidential search committee Tuesday.

  Regent Bob Downer told the regents, who met telephonically, that students were troubled by the lack of an undergraduate student on the committee. However, the regents did not add one.

  David Johnsen, UI College of Dentistry dean and the committee’s chairman, recommended graduate student Sarah Vigmostad for the committee; the regents accepted that recommendation.

  Peter McElligott, University of Iowa Student Government president and a member of an earlier presidential search committee that was disbanded, said he agreed with Johnsen that Vigmostad was qualified and said she and the committee will have student government’s full support.

  ‘‘We’re looking forward to the new committee finding the next president,’’ McElligott said. ‘‘The student government will work very hard with Sarah to make sure she represents the students the best she can.’’

  Johnsen said he received dozens of recommendations from various groups concerning the search committee’s makeup and vowed to work with those groups to determine what they want in the next UI president.

  ‘‘What we need from each group is to get everyone’s perspective,’’ Johnsen said. ‘‘I will be meeting with every single group to try to elicit these issues.’’

  Johnsen said he was trying to schedule an open meeting on Friday to give people a chance to express their views on what is needed to attract and evaluate presidential candidates.

  Regent Tom Bedell, who announced last month he was resigning from the board, was absent from the teleconference. The other eight board members unanimously approved Johnsen’s committee. Approved Tuesday, to join Johnsen and five other previously approved members were: Elizabeth Chrischilles, professor of epidemiology; Sarah England, associate professor of physiology and biophysics; Ed Folsom, professor of English; Gene Parkin, professor of civil environmental engineering; Cheryl Reardon, assistant to the dean/vice president for research; Jarjisu Sa-Aadu, professor of finance; and Vigmostad.

  Johnsen hopes to have a successor to David Skorton, who left the UI for the Cornell University presidency, by July 1.