University of Iowa selects a new president

Sally Mason Named University Of Iowa’s 20th President.

Interesting. A female biologist, currently Provost at Purdue:

During her tenure at Purdue, Mason invested both professionally and personally in diversity and innovative research and education.

She raised funds for and implemented a number of major diversity initiatives at Purdue, including creation of a Native American education and cultural center and a Latino Cultural Center, joining a black cultural center already on campus. She started two programs funded by the National Science Foundation that work to increase retention and graduation rates among students in science fields, especially minorities. And she recently implemented a new initiative that focuses on recruitment, including more minority faculty appointments, professional development programs, and incentives for teaching and research on diversity.

In 2004, Mason and her husband, Kenneth, gave a $2 million gift to create the Sally K. and Kenneth A. Mason Fund in support of Purdue’s Discovery Learning Center (DLC). The DLC, one of 10 interdisciplinary research centers in Purdue’s new Discovery Park, was created to advance research that revolutionizes learning in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math). Through externally funded research projects, innovative programs, and collaborative partnerships, the DLC is seeks to redesign educational practices and create innovative learning environments that, according to the DLC’s Web site, “have immediate impact and nurture lifelong learning for students and citizens of a global community.”

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  1. Congrats Tara – She looks like quite a catch for you guys. Is Iowa ready for her? I hate to admit it, but I always think of the book-banning scene in Field Of Dreams, when I think of Iowa…

  2. Nah, that’s not representative. Our last president, David Skorton, was good (from what I saw; he left last year for Cornell) and prior to that, they had Mary Sue Coleman, a biochemist (who left Iowa for the University of Michigan just as I arrived at U of M for my postdoc there). So this actually is almost old hat for Iowa now…

  3. Is it me, or has there been a spate of newly appointed female university presidents recently? Purdue just named France Cordova as its new prexy. Something in the water?

  4. I think that we caught us a good one. I have been very apprehensive ever since the debacle with the previous search, but the commitee and regents really got it done this time. I went to see Sally Mason speak last week and I left with a very positive feeling. As was noted in her introduction yesterday, she has a palpable passion for education and it comes off in a very accessible way.

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