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University of Iowa names Barbara Wilson as new President

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 3:45 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The University of Iowa has named Barbara Wilson as the new President.

Wilson is the Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs for the University of Illinois System and will become the 22nd president of the University of Iowa on July 15, 2021.

Barbara Wilson, Ph.D., the executive vice president and vice president for Academic Affairs for...
Barbara Wilson, Ph.D., the executive vice president and vice president for Academic Affairs for the University of Illinois System has been announced as the second finalist for the University of Iowa Presidency.(University of Iowa)

The Board of Regents announced Wilson as its unanimous selection at its meeting in Iowa City on Friday.

She will receive a 5-year contract with an annual salary of $600,000 and will also receive a 5-year deferred compensation plan with an annual contribution of $400,000. She will also be provided with housing and a vehicle allowance of $1500 a month.

Wilson has been served as Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs for the University of Illinois System since 2016. Prior to that position, she served one year as interim chancellor for the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Wilson’s other administrative roles at Illinois have included two years as the university’s Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, two years as Executive Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, three years as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and seven years as head of the Department of Communication.

Before joining the Illinois faculty in 2000, Wilson was an Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville for three years and a faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) for 12 years. She also spent eight years as Director of Graduate Studies in UCSB’s Department of Communication.

Wilson, 63, is a native of Appleton, Wisconsin. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, a Master of Arts in Communication Arts, and a PhD in Communication Arts, all from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Wilson will succeed current President Bruce Harreld, who served as Iowa’s president from November 2015 to May 2021. Harreld announced in October 2020 that he would be retiring in May.

John Keller, UI Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate College, will serve as interim president after Harreld’s last day on May 16th until Wilson begins.

Wilson beat out three other finalists for the position, including Penn State dean Hari Osofsky, Georgia State Provost Wendy Hensel, and University of Iowa dean Daniel Clay.

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