Daily Iowan: Q&A with President Sally Mason

Thursday, September 23, 2010

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 23, 2010 7:20 AM

The Daily Iowan sat down with University of Iowa President Sally Mason on Wednesday to discuss the provost search, 21-ordinance, and football season.

DI: The interim provost was announced last week, Dean Butler. What was the process you went through in selecting him?

President Sally Mason: I asked a lot of people on campus to give me their input and their ideas about who might be an appropriate interim provost, and as I thought about who on campus had the right kind of experience who was really ready for this kind of an opportunity, Dean Butler became a real obvious choice to me. I think he's going to be tremendous. I think he's going to be a real asset to, obviously, to the senior administration he has been on for now as long as he's been here, which is more than 20 years. So, he's got a lot of knowledge about the university, and he cares deeply about this university and what happen to the University of Iowa, as do I. I think together we'll have the opportunity to just keep things running smoothly.

DI: What specific qualifications were you looking for and which did he possess?

Mason: Obviously, administrative experience, and in Dean Butler's case a lot of knowledge about the institution, about its people, the way it operates, about what its values, about how we think about things and operate, and so for me, he was a really wonderful, wonderful choice. I was glad he was willing.

DI: How are the efforts going on for the provost search?

Mason: Again, this is a process, and I seek input from our shared governance groups. So I've asked, for example, Staff Council and Faculty Senate and student government to be thinking about names of individuals that could serve on a search committee, and I'm getting input now from those groups about what membership on such a committee would look like. And probably in another couple of weeks, we'll invite individuals to chair the committee and get the search process underway.

DI: Is there, as of right now, a specific anticipated timeline in which you plan to have a provost?

Mason: I would like to have a permanent provost in place by the beginning of the fall semester of next year. So that gives us roughly this academic year to complete the search. We'll have the search committee in place and working before the end of this semester. My hope is that during the spring semester, it will be in the process of identifying strong candidates so we can bring candidates to campus for interview sometime during the spring.