The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, invites applications for the position of president of the University of Iowa (UI).

Leadership Profile

Official University Seal

UI is a flagship public doctoral university (R1), founded in 1847 and comprising 12 colleges, an academic medical center, membership in Big Ten athletics, and world class programs in creative and performing arts. Iowa has been a member of the Big Ten Conference since 1899 and a member of the Association of American Universities since 1909. The university is devoted to providing a liberal arts education balanced with professional preparation, research, and public service. The board seeks an individual who will build upon the University of Iowa’s legacy and embrace its direction toward new chapters of exploration, discovery, creation, and engagement. The university community expects a strong advocate, a loyal and stable presence, and an agile leader with considerable social capital and foresight.

The new president must bring leadership characteristics that reflect a genuinely unifying, ethical, and inspirational presence. The successful candidate will be a leader who is motivating and expert in interpersonal and organizational awareness. Emotional intelligence, responsiveness, and adaptability are key qualities, along with the ability to effectively organize information and priorities and make prompt, sound decisions in the midst of complex and exacting circumstances. The president must shape productive, collaborative relationships on behalf of UI and be an articulate, courageous champion of the university statewide.

Innovative and inclusive leader

UI seeks a president arriving with an innovative, forward- thinking vision in mind, one that will be shaped through collegial discussions, listening, and learning about the university’s culture and traditions. The UI presidency will be led by a fair-minded, critical thinker. The well-being of all students must be foremost, including recruitment, retention, and success with the guidance of an enormously talented faculty and staff.

The president will demonstrate commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion explicitly and in narrative. The president will give particular attention to providing a safe and reassuring environment for a diverse population, setting an example of thoughtful leadership while exhibiting an action-oriented mindset in all aspects of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. The university community will enjoy a visible and approachable president who expresses interest and concern about them at all levels of their endeavors and experiences.

Collaboration and commitment

The successful candidate must be able to master the fusion of academic and administrative excellence and be capable of advancing UI in keeping with the university’s mission, vision, and values. The ideal candidate must be able to work effectively in a collaborative governance environment, using a consultative style.

The UI presidential search committee is committed to identifying a president who meets the leadership characteristics identified during listening sessions for the university constituency groups and stakeholders. The successful candidate will thrive in a public university system led by a Board of Regents and Executive Director. Toward that important end, the achievements, qualities, and attributes possessed by the ideal candidate are as follows.

Desired background and experience

  • Record of success as an educator, scholar, and servant leader in the academic enterprise;
  • Substantial understanding of undergraduate and graduate teaching, learning, creative scholarship, research, international education, and technology; 
  • Deep appreciation for the roles of liberal arts, professional education, and economic development within a research university;
  • Demonstrated commitment to academic freedom, tenure, and ideals of shared governance;
  • Success in implementing and embodying best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion in all policies and procedures;
  • Excellent listening, written, and oral communication skills with capacity to inspire and practice transparent communication with integrity; 
  • Proven skills in senior administrative level fiscal management, resource generation, and budget allocation;
  • Deep knowledge of strategic planning and focused, clear decision making for the future;
  • Understanding of national and international marketing and recruitment methods, retention, and enrollment management;
  • Significant senior level management know-how and ability to attract, empower, and retain outstanding faculty, administrators, and staff; 
  • Proactive commitment to student needs and student-first, student-centered learning;
  • Appreciation and support for student athletes, intercollegiate athletics, and athletic department operations; 
  • Desire to be the collaborative voice and face of the university with all stakeholders, including the Board of Regents; business community; Iowa’s K-12 and higher educational systems; local, state, and federal elected officials; and the state’s residents; 
  • Commitment to working with UI Center for Advancement and proficiency in alumni engagement, philanthropy, fundraising, and development of donor support opportunities;
  • Preferred experience in connection with an academic medical center; and
  • Earned doctorate or terminal degree from an accredited institution of higher education.

Applications and nominations

The University of Iowa offers the next president the opportunity to be academically ambitious and join a distinctive, energetic community as a trusted team leader, team player, and team builder. For best consideration, applications and nominations should be received by March 15, 2021, and must include a letter of interest addressing the qualifications described (not more than three pages); a current résumé or curriculum vitae; and the names of five professional references with each person’s position, office or home address, e-mail address and telephone numbers.

The search is being assisted by Rod McDavis, Managing Principal, and James McCormick and Janice Fitzgerald, Executive Search Consultants, AGB Search. Contact may be made at, 804-514-1982;, 651-238-5188; or, 717-580-0663. Responses should be sent electronically (MS Word or PDF Format) to For more information about the UI presidential search, go to


It is the policy of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa to provide equal opportunity in employment and all aspects of Regent operations to all persons without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran or military status, or any other status protected by state or federal law.

Leadership profile

A PDF version of the leadership profile is available here.

Search Book

Read this comprehensive overview to learn more about Iowa and the position.

Search partner

UI has partnered with AGB Search to facilitate and support the search process.