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Board of Regents Appoints Gary Fethke Interim UI President

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa has named Gary Fethke, outgoing dean of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, as interim president of the UI effective June 30, when President David Skorton plans to step down. Skorton has accepted a position as the next president of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Fethke's annual salary as interim president will be $302,050.

The board announced its decision during a 5 p.m. Monday, April 3 telephonic news conference. It also announced that it will hire Chicago-based Heidrick and Struggles International Inc. as the executive search firm for the search for a new president.

In March the board appointed Regent Teresa Wahlert to chair the search committee. Wahlert in turn has said she will select a vice chair for the committee from the UI campus.

Fethke, 64, has been dean of the UI Tippie College of Business since 1994 and a member of the business faculty since 1974. Last year he announced he would step down as dean of the UI Tippie College of Business at the end of the 2005-2006 academic year but continue to hold the Leonard A. Hadley Professorship of Leadership and teach as a faculty member in the Departments of Economics and Management Sciences.

"I am honored to be asked to serve," Fethke said in a statement after the announcement. "A native Iowan who came here as an undergraduate, I have served almost my entire career at this great university.

"What has inspired me most about this institution is the legacy of its faculty," he added. "They have made outstanding contributions that have had an impact not just on this university, but on the country and the world. People such as Jack Kennedy, James Van Allen, May Brodbeck, Allen Craig, Bob Hogg, E.F. Lindquist, Mauricio Lasansky, Howard Bowen, Jim Dixon, Adrian Flatt, Sandy Boyd, Frank Conroy, and Paul Engle are just a few of the names that come to mind. These are among the people who have inspired me through their intellectual entrepreneurship."

Fethke said that during his time as interim president he would like the university to focus on "creating opportunities and partnerships, while requiring accountability and responsibility."

"My role will be to work with others to prepare this university for its next president," he said.

During his tenure as dean, Fethke has led the outreach and expansion of the Evening and Executive MBA Programs. The Evening MBA, now known as the MBA-PM, is currently offered in Cedar Rapids, Newton, Des Moines, and the Quad Cities. The Executive MBA Program is now available both on campus and in other Iowa cities, as needed, and internationally, in Hong Kong and Beijing. He teaches strategic leadership in the Executive MBA program. In addition, Fethke spearheaded a partnership with Iowa State University that resulted in a dual degree program that provided students with both MBA and Master's in Systems Engineering degrees.

During his tenure, the Undergraduate Program began a number of innovative programs including an Early Admission Program that admits outstanding high school students directly into the Tippie College; the Hawkinson Institute of Business Finance, which provides advising and placement services for students in investment banking and financial services; and the Iowa Diversity in Business Program, which provides assistance and guidance to students of color and first-generation college students.

Fethke headed the planning and construction coordination of the John Pappajohn Business Building on the University of Iowa campus, the UI-Cedar Rapids Area Conference and Education Center in Cedar Rapids, the MBA facilities at the Des Moines W. A. Krause Center and the Newton Polytechnic Campus. He was instrumental in the development of the university's new Pomerantz Center, which opened in late summer of 2005 to house many student services including academic advising, career development and the Tippie MBA programs.

His fundraising endeavors with UI Foundation staff led to the development of the Pappajohn Business Building that opened in 1994; the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center in 1996; the Hawkinson Institute of Business Finance in 1998; the naming of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business in 1999, and a major commitment from Jerre and Mary Joy Stead in 2003. Most recently his efforts helped establish the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory in 2004. He has also raised funds for fellowships, chairs, and professorships to increase support for nearly 75 percent of the faculty. The Tippie College of Business raised $125 million in the recent university "Good. Better. Best. Iowa" capital campaign. He is currently raising funds for the Vaughan Institute of Risk Management and Insurance.

From 1988 to 1993, Fethke served as senior associate dean of academic affairs for the college, and before that he served as chairman of the Departments of Management Sciences and Marketing. In the years between receiving his Ph.D. at Iowa and returning to the college as a faculty member, he served on the faculty at Bradley University (1968-74). In addition, he taught at the London School of Economics (1981-82) for several summers (1984, 1986, 1988, and 1990). He has published numerous articles in the areas of industrial organization, macroeconomics, and labor economics, including several during his tenure as dean.

Originally from Sioux City, Fethke, received both his B.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the UI. His wife, Carol, is a faculty member of the UI Departments of Economics and Marketing. They have two grown sons.


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