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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 14, 2010

University of Iowa names Engineering Dean Butler as interim provost

University of Iowa President Sally Mason has named College of Engineering Dean Barry Butler to serve as interim provost while a search gets under way to replace Wallace Loh, who was recently selected as the University of Maryland-College Park’s next president.

Loh takes the helm at Maryland Nov. 1, after more than two years as the UI’s executive vice president and provost. Butler’s appointment is effective Oct. 1.

Mason said Butler, who has been engineering dean for 10 years, has the breadth of experience to ably serve as the university’s chief academic officer and that she fully expects the transition to go smoothly.

“Barry has demonstrated time and again his dedication to academics and education at all levels through his service on campus, in the field of engineering and in the community,” Mason said. “I look forward to working with him and maintaining the momentum that Wallace began by drafting a new strategic plan for the university. With Barry’s long tenure at and deep understanding of this university, we will benefit from continuity in our mission in the Office of the Provost as well as continuing progress in the initiatives we have launched.”

Butler has been at Iowa since 1984, when he was hired as an assistant professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. He was named full professor in 1995 and the college’s associate dean of academic programs just two years later. He was named interim dean of the college in 1999, and dean in 2000.

He holds three degrees, all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: a doctorate in mechanical engineering (1984), and a Master of Science (1981) and Bachelor of Science (1979) in aeronautical engineering.

His service activities at the UI include serving two terms on the Presidential Scholarship Program Committee, from 1986-89 and 1996-98; on the Faculty Senate from 1995-98; on the Faculty Council 1996-98; on the Provost’s Ad Hoc Committee on Special Compensation in 2005; and as co-chair of the Green Power Task Force in 2007. He was faculty advisor to the UI Student Chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers from 1985-90 and to the campus chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers from 1988-90.

Butler is active in a number of aerospace-related instructional and research activities at the UI, where he also serves as campus coordinator of the Iowa Space Grant Consortium, an organization with 20 years of continuous support from NASA. He currently serves on the boards of several state and national technology-based organizations committed to economic growth and advancing science, technology, engineering and math education, including the American Wind Energy Association Board of Directors and co-chair of that association’s research committee. He also serves as Iowa Gov. Chet Culver’s delegate to the Aerospace States Association.

He is an active participant in Eastern Iowa’s Corridor STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Initiative, and has been a strong advocate for working with industry, community colleges and Iowa’s K-12 educators to promote STEM education.

Among his community activities, Butler has volunteered at the Wesley House Free Lunch Program, and as a youth soccer and basketball coach in Iowa City.

More information is available online at

STORY SOURCE: University News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,