University of Iowa Names Barbara J. Wilson as its Next President

The board of regents for the  State of Iowa has announced that Barbara J. Wilson will be the 22nd president of the University of Iowa. She will begin her new duties on July 15.

The University of Iowa enrolls more than 23,000 undergraduate students and about 7,750 graduate students, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education. Women make up 54 percent of the undergraduate student body.

Since 2016, Dr. Wilson has served as executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs for the University of Illinois System. Earlier at the University of Illinois, she served as the 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, Dr. Wilson was an assistant professor at the University of Louisville for three years and a faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara for 12 years.

“I am delighted to be part of the next phase of the University of Iowa,” Dr. Wilson said. “This is a very exciting moment. I said during my forum, and I meant it, that in many ways this is my dream job. I was born and raised in the Big Ten and I’m a Midwesterner at heart. I’m all in and excited to be here.”

After taking office in July, Dr. Wilson added “I hope I lay my head down every night exhausted from meeting with people. I want to make sure there are lots of voices in my ear and lots of ways for me to understand and learn about Iowa. I want to get to know people here and understand what their passions are and what kinds of things they want to work on.”

A native of Appleton, Wisconsin, Dr. Wilson earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism, a master’s degree in communication arts, and a Ph.D. in communication arts, all from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

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