Iowa Board of Regents

University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld to Retire

October 1, 2020

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University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld has informed the Board of Regents, State of Iowa of his intention to retire as president.  President Harreld will remain in his position until the Board can successfully complete a search for the next UI president, and the new president begins.

The Board will hold a virtual meeting on Monday, October 5 at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the search process for the next UI president.  The hope is to have a new president in place by the start of the fall 2021 semester, but this will be coordinated with the search committee to make sure there is an appropriate time frame to do a thorough search.

“On behalf of the Board of Regents, I want to thank President Harreld for his service to the University of Iowa and the entire state,” Board of Regents President Michael J. Richards said. “I have appreciated the tireless work that he has put in over the past five years, keeping UI among the nation’s top public universities.  He has been dedicated to the success of our students, faculty and staff, and always willing to listen to and engage with the university community. I am thankful that President Harreld has agreed to remain president until its next leader can begin their duties, to allow for a smooth transition.”

“Over five years ago I was provided the remarkable opportunity to work with an outstanding collection of students, faculty, staff, and alumni at the University of Iowa,” Harreld said. “Together we have had many challenges and experienced significant successes as well.  I’d like to thank each and every Hawkeye for their support, advice, friendship, and success going forward. Once a Hawkeye, always a Hawkeye.”

President Harreld became the University of Iowa’s 21st president in November 2015.  Under his leadership, the university has seen significant increases in research grants, increased graduation rates, implemented an open and transparent budgeting process, and added new health care and academic facilities.

President Harreld also spearheaded the landmark 50-year, $1.165 billion public-private partnership with ENGIE North America and Meridiam for the operation of UI’s utility system to provide additional resources to enhance the university’s strategic plan. In the most recent college rankings by U.S. News and World Report, the University of Iowa was the 34th ranked public university in the nation.

President Richards has outlined the upcoming process for President Harreld’s successor, which will be formally addressed by the Board on October 5.  That meeting will be livestreamed, with the link to view available that day on the Board’s website at

“The search for the next University of Iowa president will be conducted fairly and transparently,” Richards said. “While details need to be worked out, we will hire a search firm, and form an inclusive and diverse search committee. There will be meetings held about the search with various constituent groups, including faculty and students. As in the past, names of finalists recommended by the search committee will be made public, and candidates will attend open forums where they can address the university community and answer questions.”

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