University of Iowa Presidential Search Committee Co-Chairs Named

October 13, 2020

News Item Image

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa has announced that Dr. Sandy Daack-Hirsch, associate professor and interim executive associate dean of the college of nursing, and Dr. John Keller, dean of the graduate college, will serve as co-chairs of the University of Iowa Presidential Search Committee.

The search committee will include representatives from a wide variety of UI constituents, including faculty, staff, students and alumni.  The committee currently is being formed, and names of committee membership will be presented to the Board of Regents at its November 18 meeting. The committee will be charged with identifying finalists for the Board of Regents’ consideration to become the next president of the University of Iowa.

“We will work to form a committee that follows the best practices document developed with the Board of Regents,” said Daack-Hirsch. “As the committee is put together, we will strive to ensure that it is diverse, inclusive and representative of the University of Iowa community.”

“As we select membership, we will be sure to include members including faculty, staff, students and alumni,” said Keller. “They must each have a voice in this process. We will work together to find our next president, and do so in a way that is as open and transparent as possible.”

Daack-Hirsch received her BSN, MSN, and PhD from the University of Iowa. She focused her master’s study on genetic counseling and care of children and families who have inherited and congenital disorders. She completed her PhD in the parent child and family area of study with an emphasis in public health and genetics. She has authored over 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts and maintains an active program of research in the area of family communication of inherited risk for cardiovascular disease.

Daack-Hirsch has consulted on numerous national projects to promote the education of nurses in genetics. She joined the faculty in the College of Nursing in January of 2007 at the rank of assistant professor. She was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2013 and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She is a past president of the International Society of Nurses in Genetics.

From 2012 to 2020, Daack-Hirsch served on the University of Iowa faculty senate, which included four years as a councilor and two years in presidential roles. She chaired the UI’s AAUP Sanction Removal Committee. She is the recipient of the James N. Murray Teaching Award and the highly prestigious University of Iowa Michael J. Brody Award for Faculty Excellence in Service.

Keller has been a tenured professor of dental research and oral and maxillofacial surgery since 1988. He has authored over 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 250 abstracts pertaining to dental and orthopedic biomaterials and implant related research. While actively involved in the college, Keller directed the predoctoral dental student research program and was elected to the board of the American Association for Dental Research. He served as president of AADR in 1997-98.

Keller was appointed associate provost for graduate education and dean of the graduate college at the University of Iowa in 2002 after serving on an interim basis for two years. He has undertaken major efforts to redistribute resources to graduate students and programs using student and program outcome measures. He led efforts to establish a uniform tuition scholarship program at Iowa and he has aided in the establishment of new and expanded graduate fellowship programs. He also has provided oversight for over 150 graduate program actions at Iowa, as well as the initiation of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, designed to coordinate diversity efforts at the graduate level.

Keller has promoted regular assessment of all graduate programs at Iowa resulting in restructuring of some programs and stimulation of efforts to improve graduate student outcomes. He has spoken about these subjects at regional and national workshops and meetings. He has twice served as Chair of the Big Ten Academic Alliance graduate deans group, as well as three year terms of service on the board of directors for the Council of Graduate Schools and the AAU-Association of Graduate Schools.

Keller has served on numerous university committees, including the 2020 Task Force. Most recently, Keller served as interim Vice- President for Research from fall 2017 until summer 2019. 

For More Information:

Josh Lehman


« Back