AMES, Iowa -- Liberal Arts and Sciences dean Michael Whiteford announced to members of his college community this week that he will retire on June 30 and move to Oregon to be closer to family members. Whiteford has been a faculty member in the anthropology department for 39 years and LAS dean since September 2003, including seven months as interim dean.
"I've had an absolutely terrific career at this institution," Whiteford said. "I will leave with decidedly mixed feelings. I will always be a Cyclone."
Whiteford was named dean about the same time the university launched the quiet phase of its seven-year capital campaign. Donors responded to his leadership with more than $70 million in gifts to the LAS college. Among other things, this created nearly 100 student scholarships and 14 endowed professorships and chairs, and provided the private component needed to construct Hach Hall, a state-of-the-art classroom and laboratory facility for the chemistry department.
Whiteford gave students new, active roles in the LAS college.
The student ambassadors assist with student recruitment and
represent the college at events such as Veishea. His Dean's
Student Leadership Council serves in an advisory capacity to
Whiteford; members also learn about leadership during
twice-monthly sessions with the dean and his staff.
During the last several tough budget years, Whiteford's leadership also has been apparent in his ability to compel productive discussions about efficiencies and change in a college with wide diversity of academic disciplines and departments.
Executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman said she will appoint an interim dean later this spring. Nominations for the interim post should be submitted by Feb. 18 directly to Hoffman.
"I've enjoyed working with Mike in two different capacities: from 1993 to 1997, when he was chair of anthropology and I was LAS dean, and since 2007, when I returned to Iowa State to serve as provost," Hoffman said. "I will miss him greatly, but wish him well as he enjoys his grandchildren in retirement."
Hoffman said her intent is to have a new dean in place no later
than summer 2012.