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March 7, 2003
Volume 40, No. 8

features

Iowa Writers' Workshop brings home national honor
David Skorton becomes president
On first day, president reorganizes administration
Athletics pays University offices $9.3 million
Redefining 'respect' to combat sexual assaults
Bottling pathogens to keep farms safe
   

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Longevity awards given to 21 employees
UI police offer rape information packet
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David Skorton becomes president

Interim President Willard “Sandy” Boyd, left, President Skorton, and Gov. Tom Vilsack listen during ceremony.

It’s official. Before a crowd of 700 in Hancher Auditorium, President David J. Skorton was installed March 1 as the University’s 19th president.

Skorton, 53, pledges to defend all the University’s departments as part of a vision for improving the quality of the University.

“The sciences will be the basis of a brighter, more diversified economic future for our state and country,” Skorton said. “When joined with the vision and courage of our Board of Regents, business colleagues, the governor, and legislators, some of the fruits of faculty, staff, and student creativity surely will enrich our material existence even as they enrich our imaginations.”

While he pledged to work for advancement of the natural sciences, Skorton said he will also work to build the arts, humanities, and social sciences

“The musician, the dancer, the historian, the printmaker, the sociologist, the translator—these, too, are scholars, pursuing answers just as dear, just as critical as the goals of colleagues in the sciences.”

To emphasize that point, Skorton quoted several haiku throughout his speech. Haiku is a structured, unrhymed Japanese poetry.

Skorton said the University must remain a place of free speech where opinions are valued.

“Contemplating a major war is crucial to this moment,” he said. “Let the University be a true marketplace of ideas for this critical debate.

“In our pluralistic society, reasonable people not only may disagree, but are expected to disagree,” he said.

“Let no opinion be censured or suppressed. Let each one feel her or his opinion, popular or not, is essential to the discussion. Let no one be labeled ‘unpatriotic’ for questioning the necessity of war and the wisdom of our government. And let no one be labeled a ‘warmonger’ for supporting the ideas of the country’s leadership. If such open discussion cannot occur within this campus, then where?” he said.

Article by Anne Tanner

Link to full text of President Skorton's installation speech

 

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