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News in Brief






Remarks from Presidential Budget Forum now online

A text version of the remarks University of Iowa president Sally Mason made during campus budget forums April 8 is now available for viewing on the UI budget web site at

University of Iowa Television (UITV) will list airings of the forums on UITV's web site at

In the meantime, UI faculty and staff are encouraged to continue watching the UI budget web site for updates. Visit for the latest budget information and to submit your own cost-saving suggestions.


UI Health Care announces new voluntary cost-reduction programs

As part of its ongoing efforts to reduce expenses in keeping with the decline in the overall economic situation, University of Iowa Health Care has announced two new voluntary expense-reduction programs.

A "Voluntary Temporary Reduction in Pay" option for FY 2010 is being offered to all eligible UI Hospitals and Clinics and University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine faculty and staff. In addition, all eligible employees of UI Hospitals and Clinics have the opportunity to give back one or more days of vacation time.

These programs follow the initiative of more than 40 senior managers who volunteered to give up 5 percent of their pay for the remainder of FY 2009 and through FY 2010, forego any annual salary increases in July 2009 and forego any incentive compensation for FY 2009.

Although it is unknown how much this latest voluntary effort will save, Jean Robillard, vice president for medical affairs for UI Health Care, is optimistic that savings will be significant.


Momentum Grants awarded to support diversity programs

Four University of Iowa departments have received $25,000 in Iowa Momentum Plus grants, a UI program that offers funds to advance diversity as part of ongoing research and academic programming.

Marcella David, special assistant to the president for equal opportunity and diversity and associate provost for diversity, said the 2009-10 Momentum Plus program had a specific theme: the integration of diversity awareness and inclusion in research, courses and service at the University. The Momentum Plus program, supported by UI Executive Vice President and Provost Wallace Loh and Interim Vice President for Research Jordan Cohen, is consistent with the diversity strategic goals noted in The Iowa Promise, the UI strategic plan.

Four UI departments will receive funding:

  • Nancy Noyer and Bruce Drummond of UI Human Resources Learning and Development, Organizational Effectiveness, for the development of an ICON course for supervisors on supporting staff and faculty with disabilities.
  • Brendon Young and Cindy O'Toole, College of Dentistry, support for the development of a course relating to the treatment disabled patients.
  • Megan Nicpon, College of Education, for the development of a graduate course on working with disabled students for future educators.
  • Helen Schartz and David Klein of the College of Law's Law, Health Policy and Disability Center, to conduct a pilot survey of law schools to create a baseline for disability services at law schools to support a subsequent grant application.

The funds must be expended by December 2009; awards ranged from $5,000 to $7,000 each. The recipients will be asked to share their outcomes in a workshop in spring 2010.


UI Health Care forms international office

University of Iowa Health Care leaders have announced the establishment of an international office to facilitate and coordinate partnerships with health care organizations around the world.

The University of Iowa Health Care International Office will meet a need that is becoming ever more pressing, said Jean Robillard, UI vice president for medical affairs.

Gordon Williams, chief of operations for UI Health Care, will serve as executive director of the new office. He emphasized that the International Office is a budget-neutral initiative that will not increase costs.

Sabi Singh, assistant vice president for operational excellence and quality/safety, will serve as codirector of the office, while Kathleen Barbee, assistant chief of operations for UI Health Care, will be the administrative manager of the new office.

Barbee and Williams are drawing upon their experience of founding a similar office for Duke University that created a successful partnership with contacts in Singapore.

Discussions are under way with potential partners in the Middle East. Staff in the UI Health Care International Office will coordinate their efforts with the University's International Programs administration.


Women to discuss experiences in athletics at public forum

The University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame will host a free public forum, "Winners All: The Experiences of Women in Iowa Sports," at 7 p.m., Monday, April 13.

Five women will share their experiences as athletes, coaches, and administrators; views on the role of sports in girls' and women's lives; and the impact of changing opportunities for participation by women and girls in organized sport.

Panelists for the forum are:

  • Christine Grant, former UI women's athletic director.
  • Jan Jensen, associate head coach, UI women's basketball.
  • Sharon Dingman, head coach, UI women's volleyball.
  • Christina Johnson, visiting assistant professor of health and sport studies.
  • Susan Harman, Iowa City Press-Citizen sports reporter.

The UI Athletics Hall of Fame, located at the intersection of Mormon Trek Boulevard and Melrose Avenue, will be open free of charge from 6 to 7 p.m. on April 13.

For more information, call 319-384-1031.


Public discussions to focus on UI Museum of Art's future

The University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA) will present a free, public program, "When Values Collide: Financial Asset or Cultural Resource," which will examine the often controversial issue of deaccessioning—or selling—art from museum collections, at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 15, at the University Athletic Club, 1360 Melrose Avenue, Iowa City.

The program will feature a keynote address from veteran cultural journalist Lee Rosenbaum. A prominent art blogger and a frequent writer for the Wall Street Journal's Leisure & Arts page, Rosenbaum has often been the first to break the news about museum deaccessioning controversies.

Iowa City–based attorney David Bright, who serves on the American Bar Association's Art & Cultural Heritage Law Committee and the UIMA Members Council, will join Rosenbaum for the talk.

In addition, the UIMA invites donors and interested members of the public and UI community to attend a discussion forum, "Conversation About the Future of the UI Museum of Art," at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 18, in the Bijou Theater in the Iowa Memorial Union.

Audience members will hear from UI president Sally Mason; Wallace Loh, executive vice president and provost; Barbara Eckstein, interim associate provost; and Doug True, senior vice president and University treasurer. Questions from the audience will be welcomed. Seating is limited.


Unwind through Project Art's Springfest 2009

Project Art will host Springfest 2009, a series of performances, lectures, and art demonstrations focused on promoting health through relaxation and stress reduction, beginning Thursday, April 16, at University Hospitals and Clinics.

The kickoff event will feature a lecture on shade trees for the yard by Mark Vitosh, district forester with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, at noon, Thursday, April 16, in the East Room of the eighth floor of University Hospitals and Clinics, near elevator F. This lecture will illustrate the environmental and stress-relief benefits of trees, and will discuss how to select the proper tree.

Visit for the complete schedule for Springfest 2009.


Theatres Mainstage to return to Mabie Theatre with Intimate Apparel

The University Theatres Mainstage will return to E.C. Mabie Theatre for the first time since the 2008 flood invaded the University of Iowa Theatre Building with one of the most produced American plays of recent years, Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel, directed by faculty member Tisch Jones.

Performances will be at 8 p.m., April 16–18 and 23–25, and at 2 p.m., Sundays, April 19 and 26.

Tickets are $17 ($12 for senior citizens and $8 for UI students and youth) and are available in advance through the Hancher Auditorium box office. Any remaining tickets for each performance will be available one hour before showtime at the Theatre Building box office.

The winner of five national awards for best play, Intimate Apparel is the story of Esther, a turn-of-the-20th-century African American seamstress in New York who creates exquisite undergarments for a diverse clientele, including rich white socialites and her friend who is an artistic, world-weary prostitute. At the age of 35, after 18 years living and working in the same boarding house, she doubts her marriage possibilities, especially with the racial limitations facing a black woman in that era.


Recognize exceptional work of faculty, staff members with awards

The University of Iowa Staff Council Awards Committee is accepting nominations for the awards described below. Any member of the University community (faculty, staff, or student) may submit nominations. Think about nominating colleagues, coworkers, those who serve on a committee with you, or any staff member who has made a contribution that you believe should be recognized. Nomination instructions and forms are available on the Staff Council web site:

The 2009 University of Iowa Outstanding Staff Award recognizes staff members who have made outstanding contributions to the University of Iowa (up to 6 awards).

The 2009 Board of Regents Staff Excellence Award recognizes staff members who have made outstanding contributions to The University of Iowa and to the State of Iowa (up to 6 awards).

The 2009 David J. Skorton Award for Staff Excellence in Service to the University of Iowa recognizes individuals who perform exceptional service to the University community (up to 2 awards).

Complete nominations for the awards must include the nomination form; a nominating letter; two supporting letters; the nominee's curriculum vitae/resume; and the nominee's current job description.  All nomination materials must be submitted via campus mail to the Staff Council Office, 606 Jefferson Building, by noon, Monday, May 4, 2009.

Questions regarding the nomination process or for more information, contact Sarah Tallman, chair, UI Staff Council Awards Committee (; or Kathy Klein, past-president, 2008–2009 UI Staff Council (  

All nominators and nominees will be recognized at a reception in July hosted by UI president Sally Mason before the announcement of the 2009 award recipients. Award recipients and nominators will be notified by mid-August.


See what Learning and Development courses are right for you

UI Learning and Development, a unit of Organizational Effectiveness, provides professional development services to faculty and staff. There are many learning opportunities that will support your professional development and growth. Look for classroom instruction on leadership issues for managers, frontline supervisors, human resource professionals, and office professionals.

Check out the following links:

  • To see the latest online newsletter, with listings of current courses and seminars, visit
  • For registration information, log in at the UI Human Resources Self Service site at and click the “My Training” link to register for any available session. This tool will let you see the status and location of a class, get e-mail confirmations, withdraw from a class, check your course registration history, and even do online evaluations. Courses with a fee (Special Events, 7 Habits, Reframing Your Work) will use the printable registration form.
  • To visit Learning and Development's home page, go to



Gene discovery could lead to male contraceptive

A newly discovered genetic abnormality that appears to prevent some men from conceiving children could be the key to developing a male contraceptive, said University of Iowa researchers who reported their findings in the April 2 online edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Although female oral contraceptives were developed more than 40 years ago and have proven very effective for family planning, no similar pharmacological contraceptive has been developed for males. Surveys conducted by the Medical Research Council Reproductive Biology Unit in the United Kingdom suggest that men would be willing to use a pharmacological contraceptive if one were available. Presently, the only contraceptives available for men are condoms or a vasectomy.

The research team, which included scientists from the University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences in Tehran, Iran, discovered the male infertility gene while studying the genetics of families from Iran, where there are population groups that have relatively high rates of disease-causing gene mutations.

Although the team's research with these Iranian families focuses on identifying genetic causes of deafness, collecting genetic information from this population allowed the researchers to identify two families in which male infertility that was not part of a syndrome appeared to be inherited. The affected men's infertility was diagnosed with a routine semen analysis.

Read the full University News Services release at



Perlmutter named director of School of Journalism and Mass Communication

The University of Iowa has appointed David D. Perlmutter to be professor and director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Perlmutter is a professor in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. He will begin his UI appointment June 30.

Perlmutter has also been named a CLAS Starch Faculty Fellow, an award that recognizes and supports the work of outstanding senior faculty whose teaching and research focus on psychological issues related to communication.

A scholar with wide-ranging interests, Perlmutter is the author of five books on political communication, most recently Blogwars: The New Political Battleground, published in 2008 by Oxford University Press. He also wrote Picturing China in the American Press (2007), Policing the Media: Street Cops and Public Perceptions of Law Enforcement (2000), Visions of War: Picturing Warfare from the Stone Age to the Cyberage (1999), and Photojournalism and Foreign Policy: Framing Icons of Outrage in International Crises (1998). He has edited two additional books and written dozens of book chapters and articles in academic journals.

Perlmutter is well known for the P&T Confidential column that he has contributed regularly to the Chronicle of Higher Education since 2001. He is writing a book on the same subject, The Guide to Promotion and Tenure in Academia, under contract with Harvard University Press. He has also published many essays in international newspapers and periodicals.


  • Lavone Thomae, 81, retired secretary I, March 18 in Iowa City. (obit)
  • Thaxter Miller, 92, professor emeritus, March 19 in Fort Collins, Colo. (obit)
  • H. Wayne Johnson, 78, professor emeritus, March 21 in Iowa City. (obit)
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