LAS Dean Michael Whiteford announces retirement, replacement to be appointed


Photo: Bryan Langfeldt/Iowa State Daily

LAS Dean Michael Whiteford is retiring at the end of this semester and plans to move to Oregon to be closer to family.

Carmen Leng

When college of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Michael Whiteford announced his retirement Wednesday, Arne Hallam, associate dean of LAS, said his jaw dropped.

“I was just absolutely shocked. Mike is in extremely good health. Mike runs all the time. He’s very energetic. I figured he had at least another five years,” Hallam said.

Whiteford and his wife will join their two sons and grandchildren in Oregon. He said he looks forward to spending time with his family and living in the city of Portland.

“I have had a lot of really good memories being here. I keep thinking about the great people I have worked with and what I have learned from them,” Whiteford said. “The people have been great the whole time. I have good bosses. I wouldn’t trade [Executive Vice President and Provost] Elizabeth Hoffman and [President] Gregory Geoffroy for anything,”

The Catt Center will miss the fun, relaxed and energetic attitude Whiteford brought to work every day.

“We’re really good friends here. He’s tough minded but easy to work with. He never gets upset with people, which makes for a very comfortable work environment here,” Hallam said.

Hallam said Whiteford will be missed, and the process of appointing a new dean can take up to a year. As of now, an interim will be selected.

Hoffman will appoint an interim dean later this spring. Any nominations for the interims should be reported to Hoffman.

Hoffman has appointed Jonathan Wickert, College of Engineering dean, and David Holger, associate provost, to co-chairman on the search committee for Whiteford’s position. Hoffman welcomes suggestions to fill any other spots on the search committee.

There were two types of challenges for being dean for Michael Whiteford — personnel management and dealing with the budget.

Arne Hallam said he believes these are three qualities the new dean should have, “appreciation for all the parts of LAS, a vision for what LAS can do and someone who really understands finances and budgets.” 

Hoffman, Wickert and Holger will host two open forums to discuss search committee membership, the search process and characteristics to be looked for in the new dean.

The forums are scheduled for:

· 8-9 a.m. Thursday,  302 Catt Hall

· 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23,  302 Catt Hall