Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Feb. 23, 1996

External Affairs finalists to visit

by Diana Pounds

Four candidates for the position of vice president for external affairs will visit campus in March.

The candidates are Murray Blackwelder, interim vice president for external affairs at Iowa State; Sara Foley, vice president of public relations, Loyola University Chicago; Jesse F. McClure, vice chancellor of university relations for The Health Science Center of the University of Tennessee, Memphis; and William A. Polf, deputy vice president for external relations and strategic programs at Columbia University Health Sciences Center, New York.

The new vice president for external affairs will succeed Reid Crawford, who left ISU in September 1995 to become vice president for institutional advancement at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The vice president for external affairs oversees several university units, including Athletics, University Relations, ISU Foundation, WOI AM-FM Radio, University Museums, Alumni Association and Iowa State Center.


An open forum during each candidate's visit will allow the campus community and other interested persons to meet the candidate. The forums will be held at 4 p.m. in the Memorial Union on these dates:

  • March 13, Polf, Gallery
  • March 18, McClure, Gallery.
  • March 25, Foley, Pioneer Room.
  • March 28, Blackwelder, Pioneer Room.


    Blackwelder joined Iowa State in 1991 as president of the ISU Foundation and associate vice president for external affairs. He has served as interim external affairs vice president since September 1995.

    Blackwelder also was executive director of development and executive secretary of the endowment association of Wichita State University, Wichita; and director of development at Rockhurst College, Kansas City.

    At Baker University, Baldwin City, Kan., he held several positions, including director of university relations, develop-ment, annual giving and alumni affairs. He also was president/owner of Arend-Miller Pharmacal Inc., and line planner and merchandiser with Hallmark Cards, Kansas City.

    He received the B.S. (1969) in business administration from Baker University and the master's of public administration (1975) from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.


    Before joining Loyola in 1992, Foley served 25 years with the communications firm Ameritech and affiliated companies.

    In her most recent positions with the communications firms, she was senior communications director of Illinois Bell Telephone and advertising director for Ameritech. She also has served in a variety of advertising, public relations, community relations and publications positions for Illinois Bell and Western Electric Co.

    As an executive on loan to the Chicago Alliance of Businessmen, she served one year as the firm's public relations director.

    She received the B.S. in technical journalism (1965) from Iowa State.


    McClure has been vice chancellor of university relations and professor of family medicine at the University of Tennessee since 1990. He also has served as dean and professor of the School of Social Work at Arizona State University, Tempe.

    At California State University, Sacramento, he served as executive director and professor of the Institute for Human Service Management; dean and professor of the School of Social Work; and director of Afro-American Studies and assistant professor of social work. He also taught part-time at Boston University and Simmons College.

    He received the A.B. in sociology (1967) and the master of social work (1969) from the University of Michigan, and the Ph.D. in social research (1973) from Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass.


    Polf has served as deputy vice president for external relations and strategic programs at Columbia's Health Sciences Center since 1989. Prior to that, he was Columbia's assistant vice president for government relations and director of state relations.

    He also has served as chief research analyst in the New York State Assembly Office of the Speaker; research coordinator with the New York Assembly Speaker's Task Force on Amateur Sports Development; and director of publications of the New York State American Revolution Bicentennial Commission and senior historian of the New York Office of State History.

    He received the B.A. (1967) from San Francisco State University and the Ph.D. (1973) from Syracuse University.

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