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January 26, 2001

Geoffroy picked as new president

by Diana Pounds
Gregory Geoffroy, the chief academic officer at the University of Maryland, will become Iowa State University president July 1.

"I'm very excited," Geoffroy said during a Jan. 22 press conference, held shortly after the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, named him president. "It's a great opportunity for me to lead a university that I have admired for a very long time."

Iowa State's "biggest strength is great people," Geoffroy added. "I was thoroughly impressed with everyone I met when I was here last week for the on-campus interview."

Geoffroy, who was one of three finalists for the presidency at the University of Kentucky, withdrew from the Kentucky search before he was named Iowa State president.

Asked why he had chosen Iowa State, he responded: "Both are fine universities. I just think that Iowa State is a better match for my own background and interests. As you know, I'm a scientist, and Iowa State has great strength in sciences and technology. It's a great institution. It just felt right."

Geoffroy said he intends to visit campus a number of times between now and July 1 as part of his process of getting to know Iowa State better.

"I have the important job of learning as much as I can about Iowa State as quickly as possible so that when I do arrive, I'm up to speed and ready to hit the ground running," he said.

Geoffroy's annual salary at Iowa State will be $275,000. In addition to his presidential appointment, Geoffroy was appointed professor with tenure in the department of chemistry.

Regents president Owen Newlin said the regents were impressed with Geoffroy's experience, which included stints at two land-grant universities and positions of professor, department head, dean, provost and acting president. Newlin also noted Geoffroy's strong communication skills and emphasis on academic excellence.

Geoffroy (JO-free) has been senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Maryland since 1997. He also served as interim president of the university in 1998. Previously, he was at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, for 15 years. He served in several positions at Penn State, including dean of the Eberley College of Science and professor and chair of chemistry. He has an extensive publication record in chemistry journals and is a member of the board of directors of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. He was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1991.

His research interests include organometallic chemistry. He received a B.S. in chemistry (1968) from the University of Louisville, Kentucky; and a Ph.D. in chemistry (1974) from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

Geoffroy will become Iowa State's 14th president. He will succeed Martin Jischke, who became president of Purdue University in August 2000. Distinguished professor of chemical engineering Richard Seagrave is serving as interim president of Iowa State.

Read comments Gregory Geoffroy made during his public forums on campus Jan. 19.

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