University of Northern Iowa names next provost, executive vice president for academic affairs
José Herrera will be the University of Northern Iowa's next provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, the university announced in a news release Wednesday.
UNI President Mark Nook said Herrera "brings an impressive combination of scholarly rigor and administrative expertise that will help UNI further deliver on its mission of academic excellence and student success."
Herrera, one of four finalists for the position, still needs to be approved by the Iowa Board of Regents.
The academic affairs division at UNI consists of four academic colleges, continuing and distance education, the school's graduate college and "numerous student and faculty support units and departments."
Herrera is currently Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York. He has also held leadership roles in academic affairs at Western New Mexico University and Truman State University and has been the National Science Foundation's program director for the Division of Undergraduate Education.
He is a biological sciences graduate of Northern Illinois University — holding bachelor's and master's degrees from there — and received a doctorate degree from Kansas State University.
Herrera started his higher education career as a biology professor. He is also an author and lecturer on environmental science themes and has researched and advised on "the challenges and opportunities of first-generation college students and minority-serving institutions," according to UNI.
“I am excited to contribute to a community and state that values learning and academic excellence for all its students,” Herrera said.
Herrera will begin in his role July 12. Patrick Pease, associate provost for academic affairs and a geography professor, will serve as interim provost from June 1 until Herrera's arrival.
More biographical information about Herrera, the other three finalists for the position and recordings of all four finalists' previous open forums are available at provost-search.uni.edu/meet-candidates.
Phillip Sitter covers education for the Ames Tribune, including Iowa State University and PreK-12 schools in Ames and elsewhere in Story County. Phillip can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is on Twitter @pslifeisabeauty.