UNI interim president shares plans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UNI interim president shares plans

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As one president heads out the door, UNI does not have to look for someone to fill his shoes, at least temporarily.

For the first time, we're hearing from UNI's interim president, Dr. Jim Wohlpart.

He got the job as the board or regents looks for Bill Ruud's successor.

Dr. Wohlpart was officially appointed to interim during the board's meeting in Ames.

It's a busy few weeks for interim president Wohlpart, as he wraps up his provost duties for the school year, names a temporary replacement to take his spot, and assumes the school's presidential position.

It's a lot to take on, but he said he's confident he can do it, thanks to faculty support and president Ruud's momentum.

University of Northern Iowa's campus might look bare, but Dr. Jim Wohlpart is busy preparing for his presidential duties.

"I was deeply honored to be asked. I also recognized that I'm very blessed with a team of people who can help me with this next stage of this journey. Without that incredible team and this amazing community it might have been more of a challenge  than I think it will be," Dr. Wohlpart said.

He was initially asked to take over for President Ruud a week before the board of regents meeting in Ames, and had this to say, if asked to fill the roll permanently. 

"I'm here very much to serve. As I'm asked to step forward into whatever rolls, I'll step forward into those rolls," Dr. Wohlpart said.

Serving as UNI's provost for more than a year and dean of undergraduate studies in Florida for more than a decade, Dr. Wohlpart says he's confident he can lead the school while regents find a replacement.

"I know that the board at the last meeting talked about the importance of getting some feedback before figuring out how they're going to do the search," Dr. Wohlpart said.

On a lighter note, when I asked UNI interim president Wohlpart if he was moving in to the presidents' house, he had this to say.

"As the interim president I will not being moving into the president's house. I think there is probably some work that needs to be done on it. That's a regular thing that you do when a president transitions out. We'll use this as an opportunity to do some work in the house," Dr. Wohlpart said.

Dr. Wohlpart said he helped start the Florida Gulf Coast University during the 90s with 2,000 students, and when he left, enrollment improved to 14,500.

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