Iowa State Presidential Finalist Dale Whittaker Withdraws from Consideration

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Dale Whittaker, the provost of the University of Central Florida and one of four finalists announced for the position of Iowa State University’s next president, has withdrawn from consideration, citing his interest in continuing his work at the Sunshine State university.

“This was a difficult decision because Iowa State is an excellent institution that values student success and produces impactful research,” Whittaker said in a statement provided by Board of Regents spokesman Josh Lehman. “I appreciate how warmly Mary and I were welcomed to campus. At this time, I’m committed to keeping our momentum moving forward at the University of Central Florida.”

The Informer has reached out to Whittaker and will update this post if he responds with further information about his decision.

The announcement leaves three finalists for the position: Sonny Ramaswamy, the Obama-appointed director of the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture; University of Georgia provost Pamela Whitten, who recently won the endorsement of the Iowa State Daily student newspaper; and ISU agriculture college dean Wendy Wintersteen, who some view as a shoo-in for the position but has been criticized for her controversial ties to Big Ag at the university.

The Board of Regents is expected to make a final decision Monday after interviewing the remaining candidates and receiving a recommendation from the university’s 21-member presidential search committee.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.