FAYETTE, Iowa (February 14, 2014) - Upper Iowa University has announced the appointment of two key administrators. Dr. Kurt W. Wood, from Davenport, will become the UIU Provost in charge of all academic programming, student success and student services. Dr. Paula Shipper, from Independence, Mo., will serve as vice president for the UIU Academic Extension, which includes all off-site education centers, the university's online and self-paced degree programs, and the Integrated Enrollment Center (records, applications, registrations, financial aid, recruitment, and advising). Both Wood and Shipper will begin their positions on March 1.
"Upper Iowa is very fortunate to have found these excellent individuals to round out our executive team," said UIU President William R. Duffy II, Ed.D, Ed.S. "Dr. Wood is a UIU alumnus, a successful doctor of chiropractic medicine, and an experienced college administrator. He has been a long-time friend of UIU and is a trustee emeritus of our Board. Dr. Shipper has broad expertise in the administration of off-campus educational programs and strengthens the international experience of our executive team as well. She has already served UIU as an adjunct faculty member and as a member of the advisory board for our masters in higher education administration program. Both Kurt and Paula are outstanding leaders for UIU who will hit the ground running – they know our culture, our students, our challenges, and our potential."
The Upper Iowa provost serves as Chief Academic Officer and is responsible for recruiting and retaining quality faculty; for directing the residence life program on the Fayette campus; for directing student support services throughout the University; for directing enrollment management, including developing strategies for recruiting and retaining students and contributing to student success. The provost ensures that curriculum and programs accurately reflect the mission of the University and align with the strategic plan. The provost provides leadership for academic program planning and development, educational policy, program assessment, faculty evaluation and faculty development.
"Our new provost will help strategically position the University for continuing growth without compromising academic quality and admissions standards in an increasingly complex, interdependent, global, and highly competitive higher education environment," Duffy added. "Kurt was involved in the initial establishment of our online program offerings; he has extensive experience in working with the Higher Learning Commission and ensuring accreditation compliance; and he has collaborated extensively with faculty and extended campus locations to ensure academic integrity and program efficiencies, and he has a keen ability to develop programs to meet market needs. He and his family have a long history of connection to Upper Iowa University, and we are pleased to welcome him and his wife Jennifer back home to Fayette. I do not believe there is a more prepared and finer leader anywhere who could take on the challenges we face today and who is more committed to our University. I firmly believe he is the right leader to be UIU's first provost."
Wood, a 1976 graduate of UIU, has been vice chancellor for clinic affairs at the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport since 2009, from where he earned his doctor of chiropractic degree in 1979. He also served Palmer College as dean of clinics and executive dean for clinic affairs. Prior to joining the Palmer leadership team in 2007, Wood had been on the faculty of the College of Chiropractic at Northwestern Health Sciences University, Bloomington, Minn., since 1987, Named teacher of the year in 2001, he served as department chair, director of clinical services, program coordinator, chair of the College of Chiropractic, and as associate dean of clinical services. He has also been active in private practice and in a number of professional organizations and community service organizations. He is widely published and frequently presents on clinical care and health care administration matters. Wood was elected to the UIU Board of Trustees in 1990 and honored as trustee emeritus in 2009.
"As an Iowa-licensed healthcare provider, I've taken an oath to put the interests of those I serve before my own," Wood told UIU faculty and staff. "My guiding principle when caring for patients, this has extended to my experiences in higher education and will continue to guide me in my role as Upper Iowa's Provost. In fact, I recently came across the 400-year old Provost's declaration from Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland – an oath sworn by an incoming provost before Trinity's governing board. Borrowing heavily from it, I submit to you this pronouncement as I assume the office of UIU Provost: 'To you I affirm my intent to equitably decide all matters put before me without discrimination – [that is] without fear, favor or prejudice; to be prudent and vigilant in conserving and promoting the interests and reputation of Upper Iowa University and its academic programs; and to promote concord and amity among the University's constituents.' Academiae primus – homo semper, or as we best understand our University mantra: University first – people always!"
In her role with UIU, Shipper will serve as the Chief University Officer for the Academic Extension and Integrated Enrollment Center, providing academic leadership, strategic planning, personnel management, budget development and management. Her responsibilities will include developing and implementing strategies for new market development.
"Paula has extensive experience working with academic units, faculty, and staff to establish processes to ensure academic integrity and quality throughout extended campus locations; she has worked extensively with military centers and stakeholders; and she has a tremendous record of creating strategic partnerships with community colleges, businesses and industry to enhance growth," Duffy added. "Paula fully understands the fiscal and operational aspects of extended campus operations. She is a proven leader, motivator, team builder and collaborator, and I have no doubt she is the right leader at the right time to move us forward."
Shipper comes to UIU from Park University in Parkville, Mo., where she is currently executive director of business development, Park Distance Learning. She has been at Park University since 2010, previously serving as director of distance academic services. Other institutions of higher education served by Shipper include the University of Missouri-Kansas City Bloch School of Business; Thunderbird School of Global Management, Glendale, Az.; University of Denver, Daniels College of Business; University of California, San Diego, Calif.; University of North Texas, Denton; and Texas Woman's University, Denton and Houston. Shipper has also been a refugee case worker for Russian and Iranian refugees for the Jewish Family Service Refugee Resettlement Program, San Diego, Calif.; program director for regional business environment courses in China, Africa, South America and Europe; and was part of the Secretary of Defense Capstone VIP Program for the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference. Shipper has been an adjunct professor for the Park University Graduate School of Education, Fort Hays State University masters in independent studies program, and the UIU graduate level MHEA and MBA programs. Shipper earned a bachelor's degree in special education and a masters degree in agency counseling from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of North Texas.
"I look forward to serving and partnering with faculty, staff and students starting on March 1," Shipper said. "At UIU, we have much to be proud of from our past, and we have the ability to create our own positive future. Wherever there is an Upper Iowa student we will serve them – here at Fayette, online, in the military, or at our campus centers -- we will serve them with excellence."
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 6,200 students – nationally and internationally – at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Associate Vice President for Communication and Marketing