Administration / President's Council

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Dr. William R. Duffy II, President  

Dr. William R. Duffy II

Biography of Dr. Duffy

 Ismael Betancourt Velez

Ismael J. Betancourt Vélez 
Vice President of Student Life and Auxiliary Services

Ismael Betancourt has been with Upper Iowa University since 2012. Mr. Betancourt provides leadership to and supervision of Student Life and Auxiliary Services, which includes Housing and Residence Life, Counseling and Wellness, Recreation Center, Student Activities, Student Government Association, Outdoor Pursuits, Disability Services, Dining Services, Campus Store, Bookstore, Print Shop, Mail Room, UIU Downtown Property, Security, Education Abroad, Intensive English Program, and International Student and Scholar Services.

Mr. Betancourt holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business and International Studies, and an Executive Master’s Degree in International Business. Both degrees are from Saint Louis University.


Abigail Byman
Compliance Coordinator

Abigail Byman joined Upper Iowa University in May of 2018. Her first employer after law school was Loyola University of Chicago, where she provided legal services to the University as staff attorney, assistant general counsel, and associate general counsel. She then became the first general counsel and university secretary at the University of Scranton. After spending the bulk of her career as in-house counsel, Ms. Byman ran her own consulting business for four years, providing legal and consulting services to colleges and universities, while also becoming certified as a compliance and ethics professional. More recently, Ms. Byman worked in academic labor relations at California State University at San Bernardino and in equal opportunity compliance at North Dakota State University.

Ms. Byman obtained her bachelor’s degree, majoring in government and international relations, from Carleton College in Northfield, MN and her law degree from the University of Denver College of Law. Her responsibilities at UIU include coordinating compliance activities, making sure that applicable laws, regulations, and policies are followed, and assisting with policy development, risk management, communication, and training.

 Kathy Franken

Kathy Franken
Vice President for Enrollment Management

Kathy Franken has been with Upper Iowa University since 2008 and became the Vice President for Enrollment Management in September of 2015. Franken provides leadership and direction for all enrollment, registrar, student success, retention, operations, and financial aid throughout the university including the residential Fayette campus, Online, Center locations (domestic and international) and Self-Paced modalities.

Franken earned her B.A. degree from Wartburg College, her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Upper Iowa University and has over 25 years of experience in higher education. Franken and her husband, Chuck, have three children Stacey, Chris and Jordan and three grandchildren Payton, William and Charlie. Kathy and Chuck reside in Fayette.


Rick Hartzell
Vice President for Athletics

Rick Hartzell started his tenure as Director of Athletics at Upper Iowa in January of 2018. Hartzell’s responsibilities include oversight, leadership and direction of Upper Iowa’s Division II athletics program which includes 23 varsity sports, and over 60 full and part time staff members and 445 student-athletes competing in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, and the GLIAC.

Hartzell earned his B.A. in Physical Education and English from the University of Northern Iowa and his M.A. in Educational Administration from UNI as well. He also has completed his Ph.D. work from the University of Iowa in Higher Ed Administration (ABD). Hartzell was the National AD of the Year in 2008 while at UNI. He and his family, Jill (Doctor of Chiropractic) and boys Jackson and Jace reside in Cedar Falls.

 Marty Parsons

Marty Parsons
Vice President for Finance and Administration

Marty Parsons joined UIU as the Vice President for Finance and Administration in April 2019. Marty has more than 35 years of experience in higher education financial administration. Most of his career was at the University of Michigan. In recent years, he has held VPFA positions at a couple of community colleges and at two small, state, regional universities. He is committed to providing support for the academic and student affairs areas of our University to ensure the best possible experience for our students. Marty attended the University of Michigan, and has been active in the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) for several years. He lives in West Union, and has a permanent home with his wife Sandy and two dogs just north of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

 Joan Poor 

Dr. P. Joan Poor

Dr. Poor joined Upper Iowa University in 2017 as the Provost. Prior to joining Upper Iowa University, she served five years as the Provost at universities in Illinois and Missouri. Before moving in to the Provost role she served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in Minnesota.

From 1998 through 2010, Dr. Poor worked as an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Maine, as Visiting Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and as an economics professor at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where she earned tenure and held numerous leadership roles including Coordinator/Chair of the Environmental Studies Program, Faculty Finance Delegate on the Board of Trustees Finance, Investment and Audit Committee, and as Assistant to the President for Planning. While at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, she was awarded the Hobart Houghton Fellowship at Rhodes University in South Africa in 2008, and was an Invited Resident Fellow at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Oxford, England in 2007. She has numerous peer-reviewed publications in the areas of environmental, natural resources and cultural heritage economics with research focusing on public goods and non-market valuation.

Dr. Poor has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics, and a Master of Natural Resource Management degree, both from the University of Manitoba, as well as a Ph.D. in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Aaron Wedo
Director of Human Resources

Aaron Wedo has been with Upper Iowa University since 2018. Mr. Wedo’s roles and responsibilities include leadership of the Human Resources team as well as serving the University community as the Title IX Coordinator. Prior to arriving at Upper Iowa, Mr. Wedo served as a Human Resources Manager with UnityPoint Health as well as holding HR and operations leadership positions with Target Distribution in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Mr. Wedo graduated summa cum laude from Upper Iowa University, receiving his B.S. in Human Resources Management.

 Andrew Wenthe

Andrew Wenthe
Vice President of External Affairs

Andrew Wenthe has been with Upper Iowa since 2005. Wenthe's responsibilities include leadership of the Office of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Development as well as the Office of Communications and Marketing. Wenthe also provides leadership on regional economic development initiatives, government and community relations, and efforts to secure grant and foundation support.

Wenthe earned his B.A. in Political Communications from the University of Northern Iowa and his Masters in Higher Education Administration from Upper Iowa University. Additionally, he served for six years in the Iowa House of Representatives and currently serves as the Mayor of the City of Fayette.

 Holly Wolff

Holly Wolff
Executive Assistant to the President and
Assistant Secretary of the Board of Trustees

Holly Wolff has been with Upper Iowa University since 2005. Ms. Wolff began her time at UIU in Facilities Management and Events Management before transitioning to the Office of the President in 2012. Ms. Wolff’s responsibilities include the day-to-day management and scheduling of the President’s Office, and assisting with the management and coordination of the Board of Trustees. Ms. Wolff is actively involved in University Strategic Planning and the Facilities Planning Committee.

Ms. Wolff graduated cum laude from Upper Iowa University with a B.A. in Communications and is currently enrolled in UIU's Master of Business Program. As the recipient of the Erma K. Ledgerwood Scholarship in 2008, Holly has been paying it forward as an active member of Team Peacock since 2006, riding RAGBRAI to raise money for University initiatives and student scholarships. She and her husband, Tim, have three children, Ashten, Katie and Carson. Holly and Tim reside in Fayette, Iowa.