University of Northern Iowa president Robert Koob this (Wednesday) morning announced he’ll retire as soon as a replacement is selected. Koob has been president of the Cedar Falls institution since August of 1995, and he’ll celebrate his 65th birthday this Friday, October 14th. Koob says his age was a major consideration as he believes the university would find it hard to fill the provost’s opening with him at retirement age.
Koob says there are other reasons to give advance notice of his decision to retire. The university’s board of trustees is on campus this week and the Board of Regents must have plenty of time to conduct a search. Koob says enrollment’s up, most major university buildings have either been updated or are under renovation and the Iowa Legislature has just decided to give the university more state support. “Things are going well,” Koob says. “Better to step away when things are going well than when they’re not.”
Koob is U-N-I’s eighth president and the first to hold a degree from U-N-I.
“I owe this institution almost everything,” Koob says. “When I think back on how it took me from a small-town kid into a reasonably-effective member of society, I mean it truly changed my life and I’ve done my best to try to pay that back in the few years that I’ve been here. I’ve felt very privileged to have a chance to serve here.”