The University of Iowa’s losing a key figure from one of its most famous programs. The University’s Writer’s Workshop was founded nearly seventy years ago and has produced some of the world’s most famous authors including Flanery O’Conner, John Irving, Jane Smiley and Kurt Vonnegut. Frank Conroy has run the program since 1987 but he announced this week that it’s time for “new blood,” and he’ll step aside from management of the program, though he’ll remain as a teacher for five years. Conroy had surgery last year for colon cancer but says he’s doing fine. He will not get to write the next chapter — under school policy, he doesn’t get a role in the choosing of his successor.