The president of the board the governs the three state universities says it will be a tough job to find a replacement for University of Northern Iowa president Robert Koob. Koob announced today that he’s going to retire. Board of Regents president Michael Gartner says Koob had talked with the board about his potential retirement and Gartner says the board advised him its a good time with U-N-I in good shape.
He says, “By any measure, the University of Northern Iowa is a wonderful university. Whether it’s how much the kids learn, how happy they are teacher salaries, graduation rates, any measure. It’s a terrific university. And he’s been very creative in some of the things he’s done, the relations with the Carol campus at D-MACC, his overseas ventures.”
Gartner says their retirement discussion with Koob included a role for him in the future. He says they asked him to stay on and help them think about how a university system can be creative and find interesting new things. He says Koob thought about it and said he’d like to do that. Gartner says keeping Koob involved has great advantages. He says while Koob will be greatly missed next year as the president of U-N-I, Gartner says Koob will still be contributing dramatically to the overall success of the regent universities. Gartner says the retirement now gives them a chance to find a good replacement. He says it will be tough to find that person, “He’s done a first rate job, I don’t think you’ll find anybody who’ll dispute that statement.”
Koob oversaw a record fundraising campaign, but Gartner says Koob’s greatest accomplishment is his concentration on students. He says,”Inoculating students with the wonder of knowledge is something that is very, very, special. And he knows how to do that. He absolutely knows how to do that. You talk with any student up at U-N-I and they talk about Koob in almost saintly tones. So, I think that’s his greatest accomplishment.” Gartner says they’ll put together a search committee soon and begin the process finding Koob ‘s replacement. Koob will stay on as president until that successor is named.