Pamela Whitten, the University of Georgia’s provost is among the finalists for the position of Iowa State University’s 16th president. If she wins the position, this would make her the university’s first female president.

The Finalist

Pamela Whitten is currently the University of Georgia- Athens’ academic affairs senior vice-president and provost. If she wins, she would be the first female to take the position as president of Iowa State University. Her expertise is in telemedicine, with a particular focus on how technology could be used to improve health care and overall patient care.

Among some of the groups that have awarded Whitten with research grants are the US Agriculture and Commerce departments, the W.K Kellogg Foundation, the National Institute of Health, and more.

Before working at the University of Georgia in 2014, she worked at Michigan State University for 16 years, starting as an assistant professor and later becoming the university’s Communication Arts & Sciences College dean in 2009. She also oversaw the telemedicine program in Kansas via the University of Kansas’ medical center.

She will reportedly be visiting Iowa State this Tuesday in order to meet its faculty, students and alumni.

She will also be visiting Durham Great Hall at the Memorial Union, and will have a Q&A with the public with regards to her candidacy.

Among the other finalists in the race is: federal agriculture agency director Sonny Ramaswamy, who visited the university on Monday.

The other finalists’ names were not made public yet, and are set to visit the university in the next couple of days.

The Search For President

This marks Iowa State University’s third nationwide search for presidential candidates. In 2015, all finalists for the position were men. In 2016, for the University of Northern Iowa president position, three of the finalists were men.

According to ISU’s press release, there were 64 applicants for this year’s position, and 59 of them were men, and only 5 were women.

The president of the University of Georgia, Jere Morehead, said that he is “pleased” to hear Whitten is one of the finalists for Iowa State’s top job.

“Given her broad experience here and at other institutions, it comes as no surprise that she is being sought after for a college presidency.”

Whitten was also among the top 3 finalists for the University of Tennessee’s chancellor position in 2016. However, the position went to University of Cincinnati’s interim president Beverly Davenport.

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