University of Iowa Provost Wallace Loh new president at University of Maryland

By Dan de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wallace D. Loh, provost at the University of Iowa, has been appointed president of the University of Maryland at College Park, university officials said Monday night.

Loh, 65, will take the lead of Maryland's flagship public university Nov. 1, replacing C.D. (Dan) Mote, who is retiring after 12 years, according to an e-mail sent to members of the university community.

Loh is a native of Shanghai, who holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan and three other degrees, including one in law, from U.S. colleges.

According to the U-Md. statement, the University of Iowa has "increased the number of honor, minority, and international students; improved retention; expanded international exchanges; and increased administrative efficiencies and effectiveness" under Loh's lead.

"Dr. Loh is the right person to lead our flagship university to its next level of greatness," Clifford Kendall, chair of the governing board of the state university system, said in a prepared statement dated Tuesday. The statement cited "his as strong commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service as well as his exceptional ability to move institutions forward."

Loh has more than three decades of higher education experience. As second in command at Iowa since 2008, he has overseen personnel and budgets for the state university's 11 colleges. The University of Iowa has 30,000 students and a $2.6 billion budget.

Loh emigrated at a young age to Lima, Peru, following his diplomat father. After high school, he journeyed alone to the United States. He received a bachelor's degree at Grinnell College in Iowa and a master's from Cornell University. In addition to his doctorate in psychology from Michigan, he obtained a law degree from Yale.

He served as dean of the University of Washington Law School, vice chancellor of the University of Colorado and a dean at Seattle University before going to Iowa as provost of the state flagship.

At Iowa, Loh has been front and center in a campaign to curb excessive student drinking. He and the university have played an unusually public role in advocating for tougher underage drinking laws.

Loh is married with a daughter at Occidental College in California.

Mote is leaving Aug. 31, and Loh's delayed start date means an interim leader will have to step in for a few months.

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