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Ben Allen, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, (515) 294-0070
David Gieseke, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (515) 294-7742
Annette Hacker, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- Michael Whiteford, associate dean for administrative affairs in Iowa State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been named interim dean of the college effective Sept. 1.

Whiteford, who currently directs budget and personnel matters for the college, also is a professor of anthropology and served as department chair for 10 years. He will lead the college during the search process to replace former Dean Peter Rabideau, who last month accepted the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs at Mississippi State University. The search committee will be formed in September, according to Ben Allen, vice president for academic affairs and provost.

Allen said Whiteford's 31 years of experience at Iowa State will serve the university and the college well during the transition.

"He is respected by students, faculty and staff," Allen said. "He is committed to teaching, research and outreach, and is internationally recognized for his social anthropological research in developing nations."

Whiteford earned a bachelor's degree from Beloit College (Beloit, Wis.) in 1967, and master's (1970) and doctorate (1972) degrees from the University of California -Berkeley. He has been a member of the Iowa State faculty since 1972.

Whiteford's research interests focus on alternative curing practices and healthcare decision-making processes in Latin America. He has worked in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. Whiteford's research has been published in "Medical Anthropological Quarterly," "Human Organization," "Medical Anthropology," and "Social Science and Medicine." He is co-author (with John Friedl) of an introductory anthropology textbook, "The Human Portrait." With his brother, Scott, Whiteford edited "Crossing Currents: Continuity and Change in Latin America." Whiteford also has edited the Society for Applied Anthropology's quarterly "Newsletter" for the past eight years. He has taught 17 courses at Iowa State.

"Mike Whiteford is an accomplished scholar, an award-winning teacher and an experienced department chair and administrator," said Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy. "We are delighted that he has agreed to lead our largest college as interim dean."

Editors: A downloadable photo of Whiteford is available at


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