University of Iowa

Center on Aging

To: 
Deans, Directors, and Departmental Executive Officers
From: 
P. Barry Butler, Executive Vice President and Provost
Date: 
July 17, 2014
Subject: 
Center on Aging

Since 1990, the UI Center on Aging has facilitated interdisciplinary research, education, and service efforts dedicated to understanding the aging process and improving the health and well-being of older Iowans.  Over the years, the UI has also developed many other areas of strength related to aging—dealing with translational research and clinical care, gerontology, geriatric teaching and training, and population research.  Our most recent effort in this area is the Aging Mind and Brain Initiative (AMBI)—established in 2010 as part of the university’s strategic Cluster Hire Initiative—which has brought to campus nine new faculty in aging-related areas of study, and continues to grow.

Our goal now is to leverage these existing strengths by promoting synergy among them.  To this end, we will re-focus the mission of the Center on Aging, giving it a new responsibility for promoting the integration of existing and new efforts in the field of aging.  The current co-directors of AMBI, Bernd Fritzsch (professor and chair of the Department of Biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) and Susan Schultz (professor and vice-chair for clinical translation in the Department of Psychiatry in CCOM and associate director for clinical research of the Center on Aging), have agreed to assume leadership of the center to advance this new priority.

While no existing units or programs will report to the center, they will be able to work through the center to identify opportunities for collaboration.

I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Dr. Bob Wallace, who has directed the Center on Aging since 2000.  Under his leadership the center has done very important work on behalf of older Iowans, and it is due to his efforts that the center is now positioned to take on a broader role.  I also want to thank Dr. Brian Kaskie, who has served as associate director for public policy for the Center on Aging since 2001.  I am grateful that Drs. Wallace and Kaskie both will continue to serve in key roles: Dr. Wallace as a member of the Center on Aging Advisory Board, and Dr. Kaskie as a member of the AMBI Executive Committee.

I am excited about the possibilities presented by this new effort.  If you have questions about it, I encourage you to contact Professor Fritzch (bernd-fritzsch@uiowa.edu) or Schultz (susan-schultz@uiowa.edu).

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