Longtime UI leader Duane Spriestersbach dies at 94

Duane C. Spriestersbach, the University of Iowa alumnus and professor emeritus who served as a dean, vice president, and interim president over a five-decade-long UI career, died April 25 at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City. He was 94.

Spriestersbach—or simply “Sprie” (pronounced “Spree”) to friends and colleagues—received master’s and doctoral degrees from The University of Iowa in 1940 and 1948. He served as Graduate College dean from 1965 to 1989 and vice president for research from 1966 to 1970, when he was named vice president for educational research and development. He also served as interim UI president for seven months from 1981 to 1982, between the administrations of Willard “Sandy” Boyd and James Freedman.

During Spriestersbach’s tenure as vice president, University researchers attracted more than $1 billion in grants and gifts. The Graduate College’s D.C. Spriestersbach Dissertation Prize, presented each year for meritorious graduate student research, honors Spriestersbach’s legacy.

Spriestersbach’s other UI achievements include establishing the University of Iowa Press, launching the Technology Innovation Center and helping develop the Oakdale campus, and starting the Cleft Palate Research Program—one of the University’s longest-running National Institutes of Health partnerships—in 1955.

Read more about Spriestersbach’s life and career at www.uiowa.edu/be-remarkable/portfolio/people/spriestersbach-d.html.

A service is scheduled for 2 p.m., Sunday, May 15, at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City. An obituary can be read at lensingfuneral.myfuneralwebsite.com.