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Dr. Barbara Wilson is new University of Iowa president

The scholar of communication studies describes herself as a "facilitator, translator, and energizer."

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Iowa Board of Regents unanimously selected Dr. Barbara Wilson to lead the University of Iowa as president Friday.

Wilson will start her term as president on July 15 with an annual salary of $600,000. 

"First of all, thank you so much to the board. You've been tremendous already and I can tell we're going to have a great working relationship as we go forward," Wilson said Friday. "I want to thank the members of the search committee, there were many of them and they certainly worked hard during this process." 

Wilson was selected from a pool of 79 candidates. 

The Board of Regents said in a press release:

"Wilson brings extensive leadership experience to her role as UI president. Since 2016, she has served as executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs for the University of Illinois System, which enrolls more than 90,000 students across three main campuses and includes a 462-bed hospital. Before that, she served one year as interim chancellor for the Urbana-Champaign campus, a top-ranked land grant research institution with more than 45,000 students and nearly 2,000 tenure-track faculty."

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Wilson is the executive vice president of academic affairs at the University of Illinois. The scholar of communication studies describes herself as a "facilitator, translator, and energizer" and has done extensive research on the effects of media on children.

She says she fosters inclusion through team building.

"When I create teams, what I'm looking for is diversity of perspectives," Wilson said in an April 15 forum. "As a leader, I'm regularly comfortable in those spaces where I'm connecting disciplines and thinking about how to bridge divides and bring people together to solve those thorny problems that we're all faced with today in society."

Watch: University of Iowa President Bruce Herrald announces retirement