University of Iowa Press Champion Duane Spriestersbach Passes Away

Duane C. Spriestersbach, the primary force behind the expansion of the University of Iowa Press in 1984, died April 25 at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City. He was 94.

Spriestersbach—or simply "Sprie" (pronounced "Spree") to his many friends and colleagues—is the author of Psychosocial Aspects of the “Cleft Palate Problem” (1973) one of the first books ever published by the University of Iowa Press, as well as The Way It Was: The University of Iowa, 1964–1989, published by UI Press in 1999. Former director Holly Carver said, “Sprie's creative energy, practical know-how, and wide-ranging perspective made him an invincible force for good for the UI community. I will be forever grateful for his financial and organizational support—so generously and charmingly given—during the expansion of the UI Press.”

Spriestersbach earned master's and doctoral degrees from the UI 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. His numerous UI achievements include launching the Technology Innovation Center, helping develop the Oakdale campus, supporting the establishment of the Center for the Book, and starting the Cleft Palate Research Program—one of the university's longest-running National Institutes of Health partnerships—in 1955.

Read more about Sprie’s life and career in this June 2010 profile <>. See for information about the May 15 memorial service.