Sally Mason

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Sally Mason
Sally Mason introducing Robert Reich - Sep. 7, 2011.jpg
20th President of The University of Iowa
In office
August 1, 2007 – August 1, 2015
Preceded byDavid J. Skorton
Succeeded byBruce Harreld
Personal details
Born (1950-05-29) May 29, 1950 (age 70)
New York
Spouse(s)Ken Mason
Alma materUniversity of Kentucky
Purdue University
University of Arizona

Sally Kay Mason (née Viparina on May 29, 1950)[1] is an American academic administrator. She became the 20th President (and second female president) of University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa on August 1, 2007. She retired on August 1, 2015.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Mason was born Sally Viparina in New York and grew up in New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Zoology, and as such was the first member of her family to graduate from college. She then earned a Master of Science from Purdue University in 1974, followed by a Ph.D. in 1978 from the University of Arizona in Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology.


Mason conducted further research at Indiana University before accepting a position at the University of Kansas in 1981. At the University of Kansas, Mason served as an undergraduate teacher and adviser, a full professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, an acting chair of the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, an associate dean in the University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and finally as the dean of that College. Mason then served as the Provost of Purdue University from 2001 until 2007.[4]


In February 2014, Mason sparked controversy over the issue of campus sexual assault. In an interview published in The Daily Iowan, Mason is quoted as saying that while the goal would be to end all sexual assaults on campus, she ultimately believed that goal to be "probably not a realistic goal, just given human nature.”[5] This statement inspired anger and protests from many members of the University of Iowa community,[6] including a coalition of individuals calling themselves "Not in My Nature"[7] calling for an end to the "rape culture on campus" through a zero tolerance policy, funding for prevention, and sexual assault warning e-mails.[8] The activist coalition also asked Mason to apologize for her comments, which she did on February 25, 2014.[9]


  1. ^ "University Archives: Presidents of the University of Iowa". University of Iowa. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Jeff Charis Carlson and Jason Clayworth (January 16, 2015). "Sally Mason retiring from 'fishbowl' life". The Des Moines Register. Retrieved June 5, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Vanessa Miller, The Gazette (January 15, 2015). "University of Iowa President Sally Mason to retire Aug. 1". KCRG. Archived from the original on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "About the President". University of Iowa. Archived from the original on 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2007-08-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Staff (18 February 2014). "Q&A: Mason talks sexual assault, tuition". The Daily Iowan.
  6. ^ Scher Zagier, Alan; Foley, Ryan J. (12 March 2014). "University Of Iowa Campus Protest Shows Pressure For Action On College Rape". Huffington Post.
  7. ^ "Homepage". Not in My Nature. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06.
  8. ^ Miller, Veronica (February 25, 2014). "University of Iowa students protest, say sexual violence is 'not in my nature'". Retrieved October 24, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Agnew, Sara (26 February 2014). "Sally Mason apologizes for sexual assault remark". The Des Moines Register.
Academic offices
Preceded by
David J. Skorton
Gary Fethke (interim)
President of the University of Iowa
August 1, 2007–August 1, 2015
Succeeded by
Jean Robillard (interim)
Bruce Harreld