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Former University of Iowa dean with checkered past hired at MSU

April 23, 2014

Margaret Crocco, a former dean at the University of Iowa who resigned after being deemed by her staff to be an unfit leader, was appointed as a tenured MSU professor on Tuesday.

Crocco was also appointed as chair of the Department of Teacher Education within the College of Education. She will have a salary of $214,000.

At the University of Iowa, Crocco was at the center of a controversy alleging university officials ordered the records pertaining to dissatisfaction of her leadership be destroyed, according to news reports from The Des Moines Register. The allegation came after staff members voted no confidence in Crocco as dean.

University of Iowa spokesman Tom Moore said no records were destroyed. He said he could not comment further. 

Crocco did not return calls to her office seeking comment on Tuesday or Wednesday. Her appointment as tenured professor is effective May 16. 

Despite the former controversy, MSU Provost June Youatt, along with the Board of Trustees, appointed Crocco to the position at its April meeting.

Youatt recommended Crocco’s appointment and said the committee considered Crocco’s academic records above all else.

“I don’t know enough about them (the allegations) to be concerned,” Youatt said. “At the end of the day, we have to depend on the recommendations of our faculty around competence of leadership. I’m more concerned about what my faculty say and their recommendations than I am about previous groups.”

College of Education Dean Donald Heller said Crocco was brought to MSU this year as a visiting professor specializing in social studies education.

“What had gone on at Iowa was something that I was aware of, and I believe the search committee had looked into it as well,” Heller said. “As far as I know they (the search committee) had no concerns whatsoever after they had looked into that nor had I.”

Heller said Crocco applied for the position and was chosen from a nationwide pool of applicants.

Heller also said she was unanimously recommended for the position. He could not immediately provide names of faculty on the search committee.


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