Kenneth L. Moll (1932–2012)

Image of Kenneth MollKenneth L. Moll, 79, died at his home Wednesday, April 11, 2012, following a long illness. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Iowa City Hospice or to the Communications  Sciences and Disorders Scholarship Fund c/o University of Iowa Foundation.

Kenneth was born October 16, 1932 in Jackson, Missouri, the son of Wilbert and Helen Moll (nee, Roloff). He graduated from Jackson High School and completed a bachelor of science degree at Southeast Missouri State College in 1954. After two years of military service, he came to Iowa City for graduate study in the Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology at the University of Iowa. In 1957, he married Earline Settle of Fayette, Missouri, and she survives him, as well as their children, Jeff and Katy, and four grandchildren.

 Ken received a PhD degree in 1960; from 1960-65, he held joint research-faculty appointments in the Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology and the Department of Otolaryngology. Following completion of a Special NIH Fellowship at the University of Michigan in 1965-66, he returned to Iowa as Associate Professor in the Dept. of Speech Pathology and Audiology (now Communication Sciences & Disorders). He was promoted to Professor and served as Department Chair from 1968-76. Ken joined the University of Iowa central administration in 1976 in the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (now the Provost’s office.) He served in various positions including Associated Dean of Faculties, Associate Vice President and during 1981-82, as Interim Vice President. He returned to his faculty position in 1989 where he taught until his retirement in 1995.

Ken was recognized for his research on the physiological aspects of speech production in normal speakers and those with cleft lip and palate. He held a number of NIH research grants and published extensively in books and scientific journals. He was a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in which he held numerous committee and board positions and served as national President in 1974. In 1984, he received the highest ASHA award: The Honors of the Association.

“To me the defining characteristics of Ken were his intelligence, honesty and integrity,” wrote George Haskell, (PhD, Iowa, 1981).  “When a decision had to be made he would take a stand, tell people what he was going to do and do it.  Sometimes, -- not too often, he was wrong and if events subsequently confirmed that -- Ken was the very first to admit his mistake and move on.  I long for more people of his caliber these days. “

Ruth Bentler (PhD, Iowa, 1987), current Chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders wrote, “Ken continued to be a mentor to all incoming junior faculty like me, even after his return to the department from central administration in 1989. His unwavering support of the department, and the profession in general, was undeniable.  He was a genius at persuading policy change, often allowing for constituents to believe it was their own idea in the first place!”