Cornelia Lang, Joshua Weiner appointed Associate Deans by College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Lang will oversee undergraduate education; Weiner will guide research
Friday, May 1, 2020

Cornelia Lang, Joshua Weiner
Associate Dean appointees Cornelia Lang, Joshua Weiner

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) has appointed two faculty members to Associate Dean positions.

Professor of Physics and Astronomy Cornelia Lang will serve as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, and Professor of Biology Joshua Weiner will become Associate Dean for Research. Both appointments are effective July 1, 2020.

CLAS Dean Goddard welcomed Lang and Weiner to the college's faculty leadership.

"Professor Lang and Professor Weiner are creative thinkers with valuable expertise in their areas," Goddard said. "I look forward to their partnership in guiding our college's mission during the coming years."

Goddard also expressed his gratitude to the CLAS community.

"I want to recognize the excellent work of the search committees for these positions, who conducted their work in extraordinary circumstances during this semester's campus shutdown," said Goddard, "and I am grateful for the thoughtful contributions to the search process from faculty and staff from across our college."

Cornelia Lang joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty in 2002. She earned her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests focus on understanding the astrophysics at the very center of our Milky Way Galaxy and of other nearby galaxies. She uses radio telescopes at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in New Mexico, as well as satellites such as the Hubble Space Telescope. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Iowa Space Grant Consortium, and several UI Internal Grants. She serves as chair of the Working Group on the Galactic Center of the International Astronomical Union.

Lang enjoys teaching introductory astronomy courses, in addition to teaching and mentoring at other levels. The Director of Undergraduate Studies for her department, she received the Collegiate Teaching Award in 2007 and the President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence in 2013. Lang is active in curricular development and assessment, currently serving as chair of the CLAS General Education Curriculum Committee, and has played a key role in developing and coordinating the UI's "Big Ideas" general education courses. She also is co-chair of the Student Success Working Group of the UI Path Forward initiative, which is responsible for implementing the university's strategic initiatives concerning undergraduate education. 

Lang has been committed to outreach and public engagement, receiving the CLAS Outstanding Outreach and Public Engagement Award in 2018.


Joshua Weiner of the Department of Biology earned his PhD from the University of California, San Diego, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is Associate Director of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute, and focuses his research on molecular mechanisms of neuronal differentiation and neural circuit formation. His research has been continuously funded since 2004, the year he joined the Department of Biology faculty, through multiple National Institutes for Health grants and foundation awards. He has authored more than 60 publications, generating almost 7,000 citations.

In addition to his successful research program, Weiner is an innovative teacher and mentor. The former Associate Chair for Graduate Education in his department, he has mentored 11 PhD students and 25 undergraduate researchers, and received the Graduate College's Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award in 2018. He developed a popular general education course called "How the Brain Works (And Why it Doesn't)," and received the Collegiate Teaching Award from CLAS in 2017. He co-founded the interdisciplinary undergraduate neuroscience major, which has seen rapid growth in enrollment.

Weiner is interested in the interactions between science and the arts and humanities, and plans and executes outreach events exploring those connections.


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.