The Board of Regents, the overseer of all three large Iowa public universities and two special preschool and K-12 schools, hosted a meeting Thursday where they discussed the addition of a new masters degree, faculty tenure reports and the state audit, and awarded Robert Easter with an honorary Doctor of Science Degree.
The Academic Affairs Committee voted unanimously to recommended approval of a request for a new degree at Iowa State University.
A Master of Science in Event Management, a completely online degree program administered by the department of apparel, events and hospitality management in the College of Human Sciences, would come to Iowa State in the fall of 2019.
“Events and meetings are generating on average $263 billion annually in the U.S.,” said Dr. Ann Marie VanDerZanden, associate provost for Academic Programs at Iowa State University. “Because this is a fully online program it will include folks from all across the country and around the world.”
Dr. Rachel Boone, chief academic officer, presented the 2019-20 proposed promotion and tenure actions to the Academic Affairs Committee. There were 242 recommendations total, with 70 being from Iowa State University.
The committee voted unanimously to recommend approval to the board while also extending congratulations to faculty that receive this award.
Additionally, the committee discussed the Annual Faculty Tenure Report, where provosts from each university discussed the challenges they face with tenure compared to peer groups.
“At Iowa State University, our number is probably lower compared to our peer set,” said Jonathan Wickert, senior vice president and provost of Iowa State University.
Wickert attributed the problem to the growth in student enrollment and decreases in funding causing student-faculty ratios to drop.
“With reductions in state appropriations that we have all been responding to the past number of years, we have not been able to keep up with faculty hiring in order to maintain student-faculty ratios,” Wickert said. “It’s very challenging for us to remain in a competitive position.”
Rob Sand, the state of Iowa auditor, presented the State Audit Reports to the Audit and Compliance Committee.
“There's not a lot to talk about. Which is, when you’re sitting in front of me, a good thing,” Sand said. “The reports look pretty good this year.”
Sand briefly covered the audits and then thanked the regent staff for being very cooperative.
Within the consent agenda the board passed, Robert Easter will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from Iowa State University for his scholarly work in animal science and swine management.
Tuition rates for the academic year 2019-20 were not discussed except for comment from board president Michael Richards during his board president report.
“I recognize this delay in a first reading of tuition rates is frustrating for students and their families,” Richards said. “However, we will only move forward with tuition rates after we know what the state will provide us.”
The next Board of Regents meeting will be June 4-6 at Iowa State University. Board agenda and additional information can be found at www.iowaregents.edu.