The regent university presidents spoke to the Board of Regents during their meeting Thursday with Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen, saying she was surprised at the drop in international student enrollment.
Regent David Barker asked Wintersteen whether the decline in enrollment this year had been a surprise, and if the enrollment projections have been accurate, and what those projections will be in the future.
“We were not surprised that we’re seeing this leveling off, this decline in student enrollment — I will say that I think last year we were surprised by the large decline in international students, and we’re going to continue to be concerned by that — and probably not be able to predict that quite as well,” Wintersteen said.
University of Iowa Bruce Harreld had earlier said there were some “political” reasons for international student numbers declining at Iowa.
The regent university presidents discussed their Fiscal Year 2020 general operating budgets.
Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen said the budget “supports economic development and entrepreneurship at the [Iowa State] Research Park.”
“[The research park] now houses 90 businesses employing 2,000 people, 300 student interns [...] making central Iowa a magnet for high technology, research based growth and business,” Winterseen said.
Wintersteen added as president she is “working hard” to make Iowa State known for “promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship.”
The regents also approved Iowa State personnel appointments and a property purchase as part of its consent agenda Thursday.
The regents approved the appointments of Hilary Seo as interim director of the Iowa State University Library, and the appointment of Jacy Johnson as interim executive director of the new Office of Strategic Relations and Communications.
The purchase of 3.83 acres of land and an 18,200 square foot warehouse at 2105 East Lincoln to serve as the new location for Iowa State’s Central Receiving at a cost of $1.45 million was also approved.