Leath at stu gov

University president Leath addresses Student Government about the future of ISU and answered questions from senators.

Faculty Senate met Tuesday to approve motions for a name change of a College of Design major and a merger of the anthropology and world languages and cultures departments.

ISU President Steven Leath also spoke to the Faculty Senate, laying out his goals for the upcoming semester and touching on some of the changes that will be happening around Iowa State in the near future.

With student enrollment increasing each year, Iowa State is beginning to enter new territory that presents new challenges going forward.

"We're at a tipping point," Leath said. "It's a huge time of change on this campus. We need to be thoughtful and careful.”

Leath emphasized the importance of reducing the student-to-faculty ratio, which currently sits at 19 students for every one faculty member. The goal, Leath said, was to get the ratio around 16:1.

Lowering the ratio to meet that goal would mean hiring 300 new faculty members without enrolling another student, forcing the university to discuss all options regarding enrollment standards and tuition costs, while keeping competitive salaries in place for current faculty, Leath said. 

Leath continued to highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion on campus, saying the goal is to have continuos improvement in regard to those issues. 

Jonathan Sturm, chairman of the Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Reginald Stewart, vice president for diversity and inclusion, are taking initiative on the issue, reaching out to faculty for input and suggestions on how the university should move forward.  

"We want to be welcoming and inclusive faculty," Sturm said.

Various building projects are slated to happen in and around campus. Some of the projects include additions to Bessey Hall, improvements to Reiman Gardens and various new developments in the ISU Research Park such as a restaurant and an Ames Racquet and Fitness center. 

Fundraising for projects saw gains of $167 million last year, surpassing the goal of $100 million. As of Jan. 31, this year's total has reached $74 million and is well on its way to meet the $100 million goal.

A number of administrative positions are opening up, and the search has begun to fill each position. The positions include director of equal opportunity, General Counsel, dean of the College of Human Sciences, chief of police and Memorial Union director.

The senate approved a motion unanimously to change the title of bachelor of design to bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary design because of conflicts with accreditation.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design announced last May that accreditation for all art and design programs is in jeopardy until regents approve the name change. 

A motion was also passed unanimously by the senators to merge the anthropology and world languages and cultures departments.

The move will take advantage of the existing synergies between the units' undergraduate degree programs, as well as create collaborations in teaching and research, the plan read. 

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