wendy wintersteen

Wendy Wintersteen, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, spoke during her presidential open forum as one of the four finalists for the ISU presidency in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union on Oct. 12. 

The fourth presidential finalist Wendy Wintersteen said Iowa State does not have time to wait for an outside candidate to adapt to the community and its issues. 

Wintersteen, the endowed dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is the only inside candidate to be selected as a finalist and is one of two females selected as a finalist in the last three of Iowa's regent university presidential searches. 

Her open forum was held in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday where she covered the accomplishments of CALS during her time as dean and the campus issues, including budget constraints, maxed out facilities and campus climate. 

"What I bring is a deep understanding of these issues. I know the players, I know the history and the context and I think it allows me on day one to begin the work," Wintersteen said after the forum. "I am so much better prepared because I'm an internal candidate."

Former Senior Vice President for Student Services Thomas Hill introduced Wintersteen with an anecdote. 

Hill said, in 1999, she was heavily pursued by Purdue for a dean position. Once an offer was made, then-Iowa State President Martin Jischke heard of this and called Wintersteen to convince her to stay. 

She informed Purdue that she would be staying at Iowa State after being convinced of the bright future she had a there and the significant contribution she could make.

Thinking that was the end of it, the next day her husband came across an article in the Purdue newspaper that read "Wintersteen turns down Purdue."

Six months later, Jischke took the presidential position at Purdue. 

Wintersteen described herself as someone who can manage a set of complex issues.

Since she was named dean, she and her colleagues raised $250 million. In that same time period, they were able to take the number of donor funded professorships and chairs and increase them from 21 to 45 position. 

She said she is most proud of a joint activity that she was apart of to recruit faculty for awards and increase the number of faculty in the National Academy.

In last five years, they were able to double the number of Iowa State faculty in the National Academy.

Wintersteen then moved on to student success. She said the agricultural entrepreneurship initiative launched in 2004 was estimated to have created about 400 jobs based off of the students who have been through it.

Regarding the theme of all the presidential open forums — which is how each candidate will bring Iowa State to the next level — she listed four steps to proceed with the first being creating a student centered experienced. 

"It's important that all've our students have the opportunity to access high-impact educational experiences, so they too can achieve their full potential," Wintersteen said.

The second step, she said, is to improve research innovation and economic development. She said the way to do this is to build an entrepreneurial culture. 

The third step is improve administrative efficiency. This comes from eliminating unnecessary paperwork and processes, Wintersteen said. She also said communication can be improved as well. 

The fourth and final step was creating a campus climate where students, faculty and staff feel welcome included and supported. 

"How do we accomplish these four goals. I think we need to begin by this process of saying that we have to create an efficient and productive environment," Wintersteen said. 

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