Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Iowa State University student Zack Leist, a junior in agricultural business, international agriculture and economics, to the Board of Regents on Monday.

Zack Leist

Under state law, one of the nine regents must be a full-time student at one of the three public universities at the time of their appointment. The previous student regent was Rachael Johnson, who graduated from the University of Northern Iowa May 2018.

Johnson, whose term was set to end in 2021, announced her resignation in March. Leist will fill the position through the rest of Johnson’s unexpired term ending April 30, 2021.

“It is a great honor to be asked to serve as a regent,” Leist said in a press release. “I know this is a big responsibility and I will do the best I can to learn and serve on the board. I hope that I can use my knowledge and skills to best represent students from Iowa State, Iowa and UNI. I am looking forward to this exciting opportunity.”

The President of the Board of Regents, Mike Richards, said in a press release he welcomes Leist’s appointment to the board.

“We look forward to working with him and getting his views on issues that come before the Board," Richards said. "The perspective of a current student is critical as we continue to strive to provide a top-quality education to our students.” 

The regents govern Iowa’s three public universities, along with the Iowa School for the Deaf and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School.

The regents approve budgets, set tuition, hire university presidents, evaluate their performances and approve academic programs, among other responsibilities.

This year, the regents are expected to raise tuition at Iowa State as part of their June 4-6 meeting. The vote scheduled for Thursday would raise tuition by 3.9% for resident students and 4.9% for nonresident students.

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