The Iowa Board of Regents met Thursday, and President Wendy Wintersteen delivered an address to the regents on the status of Iowa State.
The board began its meeting by approving all items on the consent agenda.
Three of the items were recommendations made to the board by committees Wednesday.
The three items included changing of the current name of the Iowa State Curtiss Farm Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex to the “Iowa State University Kent Corporation Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex;” accepting of a real estate gift from Mr. Ronny Tharp on behalf of Iowa State as an addition to Iowa State's McNay Research Farm; and permanently closing the Center for Plant Responses to Environmental Stresses as well as the Industrial Assessment Center. The items were all approved by the board unanimously.
Then, Wintersteen delivered an update to the board on the strategic plan that runs from 2017 to 2022.
“As the state’s only land grant university, Iowa State’s strategic plan advances our land grant mission to create, share and apply knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place,” Wintersteen said.
In her presentation titled “Making Iowa and the World a Better Place,” Wintersteen highlighted various ways her administration is serving students and the state of Iowa.
Goal one in Wintersteen’s presentation was “ensuring access to the Iowa State experience.”
“The experience includes practical, global and leadership opportunities to prepare our students for the 21st century,” Wintersteen said. “This experience also includes our growing culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, which we are integrating across undergraduate curriculum.”
Innovation and entrepreneurship were keywords in Wintersteen’s State of the University address given back in September.
In her address, she praised the almost-complete Student Innovation Center for connecting the curriculum with faculty and student innovation and entrepreneurship.
The second goal was “enhancing Iowa State’s research profile.”
“What makes research at Iowa State so exciting is the direct impact that it has right here in Iowa,” Wintersteen said. “Making our people, communities, companies and the economy healthier, stronger and more productive.”
Wintersteen further discussed the importance of collaboration of research programs and industry members.
“In total, 187 companies invested in Iowa State research in the last fiscal year,” Wintersteen said. “Twenty-eight of those companies are headquartered or have a significant presence in Iowa, and 10 have locations at the ISU Research Park. Overall, ISU researchers set a new record for external research funding, securing $261 million last year.”
Wintersteen’s third goal was “improving quality of life for all Iowans.”
“Iowa State faculty continue to excel in transferring their research to the marketplace,” Wintersteen said.
Nearly 100 new patent technology applications were also filed over the past year, and researchers received 32 patents in total. This raised Iowa State’s ranking for U.S. patents to number 69 worldwide.
The fourth goal was “enhancing and cultivating the Iowa State experience.”
“Last fall, the percent of students at Iowa State who identified as U.S. multicultural or international set a record at 24.5 percent of the student body,” Wintersteen said. “28 percent of our faculty and staff are minority. But universities must do much more than simply recruit students from diverse backgrounds.”
During Wintersteen’s presentation, she shared a statistic about fall 2019's Destination Iowa State.
“Nearly 1,200 new students participated in a session called One Cyclone,” Wintersteen said. “This session shared lessons about diversity and the students’ role in creating an inclusive campus.”
Wintersteen’s administration has made efforts to fight against racism and discrimination on campus in recent weeks and months.
The university implemented a temporary chalking policy after abortion arguments took place on sidewalks alongside multiple other events on campus, such as the defacement of Bean House in Geoffroy Hall with a racial slur and social media pictures surfacing of Student Government Adviser Alex Krumm with his face painted black. All of these events culminated in students protesting the events by blocking off Lincoln Way, demanding to speak with Wintersteen.
“This semester we have [engaged] with a new group on campus called Students Against Racism,” Wintersteen said. “We’ve had a number of meetings with the students to hear about their concerns, to hear about their stories, and they presented us with a list of their demands. Just yesterday, we responded to their demands, and those demands are now up on our campus climate webpage.”
Wintersteen ended her presentation by recognizing the 120th anniversary of the Stanton Memorial Carillon — the bells housed inside the Iowa State Campanile.
Additional information on the board’s meetings and agendas can be found online at www.iowaregents.edu.