President Leath speaks at Faculty Senate


Richard Martinez / Iowa State Daily

President Steven Leath speaks at the Faculty Senate meeting held on April 8 in the Memorial Union. Leath addressed various issues the Senate had, including some of his plans for the university next year.

Kelsey Bruggeman

President Steven Leath spoke about increasing enrollment and the need for a better ISU experience at the Faculty Senate meeting on Tuesday.

“All and all things are looking good,” Leath said.

When traveling to Kansas City for March Madness, Leath said he was surprised with the number of people who approached him to speak highly of Iowa State.

“I was amazed at how many people who are non-affiliates with Iowa State commented on our university,” Leath said.

Fall of 2014 will be Iowa State’s fifth consecutive year of record enrollment. The university expects to have over 34,000 students next year from all fifty states and over 100 countries. Iowa State is looking for an increase of enrollment around four percent for this fall.

“I’d rather be growing than climbing and destroying the budget line,” Leath said. “We are more diverse than ever. There is no goal on how big we can be.”

A growing university is a burden on faculty and staff, but President Leath said he is looking to gradually expand and make their jobs easier.

Leath also said funding is tight and limited within the university. Iowa State will enter its second year with freezing tuition. The university goal to raise $150 million to offset student debt is going well, Leath said.

“It is something we have to work through together because it is a challenge,” Leath said.

“Alumni have commented on how they want students to be handled just as they were when they attended,” Leath said.

Leath, along with the provost are pushing to hire new staff. 300 new staff members are expected to be hired next year. 

With the large increase in students and faculty, there is a need for office space and labs. Iowa State will be expanding space for some university organizations. University resources such as University Relations and the Student Call Center will be moving to Campustown along Lincoln Way.

“We need to free up space on campus,” Leath said. “We want everyone together where they can work as a team.”

President Leath said he understands that this is not a complete and total solution, but it is a solution.

Kevin Amidon, member of the appeals committee, asked Leath what was his vision for efficiency.

“I want to put as much as we can into faculty and students’ programs and an experience,” Leath said.

He commented on how time and money are important and not a thing to be wasted.

“If we can save x amount of money by doing something different, we have to ask if we want to do that,” Leath said.

Leath said he looks to cut back where he can with wasting the faculty’s time and resources. The goal is to keep motivation and initiatives going.

“The faculty is what brings students,” Leath said.