Reception welcomes new LAS dean

Elizabeth Holmgren

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences welcomed Beate Schmittmann as its new dean Monday in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.

“This is our first official welcome for Beate Schmittmann. We are welcoming her to the university and the college,” said David Oliver, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

More than 200 guests attended in order to formally meet Schmittmann. Among the guests were faculty members of the college, as well as some interested students. While attending the welcome reception, guests had a chance to sign a welcome board for Schmittmann and introduce themselves to the new dean herself.

“I think that a lot of people are here because they want to meet her, and they want to hear what she’s got to say and what her plan is for the future of the college,” Oliver said.

A brief presentation was given during the reception. Oliver started by thanking the college for the opportunities and cooperation that was provided for him while serving as the interim dean. Oliver ended his statement by sharing his positive opinion on Schmittmann.

“I have a tremendous faith in the new dean,” Oliver said.

Elizabeth Hoffman, executive vice president and provost, followed Oliver. Hoffman was part of the hiring process. She emphasized that the committee had been working with a fantastic pool of candidates, but Schmittmann stood out among the potential new deans.

“One of the great hires that I have made will be Beate Schmittmann,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman expressed her belief that Schmittmann will prove to be a vital part of the college.

“She brings a wealth of experience and such a fresh look,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman then introduced Schmittmann to the stage. She began by expressing her excitement and gratitude.

“I feel incredibly welcome at this place. It’s been a wonderful community so far,” Schmittmann said.

Schmittmann shared her belief that the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is an important part of the campus.

“If we speak as a college, I’m sure we will be heard because we carry so much of the university’s weight,” Schmittmann said.

Although Schmittmann acknowledged the importance of providing an excellent education for students, she also spoke of her interests to further grow and invest in the research and scholarly mission. She believes that research is a fundamental part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“Our teaching mission [alone] does not define the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” Schmittmann said.

Schmittmann ended her statement on a note of gratitude.

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you,” Schmittmann said.

Schmittmann started her position as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on April 2. Schmittmann had been working in the physics department of Virginia Tech prior to her arrival at Iowa State. She received her M.S. in Germany and her Ph.D. in Scotland.