Subbaswamy speaks to the Board of Regents

Paige Godden

ISU presidential hopeful, Kumble Subbaswamy, spoke to the Iowa Board of Regents Friday afternoon.

Subbaswamy, provost for the University of Kentucky, said his past experiences would make him a good fit for the university presidency.

“Setting modesty aside, I’m proud to say I’m well liked wherever I work,” Subbaswamy said.

He said he has a passion for education and research in the service of society.

“I have a demonstrated record of student success in all my positions,” Subbaswamy said.

He said during his time at the University of Kentucky, he has helped raise external awards by 30 percent.

Subbaswamy said he was born in India, and came to the United States with $8 in his pocket and a $500 loan for his plane ticket.

He said he had a lot of help from generous mentors.

“I started down a traditional faculty path doing research and professional service,” Subbaswamy said. He said he believes in the collective success of entire departments, which has led him to leadership roles in the past.

“Research for the sake of research is certainly one thing but … research is the conversion of dollars into knowledge. Innovation is turning knowledge into dollars,” Subbaswamy said. “That’s why I think land grant institutions are one of the best inventions the nation has set up.”

Subbaswamy added that he was told a university is home to some of the smartest people on the planet but also home to some of the most opinionated people.

“That’s where leadership comes in, to do the collective work,” Subbaswamy said.

He said some universities aren’t going to make it through the challenging financial times ahead, but he believes he can lead Iowa State to the top.