Iowa Board of Regents searches for new ISU president

Kaleb Warnock and Paige Godden

The Iowa Board of Regents will meet in April to discuss potential qualities they will be looking for in a replacement for Gregory Geoffroy as president of Iowa State.

“It’s one of the most important roles of the Regents to select the right person for that position,” said Board of Regents President David Miles.

Miles said it typically takes several months to conduct a search for a new president.

Although they do not want to disclose anything specific, there are certain qualities they will be looking for in a president and the Board of Regents will establish a dialogue with several committees, including students and faculty from Iowa State.

“We clearly want someone with leadership skills that can lead a large, complex, multifaceted organization and has an understanding of how higher education works,” Miles said.

Miles wanted to emphasize, though, that the recent budget crunch will not affect the selection process or the future of education at Iowa State.

However he did say that he “very much expect[s] that financial challenges will affect what we expect. I don’t think anyone will shy away from this.”

Geoffroy’s ambition and dedication to the university has brought a lot of prestige to the position, and Miles is optimistic about potential applicants.

“I think it’s an extremely attractive position because it’s extremely well-regarded for its education and its research,” Miles said. “I think we’ll have some great candidates who present themselves for the position at the university.”

Miles said the Board of Regents will probably be conducting a nationwide search for a new president.

In past searches for presidents, the Board of Regents has set up a task force to pick three or four candidates to choose from.

What sort of things will the Board of Regents be looking for? Miles didn’t want to get too specific, but a few of the things they would like to see in a candidate are:

  • Proven success in leading a university
  • Experience in a senior-level position
  • A vision for the future
  • Understanding of all of the challenges facing universities
  • An individual with strong leadership skills
  • An understanding of higher education
  • Most importantly, to advance the mission of the university and education in Iowa

And what do students want to see?

  • More personable, many students didn’t even know what the president does
  • Open-mindedness and willingness to work with students
  • A better connection with the student body
  • Experience leading in similar situations
  • Transparency in his job duties