Oman to discuss Iowa’s strategic plan

Erica Cross

The State of Iowa’s strategic plan for the future will be laid out for ISU students today.

David Oman, chairperson for the Iowa Strategic Planning Council, will be speaking to ISU students at 7 p.m. in Room 160 of the Scheman Building.

Oman will address the Council’s 2010 strategic plan for the future of Iowa. The plan, which was submitted to Gov. Tom Vilsack, includes several proposals to strengthen education in the state, create more employment and recreation opportunities and encourage immigration to Iowa.

Alfred Ho, assistant professor of political science, said the new plan is essential to retain young people in Iowa.

“The population trend in Iowa is getting older; many young people are leaving,” he said. “We need labor — without it, businesses won’t come to Iowa.”

Steffen Schmidt, university professor of political science, also said the plan is important since “Iowans care about [their] future.”

Though some Iowans are pleased with the new strategic plan, Ho said many don’t want to increase immigration to Iowa because they have a bad perception of it.

“Sixty percent of Iowans are opposed to immigration,” he said. “They think immigrants are low-wage, uneducated workers.”

Schmidt said another factor may be because of the potential added stress to school systems in the local communities.

“When a huge number of people from different cultures who don’t speak English come to a state that does speak English, it can be very costly,” he said. “It can also lead to tension.”

Though the Iowa Strategic Planning Council is still ironing out the details, Ho said he believes Gov. Vilsack will adopt the plan.

“We are still under consultation, but things look good,” he said.

Schmidt said he thinks the plan will fit the state’s needs.

“Many of the recommendations will be implemented, some may need to be fine tuned, but most will be implemented,” he said. “They generated a list of ideas and boiled them down.”

This will not be Oman’s only visit to the ISU campus during November.

“[Oman] will be part of a panel discussing immigration and economic development,” said Pat Miller, program coordinator for the Committee on Lectures. Miller said the panel discussion will be at noon on Wednesday in the Pioneer Room of the Memorial Union.