Board of Regents meets at Iowa State

Iowa’s Board of Regents held their April meeting in Ames, Iowa, inside the Reiman Ballroom of the Alumni Center.

Jack Mcclellan

Iowa’s Board of Regents met on Iowa State’s campus this week to hear reports from all three of Iowa’s public universities.

The meetings took place Wednesday and Thursday in the Reiman Ballroom of the Alumni Center. The board heard the program and facility requests, presentations from each university’s diversity officers and a presentation on Iowa State’s new research centers, to name a few.

William Graves presented Iowa State’s program requests to the board, starting with the master of entrepreneurship. According to Graves, the course’s learning outcomes are centered around testing business ideas, relationship building, strategic positioning and innovation. 

“A master of entrepreneurship degree would complement the wide array of entrepreneurship courses, competitions and hands-on experiences already being offered through the Ivy College and the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship,” Graves said. “In addition, the university’s new Student Innovation Center will provide a learning laboratory-type environment on campus to facilitate student collaboration creativity and coworking.”

Graves also presented Iowa State’s request for a Master of Community Development program. The program would be housed in the Community and Regional Planning Department of the College of Design. According to Graves, the program is an all-online course designed for professionals in the private sector.

Senior Vice President and Provost Jonathan Wickert presented a facility closure request on behalf of the university. The Center for Catalysis was built about 20 years ago. Since its creation, the center’s work has been absorbed by the chemistry department. Without many purposes to keep the center open, the university requested to close it at the end of the fiscal year.

The Board of Regents approved all three of Iowa State’s requests, as well as the specialized retirement incentive Iowa State has developed in relation to the “Reimagining LAS” initiative.

The Campus and Student Affairs Committee heard the annual reports from each university’s diversity officers on the state of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Iowa State’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Sharon Perry Fantini, addressed the board’s questions, giving an overview of the state of DEI efforts on campus and their history.

The Campus and Student Affairs Committee also heard reports on student substance abuse and the ways that universities provide information and support related to student substance abuse. 

The board heard reports from each institution’s respective head. Iowa State’s President, Wendy Wintersteen, highlighted a variety of the accomplishments made at Iowa State. She spoke on the university’s work responding to the Avian Influenza outbreak, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Academy and other ways Iowa State is fulfilling its land-grant mission.

“Workforce development and job placement are truly at the heart of our land-grant mission to provide students with a practical education,” Wintersteen said. “And to that end, we are continually innovating our curriculum with programs that respond directly to the state’s workforce needs.”

Because Iowa State hosted this month’s regents meeting, they had the opportunity to present to the board research taking place at Iowa State. Peter Dorhout, vice president for research, began the presentation by introducing Hongwei Zhang, who leads the Center for Wireless, Communities and Innovation and Baskar Ganapathysubramanian, who leads the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the AI Institute for Resilient Agriculture.

“They are about our land-grant mission to provide access to education experiences for students, create prepared, inventive and diverse workforce and partner with companies large and small to provide innovative solutions to solve global problems…” Dorhout said. “These projects epitomize the triple helix of university industry government partnerships that are designed to invent improve and implement world-changing solutions.”

The Board of Regents will next meet May 31 in Iowa City.