Wintersteen talks to Board of Regents about Iowa State’s accomplishments.


Iowa State University President, Wendy Wintersteen, informs the Board of Regents about the successful fundraising and innovation taking place at Iowa State.

Finn Mcnally

The Iowa Board of Regents listened to a presentation from Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen about the university’s projects and developments during their meeting Thursday. The Board also heard from the institutional heads at the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.

Wintersteen spoke about the Student Innovation Center which held a belated opening celebration in September. She said the building is a differentiator in helping students see what they can access at Iowa State. The building includes labs, shops and workspaces where students can learn and experiment.

Wintersteen included a quote from Gov. Kim Reynolds who spoke highly of the Student Innovation Center.

“[The Student Innovation Center] is a playground for STEM majors or any student with an inquiring mind and big dreams,” said Reynolds.

Wintersteen said that the center is funded both publicly and privately. The Iowa Legislature contributed $40 million and donations added up to $44 million.

She also presented on Lisa Schulte Moore, a professor of natural resource ecology and management at Iowa State University, who became Iowa State’s first ever MacArthur Fellow. The MacArthur Fellowship, commonly referred to as the genius grant, is awarded annually to U.S. citizens who have shown “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”

Moore has been working on a project with prairie strips to reduce soil run-off and nutrient run-off with perennial plants. The MacArthur Fellowship has granted her $625,000 to put towards her research.

The Iowa State Student Government met with the Regents prior to the meeting along with student government representatives from UNI and U of I. They discussed mental health and student worker shortages.

Julia Campbell, the president of Iowa State Student Government and a senior in agricultural business and economics, said she shared stories and statistics from campus about mental health with the Board. She said they talked about ways to improve counseling on campus.

“Similar to career services, how they’re decentralized, each college has their own career services, each college could potentially, down the road, have their own counselors,” said Campbell. “We have counselors for our athletics departments but maybe to see one in the college of ag, engineering, human sciences and so forth to support the faculty staff and students in their respective colleges.

The Board voted to authorize the President of the Board of Regents, Michael Richards, to direct the institutions to take action that he deems necessary to address the requirement of any executive orders, state or federal laws, regulations, guidance or requirements regarding mask, physical distancing or vaccination requirements to prevent or mitigate COVID-19.

This was the final Board meeting of the calendar year. The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 11-12, 2022.