Iowa Board of Regents hears from universities


Micheal Richards is the president of the board of regents. 

Jack Mcclellan

The Iowa Board of Regents held their February meeting yesterday, hearing from all three of Iowa’s public universities.

The meeting took place from 9 in the morning to almost 4:30 in the afternoon on Wednesday, covering topics from internal audit reports to the universities’ programs’ requests.

Wendy Wintersteen spoke on Iowa State’s current standing as an institution and some of the overarching ideas Iowa State has been working towards. Wintersteen started her presentation with an overview of the strategic plan currently being developed by Iowa State.

“We’re taking an innovative approach to the plan this time to ensure it doesn’t become something just placed on the bookshelf or become stale over a five-year time period of a list of to-do items,” Wintersteen said. “Instead we’re creating a dynamic plan centered on a set of ‘To-Be’ statements that align with our mission our vision and our core values.”

According to Wintersteen, the ‘To-Be’ statements define the goals for what the Strategic Plan Steering Committee hopes to see Iowa State become over the next five years. Under the leadership of Peter Dorhout, Vice President for Research, the committee is working to finish the development of the strategic plan and hopes to have a finalized version to share in April.

During her presentation, Wintersteen also highlighted Iowa State’s ranking as number 16 in the nation for research among non-medical schools. Last year Iowa State received a total of $559.1 million dollars in external funding, including $30.2 million from the National Science Foundation, $30.1 million from the USDA, $47.2 million from the department of energy and an additional $23.1 million from industry research and development.

“Just as President Wilson (University of Iowa) talked about various individuals being named fellows in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Iowa State is pleased to introduce six fellows in our institution,” Wintersteen said. “You heard (Wilson) talk about the importance of this association and what it means for an individual faculty member, whose work has been deemed as scientifically or socially distinguished.”

Wintersteen went on to share more about Iowa State’s students and faculty who are leaving an impact in the worlds of innovation and entrepreneurship. Wintersteen highlighted another ranking Iowa State received, this one from the Princeton Review, naming Iowa State #11 for the best undergraduate entrepreneurship programs.

Wintersteen finished her presentation by welcoming the new Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Sherry Perry Fantini.

After the presentation, Micheal Richards, president of the Board of Regents remarked on the Princeton Review ranking, expressing his satisfaction with the programs. President Richards did not offer any report during the meeting.

The Board of Regents also approved two new centers to be developed at Iowa State, presented by Provost Johnathan Wickert. The Translational AI Research and Education Center will focus on AI’s ability to transform industries like manufacturing, transportation and agriculture. The center will also offer workforce development and training elements to the center’s activities.

The other center approved by the Board of Regents was the Center for Wireless Communication and Innovation. According to Wickert, the center is the first of its kind, a “rural wireless living lab” that looks into different technologies and their deployment in rural communities.

The full Board of Regents meeting can be found here on the Board of Regents YouTube channel. Agenda details for the meeting and future meetings can be found on the Board of Regents website.