Listening session held for CALS dean search


Jillian Alt/Iowa State Daily

Dean of the Ivy College of Business, David Spalding, and Associate Vice President for Research, Guru Rao, hold the CALS listening session in the Memorial Union Gold Room on Monday at noon.

Jill Alt

Co-chairs of the search committee for the next College of Agriculture and Life Sciences dean David Spalding and Guru Rao held a listening session in the Memorial Union Gold Room on Monday regarding the search. 

A variety of students, faculty and staff attended the listening session, raising questions on the process and raising concerns about what they’re looking for in the next CALS Dean.

Several representatives from the CALS Student Council requested that during the search for the next dean, Spalding and Rao make sure that the candidates they select to visit the university be willing to work closely with students at Iowa State.

A lecturer on the committee, Virginia Hanson, spoke on that matter, saying that President Wendy Wintersteen did an excellent job of this while she was the CALS dean prior to being selected as Iowa State’s 16th president in October.

“When Wendy [Wintersteen] was CALS dean, students felt like their problems were her problems,” Hanson said. 

Another concern raised at the listening session was the impact of other major universities also holding searches for deans of agriculture including West Texas A&M and Oregon State University, and the affect that this competition might have on the applicant pool.

Other attendees raised concerns over a potential bias towards certain programs, which Spalding and Rao ensured would not be an issue.

Spalding is currently the dean of the Debbie and Jerry College of Business at Iowa State and Rao is the associate vice president for research at Iowa State.

Another listening session will be held in the CCUR Auditorium of the Food Sciences Building at 4 p.m. on Friday. Those who cannot attend can join the live webinar here [join ID: 298365885] or join by phone at (669) 900-6833.  

More details can be found here.