Wintersteen touts ‘new era’ going into first full semester as president


Chris Jorgensen/Iowa State Daily

Wendy Wintersteen was named the next President of Iowa State University on Monday. She was unanimously chosen by the board of regents. Wintersteen is the first female to hold the position of President at Iowa State.

Danielle Gehr

Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen addressed key issues as well as recent successes in an email to the Iowa State community on the first day of the semester.

Before bringing up current issues regarding funding, Wintersteen began her first email of the semester listing some accomplishments, from having the largest graduating fall class of 2,400 students  to the football team’s victory at the Liberty Bowl down in Memphis

“This is just a small sampling of the impressive accomplishments and milestones over the past year as we build on academic and research excellence and the high quality student experience,” Wintersteen wrote.

This semester will be Wintersteen’s first full semester as president. She was selected last October after spending the last 38 years at Iowa State working her way up through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to the position of endowed dean. 

“Today is an especially exciting day for me because it marks the beginning of my first full semester as your president,” Wintersteen wrote. “Each day as I climb the steps to my new office in Beardshear Hall, I am reminded of the immense honor and responsibility of this role.”

Wintersteen commented on the news of a possible midyear state budget cuts. Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, D-Ames, said she heard from administrators that there is a proposed $2.5 million in cuts to Iowa State for fiscal year 2018.

The last legislative cycle resulted in cuts to the university’s state funding amounting to $9 million. 

“We expect to learn more tomorrow when Governor Reynolds announces her budget proposal,” Wintersteen wrote. “While the Governor’s proposal will mark just the first step in an extensive budget process, we are stepping up efforts to inform this process by sharing Iowa State’s value to students and stakeholders, our significant impact on the state economy, and our critical need for state support.”

The Board of Regents delayed their final decision on tuition which was scheduled to take place last October. Wintersteen wrote that the Regents’ first reading for a tuition decision will take place in February.

She also wrote that the Board of Regents’ request for $5 million will be appropriated toward financial aid if approved and, as part of the Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, administrators will be pushing for scholarships. 

Wintersteen made sure to recognize some faculty accomplishments. Max Rothschild was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, Iver Anderson was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Theresa Windus and W. Allen Miller were named American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows.

She also spoke of the implementation of a new enterprise software system called Workday. Wintersteen said this system will improve human resources, finances and student business processes and services. 

Wintersteen ended her email by saying after 38 years, she still has much to learn. 

“But one thing I know for sure – our number one strength is our people,” Wintersteen wrote. “Your dedication, creativity, hard work, and caring make a huge difference. I look forward to working with all of you to make Iowa State the best land-grant university in the nation.