Wendy Wintersteen named Iowa State’s next president


Wendy Wintersteen, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, spoke during her presidential open forum as one of the four finalists for the ISU presidency in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union on Oct. 12. 

Isd Staff

The Board of Regents selected Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Science Wendy Wintersteen to be Iowa State’s 16th president. She is the first woman to serve in this role.

Wintersteen was appointed with a unanimous vote. 

Wintersteen follows current-Auburn President Steven Leath as Iowa State’s president. Leath announced he would be leaving Iowa State in March.

Wintersteen was the last of four finalists to hold an open forum on Oct. 12 where she said Iowa State does not have time to wait for an outside candidate to learn the issues facing Iowa State.

“What I bring is a deep understanding of these issues. I know the players, I know the history and the context and I think it allows me on day one to begin the work,” Wintersteen said after the forum. “I am so much better prepared because I’m an internal candidate.”

At her open forum, Wintersteen listed her accomplishments at Iowa State including raising $250 million with her colleagues, creating approximately 400 jobs with an agricultural entrepreneurship initiative and doubling the number of Iowa State faculty in the National Academy.  

Receiving her doctorate in entomology from Iowa State in 1988, Wintersteen has held a variety of positions at the university since – minus a short stint with the USDA-Extension Service in 1989 to 1990 as the acting national pesticide education program leader.

In 2000, Wintersteen also held a short position as Interim Executive Associate Dean for the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station.

Wintersteen has served as the dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Science since 2006, where she oversees 317 faculty members, 484 staff members and 5,509 students. She works with a current budget of $172 million with $51.5 million in sponsored research.

Additionally, through a $3 million gift, Wintersteen became the first endowed dean in Iowa State’s history, according to her curriculum vitae.

As dean, Wintersteen cited background in fundraising, research, fiscal management, diversity and the student experience.

Currently, CALS boasts a retention rate of 90.4 percent and four-year graduation rate of 63.1 percent. Career placement rate is 98 percent, according to her vitae.

Since 2010, Wintersteen said in her vitae that the number of multicultural students in the college has increased 83 percent under her leadership through implementing diversity programs.

Related content:

Bio — Last finalist announced for Iowa State president position

Forum coverage — Wintersteen speaks in last open forum

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