Four finalists selected in presidential search


Beardshear Hall from Central Campus on Sept. 19.

Danielle Gehr

After two days of 75-minute interviews in Minneapolis, the list of eight candidates was cut down to four in the search for Iowa State’s next president. 

The finalists’ names will be announced 24 hours before each arrives for their open forums, which will be Oct. 5-6 and Oct. 9-10. These open forums will allow members of the Iowa State community to give their input on who the next president should be.

“We really value input from everybody at the university. The presidency is a very special position. They impact every single person at this institution. So it’s all students, all staff, all faculty,” said Luis Rico-Gutierrez, co-chair of the search committee. “We’re going to have open forums and when [the candidates] are here, there are going to be special sessions with different groups.”

Rico-Gutierrrez, who is also the dean of the College of Design, said it is important there is community involvement at the open forums, so the students, faculty and staff can have a voice in choosing the next president. 

The 21-person committee prepared 12 uniform questions for each candidate. The eight semi-finalists interviewed were selected out of a pool of 64 candidates. 

On Oct. 23, the Board of Regents will hold a special meeting in Ames to discuss the search with the search committee in a closed session. They will then interview the finalists and choose the next president. 

Iowa State’s previous president, Steven Leath, left to be president of Auburn University in June. Former Iowa State provost and president of University of Northern Iowa, Benjamin Allen, took over as interim president. 

The committee, co-chaired by Dan Houston, the CEO of Principle Financial Group, and Rico-Gutierrez, includes two students, Student Government President Cody West and Graduate and Professional Student Senate President Vivek Lawana. 

Four regents — Sherry Bates, Nancy Boettger, Patty Cownie and Milt Dakovich — are on the committee. The rest of the committee includes faculty, staff, a retired alum and a retired chairman.