Iowa State’s search for a new president

Maggie Curry

Last spring, when it was announced former President Leath would leave campus, a presidential search committee was formed. The committee is co-chaired by Luis Rico-Gutierrez, Dean of the College of Design, and includes eight faculty members, two students, one staff member and representatives from the alumni association, ISU Foundation and Ames community.

Student Government President Cody West and Graduate and Professional Student Senate President Vivek Lawana are the only two students on the presidential search committee. 

The committee is assisted by a firm that was chosen by the Iowa Board of Regents, a group of nine volunteers who oversee the three public state universities.

The search process goes through multiple stages.

In the ‘pre-search’ process, the firm tried to get to know as much as possible about the community and what the community wanted in its next president.

Then, the firm generates presidential nominations, with candidates sending in letters, detailed resumes and five references. From there, eight to ten semifinalists are chosen for interviews, and between three and five candidates then come for campus visits.

May 1

Search Committee meets

  • Charge delivered; confidentiality
  • Search process/timeline
  • Position attributes/requirements
  • Communication/advertising discussed

June 5-7*

Listening sessions at ISU and with community

June 12-13*

Listening sessions at ISU and with community

June 30

Search Committee completes draft advertisement

July 6

President search launches
Online advertisements placed

July 21

Print advertisement in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Aug. 24

Deadline for applications (best consideration)

Sept. 12*

Search Committee meets

  • Selection of semifinalists; questions developed

Sept. 13

Consultants conduct listed reference checks

Sept. 26-27*

Search Committee meets

  • Neutral site interviews with semifinalists
  • Finalists identified

Sept. 29

AGB Search begins due diligence process on finalists

Oct. 9-13

Campus visits for finalists

Oct. 23*

Board of Regents special meeting (Ames)

  • Search Committee reports to Board of Regents
  • Board of Regents interviews finalists
  • Selection of President-elect