Editorial: Student win in strategic plan doesn’t mean fight is over


Iowa State University President Steven Leath listens to a result of an audit during a Iowa Board of Regents meeting in the Great Hall of the MU on Feb 25. 

Editorial Board

The 2017-2022 strategic plan for Iowa State University was released March 30 and introduced students and faculty to what could lie ahead throughout the next five years. As the university continues to rapidly grow, preparing for the future is vital for all of the things that exist on campus in order to continue working smoothly.

It’s also incredibly important to show that all of the growth is not hindering improvements or over-shadowing the smaller important things. While Iowa State continues to get bigger, it’s important that it also continues to get better in terms of student life and the overall education process.

Four main goals, along with subgoals and actions are included in the strategic plan. The main goals include ensuring access to the ISU experience, enhancing the university’s research profile, improving the quality of life for all Iowans and continuing to enhance and cultivate the ISU experience.

All of these goals are excellent, and if executed correctly, will “position the University for excellence in academics, research, service, economic development, and the overall Iowa State experience,” according to a release of the strategic plan from ISU President Steven Leath.

Planning for the future of a university that is home to 36,000 students — a number that will most likely continue to grow — is not an easy undertaking. Many moving parts and a million things that could be omitted or pushed aside for the sake of keeping up appearance need to be kept in mind. However, based on this strategic plan, it seems that those running this campus have taken note of what needs work based on student feedback and the current cultural climate.

The 2015-2016 school year has seen more ups and downs than anyone could have foreseen in terms of diversity and inclusion on Iowa State’s campus. This has resulted in many students coming forward saying they have had experiences that caused them to feel unsafe, which is why the first subgoal of main goal No. 1 is so important.

This first subgoal states that the administration wants to “Improve the ISU Experience for underrepresented students by enhancing a transparent diversity and inclusion ecosystem.”

The fact that this has been listed as an integral part of the next strategic plan means that as a result of students standing up for what they felt was unjust, the administration is working to make a change, and that is a huge victory for ISU students. However, this does not mean the conversation ends or the problem is magically solved. This just means that students have been heard, and it should be a motivation for students to continue speaking up when they feel something on this campus needs to be changed.