On Monday, October 23, it was my great honor to be named the 16th president of Iowa State University.
Thank you to everyone who encouraged and supported me during the search process. Your kind words and best wishes were meaningful in more ways than I can express.
I officially begin my new duties on November 20. As I make this transition, I want to assure you that the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences remains in good hands. We are blessed with a team of talented leaders in our departments, centers, administrative offices and programs. The interim dean, and the next dean, will find the college well-positioned to advance our mission and build on a solid foundation of excellence in the future.
I will work with the Senior Vice President and Provost on the process to name an interim dean of CALS. The university has several high-level positions to fill, and another high priority will be to form a search committee to select the 11th dean to lead our world-renowned and respected College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
I have served with tremendous pride as the tenth dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Over the past 12 years, all the accomplishments we’ve achieved have been made possible by working together as partners and collaborators. We are one of the very best agricultural institutions in the world. We’ve had historic, record-breaking enrollments. Our placement rate is phenomenally and consistently high. Year after year, our faculty’s success in competing for grants and contracts has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars to advance creative science and train the next generation of researchers. We have 40,000 loyal and passionate alumni worldwide. The growth in philanthropy and the number of alumni and friends who support our priorities is amazing.
What’s been important to me as dean will continue to be important when I am president: Maintaining an unwavering commitment to the land-grant university mission. Ensuring we deliver the highest quality student experience, both in and out of the classroom, preparing leaders eager to make a difference in the world. Working to ensure we provide a welcoming, inclusive environment for every single person on campus. Be the leader in high-impact and entrepreneurial science and technology. Deliver research-based extension and outreach that helps Iowans make informed decisions to improve their farms, businesses, communities and families.
The college will build on its momentum in the Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, and continue to make steady progress in its priorities to increase scholarships, enhance agricultural business and entrepreneurship programs, strengthen our reputation as a global college addressing global challenges, position the college to address issues of sustainability and establish innovative animal agriculture facilities.
I look forward to my next chapter — my next adventure — of service to this great institution. In every chapter, I have served joyfully and in the spirit of optimism. I serve in the knowledge that we make progress together as a team. No one person defines a college or a university.
Each of you are a part of what Iowa State University is now and what it will become in the future.
Please stay connected. I welcome your input and continued support as we move the university forward. I remain Forever True. I will do my very best to make you proud to be an alumnus of Iowa State University.
Endowed Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Director, Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station