Iowa Board of Regents

April 1, 2020 Meeting Recap

April 1, 2020

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The Board of Regents held a virtual meeting April 1, 2020. Key items reviewed by committees and the Board are outlined below. Click here for the complete agenda.

Virtual Meeting
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Regents held a virtual meeting, rather than meet in-person at the Iowa State University Alumni Center. The Board announced the change March 12, following its directive to Iowa’s public universities to move toward virtual instruction. President Richards declared a Regents state of emergency on March 18, with the institutions announcing their intent to extend virtual instruction to the end of the spring semester on the same day.

More Information: Coronavirus Resources Page

Selection of President and President Pro Tem
Dr. Michael Richards and Patty Cownie were unanimously reelected as President and President Pro Tem, respectively, of the Board of Regents. Their terms run from May 1, 2020 to April 30, 2022.

Emergency Authorizations
The Board ratified the March 18, 2020 declaration of a state of emergency issued by President Richard, in addition to all actions taken pursuant to that declaration. 

Property and Facilities Committee
The Board gave permission to proceed with project planning for the third floor renovation project of the UI’s Bowen Science Center and approved project descriptions and budgets for two UIHC projects. At Iowa State, schematic designs, project descriptions and budgets were approved for a $75 million Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL). The new facility, funded largely by state appropriations, will dramatically expand the VDL’s capacity to provide diagnostic services for Iowa livestock and poultry producers.

Read More: Iowa State VDL Seeking Expansion

Academic Affairs Committee
Two honorary doctorates were approved to be conferred by Iowa State at a future commencement ceremony. Dr. Subra Suresh, president of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and 1979 alum, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science degree. Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc., and 1986 alum, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. 

Representatives from the universities addressed the board on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts on their respective campuses. Additionally, the faculty tenure report was discussed along with 2020-21 proposed promotion and tenure actions.  

Read More: Tenure at Iowa’s Public Universities   Diversity and Inclusion at Iowa’s Regent Institutions

Investment and Finance Committee
University faculty members presented to the Board on the merits of passive investment strategies. Marquette Associates, Inc., the Board’s investment advisor, presented the quarterly investment report.

Audit and Compliance Committee
Auditor of State Rob Sand presented the state audit reports. Board Chief Audit Executive Patrice Sayre presented internal audits.

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Committee
UIHC’s Brooks Jackson, VP for medical affairs and Artz Dean of the Carver College of Medicine, and Suresh Gunasekaran, associate VP of UI Health Care and UIHC CEO, presented an update on the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board approved a six percent rate increase for UIHC.


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