Iowa Board of Regents

Richards, Cownie Elected as Board of Regents Leadership

May 1, 2017

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The Board of Regents, State of Iowa unanimously elected Dr. Michael Richards to serve as president of the Board in a telephonic meeting Monday, May 1. Regent Patty Cownie was elected president pro tem.

Richards becomes the 22nd president in the 108-year history of the Board. Cownie is the 8th president pro tem, which was established in 2003. Their terms as president and president pro tem end April 30, 2018, completing the unexpired leadership terms of Bruce Rastetter and Katie Mulholland. A new election for two-year president and president pro tem terms will occur next spring.

“I am honored to serve as Board of Regents president,” Richards said. “I am pleased to be able to serve the people of Iowa and work to make public higher education in Iowa the best it can be.”

Dr. Richards earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Iowa in 1970 before earning his M.D. from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1974. He worked in private practice for nearly 20 years and is a past president of HMO Iowa, Inc., Healthcare Preferred, Inc., and the Iowa Health Physicians Medical Foundation. Until its sale, Dr. Richards served as vice chairman and managing partner of Quatro Composites in Orange City, Iowa, which specializes in manufacturing carbon composite equipment for the aerospace and medical industries. Prior to that, Richards was Chairman of MEDTEC, a medical services and equipment company. He was appointed to the Board May 6, 2016 to fill the unexpired term of Mary Andringa. His term on the Board expires April 30, 2021.
Regent Cownie earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Iowa in 1966. She has served on the board of directors for a number of community organizations, including the Des Moines Opera, St. Augustin Foundation, Mercy Hospital Foundation, Des Moines Arts Festival and Des Moines Civic Center. Additionally, she is a former Drake University Board of Trustees member. She was appointed to the Board March 2, 2015.

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Brock Ascher


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