Iowa Board of Regents

Regents History: August 3-4, 2004

Board of Regents Membership

  • John Forsyth, President, Des Moines
  • Robert Downer, President Pro Tem, Iowa City
  • Amir Arbisser, Davenport
  • Mary Ellen Becker, Oskaloosa
  • David Neil, LaPorte City
  • Owen Newlin, Des Moines
  • Sue Erickson Nieland, Sioux City
  • Jenny Rokes, Cedar Falls
  • Vacant

President Forsyth officially announced that Regent Deborah Turner had resigned from the Board in June, citing “increasing demands in her professional life, most notably in her obligation to patients in her surgical practice,” had made her unable to serve as a regent. Governor Tom Vilsack would appoint Des Moines attorney Rose Vasquez later that year to fill Regent Turner’s unexpired term. Regent Vasquez would be reappointed in 2005 and serve on the Board until 2011.

After a 4,000-student drop in distance education enrollment and the recent approval for the University of Phoenix to begin offering classes in the Iowa market, the Board - notably Regents Becker, Rokes and President Forsyth - discussed the need for expanding the Regents Enterprise’s distance education initiatives. Distance education became a greater priority in the Board’s next strategic plan, and online offerings from all three universities greatly expanded. Distance education enrollment has increased by nearly 60 percent since 2004.

University of Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby provided an update on the fundraising status for the department’s $90 million Kinnick Stadium renovation. Bowlsby reported that the university had raised $5.18 million and that a number of large gifts were pending. The university completed the two-year renovation, which featured new south end zone seating, new locker rooms and the Paul J. Brechler Press Box, prior to the 2006 season.

President Robert Koob of UNI presented the university’s request to name its new arena the McLeod Center in honor of Clark and Mary McLeod’s four million dollar gift. The UNI Arena project began in the late 90s as a 4,100 seat, $14 million arena. Funding issues, disagreements over schematic designs, and other problems delayed the project until November 12, 2003, when the Board gave final approval to begin construction on a 6,100 seat, $20.1 million design. Even then, the project began amid disagreement, with Regents, Forsyth, Nieland, and Neala Arnold voting no and Regent Nieland stating that Regent Neil, who was not in attendance, was opposed to the project as well. The McLeod Center project broke ground just two months later - October 9, 2004 - and officially opened November 18, 2006.

ISU Vice President Warren Madden requested permission to proceed with project planning for the Iowa State Alumni Center to be built between Jack Trice Stadium and Hilton Coliseum. The project broke ground on October 22, 2005 after a lead gift from Bobbi and Roy Reiman jump started the effort. The Reimans, generous Iowa State donors for many years, have numerous campus landmarks named in their honor, including Reiman Gardens, a 17-acre public garden on the ISU campus.

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