Iowa Board of Regents

Regents History: January 20, 1988

Board of Regents membership

  • Marvin Pomerantz, President, Des Moines
  • Charles Duchen, Des Moines
  • John Fitzgibbon, Des Moines
  • John Greig, Estherville
  • Percy Harris, Cedar Rapids
  • James Tyler, Atlantic
  • Jacklyn Van Ekeren, Monroe
  • Bass Van Gilst, Oskaloosa
  • Mary Williams, Davenport

The Board approved preliminary schematics for a new $25.1 million Laser Laboratory Building at the University of Iowa. The plans passed amid some controversy over cost, with Regents Fitzgibbon and Duchen asking architect Frank O. Gehry to find savings somewhere in his design. President Pomerantz and Regent Harris argued in favor of the building, mentioning that the new facilities would “attract great scientists,” and “add beauty to the campus,” respectively. This building eventually became the Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories, which opened in 1992.

Two new buildings were approved at Iowa State. First, the $24.4 million Molecular Biology Building project passed unanimously after ISU Vice President Warren Madden and Tom Pearson of Hansen, Lind, Meyer spoke regarding the efficiencies and cost saving measures present in the new building. This was perhaps an ad hoc response to the Board’s questioning of the U of I’s Laser Laboratory Building project costs earlier in the meeting. The Molecular Biology Building opened in 1992.

Additionally, the Board approved a $6 million Center for New Industrial Materials, to be constructed northwest of Iowa State's campus. This project, funded by a $6 million grant from the United States Department of Energy, greatly expanded Iowa State’s existing Applied Sciences Complex. The project resulted in the construction of Building 2 at the ISU Applied Sciences Complex, which opened in 1990 and was quickly expanded in 1991. 

House File 631, the Groundwater Protection Act, was passed by the Iowa General Assembly in May 1987. The act mandated the establishment of centers at each of the three public universities, including the Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination (CHEEC) at the University of Iowa and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State. President Constantine Curris established plans for UNI’s center for the management of solid waste and hazardous waste substances at this meeting. Specifically, the UNI center would be charged with assisting small businesses in disposing of hazardous waste. These plans eventually resulted in the Iowa Waste Reduction Center.

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