Iowa Board of Regents

Regents History: July 16-17, 2003

Board  Membership

  • Owen Newlin, President, Des Moines
  • Debora Turner, President Pro Tem, Mason City
  • Amir Arbisser, Davenport
  • Neala Arnold, Bettendorf
  • Mary Ellen Becker, Oskaloosa
  • Robert Downer, Iowa City
  • John Forsyth, Des Moines
  • David Neil, LaPorte City
  • Sue Nieland, Sioux City


  • President Newlin welcomed two new deans to the University of Northern Iowa. Jeffrey Cornett was appointed Dean of the College of Education, effective July 1, 2003 and would serve in that capacity until 2007. Cornett currently is chair of the Department of Foundations and Secondary Education at the University of North Florida. Newlin also welcomed Farzad Moussavi as the new Dean of the College of Business Administration. Moussavi, who had been at UNI since 1985, noted the sense of community was the reason for his long tenure with the university. He served as dean until 2015 and currently serves as UNI’s Bradford Chair in International Business.


  • President Newlin also called for a moment of silence for former Iowa State president Robert Parks. Parks, who passed away just three days before the meeting, was ISU’s 11th and longest-serving president. He presided over the most dramatic expansion period in ISU’s history during his 21-year tenure (1965-86) and is the namesake of Iowa State’s Parks Library. First appointed as an associate professor on September 16, 1948, Parks served ISU for more than half a century. “Everyone in the Regent community and in the ISU family is deeply saddened by the loss of President Parks,” Newlin said.


  • The Board approved $2.95 million in funds for phase two of the Old Capitol restoration and building improvements project at the University of Iowa. Phase one, nearly complete, included repairing extensive damage to the capitol dome, cupola and bell caused by a massive fire that occurred November 20, 2001. The Old Capitol, built in 1842, reopened after five years of renovations on May 6, 2006.


  • After much debate, the Board moved to allow UNI to proceed with schematic designs for its still unnamed arena project. Regents Turner and Neil made separate motions to delay the university’s project requests until September, citing concerns about documentation and business plan materials. Assurances from UNI President Robert Koob and arguments in favor of the project from Regent Downer eventually led to the Regents moving forward. Final approval to begin construction on the arena project, later known as the McLeod Center, was given in a 5-3 vote later that November.
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