Iowa State University 2015-16 Year-in-Review

Enrollment soared in fall 2015 as Iowa State University recorded its ninth consecutive year of enrollment growth. The 36,001 students represented a 3.7 percent gain over fall 2014. Iowa State – for the third consecutive year – was Iowa’s largest university and served the largest number of resident students among the Regent universities. The student body was the most diverse ever with 8,366 U.S. multicultural and international students from 116 countries.

Those students have bright futures when they become graduates. Within six months of graduation, 95 percent of Iowa State students are employed or engaged in further education.

With enrollment growth comes faculty growth. Sixty-plus tenured and tenure track faculty hires over the past year combined with a lower-than-average number of faculty resignations will bring faculty numbers to approximately 1,990 in fall 2016, up from the previous fall’s 1,973. Warren Madden, senior vice president for business and finance, retired after 50 years of service. A number of new leaders were appointed to university posts over the past year. Two new senior vice presidents came on board: Martino Harmon (student affairs) and Kate Gregory (university services). Reginald Stewart became ISU’s first vice president for diversity and inclusion. Miles Lackey, the president’s chief of staff, assumed the additional role of chief financial officer. Other new leaders include: Laura Jolly, dean of the College of Human Sciences; Beth McNeil, dean of the library; Michael Norton, university counsel; Erin Baldwin, student health director; Mohamed Ali, dining director; and Margo Foreman, equal opportunity director.

President Steven Leath’s plan to raise $200 million to help more students afford an education and graduate with less debt is well on track. In its fourth year, the five-year “Moving Students Forward” campaign has brought in $189 million. 
New construction projects also are on track. The renovation of the 113-year-old engineering building, Marston Hall, proved to be an engineering feat in itself, involving interior demolition of all four floors. Jack Trice Stadium achieved bowled-in status, along with a beautiful new end zone club facility and scoreboard. The new Economic Development Core Facility at the ISU Research Park brought Iowa businesses and industries one-stop access to ISU expertise. 

The Kingland Building in Campustown exemplifies a model partnership between university, city and business. The new facility, which houses employees from the university, Kingland System software company and CVS Pharmacy, is part of a major Campustown revitalization effort to bring business, retail development, and housing to the area and allow Iowa State to free up much needed space on central campus for students and faculty. 
ISU attracted a total of $425.8 million in sponsored funding; this includes a 12% increase ($252.5 million) in funding to support university research projects that address critical societal issues.

Among ISU faculty notching top awards over the past year were College of Engineering dean Sarah Rajala, who was named national engineer of the year by the American Association of Engineering Societies, and Distinguished Professor of food science and human nutrition Diane Birt, named to the National Academy of Medicine. In spring 2015, Distinguished Professor in agriculture and life sciences Catherine Kling became the first woman at Iowa State to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences; she subsequently was honored with the President’s Chair in Environmental Economics.