Dean's Message

Daniel Robison headshot
Daniel J. Robison

I welcome you to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University, one of the world’s very best institutions for education, research, extension and outreach in agriculture, food, life sciences, natural resources and much more.

The Right Place, the Right Time. I want you to know: You’re in the right place at the right time to make a difference in the world. In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, or CALS, you’ll engage your purpose and passion to understand the world around you, make it more productive and improve the condition of people, communities, economies and landscapes wherever they are.

The CALS Advantage. We are both local and global, broad and deep — and determined to give you the “CALS Advantage” to find your voice to advocate, to develop the creative and entrepreneurial mindset you need to innovate, to master your discipline and to lead.

It’s About Life. We emphasize the word “life” in the name of our college — because all we do takes in life in all its forms, all its opportunities and all its challenges. The world needs you. 

Our #1 Priority. The roots of our college stretch back to Iowa State’s very beginnings. We build on more than 160 years of excellence in agricultural research, education and extension. And excellence attracts excellence. Students are our number-one priority, and every day you’ll make us proud. I want you to know that we’ll do everything possible to help you pursue your goals and dreams here.

Support X 4 Million. We’ll support you in numerous ways, including financially. We are proud to award more than $4 million in scholarships every year — a number that continues to grow, thanks to generous alumni, friends and supporters. Most importantly, you’ll feel at home among a community of emerging leaders. Here you’ll have the Big 12 Conference university experience in our college that feels like a small community — a home away from home. Our excellent advisers will make sure you feel part of our community, and are well-prepared to work hard to become an outstanding leader as a student and in your chosen field.

World-class Mentors. We present you with opportunities to see why our university motto is “Science With Practice.” Every day our faculty and staff deliver research programs that address Iowa needs and global challenges. We invite you to learn by working side-by-side with mentors doing world-class research and providing science-based information needed for decisions about our lives today and in the future. 

Outstanding Careers. Students should be prepared to be eagerly sought after by employers. We recently recorded an historically high 99.2 percent placement rate for new graduates. That’s amazing. Our placement rate has been 97 percent or higher for more than two decades. The bottom line: Employers will compete for you. Every fall semester they show up in droves to meet you at our largest agricultural and life sciences student career fair in the nation. Organizations everywhere and in every sector, public and private, want our graduates. Once you get that diploma, everywhere you go — in Iowa or the farthest reaches of the world — you’ll find Cyclone alums doing, achieving and making a difference!

Again, I extend a warm welcome to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. We’re glad you’re here. Let’s get started together on your next great adventure!

Daniel J. Robison
Endowed Dean's Chair
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences