Issue: Ag Convocation Notes

NOTES FROM THE COLLEGE

CONVOCATION, SEPT. 6

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LINK TO DEAN ROSS’S CONVOCATION NOTES

For a PDF of Dean Ross’s presentation at the College of Agriculture’s fall convocation, go to: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/news/convo01.pdf. Also, in the recent Ag Alumni Forum newsletter, Dean Ross and Senior Associate Dean Wendy Wintersteen answered questions on the short- and long-term responses to reduced state allocations. A link to that story is: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/news/budgetforum.html.

NEW FACULTY, STAFF, ADMINISTRATORS INTRODUCED

Department leaders introduced new faculty and staff who joined the college during the past year. A list of new faculty and staff is available at http://www.ag.iastate.edu/news/newfacstaff.html. Dean Ross also acknowledged new department or program leaders, including Steve Fales, agronomy; Stephen Howell, Plant Sciences Institute; Jeff Iles, horticulture; Susan Lamont, animal science; and Ramesh Kanwar, agricultural and biosystems engineering. He also announced other recent administrative changes, including: Tom Loynachan has been named associate department head of agronomy, focusing on undergraduate and graduate programs; Lynn Clark is the interim department chair of botany, filling in for David Oliver, who is on sabbatical through the end of the year; and a search committee will be formed to select a new chair for the Department of Plant Pathology, which has been led by Ed Braun since 1996.

UPDATE ON COLLEGE BUDGET REDUCTIONS

The College of Agriculture had $3.1 million in reductions of state funds. The college has lost 18.5 faculty positions, 23 P&S positions, 16.7 merit positions and 18.7 graduate assistants. Funds for supplies and services were reduced by $335,000.

THE REDUCTIONS’ IMPACT ON COURSES

Budget reductions also affected several agriculture courses: 11 were cancelled; 16 had increases in class size; four will be offered in alternate years rather than every year; and one in development has been delayed.

DRAFT ON RESTRUCTURING: FEEDBACK NEEDED BY SEPT. 21

A Committee on Structures, chaired by Duane Enger of zoology and genetics, has developed a draft of guidelines for restructuring departments in the college. The deadline is Sept. 21 for comments on the draft. Comments should be sent to the dean’s office. A link to the report is: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/news/resrep.html.

RESTRUCTURING THE LIFE SCIENCES DEPARTMENTS

A faculty and staff meeting will be held at 3 p.m., Sept. 24, to discuss a proposal to restructure life science departments. The proposal would involve four departments (biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, botany, microbiology, and zoology and genetics) in the creation of two, the Department of Molecular Biosciences and the Department of Biology. A link to the reorganization plan is: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/news/biology.html. The two new departments would be jointly administered by the colleges of agriculture and LAS. Discussion on the reorganization began two years ago. The Sept. 24 meeting will be held in the Cardinal Room, Memorial Union. Other restructuring discussions are ongoing between the departments of animal ecology and forestry.

LISTENING TO STAKEHOLDERS

Several efforts are underway to listen to stakeholders’ concerns and comments on the college’s future. The dean is organizing an Ad Hoc Committee on Strengthening to serve as a sounding board for advising the dean on structural, programmatic, operational, communication and new-initiative issues. The committee will include faculty members and stakeholders, including people with national experience in government and higher education. The college’s Executive Council will meet Sept. 20 to discuss college issues. On Oct. 12, Dean Ross and Vice Provost for Extension Stan Johnson will meet with commodity group leaders. Later in the year, Dean Ross will make several community visits, similar to those he made last winter.

THE COLLEGE’S MESSAGES

Dean Ross said the college’s messages to stakeholders include: the college takes a broad view of agriculture and higher education; the college will continue a strong emphasis on production; it will build stronger links with all stakeholders; it will strive for better recognition for its strong programs in order to attract the best students, gain more access to human and financial resources, and earn more friends and supporters; the college will strengthen its capacity to address Iowa issues and opportunities.

A GOOD FOUNDATION

Despite budget pressures, Dean Ross said the college has a good foundation. Points of pride include:

- The college has more learning communities than any other.

- Job placement in agriculture is very high.

- Faculty are recognized leaders.

- College programs are recognized for their excellence and impact.

- The college has had outstanding success in winning grants.

- The college’s outreach has impact on the things that are important to Iowans.

OPEN FORUM WITH PRESIDENT GEOFFROY ON SEPT. 18

Faculty and staff are encouraged to attend a Sept. 18 open forum with President Geoffroy. It will begin at 4 p.m. in the Ensminger Room (Room 1204) in Kildee Hall. The president will spend the afternoon visiting the college.

SEARCH FOR THE NEW DEAN OF AGRICULTURE

Dean Ross encouraged faculty and staff to participate in the process that will result in hiring the next agriculture dean. The search committee hopes to bring candidates to campus this fall.

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AG ONLINE

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EDITORS

Brian Meyer, bmeyer@iastate.edu, and Ed Adcock, edadcock@iastate.edu

Phone: (515) 294-5616 Web site: http://www.ag.iastate.edu/aginfo/

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