The listening sessions are free and open to the public.
There will be a session from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 19 at Dordt College in Sioux Center. It will be in the Campus Center, third floor rooms CA 318-319. The other session will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Johnson County Extension Office, 3109 Old Highway 218 South in Iowa City.
This spring, the Iowa Legislature passed legislation to defund and close the 30-year-old center. Then-Governor Terry Branstad used a line-item veto to remove language that would have closed the center, but signed the bill that removed its state funding, approximately $1.7 million. As of July 1, the center’s only new revenues come from earnings from an endowment established by private giving.
Wendy Wintersteen, endowed dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Mark Rasmussen, director of the Leopold Center, named a visioning task force to hold the upcoming listening sessions. The 11-member task force is co-chaired by Rasmussen and Doug Gronau, who chairs the center’s advisory board. The task force is hosting the listening sessions to hear from attendees on how the center may move forward.