Dear LAS faculty, staff and graduate students,
I am pleased to bring you a message filled with good news. As a result of all the hard work by faculty, staff, and graduate students, Iowa State students did really well in their courses last fall.
Last week, Provost Wickert reported that student performance during the fall semester was consistent with previous years. Despite initial concerns about academic performance during the pandemic, 89.6% of Iowa State University undergraduates finished the semester in good academic standing, compared to 88.5% in Fall 2019. In addition, 78.3% of undergraduate students earned a grade of C or better in all of their courses, compared to 77.5% in Fall 2019.
We also had a very successful first-ever winter session. Students finished it with really good grades and instructors reported excellent student engagement in their courses. Winter session also helped to make up for part of our tuition revenue shortfalls this year. More than 2,000 students took advantage of the winter session, which helped some students graduate earlier than planned.
On top of that, the efforts of faculty and staff to retain this year’s students was also successful. Individual outreach to students and additional efforts of many across campus helped the university and the college exceed projected enrollment of students returning for spring semester.
Thank you for your efforts and your commitment to student success. Because of you, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a place where students can thrive, even in the most challenging conditions.
The university is also off to a reassuring start with COVID-19 test results. You can find the new improved weekly tracking report here. Please remember that, regardless of state mask mandate changes, Iowa State mask and other safety guidelines remain unchanged. Please continue to practice all Cyclones Care safety precautions, and check out the university’s guidance on facilitating safe events, introduced last month. Information about vaccinations can be found here.
We hope to see many students during a hybrid version of LAS Week next month, hosting as many in-person events as possible and respecting university guidelines. For fun, I’m including a photo from our Department of Music and Theatre: a screen capture of student directors planning their upcoming hybrid multi-performance production “On the Horizon: Festival of Student-Produced Work.” Like so many of you, these students are innovating in the face of change and challenge, and it’s encouraging to see them do so with such cheer.
Speaking of change, we are quickly approaching the March 1 deadline to express interest for the university’s Retirement Incentive Option. If you are interested in taking advantage of this enhanced retirement option, please take action as soon as possible.
No Micah picture this time, but here is a photo of a deer in my backyard that has discovered that bird food tastes good! She comes by twice a day with her two fawns, born last summer.
Thank you again for all your hard work. I hope you are proud, like I am, of what we have accomplished in the past year. I wish you a safe and warmer week ahead.
With my best wishes,