May 11 message from Dean Schmittmann

CATEGORIES: Announcements

LAS faculty, staff and graduate students,

Congratulations! We reached the end of the semester. It has certainly felt like a race at times, but the important part is getting across the finish line.

First, I want to recognize how difficult this semester has been, with the announcement of Reimagining LAS. I’ve talked with many of you in group settings or individually, and I think we can all agree that it’s made the semester more of a challenge. However, we will keep moving forward, charting our way toward a sustainable future.

The work continues in departments, and the following outlines our next steps and our timeline:

  • June 2022: Department chairs submit initial concepts for meeting their budget targets by the beginning of FY2026. Chairs are strongly encouraged to involve their faculty and staff in initial conversation.
  • July 2022: Department chairs and the dean’s office meet jointly to review initial concepts, and identify collaboration opportunities across departments and programs.
  • August 2022: Department faculty retreats focus on departmental planning and collaboration opportunities.
  • November 2022: Chairs submit first draft of plans to the dean’s office for review.
  • January 2023: Chairs submit final draft of plans to the dean’s office for review and approval.
  • March 2023: College announces implementation plan.
  • July 2023 – June 2025: Plans are implemented.
  • July 2025: Department budget targets are met.

It will be a busy summer, as we work with departments to identify potential collaborative opportunities and creative solutions.

Now, I’d like to focus on some of the highlights of the past year. Thank you to everyone who is contributing to undergraduate recruitment efforts – university-wide, we are in a better position now than this time last year! While this doesn’t solve all our financial challenges, the higher enrollment numbers for next year will give us a little bit of extra breathing room.

Speaking of hard work, we had an excellent showing of faculty advancement and promotions this year. Congratulations to everyone! We also had a significant number of faculty and staff who were selected for university awards. Congratulations to all the award winners, including the following, who received Iowa State’s highest faculty honors:

Diane Bassham, professor of genetics, development and cell biology and Douglas Gentile, professor of psychology, were both named Distinguished Professors. Tunde Adeleke, professor of history, was named University Professor, and both Steve Butler, Barbara J. Janson Professor of Mathematics, and Jonathan Sturm, professor of music and theatre, were named University Professors.

Thank you to our LAS Curriculum Committee, who had plenty of work this year. We have several new exciting programs that either launched or are currently at various stages of discussion or approvals. These include a science communication certificate, a bachelor of science degree in climate science, a bachelor of arts degree in computer science, a master’s degree in artificial intelligence and a collaborative effort with the Ivy College of Business on a financial technology (“Fintech”) graduate degree.

And this week another class of LAS graduates will walk across the stage, into their bright futures. Thank you for helping them take that next step. Whether it’s graduate school, their first professional position, or pursuing their dreams through other paths, you helped make their journey a special one at Iowa State. Many of our LAS students are truly extraordinary; here are just three of them:

Best wishes to all of you this week. I hope you find some time to relax and refresh over the summer. Here is Ben taking a nap.
The dean's cat napping