Dean Schmittmann announces retirement

CATEGORIES: Announcements

Dear colleagues,

It is almost 11 years to the day since I began my tenure as dean of our college, and as some of you have heard me say, academic leadership is a relay and a team sport. It is a relay because you take over the baton from your predecessor and hand it off to the next person, and it is a team sport because students, faculty and staff give their energy, creativity and innovation to make everything happen. After much reflection, I feel that it is time to pass the baton to the next dean, and I am writing to let you know that I have decided to retire as LAS dean, and from Iowa State University, in June 2024.

While that date is still 15 months away, making my announcement early gives the university the ability to search for my successor and have this person in place when I retire, so that the college does not need to go through an interim period.

There are many good reasons for a transition in 2024. When the new dean arrives, the Reimagining LAS initiative will be in its final year and headed towards a successful conclusion. Growth opportunities due to new degree programs will just be coming to fruition, expected to generate new resources for the college. A new strategic plan will need to be created. These factors, and many others, put the college in a strong position and help the new dean be poised for success.

It has been – and will continue to be for another year – a true honor to serve as your dean. LAS is an excellent college and will continue to be at the core of Iowa State University’s education and research missions. What you do for our students on a daily basis is truly outstanding, and I am genuinely grateful. Similarly, I have been impressed by the high quality of the research conducted across the college. The impact of LAS research spans the nation and the world. Hearing you talk about it and reading your P&T dossiers has always been a real pleasure. Last but not least, LAS students, faculty and staff contribute to the richness of central Iowa, through performances, readings, outreach to schools and communities and in a myriad other ways.

For the coming year, I will do my best to support the college and help the next dean have a great start. Beyond that, I look forward to more flexibility in my life and long hikes in the North Carolina mountains.

Thank you for all you do to support Iowa State students and each other, as part of a strong and flourishing LAS community.

All the best,

Beate SchmittmannDean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences