The board that governs the three state-supported universities elected two new leaders in a 12-minute meeting today. The election came one day after a letter from Board of Regents President David Miles of Urbandale announcing that he was resigning along with president pro-tem Jack Evans of Cedar Rapids.
The letter said that Governor Terry Branstad had asked both men to resign in May, but the had declined to do so on principle. It said they are resigning now to avoid distractions and to ensure the board has a good working relationship with the governor. (Miles story)
Regent Katie Mullholland of Marion started the process to elect the new leader by nominating Craig Lang. Lang was Branstad’s choice to take over the leadership of the board that oversees Iowa State, Iowa and U.N.I. Ruth Harkin was the only regent not on the conference call and Lang was elected unanimously.
Bruce Rastetter of Ames was elected his second in command. Lang is a Brooklyn farmer and president of the West Des Moines-based Iowa Farm Bureau. He did not make any comment during the meeting other than to thank Miles
“Let me say publicly ‘thank you’ for the job that you’ve done the last four years,” Lang said. He said he appreciates the work that Miles has done and the regents appreciate it as well. Miles and Evans will remain on the board until their terms expire. A statement from the regents says both Miles and Lang will be traveling and will not be available for interviews.
Lang released the following statement:
“Today, I was honored to be elected President of the Iowa Board of Regents by my fellow Board members. While there are many critical issues that the Board of Regents oversees, one urgent matter that I believe is most important is the selection and recruitment of the next president of Iowa State University. Iowa has an opportunity to be a key leader in the bioeconomy, especially given our strength in agriculture and our research institutions, and I believe Iowa State University can and should be on the forefront of that growing industry.
ISU’s new leader must have a vision that leverages Iowa’s strengths, and one of those strengths is the bioeconomy. I commend David Miles for his steady leadership and commitment and I look forward to working with him and the other Regents to continue to advance the Board’s mission.”