The final candidate to make a case for becoming the next president of Iowa State University says she knows the issues facing the university better than anyone.
Wendy Wintersteen is the current dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the Ames school. Wintersteen says while they’ve seen record growth in student numbers — the school also is facing several challenges.
“Those challenges include budget constraints, the challenges include faculty and staff who are really burning the candle at both ends. We have staff and faculty that don’t understand the many different administrative changes that are occurring at the university,” Wintersteen says. “And of course, the issue of campus climate is one that occurs throughout the university.”
Wintersteen says the next president needs to get right to work. “I believe at this point in time we need somebody that can step into the presidency that understands the issues — that is ready to work on day one,” Wintersteen says. She makes the case that her experience would allow her to get to work immediately. “I do not believe given the challenges facing us that we have time to wait for someone to come in from outside and spend one or two years learning about the situation. Trying to understand the history, trying to understand the context of the situation,” according to Winterseen. “I believe that I am a compelling candidate for Iowa State University because I do understand the situation.”
Wintersteen says the university needs to move forward now to improve on what it already has done to provide a quality education to students. “It’s time to build on the very successful retention rates we have at Iowa State, and address the issue we have with graduation rates. As we look at graduation rates at Iowa State University, we find that we are not competitive with our peers,” Wintersteen says.
Wintersteen says she considered becoming a candidate last time the presidency at ISU was open, and says this time she decided it was time to use the leadership skills she has gained at the school and step forward.
The Board of Regents will interview Wintersteen and the other three finalists on October 23rd, and then are expected to select the next president.