Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
July 23, 1999

Swan to retire from administrative duties, work on book

by Linda Charles
Pat Swan, vice provost for research and advanced studies and dean of the Graduate College, has announced she will retire from her administrative duties at the end of fall semester.

Swan plans to take a one-year leave of absence to work at the Eskind Biomedical Library's special collections department at Vanderbilt University, Nashville.

During her 10 years at Iowa State, Swan helped develop the intellectual property program to one of the best in the country. Active licenses signed (excluding non-patented plant material) grew from 19 in FY89 to 137 in FY98. Funding for sponsored programs has increased 75 percent during her tenure,with $1.5 billion being channeled to the programs during the past 10 years.

Swan said she is very pleased with the increase in funding for seeding new research through reallocating funds ($230,000) and from grants from the Carver Trust (ranging from $100,000 to $150,000 each year since 1991). Biotechnology funds also provide about $775,000 per year.

President Martin Jischke allocated an additional $550,000, including $150,000 to seed new research, $150,000 for start-up funds for new faculty, $150,000 to support development of major proposals and $100,000 to develop humanities scholarship. The ISU Research Foundation recently has added another half-million to the pot, making a total of $2.3 million.

Swan started the Coordinating Council on Technology Transfer in 1993. The group coordinates campus activities related to technology transfer.

Swan also was an early promoter of biotechnology. She helped identify plant sciences as one of future importance early in her tenure and has continued to work to promote the area. About two years ago, Jischke made it a priority for the university and last spring the Iowa Legislature appropriated $2.2 million for a Center of Excellence in Plant Sciences.

At Vanderbilt, Swan will work on a history of the biomedical sciences and when she returns to Iowa State, she will finish a book she is writing on the history of the ISU Research Foundation.

"When I came here, I saw a good story in the ISU Research Foundation and decided I'd like to write that story," she said. "I've done a little, but I can't get enough time to focus on it in my current position. I'm really looking forward to developing it."

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