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January 26, 2001

Geoffroy's views

Following are comments Gregory Geoffroy made during his public forums on campus Jan. 19.

On diversity in a university community.
We must work aggressively to foster an environment in which diversity is treasured and valued. It takes formal policies, procedures and organization, but it also takes a strong commitment and strong leadership from the top.

We are all members of the human race. Differences are what make life stimulating -- having a diversity of views, experiences, cultures and backgrounds. But we all have many of the same aspirations and concerns.

On teaching and research.
I don't like to think of it as teaching versus research. I think they go hand-in-hand. Great research and scholarship enriches teaching. The challenge is to get more students involved in that research. With scholarship of teaching, you have to ask yourself, "What is the impact of the research? What impact has it had in the field?" I use exactly the same criteria for research of any type.

On small farms and agricultural businesses.
I believe a land-grant university has a mission to serve all of Iowa. It should help small farmers prosper. At the same time, it's important to work with industry and businesses. The university has a role in executing whatever priorities are set by the state.

On top priorities for Iowa State.
The top item on my agenda would be improving the level of excellence of the academic program. That means recruit, retain and develop the best people you can. Establish an environment in which they can excel. If you want to be the best land-grant, you have to increase the excellence of a number of the academic programs.

On temporary faculty.
Universities in general have not treated temporary faculty well in compensation, benefits and privileges. They have a responsibility to be responsive to temporary faculty. I believe as long as the percentage of temporary faculty does not get too high, there is great value temporary faculty can bring to programs.

On his style of decision making.
I like to surround myself with good people. I bring the issues to the table, discuss the issues and if we come to a consensus, good; and if not, then make a decision.

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