INSIDE IOWA STATE
October 12, 2001
Geoffroy: More "big impact" programs sought for ISU
by Anne Krapfl
Pledging to lead in a collaborative style that suits a "community of
scholars," Gregory Geoffroy officially became Iowa State's 14th president
during an Oct. 6 ceremony at C.Y. Stephens Auditorium.
"I will articulate the goals and paint the vision, but we will work
collaboratively in developing the strategies to achieve them," Geoffroy told
the ISU community. "Our strength is our collective knowledge, experiences
and insights, and we are at our best when we work openly, collegially and
Geoffroy's priorities for Iowa State have been clear since shortly after he
arrived on campus July 1: nationally recognized academic programs built on
excellent faculty, the best education possible for students and a land-grant
school that is even more attuned to the educational, practical and economic
needs of Iowans.
Faculty members who are the best scholars, teachers and researchers in their
fields are the ticket to world-class academic programs, Geoffroy said.
"To this end, I will make the recruitment of top faculty -- and retaining
them once they are here -- a top priority of my administration, through the
provision of competitive salaries, facilities and excellent staff and
students to work with," he said.
Geoffroy announced an "investing in people" initiative to raise funds for
student scholarships and fellowships and for faculty support. The two-year
initiative, which does not have a stated fund-raising goal, will become part
of a larger capital campaign later on. As part of the initiative, Geoffroy
and his wife Kathy recently pledged $150,000 to establish a fellowship to
help recruit and develop a young faculty member in the College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences.
While top faculty are one means to a strong education for students, Geoffroy
also mentioned modern classrooms, broad access to information technologies
and wider use of internship and study-abroad and leadership opportunities as
necessary components. He said Iowa State undergraduates are not finishing
their degrees quickly enough and set a five-year goal of graduating 70
percent of students within six years of their start dates. Currently, 62
percent of students graduate within six years of their enrollment at Iowa
State. Programs such as "Soar in 4" (see page 5) will be promoted and
expanded, he said.
Iowa Staters do a good job now of staying connected and involved with the
people of Iowa, Geoffroy said. He encouraged employees to do even more to
put the knowledge and resources of Iowa State to practical use to help
Iowans live safer, more productive and more prosperous lives. "We must focus
on creating an extensive array of partnerships with government, business and
the non-profit sector," he said.
The plant sciences initiative will be one Iowa State model for success,
Geoffroy said. Calling it a "big impact" initiative, Geoffroy said such an
interdisciplinary program can influence positively not only the academic
quality of the programs and departments within it, but economic development
in the state as well.
These new interdisciplinary programs may be developed on a smaller scale
than the plant sciences initiative, but Geoffroy said they should fit with
Iowa State's land-grant mission and have the ability to generate support
from outside the university. Faculty already have begun to propose ideas for
those initiatives; the university will select and pursue two or three of
them, Geoffroy said.
- Graham Spanier, ISU alumnus, president of Pennsylvania State
University and personal friend to Geoffroy, introduced him to the ceremony
audience. He called his friend a man of high energy and organization. "Greg
Geoffroy's idea of a business casual day is to loosen his tie a half inch,"
But mostly, Geoffroy is a people person, Spanier said. "When asked what he
likes most about his job, [Geoffroy] inevitably will reply, 'Working with
really great people,'" Spanier said. With Geoffroy as Iowa State's
president, "You are in exceptional hands," he concluded.
- Representatives of the Faculty Senate, Professional and Scientific
Council, AFSCME Local 0870, Government of the Student Body and the ISU
Alumni Association all welcomed Geoffroy to Iowa State. GSB President Andy
Tofilon said that "like 27,878 students, you will be challenged to become
your best. Like a student, you won't want to go to school every day.""But I have no doubt that you will not only take care of students, but
empower them to do great things," Tofilon said.
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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