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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

April 29, 2005

Geoffroy: Iowa State does a great job of preparing students to succeed

by Diana Pounds

President Gregory Geoffroy was upbeat in his "state of the university address" to the Faculty Senate at its April 26 meeting. Among positives cited by the president were a rebounding state economy, a strong Board of Regents that's "really committed to public higher education," a good new strategic plan and the inspirational work of student volunteers who built playgrounds and organized numerous campus activities this spring.

Among challenges Geoffroy cited were maintaining enrollment in the face of declining numbers of high school students in Iowa and most of the Midwest, and making "significant progress in ensuring competitive salaries for faculty and staff."

Geoffroy pointed out that university officials can't move ahead on salaries or other university budget issues for the next fiscal year until the Legislature determines state funding to the regents university. (See story.)

Despite challenges, the future is very bright for Iowa State, Geoffroy told senators.

"We must keep our focus sharp and apply resources where they add the greatest value and have the greatest impact." The priority should be "to do a great job of preparing students for success in life," he added. "We do that extremely well at Iowa State."

Athletics budget

The Faculty Senate also heard from ISU athletics director Bruce Van De Velde and faculty athletics representative Paula Morrow, who updated the senate on the athletics budget and grade performance by student-athletes.

Van De Velde said the ISU athletics is about "90 percent self-sufficient." The 90 percent comes from income sources such as ticket sales, conference and NCAA revenue, marketing rights and licensing, and donations, Van De Velde said.

The other 10 percent of athletics funding comes from Iowa State and amounts to about $2.7 million annually, most of which supports women's sports, he said.

Van De Velde added that athletics provides considerably more revenue for the university than it receives in support. Athletics generates $6.7 million annually in direct funding to the university, he said.

This figure includes tuition, room, board and fees for student-athletes, payments to university facilities for summer camps, debt payments on the Leid Center and parking lots, and support to the band.

Another $2.1 million in indirect payments from athletics to the university include funds that flow to Hilton Coliseum for rent, concessions, merchandise, and sign and video revenue. These payments help subsidize the entire ISU Center, Van De Velde added.

Van De Velde said Iowa State's FY05 athletics budget is $27 million, the second lowest in the Big 12 Conference. The biggest budget belongs to Texas at $80.1 million and the smallest, to Baylor at $26.5 million. The average athletics budget for a Big 12 school is $42.3 million.

"We get a lot of bang for the buck," Van De Velde said.

Student-athlete classroom performance

Paula Morrow, management professor and faculty athletics representative, reported on the academic performance of student-athletes. Morrow offered these fall 2004 statistics:

  • One in five ISU students on the dean's list was a student-athlete.
  • The overall GPA of all student-athletes was 2.92, compared with 2.83 for the general student population; for minority student-athletes, the GPA average was 2.33.
  • Six-year graduation rates were 56 percent for all student-athletes, 58 percent for minority student-athletes and 66 percent for all ISU students.

In other business, the senate:

  • Approved recommending to the president that two faculty professional development assignment programs be offered. One would be for tenured faculty who have been at Iowa State for at least two years and the other, for non-tenured, tenure-track faculty employed halftime or more.
  • Created a new standing committee to monitor reorganizations of academic units. The Committee for Oversight of Academic Reorganization will oversee reorganizations and report to the Faculty Senate Executive Board.
  • Approved a Biology Program request to require students who seek a minor in biology to achieve minimum grades of C- in all courses that apply to the minor. Other academic programs that have minimum grade requirements for their minors include communication studies, English, journalism and mass communication, political science, psychology, and sociology. The proposal now goes to the president, and if approved, to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.


"We must keep our focus sharp and apply resources where they add the greatest value and have the greatest impact."

President Gregory Geoffroy