June 27, 2011

Regents appoint presidential search committee

by Diana Pounds

In a June 23 telephonic meeting focused on the search for Iowa State's next president, the state Board of Regents named the search committee, approved a list of core qualities they'll seek in ISU's next leader and ratified a letter of understanding with the executive firm that will assist in the search.

The search committee is co-chaired by College of Business dean Labh Hira and ISU alumnus Roger Underwood. Also on the committee are: two regents, a faculty representative from each college; presidents of the Faculty Senate, Professional and Scientific Council, Government of the Student Body and Graduate and Professional Student Senate; and two representatives each from the alumni association and ISU Foundation. Additionally, two members of the regents staff will serve as nonvoting members of the committee.

First meeting of the search committee

Wednesday, June 29
2:30-4:30 p.m.
Rm. 2200, Krieger Board Rm.
Gerdin Business Building

Presidential Search Committee


  • Labh Hira, Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the College of Business
  • ISU alumnus Roger Underwood, president, Riverwood Management

Board of Regents

  • Katie Mulholland
  • Bruce Rastetter

Faculty, staff, employee and student groups

  • Faculty Senate president: Steve Freeman
  • Professional and Scientific Council president: Dan Burden
  • Government of the Student Body president: Dakota Hoben
  • Graduate and Professional Student Senate president: Erica Smith


  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: John Lawrence, associate dean for extension and outreach programs, director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Education and professor of economics
  • College of Design: Lynn Paxson, professor of architecture
  • College of Engineering: Robert C. Brown, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering, Gary and Donna Hoover Chair in Mechanical Engineering and director of the Bioeconomy Institute
  • College of Human Sciences: Ann Thompson, University Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, director of the Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Patricia Thiel, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, senior scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and John Corbett Professorship in Chemistry
  • College of Veterinary Medicine: Anumantha Kanthasamy, Clarence Hartley Covault Distinguished Professor in Veterinary Medicine, W.E. Lloyd Endowed Chair in Neurotoxicology and director of the Iowa Center for Advanced Neurotoxicology

Alumni Association

  • Jon Fleming: Staff internist and gastroenterologist at McFarland Clinic, Ames
  • Deborah Turner: Medical director of gynecologic oncology at Mercy Hospital, Des Moines

ISU Foundation

  • Cara Heiden: Co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Des Moines
  • Rudolf (Rudy) Herrmann: Retired president/CEO of Dover Resources, Inc., Tulsa, Okla.

Ex-Officio/non-voting members

  • Executive director of the Board of Regents: Bob Donley
  • Chief academic officer of the Board of Regents: Diana Gonzalez

Core qualities sought

The board reviewed and approved a list of core qualities sought in the next leader of Iowa State and at the same time, invited the search committee to offer modifications to that list.

Agreement with search firm

Parker Executive Search, Atlanta, will assist in the presidential search. The letter of understanding ratified by the board spells out the search firm's work, which includes assisting the board and search committee in developing specifications for the position; setting a search timeline; selecting advertising venues; identifying, recruiting and assessing qualified candidates; scheduling interviews; and conducting reference and background checks on finalists.

The letter of agreement points out that the search firm will recommend qualified candidates, but does not have a vote in the final selection process.

The search firm's fee is $95,000, plus search expenses. If the board terminates the search firm's service within the first three months, the fee is prorated on a per diem basis over 90 days.

The letter also stipulates that if a selected candidate leaves Iowa State during his or her first 12 months, the firm will work to replace that individual without additional fee, although out-of-pocket expenses will be charged.