From The Dean – Fall 2011

Of the many diverse ways to define agriculture, I think I like Jim Borel’s definition the best:
“the optimistic science.” Maybe it’s because I’m an optimist by nature. Great
challenges confront us, locally and globally. I’m confident we’ll continue to make progress
toward solutions through science, education and extension and outreach in agriculture and life sciences.

I believe optimism shines through our new college strategic plan, which we finalized this fall.
Here are a few excerpts:

We embrace our critical role in addressing challenges in food security, food safety, climate change, environmental stewardship, renewable energy and human health. We must produce civic-minded, globally oriented graduates who are well-prepared to address society’s challenges as leaders. We will enable students to explore diverse career paths available through agriculture and life sciences. We will help broaden students’ perspectives through exposure to diverse people, ideas and cultures. We must ensure students understand both the fundamentals of their chosen discipline and the importance of interdisciplinary work. We will ensure students are engaged with global issues.

We must inspire faculty and staff to work together, guided by mission, to enhance quality of life in Iowa and for the world. We must manage resources wisely and collaborate strategically to provide the infrastructure and the opportunities for faculty to achieve at the highest level of their abilities.

Our research, extension and educational programs will promote economic growth and job creation. We must help faculty, staff and students succeed in transforming innovations into entrepreneurial activities. We will excel at transdisciplinary programs. We must tell our story, in the voices of faculty, staff and students, to promote our successes. Our extension and outreach must engage alumni, friends, stakeholders and partners. Working together, we will enhance the vitality and sustainability of Iowa communities and the well-being of Iowans.

You can find the complete two-page document at the “About the College” link on our homepage. Our plan is all about building on momentum. We see it growing daily in rising enrollment, extraordinary student success, placement rates, world-class accomplishments of faculty teachers and scientists and the steadfast support of alumni and friends. We are the optimistic science, with good reason.

Wendy Wintersteen

Endowed Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences