Meeting April 26 at the University of Northern Iowa, the state Board of Regents approved an administrative reorganization of the College of Design intended to strengthen its current degree programs while developing strong interdisciplinary degrees and activities.
Scheduled to be operational in July, the change reorganizes the college from four (architecture, landscape architecture, community and regional planning, and art and design) to seven departments: the first three of the four, plus graphic design, industrial design, interior design and integrated studio arts. Administrative support of the seven departments already has been centralized, resulting in eliminated positions and a savings of $290,000. The department chair positions will be converted from calendar-year to academic-year appointments for additional savings.
The structure is intended to encourage collaboration among units, give departments and programs control of their own resources, and move design from a study of aesthetics to one that solves real problems in society.
The one-year retention rate for the Iowa State freshman class that arrived fall 2010 was 87.8 percent -- an all-time high for the university. This was among the data submitted to the board in an annual student retention and graduation report. The fall class of 2010 also set an ISU two-year retention rate record of at 78.2 percent. Over the last 10 years, one-year retention rates for Iowa State freshmen have ranged from 83.4 percent (fall classes of 2001 and 2005) to the fall class of 2010's record.
Six-year graduation rates for Iowa State classes (entering fall 1996 through fall 2005) ranged from 65.3 percent (1996) to 70.2 percent (2004).
Student fees: How they'll be spent
In December, the board approved mandatory student fees at the same time it set tuition rates for 2012-13. At Iowa State, all full-time students will pay $1,077.60 in fees, unchanged from this year. Board members approved the allocation of that figure Thursday (see chart at left).
State tour successful
Reporting on the student-led "Universities for a Better Iowa" public relations campaign this spring, regent Greta Johnson said the tour was "highly successful" with good media coverage and alumni attendance. The tour stopped in seven cities during 18 days in April; three additional events scheduled for the week of April 23 were canceled due to conflicts with students' schedules.
Universities for a Better Iowa aims to remind Iowans why the three public universities are important to the state and worthy of greater state funding support. Johnson told board members "the work has just begun."