Presidential search timeline will match 2011 search

State Board of Regents executive director Bob Donley announced a 21-member committee for the Iowa State presidential search and told board members he anticipates signing a contract with a search firm by May 3. Donley, who was tasked last month with organizing the logistics of the search, provided an update at the board's April 20 meeting.

The search committee will be led by two co-chairs, College of Design dean Luis Rico-Gutierrez and alumnus Dan Houston, who serves as president, CEO and chairman of the board for the Principal Financial Group, Des Moines.


Donley said the search process will closely mirror the timeline used when President Steven Leath was hired in 2011. He said he expects to have board interviews with the finalists by the first week in October. Between now and then will be listening sessions on campus with representatives of the search firm and committee (May), application deadline (mid-August), interviews with semifinalists in a neutral location (mid-September) and on-campus visits for finalists in late September.

Search committee


  • Dan Houston, chairman, president and CEO, Principal Financial Group, member of public
  • Luis Rico-Gutierrez, dean of the College of Design


  • Faculty (6): Monic Behnken, sociology; Ann-Marie Fiore, apparel, events and hospitality management; Steven Freeman, agricultural and biosystems engineering; Brent Shanks, chemical and biological engineering; Brad Shrader, management; Jessica Ward, veterinary clinical sciences
  • Presidents of representative groups (4): Tim Day, Faculty Senate; Jessica Bell, Professional and Scientific Council; Cody West, Student Government; Vivek Lawana, Graduate and Professional Student Senate
  • Regents (4): Sherry Bates, Nancy Boettger, Patty Cownie and Milt Dakovich
  • ISU Alumni Association representatives (2*): Thea Oberlander, retired Des Moines CPA; Steven Zumbach, Des Moines attorney and CPA
  • ISU Foundation representatives (2*): Ric Jurgens, retired chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee; Gary Streit, Cedar Rapids attorney
  • Second member of public: Tom Hill, retired senior VP for student affairs
  • Ex-officio members: Bob Donley and Mark Braun, board office staff

         *representatives are ISU alumni

Leath will leave Iowa State on May 8 to become president at Auburn University, Alabama. Former faculty member, department chair and provost Ben Allen will serve as interim president, effective May 9. Allen arrived on campus April 17 to begin the transition.