Extension's Lawrence announces spring retirement

John Lawrence, vice president of ISU Extension and Outreach, interim chair of the animal science department and professor of economics, has announced his intent to retire in spring 2023.

John Lawrence head shot

John Lawrence

"It has been a profound privilege to serve Iowa State University and the people of Iowa," Lawrence said. "From visiting every county office -- many on my motorcycle -- to working with students and colleagues in every corner of campus, and literally working in the field, it is a journey I have very much enjoyed."

A two-time alumnus, Lawrence joined Iowa State in 1991 as an assistant professor of economics and extension livestock economist. Prior to his selection as vice president of extension and outreach in 2018, he served as associate dean and director of extension and outreach in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, director of the Iowa Beef Center and provided interim leadership for the Beginning Farmer Center, Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation and Iowa Nutrient Research Center.

Lawrence also served the university with distinction during the COVID-19 pandemic, chairing the Fall Planning Executive Committee in 2020 and 2021's Moving Forward Coordinating Committee.

"John Lawrence is Iowa State's version of a Swiss army knife," said senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert. "A true university citizen, he has stepped up countless times when units needed steady leadership, and in doing so, created an enduring legacy on our 99-county campus."

Wickert said Iowa State will launch a national search for Lawrence's successor in the coming weeks. The search committee, to be chaired by college deans Laura Jolly (Human Sciences) and Dan Robison (Agriculture and Life Sciences), will include faculty and staff from across the extension and outreach enterprise and external stakeholders who value its work across Iowa's 99 counties.

In addition to his many on-campus roles, Lawrence represented Iowa State on numerous high-profile initiatives. Recent examples include the Governor's Carbon Task Force, Farm to Table Task Force and Iowa State Fair board.