Wickert announces move to faculty this summer

Jonathan Wickert has announced plans to relinquish his appointment as university provost on June 30, after serving a dozen years in the role -- an Iowa State University record. He is one of the nation's longest-serving provosts, as well as the longest-serving provost among Iowa's public universities and within the Big 12 Conference.

Head shot of man with red/gold striped tie and charcoal suit

Jonathan Wickert

While Wickert no longer will be responsible for a broad array of academic and administrative functions, he will continue to serve the university as professor of mechanical engineering, President's Chair in Engineering and provost emeritus.

"Being provost is a profound responsibility and an amazing experience, and I've enjoyed working day-to-day with President Wintersteen and other members of her senior leadership team. It's a privilege to see the entire landscape of Iowa State's teaching, research and extension missions, and to collaborate with a community of scholars and stakeholders who care deeply about our traditions and future," Wickert said.

"Still, 12 years in this role is a long time. The next provost will bring other ideas and perspectives to continue moving the university forward."

Some of the initiatives Wickert had a hand in include:

  • Creating winter session, Iowa State Online and multiple new degrees.
  • Higher graduation rate and faster time-to-degree for undergraduate students.
  • New success policies for faculty, including structured term faculty ranks, modified duties assignments and the exceptional performance pay program.
  • Expanded recruiting of domestic and international students.
  • The Student Innovation Center and its academic programming for hands-on learning and interdisciplinary education.

"Provost Wickert has served Iowa State University with skill, intelligence and dedication," said President Wendy Wintersteen. "Around the region and nationally, he is a recognized leader for his insights and ability. I sincerely appreciate all Provost Wickert has done to support this great university."

"Jonathan's leadership at Iowa State has been exemplary. He can both help set and drive the university's strategic direction while also serving as a skilled problem solver," said Larissa Holtmyer Jones, president and CEO of the ISU Foundation. "He has been a great partner, and many of our most generous donors deeply respect him and trust his suggestions and guidance. As a result, his fingerprints touch every corner of our campus."

As chief academic officer, Wickert also collaborates closely with faculty in each of the university's departments and colleges. Sarah Bennett-George, teaching professor and president of the Faculty Senate, said, "Working with Provost Wickert in my role with the Faculty Senate has been a privilege. He is a goal-driven leader who clearly puts the academic mission of the university at the forefront of all of his actions, and I believe his commitment to shared governance and strong faculty leadership is proof of that. The university is stronger because of his years of service as provost. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to both work with and learn from him over the past year."

Previously, Wickert held positions at Iowa State as dean of the Engineering college and chair of the mechanical engineering department. An author and researcher in vibration and noise control, he was Iowa State's first professor elected to the National Academy of Inventors. Outside the university, Wickert served on the boards of directors for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, Science Center of Iowa and United Way of Story County, as well as the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. 

The search for Wickert's successor will begin immediately, following a timeline and process similar to the university's provost search in 2012.

"I appreciate David Spalding, Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business, for agreeing to chair the search committee," Wintersteen said.