Deans reappointed in Agriculture, Design and Engineering colleges

Deans Daniel Robison, Luis Rico-Gutierrez and Sam Easterling have been appointed to new five-year terms to lead the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), College of Design and College of Engineering, respectively.

"Iowa State University has a strong set of deans who work together to enhance the breadth and quality of our academic programs, serve as catalysts for innovation and entrepreneurship, and support the state's economic and workforce goals," said senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert. "These reappointments are well-deserved, and I look forward to continued success in the coming years."


Daniel Robison

Daniel Robision head shot


Robison, who was appointed CALS dean initially in 2018, stabilized enrollment, expanded external research funding and private fundraising, grew global programs and Extension and Outreach, and created opportunities through programs such as CALS Start Something, Study USA, Pathways and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows during his first term.

His reappointment is effective March 31.


Luis Rico-Gutierrez

Luis Rico-Gutierrez head shot


In his third term, Rico-Gutierrez collaborated with faculty, staff and administrators to advance the College of Design strategic plan, nurture enrollment growth, support professional development and strengthen alumni relationships, resulting in successful program re-accreditations and fundraising success.

His reappointment is effective July 1.


Sam Easterling

Sam Easterling head shot


Easterling, appointed in 2019 as the James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering, stabilized undergraduate enrollment, created new degree programs, hired 60 new faculty, raised nearly $150 million in private and corporate donations, and secured record research funding in his first term.

His reappointment is effective July 14.


The three deans also guided their colleges through the COVID pandemic.

Wickert expressed his thanks to each college's Committee to Review the Dean for managing the comprehensive review process, as well as to faculty and staff who provided feedback. The committee members in each college were:

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

  • Scott Smalley (chair), agriculture education and studies
  • Claire Andreasen, veterinary pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Barb Clawson, horticulture
  • Elisabeth Lonergan, animal science
  • James Wright, agricultural and biosystems engineering


College of Design

  • Lisa Fontaine (chair), graphic design
  • James Brown, finance, Ivy College of Business
  • Lieb Chol, Design information technology
  • Jennifer Drinkwater, art and visual culture
  • Julie Irish, interior design
  • Jacob Martin, industrial design
  • Michael Martin, landscape architecture
  • Kimberly Moss, art and visual culture
  • Mitchell Squire, architecture


College of Engineering

  • Julie Rursch (chair), electrical and computer engineering
  • Tim Bigelow, electrical and computer engineering
  • Caroline Hayes, mechanical engineering
  • Duane Johnson, materials science and engineering
  • Carolyn Lawrence-Dill, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences administration
  • Daniel Wendl, College of Engineering Advisory Board