Enhancing institutional excellence

Members of the Committee on Enhancing Institutional Excellence and President Steven Leath

President's Committee on Enhancing Institutional Excellence. Larger photo.

About this initiative

The President's Committee on Enhancing Institutional Excellence is charged with maintaining and growing Iowa State's presence as a national leader in higher education. The committee's focus is on growing research and development, increasing national awareness and recognition of Iowa State's faculty, growing graduate programs and making investments in the arts and humanities.

Updates progress

Fiscal year 2014 report released

The President's Committee on Enhancing Institutional Excellence has released its Fiscal year 2014 report (pdf). This report includes the committee's accomplishments during the past year and priority actions and budget requests for next year.

Arts, humanities groups eyes awards, in-residence programs, teaching loads

Priorities of the Subcommittee on Arts and Humanities Awards, Fellowships and Memberships include identifying American Association of Universities aspirational peers in arts and humanities, increasing the focus from internal to external awards and re-instituting a full year in-residence program for artists and writers among both tenured ISU faculty and visiting faculty.

The subcommittee also seeks to decrease teaching loads for art and design and humanities faculty to ISU averages, raise funds for endowed professorships, and make the Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities more central to the university mission.
Details on subcommittee plans, progress.

Digital repository, high-impact journal expected to boost influence

The Subcommittee on Citations, Publications and Related Indicators looks to a new digital repository at Iowa State to showcase and broaden the influence of Iowa State scholars.

The subcommittee contracted with Thomson Reuters to generate a list of high-impact journals by field. The report is posted in the ISU digital library. Faculty and staff are encouraged to target such high-impact journals for their research results and other papers.
Details on subcommittee plans, progress.

Group urges continuing two presidential initiatives

The Subcommittee on Federally Funded Competitive Grants recommends continuing two presidential initiatives -- the interdisciplinary research initiative that supports pursuit of major grants and the initiative to hire more faculty in high-impact areas.

The subommittee will work with the Vice President for Research office to implement other action items including establishing a central proposal writing support team; facilitating faculty interaction with program officers in federal and other funding agencies; expanding and upgrading research infrastructure; and establishing a university-wide mentoring team to mentor junior, mid-career and senior faculty.
Details on subcommittee plans, progress.

Significant hikes in grad enrollment, PhD awards and post-doc appointments sought

In terms of PhD's awarded and post-doc appointments, Iowa State should rank in the top half of AAU public member institutions by 2020. That's the primary goal of the Graduate and Post-Doc Programs Excellence Subcommittee. As part of that aspiration, the subcomittee calls for a five-year plan to increase: graduate enrollment by 40 percent; PhD awards by 20 percent and post-doc appointees by 20 percent. The group also aspires to enhance the quality of graduate students and post-doc's university experiences and, subsequently, their career success.

Among activities under way are the new Presidential Scholars Program, which helps fund recruitment of additional high-quality PhD students and a bridge funding incentive that allow PIs and graduate/research programs to recruit additional PhD students and post-docs before firm funding commitments are in hand.
Details on subcommittee plans, progress.

Getting the recognition our faculty deserve

The National Academies Subcommittee has undertaken a three-pronged effort to gain greater recognition for ISU faculty's research excellence and promote their membership in national academies.

The Distinguished Faculty Recognition Committee works with colleges and departments to raise awareness of activities that promote faculty for national and international recognitions, which may, in turn, lead to future National Academy nominations. Through the President’s Distinguished Seminar Support Program, departments and academic programs may request supplemental central funding to support short-term visits from distinguished National Academy members. Additionally, future workshops on campus will show departments how to actively promote their best candidates for internal and external recognitions, which could lead to greater awards and national memberships.
Details on subcommittee plans, progress.