2005-2010 plan

Create, share, and apply knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place.

In carrying out its mission, Iowa State will increase and support diversity in the university community. Diversity enlivens the exchange of ideas, broadens scholarship, and prepares students for lifelong, productive participation in society.

Create knowledge through world-class scholarship in teaching, research, and creative endeavors.

Share knowledge through outstanding undergraduate, graduate, professional, and outreach programs.

Apply knowledge to improve the quality of life for current and future generations.


We accomplish our mission:

  • through innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement,
  • with honesty, integrity, and professional ethics, and
  • with sensitivity and responsiveness to the needs of our state, nation, and the world.

Core Values

We value:

  • land-grant ideals,
  • a diversity of ideas, peoples, and cultures,
  • intellectual freedom,
  • leadership, and
  • excellence in all we do.


Iowa State University will be the best at advancing the land-grant ideals and putting science and technology to work.

Students will become broadly educated, global citizens who are culturally informed, technologically adept, and ready to lead. Faculty and staff will share a passion for creating, sharing, and applying knowledge to improve lives world-wide.

Collaborations among partners both inside and outside the university community will flourish. The spirit of Iowa State University will be evident in the integration of the sciences and humanities and in the energy and creativity of its people.



Iowa State is a leading international, comprehensive university with a wide range of dynamic and diverse programs and initiatives. The university commits to continuously evaluating, improving, and evolving these programs as well as exploring and innovating new areas of inquiry and application.

Five priority areas and accompanying goals for 2005-2010 have been identified to reinforce existing strengths and pursue our vision.


Strengthen undergraduate, graduate, and professional education to enhance student success at Iowa State University and beyond.


  • Improve the rigor, challenge, and international reputation of academic programs.
  • Strengthen students' critical thinking, creative abilities, and communication skills.
  • Enhance students' understanding of global, cultural, ethical, and diversity issues.
  • Create an environment that welcomes students to explore a variety of disciplines and career paths.
  • Increase interdisciplinary and experiential learning opportunities, such as learning communities, service learning, internships, research experiences, and international exchanges.
  • Enhance programs for high-ability students.
  • Partner with K-12 schools and community colleges to facilitate transfer to and student success at Iowa State University.
  • Enhance services to enable students to find rewarding careers.
  • Develop, recognize, and reward excellent teaching.


Increase the number of graduate, professional, and research programs that are among the very best -- especially in areas that build on university strengths and address local and global critical needs.


  • Recruit and retain outstanding faculty who are or will be leaders in their fields.
  • Increase the number and elevate the overall quality of graduate and professional students.
  • Leverage strengths in science and technology to enhance research and scholarly excellence with emphasis on interdisciplinary initiatives involving biological, materials, and information sciences.
  • Enhance areas of excellence in the arts, humanities, and social sciences that build on and complement the university's unique strengths.
  • Improve facilities and support services for research.
  • Enhance the visibility of outstanding faculty members and staff, research accomplishments, and graduate and research programs.

Economic Impact

Translate discoveries into viable technologies, products, and services to strengthen the economies of Iowa and the world.


  • Expand the use of intellectual property developed at Iowa State University.
  • Strengthen educational and outreach programs aimed at Iowa's economic, workforce, and technology development.
  • Foster an environment that encourages faculty, staff, and students to engage in transfer of technology and entrepreneurial activities.

Iowa Life

Elevate the state's appeal as a place to live, learn, work, and play.


  • Strengthen our partnerships and communications with Iowans to better identify, address, and solve problems.
  • Enhance the vitality of Iowa's communities and well-being of its people.
  • Promote the wise use of Iowa's resources and build a sustainable future.
  • Expand learning opportunities for Iowans of all ages.
  • Partner with Iowans to strengthen their communities' economies and entrepreneurial capacities.

University Life

Ensure that the university is a great place to learn and work.


  • Recruit and retain faculty, staff, and students who are dedicated to individual and organizational excellence and achievement.
  • Expand the diversity of people, ideas, and cultures, and nurture an environment in which diversity can thrive.
  • Achieve a sustainable balance between responsibilities and resources that will allow the university to efficiently and effectively realize its vision.
  • Foster an environment in which all members of the university community can contribute their fullest while pursuing satisfying personal lives.
  • Provide a rich array of extracurricular opportunities to learn, lead, and enjoy life.
  • Promote a university that conserves resources and enhances environmental quality.
  • Maintain the attractiveness of campus and improve the quality of its facilities.
  • Advance the excellence of the university through enhanced connections between ISU and its family of alumni and friends.
  • Ensure that intercollegiate athletics programs are models of academic success, integrity, and competitiveness.


Iowa State University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research Extensive University, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The university is a member of the Association of American Universities and the National Association of State Universities & Land-Grant Colleges.

Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity,sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. Vietnam Era Veteran. Inquiries can be directed to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 3680 Beardshear Hall, (515) 294-7612.


Our Land-Grant Heritage

Iowa State University was founded on the ideals that higher education should be accessible to all and that the university should teach liberal and practical subjects. These ideals are integral to the land-grant university, a special class of university created by the Morrill Act, passed by Congress in 1862. Iowa was the first state to accept the law's provisions. Iowa State University subsequently pioneered the idea of Extension -- extending the university's knowledge to people throughout the state.