Iowa State University to fund student retention, online learning, child care projects

Iowa State University is investing more than $ 10 million into a series of projects to kick off the university’s vision of itself over the next decade – a vision that includes better retention of underrepresented students, renovated child care facilities and a unified structure for online programs.

Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen earlier this month presented the university’s strategic plan covering the years through 2031 to the Iowa Board of Regents.

The university has also announced funding for nine “jump-start projects” ahead of the first planning process set to begin this fall.

The $ 10.5 million for the projects – paid for mostly by gifts from private donors – does not establish a timeline for the work, but university spokesperson Angie Hunt said the projects will be implemented over the next three years.

Iowa State students walk to their classes on the first day of fall semester at the university's Central Campus on Aug.  23, 2021, in Ames.

The largest share, $ 3.5 million, is allocated to “support faculty hires in key areas that track with Iowa State’s research strengths and emerging degree programs,” according to a news release.

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Hunt said those strengths include science, technology, engineering and math fields. Another $ 1.5 million is allocated toward starting “Degrees of the Future,” including in climate science, cybersecurity and health care management.

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