Two ISU colleges will be combined

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University's colleges of Education and Family and Consumer Sciences will join forces July 1, 2005, to become the College of Human Sciences.

The new college, which was endorsed by key campus groups over the past few weeks, received unanimous approval from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, on Dec. 16.

"The College of Human Sciences has a very bright future," said Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy. "It will combine the strengths of two colleges that have many closely connected academic programs. The result will be a richer education for our students, stronger research, and more effective outreach to the people of Iowa."

The colleges currently provide programs that address basic human needs, including food, clothing, housing, education, family, health and physical activity. No academic programs or majors will be eliminated with the combination of the colleges. Students in those programs will have stronger academic programs and more faculty members, according to Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Benjamin Allen.

"The college combination will generate approximately $500,000 in savings annually," Allen said. "Those savings will be used to improve academic facilities and programs, and in particular, to hire new faculty in the College of Human Sciences."

The major savings from the combination will come from the reorganization of offices in the two colleges. There will be one dean instead of two, two fewer associate deans, and five fewer positions elsewhere in the two colleges.

Prompted by several years of university budget cuts, ISU officials began exploring in fall 2003 new ways to configure Iowa State's colleges to generate savings. The proposal to combine the Education and Family and Consumer Sciences colleges came from a team of senior academic administrators led by Provost Allen.

Committee works on plan to combine

In February 2004, Geoffroy asked Allen to appoint a committee to develop plans to combine the two colleges. Geoffroy said he believed a combined college would provide two main benefits - reduced administrative costs and stronger academic offerings, resulting from synergies among programs. Geoffroy noted that both colleges have programs in early childhood education, human health, education and leadership development.

For the past eight months, a committee and 12 working groups have studied issues involved in reorganization; held discussions with numerous faculty, staff, students and alumni; and developed a proposal for combining the colleges.

Faculty in the Family and Consumer Sciences and Education colleges approved the proposal by a wide margin in early November, and the faculty governing body Faculty Senate added its endorsement in early December.

Geoffroy subsequently submitted the proposal to the regents for final approval.

Dean search to begin

Provost Allen said he will appoint an implementation committee of faculty and staff in Family and Consumer Sciences and Education to assist in the transition to the new college. Allen also said the search for a dean for the college will begin early in the spring semester. The two colleges are currently led by interim deans - Pamela White in Family and Consumer Sciences and Jerry Thomas in Education.


Iowa State was the first land-grant university to create a family and consumer sciences college, and it was among the first universities in the nation to offer a four-year degree program in teacher education.

"The new College of Human Sciences will build on those proud traditions and on the strong programs in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and the College of Education," Geoffroy said.