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Our Mission

Iowa State University will create, share, and apply knowledge to make our students, Iowa, and the world better.

Our Vision

Iowa State University will advance the land-grant ideals of putting science, technology, and human creativity to work.

Our Values

Iowa State University embraces the values of our Principles of Community (Respect, Purpose, Cooperation, Richness of Diversity, Freedom from Discrimination, Honest and Respectful Expression of Ideas), and the values of Access, Excellence, and Integrity.

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Our Pillars

Four pillars encompass the themes of acknowledged university areas of excellence.

These strengths are ingrained in the daily work and lives of our faculty, staff, and students, and have been proven time and again throughout Iowa State University's history. Intersected and interwoven throughout the pillars are our land-grant university hallmarks of teaching, research, service, and extension. Most importantly, the pillars give structure and direction on how we make a difference for our state and world in the years ahead.

Statements of Aspiration
To Be Statement

Success Factors

  • Retention, graduation rates
  • Students in high-impact practices
  • Accessibility, affordability
To Be Statement

Success Factors

  • Recruitment
  • Retention
  • Campus climate: Survey and action plan
  • Salaries: Peer and market-based
To Be Statement

Success Factors

  • Expand online learning
  • Learning across Iowa – Extension and Outreach
  • Continued learning by graduates
  • New student pipelines
  • Faculty and staff career development
To Be Statement

Success Factors

  • Innovation in curriculum
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Research impact
  • Organizational excellence
To Be Statement

Success Factors

  • Extension and Outreach in all 99 counties
  • Collaborative research initiatives
  • Impact of partnerships
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Our Strategic Process
The Process

Built into Iowa State's nine-year strategic plan is a regular process to invite new ideas that respond to a dynamic state, nation and world landscape, and that help the university achieve what it aspires "to be."

Beginning in the fall of 2022, and then repeating annually, there will be a call for faculty, staff and stakeholders to submit ideas for strategic projects. Senior Advisor to the President Sophia Magill will oversee the process. Submissions will be evaluated — and projects selected — based on how they align with strategic goals and priorities. To immediately jump-start the strategic plan, in June 2022 the university announced a set of nine investments funded by private, one-time support.

"What brings our plan alive is the inclusion of a strategic process to regularly capture new ideas to help us achieve what we aspire to be. I encourage you to be creative, think innovatively, and take the opportunity to submit your ideas. Thank you in advance — for your important role in demonstrating our impact as we make progress on our aspirations... for moving us closer to what Iowa State University wants to be."

— Wendy Wintersteen, President, Iowa State University

This link will be made live on an upcoming date during fall semester 2022.

FAQ answers on the strategic plan process will be filled in prior to the initial Call for Ideas.

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Our Strategic Plan

Iowa State University's 2022-2031 Strategic Plan was the culmination of planning and development accomplished during the 2021-22 academic year. The university-wide collaborative process was led by a steering committee chaired by Vice President for Research Peter Dorhout. Four working groups comprised of more than 60 campus and community representatives represented the core of the effort. More than two dozen listening sessions and town hall meetings were held. Input was received from more than 200 survey responses and nearly 530 polling question responses. Overall, more than 500 faculty, staff, students, community members and stakeholders participated in the plan development process.

The ISU 2022-2031 Strategic Plan was approved by the Iowa Board of Regents at its June 2, 2022, meeting. On the same day, President Wendy Wintersteen announced plans to jump-start the strategic plan with $10.5 million in initial investments in high-priority initiatives linked to the plan's five strategic goals — the "to be" statements.

Sophia Magill

Senior Advisor to the President

Sophia Magill was named senior advisor to the president in the Office of the President in September 2022. Magill leads efforts to advance the goals outlined in the university's 2022-2031 strategic plan, federal relations and other strategic initiatives. She leads the review of proposals and develops priority recommendations for the president and senior leaders to invest in the most promising and strategic projects — overseeing the overall performance management and integration of university-wide initiatives to deliver upon performance goals.

In her federal relations responsibilities, she advocates on behalf of Iowa State University's federal priorities by promoting research, higher education and science activities in an effort to increase federal support and expand awareness of the university in Washington, D.C. Before joining the Office of the President in 2013, she served at the U.S. Agency for International Development. She has professional experience in government, higher education, and the non-profit sector, including the Office of Admissions at Iowa State University, the Iowa House of Representatives, Iowa's Office of the Governor and the White House.

Magill earned her undergraduate degree in political science from Iowa State University, where she served as Student Government President, and her master's degree in public administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago.