Office of the Dean


Beate Schmittmann


Beate Schmittmann has served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University since April 2, 2012. She is leading several key Liberal Arts and Sciences initiatives to promote research, student success, and college advancement. Most notable among these are the college's Signature Themes, which build on existing strengths to grow and sustain an internationally competitive profile in selected research areas. Strategic faculty hiring, seed grant funding, and enhanced support for proposal writing form an integral part of these efforts. She also furthers LAS' reputation as a student-centered college through an integrated approach to student recruitment, academic advising, and career services, a focus on high quality teaching and innovative pedagogy, especially in the STEM fields, and efforts to support the success of traditionally underrepresented students. She has built a strong external relations effort, in which development, alumni relations, and strategic communications support and enhance one another.

Schmittmann is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a winner of the organization's 2010 Jesse W. Beams Award. Her research interests focus on statistical and biological physics. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and one book.

Schmittmann earned a diploma (M.S.) in physics from RWTH Aachen University in her native Germany (1981), and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (1984). Prior to joining ISU, she was a member of the physics faculty at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, since 1991 and served as the physics department chair since 2006.

Arne Hallam

Associate Dean

Administration: Budget, Personnel, Affirmative Action, Promotion and Tenure, Space, Miller Lecture Series, Computation Advisory Committee, Online and Distance Education, Study Abroad, and International Students and Scholars.

Arne Hallam is a Professor of Economics at Iowa State and has served as Associate Dean for Finance and Operations since 2009. He received his B.S. in agricultural economics from Brigham Young University (1977), and M.S. (1980) and PhD (1983) degrees in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

He joined the faculty of the economics department at Iowa State University in 1983. He served as chair of the Department of Economics from 2000-2009. He has been Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 2009. Dr. Hallam has served as major professor for 26 graduate students as a committee member for more then 100 additional students. He has taught 24 different courses since leaving graduate school including courses in economic theory, mathematical economics, agricultural economics, industrial organization, agricultural ethics, and global sustainability.

Dr. Hallam's research relates to the economics of agriculture, resources, the environment, energy, economies of size and scale, risk and uncertainty, and sustainability. In the college office, Arne works with budget and planning, promotion and tenure, human resources, space, information technology, online education, international programs, and course availability.

Personal Home Page

Contact for questions about:

  • Budget Approvals
  • Course Availability – Budget and Personnel
  • Funding for Lectures, Conferences
  • Information Technology
  • International Programs
  • LASCAC LAS Computer – Proposals
  • Online and Distance Education
  • Promotion and Tenure Policies
  • Space and Facilities
  • Sustainability and Green Initiatives

Bill Gutowski

Associate Dean
239 Catt Hall

Bill Gutowski, professor of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, earned his B.S. in astronomy and physics from Yale University and a Ph.D. in meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been a professor at ISU since 1991. He is currently a member of the American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Sigma Xi.

His research involves atmospheric dynamics and climate modeling, with a focus on the coupled land-atmosphere hydrologic cycle and feedbacks between atmospheric dynamics, surface processes and moisture condensation. His research on climate change has earned Gutowski global recognition. He is a member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Contact for questions about:

  • Faculty Professional Development Assignments
  • Faculty Start-ups
  • Graduate Programs and Policies
  • Matching Funds for Grants
  • Research and Economic Development Council
  • Research Grants and Contracts Policy
  • Signature Research Initiative
  • Small Grants

Amy Slagell

Associate Dean

Amy Slagell earned her B.S.C. in communication at Ohio University in 1983. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in rhetoric and American public address at the University of Wisconsin and, before coming to Iowa as the director of the public speaking program in 1996, spent several years teaching in Birmingham, Ala. From 2006-2013 Amy led the Speech Communication Program in the Department of English. Her research explores contemporary public speaking pedagogy and 19th century public address with a particular focus on the impact of cultural and institutional structures that constrain the visibility and rhetorical choices of women as public speakers.

She has served as the Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College since 2013.

Contact for questions about:

  • Curriculum Development
  • Cross-Disciplinary Studies Programs
  • Community College Articulation and Regents Connections
  • External Reviews of LAS Programs – Policies and Planning
  • Regents Committee on Educational Relations
  • Learning Outcomes and Assessment
  • Student Grievances
  • Undergraduate Certificate Programs

Dean's Advisory Council

Mission and Values

Mission. Educate future leaders and citizens with a global perspective, conduct research and scholarship of international significance, and share our knowledge to benefit Iowa, the nation, and the world.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the university's core college, providing the educational foundation for all Iowa State students. We are deeply committed to student success, helping students acquire the intellectual depth and breadth to become knowledgeable, inquisitive, and creative citizens and leaders, ready to address the challenges of the 21st century. We embrace discovery and creativity as part of what it means to be human, and as essential activities to ensure a sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants. We conduct world-class research at the most advanced scientific and societal frontiers, seeking new discoveries, innovative applications, and new technologies in a socially responsible manner that integrates scientific findings with the unique historical, cultural, and political environments of communities across the globe. True to the university’s land-grant mission, we share our knowledge with a wide range of audiences, to the benefit of Iowa, the nation, and the world.

Vision. We will be a national and international leader in ensuring life-long student success through high-quality teaching, experiential learning, and academic support. We will be a national and international leader in conducting and communicating impactful research and scholarship, seeking to transcend traditional academic boundaries and benefit humanity and our planet.

Over the course of their lives, our students will encounter societal and technological challenges that are currently unimagined. Many of them will work in professions and jobs that have not yet been invented. We will sharpen their communication, critical thinking, inquiry, and ethical decision-making skills. We will help them build the content knowledge, scientific, digital, and cultural literacy, intellectual curiosity, and personal maturity to succeed in a rapidly changing and globally connected world. The well-being of tomorrow’s society depends on the discoveries, insights, and innovations of today. Many of the great challenges of the 21st century addressing our needs for water, food, community, energy, health, and a sustainable environment have been clearly articulated; other challenges remain as yet unknown. Our faculty and students will embrace the full spectrum of human creativity, innovation, and empathy to address these challenges. We will lead the nation and the world in integrating scientific, technological, cultural, and historical perspectives in order to arrive at the most sustainable solutions, of the greatest benefit to our societies and the planet.


All members of the LAS community are committed to:

  • Diversity of people and ideas
  • Student engagement and success
  • Excellence in scholarship
  • Collegiality, trust, and respect
  • Responsible use of resources

Strategic Plan: 2010-2015

Approved: LAS College Cabinet - October 26, 2010 LAS Representative Assembly - November 3, 2010 Executive Vice President & Provost Elizabeth Hoffman - November 20, 2010

Mission Statement

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the university's core college, providing the educational foundation for all Iowa State students, regardless of college or major. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is where all students acquire the intellectual breadth to become knowledgeable and inquisitive global citizens, ready to excel in meeting the challenges of the next fifty years. The diversity in its scholarship and research mirrors the range of disciplines found under a single administrative umbrella, with poets and physicists and chemists and anthropologists sharing intellectual and creative space. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences seeks to be true to the university's land grant mission of science with practice. As the core college within the university, the college gives high priority to fundamental, basic research both as an end in itself and as it strengthens applied research across the university. The college develops and invests in strong undergraduate and graduate teaching, ensuring that Iowa State's students have a solid foundation in the essential liberal arts and sciences.


In the future, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will continue to be an entity that values and rewards high-quality classroom instruction, as well as a leader in student-centered education, delivered in a variety of formats. To accomplish this, the college will recruit and retain high quality and diverse faculty members committed to transformational learning as well as the very best undergraduate and graduate students. To achieve and maintain its expected level of excellence with fewer resources, the college will support a small number of nationally-ranked centers of research as well as areas of teaching excellence. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is consistently one of the top two colleges in receiving external, competitive research funding and we expect that funding to increase. As we work towards the LAS of the future, we will make decisions based on the following college priorities:

1. Promote excellence in research and creative activity

  • Faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will continue to make fundamental discoveries, expand the bounds of scientific theory, collect data, formulate and test empirical hypotheses, and play a major role in the transformation of basic science into practical contributions.
  • LAS will maintain and strengthen nationally ranked research programs, such as those in chemistry and statistics.
  • The college will invest resources in its strongest research programs in order to create centers of excellence and it will invest resources to build strength in key areas related to the ISU strategic plan. These include some programs in the biological sciences; climate change and environmental preservation, condensed matter physics, and strength areas in economics and psychology. We also place high priority on those portions of the mathematical and computational sciences that support the key goals.

2. Provide a liberal arts education that will help prepare students, both graduate and undergraduate, to live and work in an emerging, constantly evolving world

  • The college will support graduate programs in several outstanding research-intensive units. The college participates in some of the finest graduate programs in the country. These programs cut across disciplines and colleges and highlight the fact that interdisciplinary cooperation is a hallmark of life on this campus.
  • The college will continue to invest in and build high-quality undergraduate programs in those fields that are destination majors or where student interest is strong: currently biology, communication and journalism, criminal justice studies, history and social science teacher education, and psychology.
  • LAS will support a broad range of undergraduate courses and majors that are indispensible to its basic mission. We recognize that we must target our investment in those areas that are in greatest need and demand.
  • LAS will provide high quality courses essential to all undergraduates across the university.
  • LAS places high priority on courses that promote a diverse and multicultural environment.
  • Because we live in a global community, we will increase the number of our students who are fluent in more than one language and who, before graduating from this institution, have participated in a meaningful international experience.

3. Expand the College's engagement with academic, social, cultural, and economic communities beyond the campus-locally, regionally, and globally

  • As a part of a land grant university, LAS is responsible for and committed to providing a practical and liberal education that is easily accessible to the general population, investigating pressing issues confronted by the citizens of Iowa and beyond, and presenting scientifically-based information and solutions to the public while facilitating their implementation.

Key Progress Indicators

Key Progress Indicators (KPIs) provide objective measures of progress toward the core mission of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Data are collected annually to derive indicators that align with the university and the Board of Regents.

LAS Enrollment

KPI 2016 - Enrollment
Fall undergraduate and graduate student 10th day enrollment.
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Student Credit Hours

KP 2016 - Student credit hours
All student credit hours.
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Degrees Conferred

KPI 2016 - Degrees confered
Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD degrees awarded.
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KPI 2016 - Faculty
Fall census tenured/tenure-eligible and non-tenured Full Time Equivalent (FTE) and Headcount.
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