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.