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Colletti helming ISU ag college, as WIntersteen made president

AMES, Iowa — Joe Colletti, Iowa State University senior associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and associate director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, has been named the college’s interim dean effective Nov. 20.

Colletti, 68, takes over for Wendy Wintersteen, who becomes the university’s 16th president; he also will serve as interim director of the Experiment Station.

“Joe is familiar with every aspect of the college's mission and operations, and its service to the people of Iowa,” Wintersteen said. “He will maintain the strong momentum in our academic and research programs, and work with stakeholders both on and off campus to share our expertise with the world.”

In making the appointment, Jonathan Wickert, ISU senior vice president and provost, noted that Colletti’s experience on campus will ensure a smooth transition to the next permanent dean.

“Joe Colletti has a well-deserved reputation for collegiality, and service that will help the college and university move forward during a critical time of record enrollments and budget challenges,” he said. “I am confident he will do very well in the interim role.”

Colletti, who joined ISU’s forestry faculty in 1978, earned his bachelor’s degree in forestry from Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., in 1972, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in forest economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1974 and 1978.

In addition, he was appointed senior associate dean in 2006 after serving as interim chair of the natural resource ecology and management department in 2004-05.

In his recently vacated position, Colletti oversaw budgets, resources and personnel for the college and Experiment Station, while facilitating bioeconomy-related research, including development of the college’s BioCentury Research Farm.

“It has been a great privilege to watch the college grow in both stature and impact over the last 40 years, and I am humbled by the opportunity to lead the college during the interim period,” said Colletti, who is nearing retirement and will be fulfilling the role in an interim basis until a new College of Agriculture president is named.

On Oct. 23, members of the State Board of Regents announced the selection of Wintersteen, whose “dedication to the university, the students, faculty and farmers across the state has been evident throughout her career,” according to a joint statement by Iowa Corn Growers Assoc. President Mark Recker, and Iowa Corn Promotion Board President Duane Aistrope.

“During her tenure as dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, she has shown tremendous leadership, working collaboratively to bridge the gap with groups both within the university internally and with external groups.

“She has helped advance the College of Agriculture and Life Science to meet the ever-changing challenges and opportunities present in agriculture today,” they said. “We have no doubt she will excel in her new role as Iowa State University president.”

Kirk Leeds, Iowa Soybean Assoc. CEO, said, “Wintersteen has a proven track record of being a tireless advocate for ISU and the state of Iowa. She understands the unique and critical role ISU plays in the future well-being of our state as a research-based, land-grant institution.

“Wintersteen has never lost sight of the special responsibility ISU has in training the next generation of leaders, or waivered in her support of extension and outreach, all while maintaining her impeccable history of supporting world-class science and research.”

ISU will launch a national search for the next permanent dean in the coming weeks, officials said.