As Iowa State University’s longtime College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Wendy Wintersteen assumes the presidency at ISU, senior associate dean Joe Colletti will replace her on an interim basis as dean of the ag school. Both of these events will take place Nov. 20.
Colletti’s appointment as interim dean of ISU’s Ag College was announced Nov. 7. He’ll also serve as interim director of the Iowa State Experiment Station.
In making the appointment, Jonathan Wickert, senior vice president and provost at ISU, noted Colletti’s stature on campus will facilitate 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 the university move forward during a critical time of record enrollments and budget challenges,” Wickert said. “I’m confident he will do very well in the interim role.”
Colletti to maintain ‘strong momentum’
“Joe is familiar with every aspect of the college’s mission and operations, and its service to the people of Iowa,” said Wintersteen, who will become Iowa State’s 16th president. “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.”
Colletti, who joined Iowa State in 1978, holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry from Humboldt State University in California, and master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He was named senior associate dean in ISU’s College of Ag in 2006. In this current position, he oversees budgets, resources and personnel for the ISU Ag College and Experiment Station, and facilitates research related to the bioeconomy, including development of the university’s BioCentury Research Farm.
He has also taught undergraduate and graduate courses in forestry and natural resource economics, decision-making and management.
Humbled to help lead ISU’s College of Ag
“It has been a great privilege to watch the College of Ag and Life Sciences 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,” Colletti told Wallaces Farmer. He said a national search for the next permanent dean will be launched in coming weeks. Colletti is not expected to be a candidate. The university is in the process of working on a plan to cover Colletti’s senior associate duties during his interim service as dean.
Under the direction of Wintersteen, who has led ISU’s College of Ag and Life Sciences since 2006, the college has significantly increased its student enrollment and strengthened its national reputation as a leader in ag research and education. It’s Ag and Biosystems Engineering program has ascended to No. 1 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings.
In a letter to alumni and friends, Colletti said: “Thanks to your continued support, our college has a solid foundation to build on for the future. Of course, we wouldn’t be where we are today without the strong leadership of Wendy Wintersteen. Her selection as Iowa State’s 16th president is a tremendous endorsement of her leadership for the College of Ag and Life Sciences. I am excited for her tenure as president.”