Iowa State University begins search to replace its longest-serving provost

The search for Iowa State University's next senior vice president and provost is underway with hopes to have the seat filled soon.

Iowa State Provost Jonathan Wickert announced his plans to resign last month. He will be stepping down on June 30.

Wickert is one of the nation's longest-serving provosts thanks to his 12 years of service and is the longest-serving provost among Iowa's public universities.

Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen compiled an 18-member search committee tasked with launching a national search for the next senior vice president and provost.

The committee was hand-selected to best represent Iowa State University through a variety of perspectives, Iowa State University News director Angie Hunt said.

"We really want to make sure there is representation across campus on that committee," Hunt said. "Knowing that the person who is going to step into this role will be working with a number of different people on campus, it's very important that they all have an opportunity to participate in this process."

More: Iowa State University provost Jonathan Wickert will step back after 12 years

Iowa State wants a 'collaborative leader'

A search committee headed by David Spalding, Dean of the Ivy College of Business, has outlined qualifications and expectations for the next senior vice president and provost that align with the university's mission and vision.

"It is important that the next provost is a collaborative leader, with an innovative vision for guiding the academic programs that prepare students for the future, and for supporting faculty and staff in the research and extension programs that impact Iowa and the world," Spalding said.

Parker Executive Search will assist the committee with identifying potential candidates. The search firm has worked with Iowa State before, most recently in its search for the new College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean in 2023.

More: Where to go for fish fries in Ames, Story County for Lent

More: An Ames bioscience company is producing renewable fuels. How a $50K loan will help

The application process is underway

The search committee is reviewing candidate materials, and identifying finalists for on-campus interviews in Ames. The university's goal is to announce its next provost in the spring, though the start date will depend on the individual, Hunt said.

"The timeline will be similar to the last provost search in 2012, which took approximately three months," Hunt said. "The search committee is working to have finalists interview on campus between mid-April and early May."

Hunt also said Iowa State will host open forums and presentations focusing on campus commitment once the finalists are selected,

Updates and details about campus interviews will be provided on the search website as finalists are identified.

Celia Brocker is a government, crime, political and education reporter for the Ames Tribune. She can be reached at

This article originally appeared on Ames Tribune: Here's what Iowa State University is looking for in its new provost