IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY — It’s been nearly a year since Iowa State’s last full-time president left campus to pursue a job at Purdue University, and the university has continued to move forward and make changes.
In that year, Richard Seagrave has served as interim president. But Seagrave’s term officially came to a close this week, in preparation for President Gregory Geoffroy’s arrival Monday.
“He [was] – and I think students might resonate this – a student’s dream as a president because he’s very attentive to student needs, he’s easy to talk to,” said Thomas Hill, vice president for Student Affairs. “Consequently he’s a vice president for Student Affairs’ dream to work with.”
Some of the issues Seagrave had to deal with while serving as interim president were getting rid of the Veishea pledge, controversy over the ISU Foundation, the increase in tuition and the statewide budget cuts.
However, Hill said Seagrave used his time as interim president to do more than just maintain the university until a full-time president arrived.
“I think that’s his biggest accomplishment – he sustained momentum, kept it going forward,” he said. “Things were in motion, but they had to be continued.”
Hill said working with Seagrave was fantastic and Seagrave made it easy for him to do his job.
“I’ve grown professionally as a result of being able to work with him and learn from him,” he said.
Now that his term is over, Seagrave will return to his position as distinguished professor of chemical engineering.
He will still be available to assist Geoffroy, however.
“I would think President Geoffroy would look to Dr. Seagrave for input,” said Charles Dobbs, executive assistant to the president.
Hill first worked with Seagrave in 1997, when he first arrived at Iowa State.
“He’s been a guy that I’ve been dealing with since the day I arrived,” Hill said. “I didn’t have any idea I would be dealing with him as an interim provost or interim president.”
Everybody at Iowa State has benefited from Seagrave’s efforts over the year, Hill said.
“He’s taught me a lot about working with students and dealing with students,” he said.
Seagrave completed his last day in office earlier this week and was unavailable for comment.