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A place in history, 1980s-1990s

Submitted by Beverly J. Crabtree from Ames, Iowa, USA
Dean Emerita, College of Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Ph.D. Home Economics Education 1965

A walk down memory lane as dean of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences - 1987-97

In the late 1980s, major self studies, long range strategic planning, and reorganizations within universities became the norm. ISU was in that wave of change when I arrived. During my 10 years as Dean I served under eight different appointed and acting Presidents and Vice Presidents and was a colleague of 26 different appointed and acting Deans of the other seven colleges-and in my fifth year, I became the senior Dean!

Each College was challenged to become more cost effective and efficient and the Departments of Child Development and Family Environment were combined to form the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. The Department of Food and Nutrition in our College and the Department of Food Technology in the College of Agriculture were combined to become the Department of Food Sciences and Human Nutrition. Much to our disappointment the college specific journalism programs were eliminated at ISU and that included our nationally recognized Home Economics Journalism program. College and departmental state-of-the-art computer labs were established and it is exciting to note the continued expansion and upgrades of all the new technologies that are enhancing our instruction, research, and outreach programs.

Increased interaction with alumni was a priority goal and included an active travel agenda for College administrators, faculty, and students to visit with alumni living in Iowa. Dynette Mosher was appointed our first Director of Alumni Relations and with her enthusiasm and organizational skills she expanded our visits with alumni in Iowa and throughout the U.S. What wonderfully warm and loyal alumni we have and we sincerely appreciate your tremendous support. I have such fond memories of my visits with so many of you.

Our students are fantastic and during my first year, they enthusiastically accepted the challenge to organize a student ambassador organization they titled FACES. They were and continue to be outstanding ambassadors as they visit and share the many faces of our College with alumni, prospective students, and the general public. Our students received many campus, state and national organization awards, scholarships, and other honors and that record continues today. The spring College Scholarship Reception became a tradition for students and their families to meet and visit with the living scholarship donors who traveled distances to attend. What a heartwarming time was enjoyed by all.

With increasingly limited state and federal support, a full-time fund development officer was assigned to each College as we continued to focus on enhancing the excellence of our programs for which ISU and our College have long been known.

Our College, working with the Family and Consumer Sciences program at the University of Nebraska, initiated the Great Plains Deans Council to develop cooperative distance learning and graduate education program. Presently there are 10 cooperating universities in this program and it continues to serve as a model nationwide. Dean Pam White shared additional information about that program.

Prior to my arrival, Dean Deacon, students, faculty, alumni, and legislator friends worked to obtain state funding to build an addition to LeBaron Hall for classroom space and faculty offices, and $2.3 million was approved by the Legislature in the spring of 1987. However, new standards for sanitation and safety of lab animals and staff raised the possibility of having to close the antiquated human nutrition and rat laboratories in the basement of MacKay Hall.

After conferring with all those who worked to get that state funding, we proposed with the support of all, to address the need for state-of-the-art human nutrition laboratory facilities and to seek federal funds to supplement the state funds we had just received. At that time we proposed the establishment of the Center for Designing Foods to Improve Nutrition.

We were successful in obtaining $4.2 million in federal funds for the Center for Designing Foods to Improve Nutrition and this was added to the $2.3 million from the state. This enabled us to construct the Human Nutritional Sciences Building which houses research laboratories and faculty offices. This Center continues to receive funding from a variety of sources for food and nutrition research and it is truly an interdisciplinary research facility which involves several university departments, industry, and state and federal agencies.

THANK YOU for you for your continued wonderful support for and your most generous financial contributions to our College throughout the years. Because of your generosity, our College has been able to pursue priority programs, award much needed student scholarships, enhance and expand programs, renovate old and build new physical facilities, and provide enriching experiences for students, faculty, and staff.

Dean Helen LeBaron Hilton's love for the College was exemplified by her most generous $1.4 million bequest to establish the first Endowed Chair in our College after her death in 1993 and it was the largest fully funded endowed chair in Iowa State's history.

Because of her generosity, each year the College recruits an outstanding scholar or scholars to work with faculty and students to address specific priorities central to the College's mission and to make presentations that are open to the campus and general public. Our College and the entire University truly benefit from the Dean Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair.

In spite of make-do inadequate facilities over the years for the Child Development Laboratories, our College has long been nationally and internationally recognized for its excellence in Child Development and Early Childhood Education programs. So we embarked on a campaign to obtain the necessary funding for new facilities and the first group to make a contribution was our College's Alumni Association.

In 1996, Barbara and Jim Palmer made our dream of new CD Laboratories become a reality with their $1 million leadership gift plus $100,000 more in recognition of our College's 125th birthday. Ground breaking was in April, 1997 on a cold and snowy day.

The Palmer Human Development and Family Studies Building is another example of your tremendous generosity for over 1,500 alumni and friends of our College contributed over 85% of the total cost of this $8.3 million building. No other academic building on the ISU campus has ever been required to obtain that proportion of alumni support. This state-of-the-art building is the home of the Child Development Laboratory School, Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic, Financial Counseling Clinic, and offices for the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

It was a privilege to be your Dean for 10 years. Now, as we embark in this new organizational structure at ISU, it is my sincere hope that the new College will continue to address the priorities central to our profession that focus on empowering individuals, strengthening families, and enabling communities. With an integrative, synergistic, holistic focus the home economics/family and consumer sciences profession has historically addressed basic human needs and persistent issues which relate to food, clothing, shelter, emotional support and nurturance, and the emerging societal issues relevant to the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. No other field of study or profession has this unique integrative focus. The need for our profession is now more than ever before. We must not lose sight of our vision.

The first land grant university home economics program was established at ISU in 1871. Throughout the years our programs and our graduates have been recognized for excellence nationally and internationally and we must make sure this record continues.

Thank you for all you have done for our College throughout the years. How proud and appreciative we are of each one of you!