Category Archives: Strategic Updates Archive

Budget Town Hall next Tuesday

All faculty and staff are invited to attend a budget town hall presentation with President Martin and Adam Voigts, chief financial officer.  The presentation will review FY22 results, the budget for FY23, and a financial look to FY24 and beyond.  The presentation will be in Parents Hall of the Olmsted Center on Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 1–2 p.m.

— Adam Voigts, chief financial officer

United Way campaign progress

With President Martin’s message and the United Way email to full-time and regular part-time employees, yesterday we launched the 2022 United Way campaign. Our collective response is inspiring!

As of this morning, we have raised $16,811 for local nonprofits. Thus far 88 full-time employees have participated, along with one retiree and one part-time employee. Currently, we show a full-time employee participation rate of 9%. Our 2022 United Way campaign goal is $40,000 with a 40% participation rate.

To those who have contributed, thank you. If you have not yet donated, please consider the impact of your potential investment. If you contribute $5 per month via payroll deduction, your $60 donation could represent 192 meals for neighbors experiencing homelessness. Every dollar makes a difference. So, we invite you to donate today.

How to Donate
Check your inbox for an email from Mary Sellers, president of the United Way of Central Iowa. The email was sent Nov. 8 and contains instructions for how to participate in this year’s campaign.

— Ryan Arnold, Director, Community Engagement 

The Center for Public Democracy announces co-executive directors

The University is pleased to formally announce that the Center for Public Democracy, one of the priorities Drake is advancing through The Ones: Drake’s Campaign for the Brave & Bold, will be co-directed by Rachel Paine Caufield, department co-chair and professor of political science; Renée Cramer, deputy provost for academic affairs and law, politics, and society professor; and Scott Raecker, executive director of The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center. Caufield, Cramer, and Raecker will lead the Center in addition to their current responsibilities at Drake.

The three co-executive directors are the champions of the Center for Public Democracy Big Idea that brought the concept to realization. They are working to achieve a shared vision: to build upon Drake’s already strong tradition of civic engagement to create a hub for democratic discourse, dialogue, and action focused on supporting a healthy democracy.

Caufield said she sees Drake being a place where policy is created, where practitioners gather, and where students are involved in it all. “It positions Drake as a convener,” she said.

Rachel Paine Caufield, department co-chair and professor of political science

“I’m not sure there has ever been a greater appetite in contemporary society for solutions to help our democracy function,” said Raecker. “Drake is already owning this space. The Center for Public Democracy will formalize it, help it grow, and engage more Drake students in our efforts.”

Scott Raecker, executive director of The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center

“Drake is a place where people can come to learn to have the difficult and crucial conversations that democracy requires,” said Cramer. “We are located in the center of the political universe and can be an example of behavior in a healthy democracy.”

Renée Cramer, deputy provost for academic affairs and law, politics, and society professor

The Center for Public Democracy seeks to generate and disseminate knowledge about American democracy through sponsored events, initiatives, research, and hands-on opportunities for students to engage in the political process. One of its initiatives is The Public Democracy Scholars program—making Drake the school of choice for politically minded high school students. The four-year program will prepare students to be civic leaders through dedicated coursework and immersive engagement.

The Center for Public Democracy will host the first annual National Civility Summit for Local Government on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. The online summit is organized in partnership with the National League of Cities and the Iowa League of Cities. Registration for the event is open.

Also in the works is a summer institute with the theme, “Talking Politics, Practicing Democracy.” The event will bring together civic leaders, policy makers, journalists, scientists, activists, scholars, and citizens. Additionally, it will include leadership training for high school students who will actively engage in the institute with summit participants.

Visit drake.edu/center-for-public-democracy/ to learn more about the Center for Public Democracy. Also follow theones.drake.edu for progress updates on the comprehensive fundraising campaign. 

Ambassador Terry Branstad available for office hours, classes, and events

Ambassador Terry Branstad provides office hours as part of his role as Ambassador in Residence here at Drake University on Fridays from 10–11:30 a.m. in Room 283 in the Law Library.  Ambassador Branstad is also available to meet with faculty and students and speak to classes and student organizations. This is an exceptional academic opportunity to hear the perspective, reasoning, and experiences of someone who helped shape Iowa and U.S. history.

If you would like to meet with him personally to ask questions about the experiences he has had throughout his career, please use this Calendly link to schedule an appointment: https://calendly.com/ambassador-branstad.

— Luke Clausen, Senior

Fall Sussman Lecture, “The U.S. Supreme Court: Yesterday and Today”

The Fall 2022 Sussman lecture is Monday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. in the Sussman Theater (lower Olmsted Center).

Michael J. Nelson will be giving the hybrid Fall 2022 Sussman Lecture “The U.S. Supreme Court: Yesterday and Today”. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Both in-person and virtual tickets are available online here. ASL/CART will be provided.

About the Event

In this talk, Nelson will discuss how the Supreme Court has changed over the past few decades in terms of its composition and its workload: there is now a perfect congruence between the ideology of the justices and the party of the presidents who appointed them, and the Court is deciding far fewer cases than in decades past (and using a different process to do so). We’ll talk about the consequences of these trends for the Court’s public standing, the development of American law, and calls to reform the federal judiciary.

About the Speaker

Michael Nelson is a 2009 graduate of Drake University with degrees in Politics and English and a concentration in Business Law. He is currently a Professor of Political Science and Social Data Analytics and Affiliate Law Faculty at Penn State. His research and teaching focus on law and courts, especially the public’s relationship with the judicial branch. He is the author of over thirty peer-reviewed articles and four books and has received three grants from the National Science Foundation. His most recent book, Judging Inequality (Russell Sage Foundation Press), received the C. Herman Pritchett and Virginia Gray awards from the American Political Science Association for the best book published in the fields of Law and Courts and State Politics and Policy.

About the Sussman Lecture Series

Established by Richard Sussman, AS’51, in memory of his late wife Lila, the Sussman Lecture Series takes place twice a year and invites notable public figures to discuss timely topics. Past speakers have in the Sussman Lecture Series include Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, NASA Chief Historian Bill Barry, Microsoft Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi.

— Lila Johnson, Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement

U.S.-China Symposium to feature author and journalist John Pomfret

The U.S.-China Symposium at Drake University will take place Nov. 17 in Olmsted.

John Pomfret is an award-winning journalist and author of The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present. He will deliver a lecture on U.S.-China relations at the symposium. This event is free and open to the public. Register at drake.edu/branstad. 

The symposium will be hosted by Ambassador-in-Residence Terry Branstad, former U.S. Ambassador to China and Governor of Iowa. This annual event will convene experienced professionals, academics, and other experts to speak on various topics related to China and U.S.-China relations.

“I am extremely pleased to welcome John Pomfret to Drake for the inaugural U.S.-China Symposium,” said Ambassador Branstad. “John brings extensive experience and knowledge of the relationship between the United States and China, and his book The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom provides the most complete overview of the history between our nations and was considered required reading for all of the diplomats stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. I look forward to his engagement with the Drake community this fall.”

In addition to speaking at the symposium, Pomfret will join the Ambassador Branstad’s Fall 2022 book club discussion on Nov. 17 at 11:30 am. Participants will read The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom. All Drake students, faculty, staff, and alumni are welcome to participate. Books will be provided at no cost to the first ten students to register.

To register for the book club, please email ambassador@drake.edu.

About John Pomfret

Raised in New York City and educated at Stanford and Nanjing Universities, John Pomfret is an award-winning journalist who worked with The Washington Post for decades.

Pomfret was a foreign correspondent for twenty years, including seven years covering China – in the late 1980s during the Tiananmen Square protests, then from 1997 until the end of 2003 as the bureau chief for The Washington Post in Beijing.

Pomfret is the author of the best-selling Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China (1996). His book, The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present (2016) was awarded the 2017 Arthur Ross Award by the Council on Foreign Relations.

— Hannah Sappenfield, Global Engagement

Ray Walton to serve as Harkin Institute interim director

Ray Walton, an accomplished leader and business executive with public and private sector experience, has agreed to be the interim director of the Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement at the invitation of Drake University, The Harkin Institute’s National Advisory Council, and Sen. and Ruth Harkin.  

The appointment comes following the conclusion of Joseph Jones’ tenure as executive director of the Institute. Joseph served as executive director starting in August 2016, and since that time, the organization experienced tremendous growth in programming and research and celebrated the opening of the Tom and Ruth Harkin Center on Drake’s campus. 

Ray’s connections to Senator Harkin and his commitment to Iowa are strong. Early in his career, Ray served as a staff member for then-Congressman Harkin. He spent more than two decades in several leadership roles at General Growth Properties, until 2008, when Governor Chet Culver appointed him director of the state’s Department of Administrative Services. Ray previously served in a similar capacity as interim director of the Culver Center at Simpson College. 

We are pleased to welcome Ray into this interim role as the search for the next permanent executive director progresses. 

Visit Drake’s Continuous Improvement Plan website for progress, new data, and success stories

If you have not lately, I’d encourage you to review Drake’s Continuous Improvement Plan site. As a reminder, this is our strategic plan and lists out all of the objectives in each of the plan’s commitment areas.  Please take time to explore how each of those objectives are embodied in many ways across our campus life. You can do so by clicking on the “+” in each objective area or the “Learn more” link to see more on student, faculty, and staff successes.  

In addition, you’ll see more information on all the major initiatives the University has underway as well. This site is continuously updated and can be also found any time by going to the drake.edu home page, clicking on ‘Campus Links’ at the top and selecting “Strategic Plan”. Thanks for your review and engagement.

— Nate Reagen, President’s Office

Economic update with Chicago Fed chair tomorrow at Sheslow, register now

Join Drake and the Greater Des Moines Partnership as they host Charles Evans, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, for an economic update on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 10 a.m.–11 a.m. at Sheslow Auditorium. This timely and relevant discussion will provide an expert perspective on the effects of recent monetary policy on regional and U.S. economic activity. 

The conversation will feature a question-and-answer session with Evans moderated by Robert Palmer, who serves on the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Advisory Council and is General Counsel to the Iowa League of Cities.

Register for the event

More about Charles Evans and the Chicago Fed
The Chicago Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks across the country. These 12 banks — along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. — make up our nation’s central bank. As head of the Chicago Fed, Evans oversees the work of roughly 1,400 employees in Chicago and Detroit who conduct economic research, supervise financial institutions and provide payment services to commercial banks and the U.S. government.

Evans has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago since September 2007. In that capacity, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve System’s monetary policymaking body. Before becoming president in September of 2007, Evans served as director of research and senior vice president, supervising the Bank’s research on monetary policy, banking, financial markets and regional economic conditions. His personal research has focused on measuring the effects of monetary policy on U.S. economic activity, inflation and financial market prices, and has been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Drake and the Greater Des Moines Partnership to host Chicago Fed chair on Aug. 10 at Sheslow

Drake University and the Greater Des Moines Partnership will host Charles Evans, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, for an economic update on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 10 a.m.–11 a.m. at Drake’s Sheslow Auditorium.

Evans will provide an expert perspective on the effects of recent monetary policy on regional and U.S. economic activity. The Chicago Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks across the country. These 12 banks — along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. — make up our nation’s central bank. As head of the Chicago Fed, Evans oversees the work of roughly 1,400 employees in Chicago and Detroit who conduct economic research, supervise financial institutions and provide payment services to commercial banks and the U.S. government.

Evans has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago since September 2007. In that capacity, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve System’s monetary policymaking body. Before becoming president in September of 2007, Evans served as director of research and senior vice president, supervising the Bank’s research on monetary policy, banking, financial markets and regional economic conditions. His personal research has focused on measuring the effects of monetary policy on U.S. economic activity, inflation and financial market prices, and has been published in peer-reviewed journals.

The conversation will feature a question-and-answer session with Evans moderated by Robert Palmer with the Iowa League of Cities.

“We are excited to welcome Charles Evans for what promises to be a timely and relevant conversation on the U.S. economy,” said Andrea Woodard, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy at The Partnership. “Charles will provide insight into the Federal Reserve’s decisions and how they will impact Greater Des Moines businesses and organizations.”

Learn more about the event.