Board of Regents elect Sherry Bates to serve as president pro tem


Ayrton Breckenridge

Iowa Board of Regents President Mike Richards announces Barbara Wilson as the new University of Iowa President at a press conference in the Levitt Center for University Advancement on April 30, 2021.

The state Board of Regents elected regent Sherry Bates to serve as the next president pro tem.

Bates was unanimously elected by the regents at Tuesday’s in-person meeting at the University of Iowa. Regent Nancy Boettger nominated Bates to serve in the position. Bates will serve in the position of former regent Patty Cownie, whose term expired April 30.

“I’ve known Sherry since I first came on the board,” regent Boettger said to the other regents on Tuesday. “She was a wonderful mentor to learn the ropes and has a real heart for doing the work for the Board of Regents.”

Bates was the only regent nominated for the position.

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed two new regents in April. Gov. Reynolds did not reappoint regent Cownie.

Regents President Mike Richards was also reappointed in April by Gov. Reynolds to serve as president until 2027. Bates will serve as president pro tem until her term expires on April 30, 2022.

The president pro tem fills in if a vacancy occurs in the office of the board president, the regents wrote in a statement.

Bates was appointed as a regent in 2014 by former Gov. Terry Branstad, in place of former regent Nicole Carroll, and reappointed in 2017. Her role will expire in April 2023.

Bates resides in Greene county and had a career in social work for more than 20 years at the Greene County Medical Center and the Iowa Department of Human Services. She graduated from Iowa State University in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in child development.