Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

William F. Woodman


In 1986, the State of Iowa appropriated approximately 17 million to implement a program of biotechnology research and development at Iowa State University. The purpose of the research program was to use state research facilities and staff to develop new technologies that would aid in the State's plan of economic recovery and development. However, the large infusion of public research funding may have had impacts on the university structure that were both unintended and unforseen at the time of the original appropriation;This study utilizes comprehensive records of all university research expenditures for the period 1983/1984-1989/1990, as well as comprehensive Full Time Equivalency (FTE) personnel data for 1983/1984-1990/1991. Based upon this data, alterations in the structure of Iowa State University are examined by comparing the fiscal standing and personnel composition of the 'Core' research departments, 'Support' departments, and 'Non-Biotech' departments;The surprising finding of the study is that those departments that benefitted the most from the infusion of public research funding experienced an overall decline in their percentage of total university research expenditures. Also, while approximately 30 faculty were hired into the Core and Support departments with biotechnology funds, these departments saw their overall percentage of faculty positions decline considerably during this period. It is proposed that the receipt of the biotechnology research monies was used as an opportunity to channel general university funds away from Core research departments into other areas. The result of this has been a considerably narrowed base of teaching and research expertise among recipient departments;The biotechnology project is also examined in terms of its end-result on the farming community in Iowa. Farmers were surveyed through the 1991 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll regarding their opinions and perceptions of the potential of the biotechnology project. While some optimism is present regarding the technological promise of biotechnology, skepticism exists as to whether the adoption of it will truly result in an improved standard of living for farmers. There is also concern that biotechnology will have uneven impacts on the farming community, by favoring large producers and corporate farms more than smaller operations and family farms.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

William Joseph Kinney



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

314 pages