Julie Westerman headshot

Iowa Lakes Community College names Julie Westerman as the new Dean of Arts and Science. Westerman brings a wealth of experience in academic leadership and a focus on balancing the needs of students, faculty, and administration.

“We warmly welcome Julie Westerman as she joins Iowa Lakes. With a strong dedication to education and a rich background in guiding students of all ages and backgrounds in rural and urban environments, she brings a caring perspective to helping students and faculty. This valuable expertise positions her to provide efficient assistance to both faculty and students, making her a meaningful addition to the College and the communities we are proud to serve,” shared Kyle Norris, Executive Dean at Iowa Lakes.

Originally from Hartley, Iowa, Westerman returns home to northwest Iowa to join the administrative team at Iowa Lakes and be closer to her family. Westerman’s higher education journey began at the University of South Dakota, where she pursued studies in social work and psychology. She further honed her academic pursuits at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, obtaining a Master’s in Writing.

Her dedication to education led to a successful career of more than 20 years at North Park University, where she started as an adjunct faculty member teaching writing, literature, film studies, and English Language Learner classes before serving in a variety of roles at the institution, including academic advising, curriculum development, faculty training, course scheduling, and off-campus program coordination.

At Southeast Technical College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Westerman continued her commitment to student success as the Academic Resource Center (ARC) Coordinator for the last three years. Her ARC role involved providing vital academic support to students, reflecting her belief that education should be accessible to all and tailored to diverse learning needs.

“Higher education is an equation in which the needs of faculty, students, and administration must all balance and equal. All three are important to consider as an institution decides who they are and how they will operate. If these sides are out of balance, that institution will lose students, faculty, or accreditation. I hope that my experience with all three will serve Iowa Lakes well as we work to grow enrollment, increase student satisfaction, support our faculty in teaching their disciplines, and design and deliver relevant courses and programs, all while continuously seeking to improve our operations so that we can be competitive face-to-face and online,” explained Westerman.

The role of the Dean of Arts and Science is essential in ensuring that Iowa Lakes continues to provide a well-rounded and comprehensive educational experience for its students. Westerman’s leadership will play a pivotal role in nurturing collaborations between faculty, students, and the broader community, further enriching the academic environment at Iowa Lakes.

“Community colleges produce the accountants, daycare providers, mechanics, nurses, plumbers, entrepreneurs, and all the other professions that make it possible for us to live in the towns we call home. So, I am very proud to be part of Iowa Lakes, working to build the communities of northwest Iowa through the programs we offer and the students we educate,” shared Westerman.