Sherry Bates: Someone You Should Know

New appointee to Iowa Board of Regents, retired social worker

An occasional series of people working for the betterment of Greene County

~by Lora Koch,The Scranton Journal

Sherry Bates  | Scranton Journal photo
Sherry Bates | Scranton Journal photo

You may be familiar with Sherry Bates through her many years of service as a social worker in Greene County through the Department of Human Services and Greene County Medical Center. Or, through her community involvement with the Greene County board of health, the Scranton Telephone board, the Greene County Foundation board, or previously with the Scranton library board. Perhaps you have seen Bates working side-by-side with her husband Kim on their Century Farm south of Scranton.

But did you know Bates was recently appointed to the Iowa Board of Regents by Governor Terry Branstad? “I am pleased to appoint Sherry Bates as a member of the Iowa Board of Regents,” said Branstad in a press release earlier this month. “Sherry’s work in her community and as a social worker demonstrates her commitment to public service. Her belief in affordable, world-class higher education will serve her well as a Regent.”

A 1970 graduate of Paton-Churdan high school and Iowa State University, Bates had expressed interest in joining the Board of Regents. “It came to my attention there was an opening for a term to be fulfilled. Education was always very important to my parents and my family. I submitted my application, and here I am!”

Created in 1909 by the Iowa General Assembly, the Board of Regents enhances the quality of life in Iowa by maintaining the quality and accessibility of the five state institutions it oversees. The board is composed of nine citizen members who serve staggered six-year terms.

The Board of Regents oversees the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, the Iowa School for the Deaf, and the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School.

Bates will serve the remainder of a vacant term that begins December 22, 2014, and runs through April 30, 2017. She will be fulfilling the vacancy that was recently announced by former Regent Nicole Carroll of Carroll who is relocating out of state.

Her appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

“The Board oversees all five public institutions, providing affordable education for as many people who want to attain higher education,” explained Bates. “I hope to bring my career of service to the Board. Positive outcomes throughout my career were through education of some sort. Education has a ripple effect to those around you. I hope to bring those skills and values.”

Even though she is retired from her career as a social worker, Bates still actively works with her husband on their grain farm. They have two grown children: son, Andrew, and his family live in Ames, and daughter, Laura (Keehner), and her family live in the Dubuque area. Time with grandchildren is very special to her. Bates also enjoys reading, quilting, and attending Iowa State football and basketball games.

“I am looking forward to meeting the other board members and learning about all the different aspects of the board. I want to see the whole picture,” shared Bates. “I also look forward to visiting all the different schools and learning more about each one.”

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