Iowa State University

Beverly Crabtree, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, (515) 294-0860
Michelle Johnson, News Service, (515) 294-8986


AMES, Iowa -- James Autry, former president of the magazine group at Meredith Corp., has been named to the Dean Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair in Iowa State University's College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Autry's appointment is for the 1996-97 academic year.

Autry, a nationally known author and poet, has had four books published. Love and Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership and Life and Work: A Manager's Search for Meaning are best- selling observations on changing the corporate workplace. Nights Under a Tin Roof...Recollections of a Southern Boyhood and Life After Mississippi are collections of Autry's poetry. Autry has spoken on leadership for change and the personal side of business to corporations and organizations around the globe.

"One of the greatest challenges for higher education, and those who work in higher education, is to be responsive to change," said Beverly Crabtree, dean of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. "As a nationally recognized commentator on leadership for change, Jim Autry is the perfect scholar to hold this chair at a time of continuous change for our college, this university and higher education in Iowa."

Before taking an early retirement in 1991, Autry served as senior vice president and president of the magazine group at Meredith Corp., Des Moines, Iowa. He has been active with several civic and charitable organizations including the Epilepsy Foundation

of America, the Iowa Department of Education's Advisory Council on Educational Services to Persons with Disabilities and the Des Moines Symphony. He also is the founder of the Des Moines National Poetry Festival.

In 1979, Autry was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve on the National Advisory Committee for the White House Conference on Families. He was a member of the ISU College of Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Board and served as its first chair in 1980 - 81.

Autry received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Mississippi in 1955. He then entered the U.S. Air Force where he became a tactical jet fighter pilot. In 1981, Autry was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Mississippi and was elected into the Alumni Hall of Fame. He holds honorary degrees from William Jewell College, Liberty, Mo.; Grandview College, Des Moines, Iowa; and Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa.

The Hilton Chair, endowed by a gift in excess of $1.3 million from the estate of Helen LeBaron Hilton, is the largest endowed chair in Iowa State's history. Helen LeBaron Hilton was dean of the ISU College of Home Economics (now Family and Consumer Sciences) from 1952 to 1975.

The Hilton Chair is a revolving chair, varying in length and focus. Autry will hold the chair for the 1996-97 academic year. The focus of the chair will be leadership for change. He succeeds journalist Allison Engel, who held the chair during the 1995-96 academic year, focusing on outreach.