The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs uses the Board of Trustees to oversee the various departments, give out important awards, and ensure the proper preservation of historical sites throughout Iowa.
“Boards of commission in the state of Iowa require that you have a balance between Republicans and Democrats. So, when you have a Republican governor, like Terry Branstad, he, under law, has to appoint some Democrats,” Green noted.
Although the board does not hold much power in decision-making, Green mentioned that one of their main roles is to give out awards.
She said, “There’s a number of important awards that are given out each year for things like the best historical preservation project in the state of Iowa.”
In addition to the awards, the board ensures that Iowa historical sites are cared for appropriately. The sites report to the board, and the board members make sure everything is as it should be.
Recently there has been some uproar amongst members as well as Iowa residents. The State Historical Library and Archives has two locations, and the Iowa City location could be shutting down.
Many Iowa City residents hold much opposition to the suggestion of shutting down the site, and many board members are also against the decision. However, Green noted that, while the members are free to give their opinions on the closing, they have no real power to keep it open.
Time will tell the fate of the Iowa City site of the Iowa Historical Library and Archives, but one thing is for sure. Kitty Green is not just a Morningside College history professor. Until 2016 she is the Vice Chair of the State Historical Society’s Board of Trustees.