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Ostendorf, Wayne O.

Published onOct 11, 2021
Ostendorf, Wayne O.

(September 23, 1934 - June 1, 2022)

Quick Facts

University administrator and computer science faculty, Wayne Ostendorf was a leader in the development and implementation of university administrative information technology systems for Iowa State University.

As Director of Administrative Data Processing Center (ADP) and as a Computer Science Department faculty member Wayne O. Ostendorf provided a major leadership role in the development of technology based student records, human resources systems, alumni systems, and financial systems for Iowa State University.

Ostendorf was born September 23, 1934 to Rudolph and Ruby Ostendorf. He was raised on a farm near Applington, Iowa where he graduated from high school in 1951. Wayne served in the United States Army from 1954 to 1956 and stationed in Germany. During his military service he completed the Electronic Accounting Machine School training. After his military service he attended Iowa State University and graduated with a BS in Statistics in 1960. Wayne is married to Eleanor and has two children, Nancy Anne and Alan.

After graduating from ISU, Wayne was hired as an assistant manager of the university’s internal Data Processing Service. He was promoted to Manager in 1962, and then served as Director of the Administrative Data Processing Center (ADP) from 1971 to 2000. As the Director of the ADP Center Wayne organized and led the department’s efforts to develop, implement, and support an entire suite of university business systems that included a university accounting system, complete student record system, alumni system, and a national system for the DHIA (Diary Herd Improvement System) in conjunction with ISU’s Extension Department. During his tenure the information technology model for Iowa State student record systems were initially established on a punched card batch processing model. These systems improved the efficiency of the university and continued to keep it on the forefront of technology as they evolved to a web based real-time model. During his tenure as Director of the ADP Center the application systems that the center developed and deployed at ISU were recognized by other universities as comprehensive, reliable, and maintainable university business applications. As a result several of the ISU systems were implemented at other universities and Wayne was asked to do consulting for other local businesses.

Wayne became a member of the Computer Science faculty in 1967 as an assistant professor and taught a variety of computer science classes. He was promoted to associate professor in 1972 and served until 2000. In his role as professor he emphasized the use of academic models as they applied to actual business environments. He served on several departmental committees and was chair of the Computer Science Equipment Committee from 1988 to 2000. He acted as an advisor for several non-thesis MS degree students as well as PhD degree program students from 1972 to 1982. He was elected to the Cardinal Key Honorary in 1976, received the Upsilon Pi Epsilon Membership in 1980, and the Outstanding University Academic Advisor Award in 1983.

Ostendorf was also active on many other university committees including, but not limited to, the Faculty Workload, Alumni Honors and Awards, University Extension Review, Total Quality Management Steering, and the Academic Affairs Computer Advisory Committees. He also served on several university-wide search committees.

Wayne was also actively involved in several local, regional, and national professional organizations. He was a founding member of CUMREC (College and University Machine Records Conference) and was an active member from 1960 to 2000. He received the CUMREC Frank Martin Service Award and was conference co-chair in 1985. He was an active member of CAUSE (College and University Systems Exchange) from 1962 to 2000, and a member of the central Iowa DPMA (Data Processing Management Association) from 1960 to 1988 where he served as vice president and president. He authored and co-authored several papers for CUMREC and CAUSE primarily on university administrative computing systems.

In addition to his university efforts Wayne was and continues to be actively involved in several community organizations including the Unity Christian Reformed Church, Kiwanis, Jaycees, and the Izaak Walton League. He and his wife who now reside in Ankeny, have also been active supporters of the University Museums, especially the Farm House Museum, as well as ISU athletic basketball and football programs.

Wayne Ostendorf passed away in June 2022 after a courageous battle with both Parkinson’s disease and Covid-19. According to his obituary, “He lived 87 wonderful years celebrating faith, family, farming, fishing, fitness and friendships.”

Selected Sources

Wayne O. Ostendorf Papers, RS 4/3/12, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.

Obituary, Ames Tribune.

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