Alternative admissions index, more student apartments are on regents' agenda

Iowa State will seek state Board of Regents permission next week to begin planning an estimated $5 million renovation of about 6,200 square feet of ground floor space for the kinesiology department in the 1940 portion of the Forker Building. The board meets Feb. 4-5 in Cedar Falls.

The project will create additional faculty offices and restrooms, replace windows and install a fire sprinkler system. University funds will cover the cost. Since 2007, the kinesiology department has experienced 80 percent student enrollment growth, creating office crowding for current faculty and no expansion possibilities for additional faculty.

Alternative admissions index

The board also will be asked to approve an alternative formula for the Regent Admission Index (RAI), to be used only for applicants whose Iowa high schools don't provide a class ranking. Class rank is one of four measurements in the admissions index the board approved in 2009. If approved, the alternative formula would take effect for the entering freshmen of summer/fall 2016 at all three regent universities. It changes the weighting applied to two of the other three measurements in the 2009 formula:

Alternative RAI: ACT composite score (x 3) + High school GPA (x 30) + High school core courses (x 5)

Primary RAI: ACT composite score (x 2) + High school rank (x1) + High school GPA (x 20) + High school core courses (x 5)

In September, the Deloitte consulting team recommended an alternative as part of its work in the Transparent Inclusive Efficiency Review (TIER). An admissions study team worked with board staff from September to December 2014 and selected this formula from the 12 options it developed.

Additional apartments in southwest Ames

The residence department will seek permission to negotiate leases for additional off-campus apartments for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years (Aug. 1, 2015, to July 31, 2017). The proposal is to rent nine buildings in southwest Ames (space for 395 students) from Jensen Properties for about $2.1 million per year. Iowa State already leases and operates off-campus apartment space for 1,059 students, and the additional buildings are adjacent to all but one of those buildings.

For fall 2015, residence leaders estimate they'll receive as many as 1,800 requests above the residence department's permanent bed number. The 700-bed Buchanan Hall 2 won't be ready before fall 2017.

Master's in business analytics

Both Iowa State and the University of Iowa will ask the board to approve new master's programs in business analytics. The proposal includes a five-year memorandum of cooperation to strengthen the quality of both schools' programs for the long-term. Iowa State's proposal, for an interdepartmental master of business analytics program in the supply chain and information systems department, would be offered in a blended format of team-based traditional classes and online coursework. It is designed to address challenges dealing with analytics and "Big Data" intelligence.

Iowa's Master of Science program will focus on the business aspects of business analytics and will be an evening program offered off campus (face-to-face). Areas identified for cooperation include: referral of students to the other program when in the student's best career interests, acceptance of up to nine credits of approved courses from the other school's program, and an annual workshop at which business analytics faculty will share syllabi, trends, instructional ideas and course delivery options.

Other agenda items

In other ISU-related business, the board will:

  • Open bids for the issuance of $32.3 million in athletic facilities revenue bonds, to cover part of the cost of the expansion project underway on the Jack Trice Stadium south end zone. Payment on the bonds would begin in July 2016 and last for 25 years.
  • Receive the annual report on faculty resignations for the year that ended June 30, 2014
  • Receive the annual diversity report for the federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2014

Public portions of the meeting will be audio streamed live on the board's website.

Members of the public who want to provide input to board members prior to their meeting on any agenda item may do so at a public forum on Friday, Jan. 30 (noon-1 p.m., Memorial Union Oak Room). Their comments will be video recorded for board members to view.