Council hears IT preview

Jim Kurtenbach, interim vice provost and chief information officer, was invited to speak at the Feb. 5 Professional and Scientific Council meeting in advance of his presentation at the April 14 P&S seminar (2-3 p.m., Memorial Union Campanile Room).

Kurtenbach outlined three information technology services (ITS) priorities given to him by the provost:

  • Security: "ITS can't do it alone. We work real closely with the colleges and the business units and are broadening that out to everyone on campus."
  • Customer service: "IT is a commodity today. Everybody expects that commodity to work really well and we just aren't built to that level yet."
  • Compliance with TIER (Transparent Inclusive Efficiency Review): "I have a good feeling [the consultants] are here to enable and help."

Kurtenbach said he is trying to combat "fear of the unknown" by taking information technology services out to the campus with face-to-face meetings and shared (or loaned) ITS personnel.

"Right now, we're doing a lot of job sharing," he said. "I'm trying to embed as many people from ITS into every business unit I can, and hopefully that will improve the communication flow and remove some of the fear."

International friends

Silas Pippitt, program coordinator in the international students and scholars office (ISSO), gave council members a short presentation about ISU's Friendships International program. The program is launching a new model this semester that centers on large-group events, rather than initial one-on-one pairings of international students with Ames community members.

"International students can show up, interact with community members and if a natural pairing forms, then there is an opportunity for that one-on-one interaction outside of the event," Pippitt said.

Events are open to all and hosted by several different organizations, such as the Kiwanis, Rotary Club and church groups. Event details will be posted on the ISSO website.

Other business

  • Council members approved a motion to amend council rules and bylaws (PDF), including changes that move all officer elections to the March meeting
  • Brenda Behling, director of academic policy and personnel in the provost's office, reported on Iowa State business items from the state Board of Regents meeting, including ISU's flipped classroom initiative